Wild Temples and Remote North
Full Day See Itinerary
Travel from mysterious outlying temples teeming with birds and butterflies, to the heart of the remote Kulen Prontep Wildlife Sanctuary. This unique short tour uncovers sights few get to see.
After exploring Koh Ker temple complex, we travel on to your home for two nights – our Community ecolodge, nestled on the banks of a 12th Century ‘baray’, or reservoir. This simple but comfortable wooden lodge is run by the Ecotourism Community of Prey Veng Village – a project that is essential to the conservation of Critically Endangered large birds in Cambodia. The lodge is just 300 meters from a deserted ruined temple, and we have mapped out routes around the baray – which acts as the essential water source for both community and wildlife. You can explore at your leisure, boating on the baray, visiting the village and community forest to learn about traditional land use practises, or just relax on the viewing platform with sundowners. Explore the dry forests of the Northern Plains uncovering Cambodia’s unique birds and wildlife on the way.
Our tours are tailor-made – the itineraries shown are suggestions based on our deep knowledge, or we can work with you to create your trip for your unique requirements, interests, and capabilities.
When to go
The cooler dry season between November and March make it easier to access the sites, but the vivid green beauty of the wetter seasons make this tour remarkable all year round. During rainy season, Prey Veng comes to life and access is by ox cart!
“Tremendous experience. Knowledgable enthusiastic guide (Hat). Well organized. Over 50 species identified. Would thoroughly recommend this trip to anyone whether expert or novice. Thank you Hat.“
Elaine P, Newark
Picking you up at 5:30am from your Siem Reap hotel, we head off to the Northeast in our air-conditioned 4×4 towards the outlying forest temple complex of Koh Ker. Traveling out through villages and fields, we take the opportunity to stop along the way for a packed breakfast and to spot some of the area’s unique birds – including many Woodpeckers and the beautiful White-Rumped Pygmy Falcon.
Koh Ker is a stunning and unique pyramidal temple built in 931 AD, reminiscent of the structures built by the Central American Maya. This was the location that became the capital of the Khmer Empire away from the Angkor area for the only time in an otherwise uninterrupted 500 years We start our explorations in the remote dry and semi evergreen forest and rarely-visited outlying temples to discover the nature, wildlife, birds and incredible butterflies that live there,whilst exploring little known temples, then we head to the main Koh Ker temple – Prasat Thom, where we have lunch at a local restaurant right in front of the temple site. We then travel on to Prey Veng, our newest community Ecolodge, on the banks of a 12-century baray deep in the Kulen Prontemp Wildlife sanctuary. Spend the late afternoon exploring the nearby lost temple ruins, cycling or trekking round the baray, or just relax with sundowners on the platform over the reservoir, watching the evening wildlife.
How you spend today is up to you. Explore the Baray trails spotting critically endangered birds and wildlife, hike or cycle the 12 k to the mountain temples, or take a boat out with local fisherman to learn their skills. There is also the chance to get involved with community conservation work — species monitoring or forest patrols, whilst learning about traditional rubber tapping in the community forest, or hear about how they grow our wildlife friendly Ibis Rice.
After early morning wildlife spotting and breakfast we return to Siem Reap, stopping at Beng Melea, a spectacular jungle-temple ruin. This site has only recently been de-mined and it has a very authentic feel – it is said to be the template for Angkor Wat. Return to Siem Reap about 5pm.
Ang Trapaeng Thmor Sarus Crane Adventure
ATT is a vitally important place for Sarus Cranes, the tallest and most elegant of Cambodia’s waterbirds. Between January and the end of March we see up to 350 of these majestic birds as they forage.
Cambodia is the last stronghold of a set of magnificent birds that are now so globally rare they are considered Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. This tour is a superb opportunity ...