Kompong Kdei Bridge, Sambor Prei Kuk, Homestay, Prasat Bakan Temples, Kratie and the freshwater dolphins, Kompong Cham and Wat Nokor temple
Day 1 – Sambor Prei Kuk
We will leave Siem Reap at 9am and follow the national road number 6. After about one hour drive, we will stop near the village of Kompong Kdei to see an old bridge of the Angkorean Era.
Phra Phutthos, better know as Kompong Kdei bridge because of its vicinity with the city of the same name, was constructed at the end of the 12th century during the reign of Jayavarman VII. This is an imposant stone structure with more than twenty narrow arches spanning 75 meters. Receiving few visitors, Phra Phutthos is notwithstanding the longest corbeled stone-arch bridge in the world and really worth the detour! After the visit, we will drive you back to your hotel.
Then, we will continue to Kompong Thom where we will have lunch.
After lunch, we will drive about 45 minutes to Sambor Prei Kuk. Sambor Prei Kuk is the setting of the most impressive group of pre-Angkorian monuments anywhere in Cambodia. There are more than 100 small temples, scattered through the forest. Originally called Isanapura, Sambor Prei Kuk was the capital of the Kingdom of Chenla during the reign of the early-7th century king Isanavarman. This city continued to be an important centre of scholarship during the Angkorian period.
Overnight in Homestay near Sambor Prei Kuk, Homestay in Kampong Thom
Day 2 – Preah Khan
Early in the morning, we will drive about 3 hours to the North. We will visit the temples of Preah Khan, also know asPrasat Bakan. This temples complex was probably built during the ninth century, originally for Hindu worship, it was later transformed into a Mahayana Buddhist centre. At some point, Preah Khan was home to the prestigious kings Suryavarman II and Jayavarman VII, the latter probably took refuge in this city during the Cham invasion. This laterite and sandstone complex was probably the second biggest city of the Khmer Empire as it covers an area of 5 square kilometres and comprises a huge 3 km long baray. This is one of the most remote temple of Cambodia and when exploring the temples you will have a real feel of being lost in the middle of nowhere.
After a picnic lunch near the temples, we will drive back to Kompong Thom and then to Kompong Cham where we will stay the night and have dinner in a local restaurant.
DAY 3- Kom Pong Cham–Kratie Province
Today after breakfast we will drive through two Mekong provinces by private minibus to the charming little town of Kratie. The region near Kompong Cham was the birthplace of rubber production during the French colonial time. We will pass along many rubber plantations and stop at the biggest one of the country at Chhup. Our journey will continue to the village of Snoul, which is famous for its fruits cultivation. This town has a rather large market where we will stop to buy some of their delicious fruits. We will arrive in Kratie for lunch. This city is quite well-preserved and still has some good examples of shophouse architecture as well as some old Khmer wooden house but is mostly the best place in Cambodia to see the freshwater Irrawady dolphins.
The freshwater Irrawady dolphins (Orcaella brevirostris) occurs in coastal waters from the Bay of Bengal to New Guinea and northern Australia and ascends far up the Ganges, Irrawaddy, Mekong, and other rivers. Orcaella lives in the coastal warm, tropical and silty waters but regularly enters rivers; he can live permanently in fresh water. It breathes at intervals of 70-150 seconds, the head appears first and then disappears, and then the back emerges, but the tail is rarely seen.
The Mekong population of Orcaella is in urgent need of conservation as its population now numbers only 80-100 individuals.
After check-in at the hotel, we will have lunch at the local restaurant just next door of the hotel. Then, we will go to the office of the Cambodian Rural Development Team project to learn more about what is being done to support dolphin conservation efforts and see some demonstration activities, before driving 15km north of the town to enjoy a boat trip onto the Mekong to glimpse these rare and timid creatures at sunrise.
Dinner at a local restaurant in town.
Overnight in Kratie. Accommodation at Sante Pheap hotel
Day 4– Kratie to Phnom Penh via Kompong Cham
After breakfast at the hotel, we will drive back to Kampong Cham, the third largest town of Cambodia, located on the banks of the mighty Mekong River, North of Phnom Penh. We will visit Wat Nokor. a temple built from sandstone and laterite in the 11th century which was a Mahayana Buddhist shrine. It was rebuilt and dedicated to Theravada Buddhism in the 15th century and today there are still many Buddha images scattered throughout the complex. There is a small contemporary Wat located within its walls. We will continue with the visit of Phnom Prosand Phnom Srei (“Man and Woman Hill”). This location takes its name from a legend of the competition between the town’s men and women as to who could finish the building of a stupa on the hilltop in one night. The women won and have not had to propose to men anymore, breaking like this an old tradition.
We will have lunch at Hao An restauran. In the afternoon we will ride bicycles to the Koh Pean Island to meet children of these poor villages and give them some school supplies, toothbrushes, food and little joy. On the way, you will be able to see the activities of the locals at the paddy field and inside the village. This type of real life experience in Cambodia will allow you to share some vibrant moments with people. During the dry season, we will reach the island by crossing the bamboo bridge (which is rebuilt every year) and during the wet season, a ferry will take us to other side.
After the visit, we will drive to Phnom Penh. We will arrive at about 7pm and we will bring you at the hotel of your choice. end Cambodia Exlore Tours
Price of Tour Includes:
Entrance fees and sightseeing tours by 4WD cars or pick-up truck
An experienced English-speaking local guide
Accommodation in homestay and hotels
1 liter of drinking water per person per day
NOT Included in Tour Price:
Personal travel insurance (compulsory!)
Expenditure of a personal nature
Drinks & tips