Day 3: Biking in Kratie – Koh Trong (B, L)
This morning, we leave early by private vehicle for Kratie (approximately 6 hours). En-route, pass through Skuon, a small town famous for its tasty spiders where it’s possible to sample an eight-legged snack. Kratie is a picturesque town on the banks of the Mekong and was until recently a strategic trading port between Phnom Penh and Stung Treng. Both the French and Khmer Rouge found the town useful and there are a number of French colonial buildings that remain. Board a local boat from Kratie waterfront to Koh Trong for your homestay – approximately 280 families call this 6 Km island home.
Depending on the season and the river height, you may need to walk up a stretch of beach and take a local bike to your destination. The island is famous for growing the citrus fruit pomelo (supposedly some of the best in Cambodia), rice, and other agricultural products. Your homestay is a wonderful opportunity to witness everyday Cambodian life, and this evening you’ll enjoy a traditional Khmer style dinner. Facilities are basic and multi-share with mattresses, bedding, and mosquito nets provided. With hammocks strung up beneath the house, this is a very scenic place to unwind.
A 9 km loop around the island’s perimeter is perfect for a leisurely cycle through traditional Khmer villages, fruit, orchards, and rice fields, observing daily rituals and routines of traditional village life. (Hotel: Homestay at Koh Trong)
Today’s Ride: 10 Km
Day 4: Dolphin watching & Hike in Kratie – Stung Treng (B, L)
After breakfast, take a guided walk (1 hour) where you’ll get a chance to see how the locals live and learn more about local culture in this part of Cambodia. During the days of the Khmer Rouge, much of the island’s forested interior was cut down. Villagers have started a tree-planting project at Wat Ty Pram Kbal Koh Trong in response. You’ll have the opportunity to contribute to the project by helping to plant a tree on the pagoda grounds. Afterward, say goodbye to your island hosts and head back to the mainland. There’s time to wander down the river boulevard and explore the local market in Kratie before traveling 2.5 hours to Stung Treng. Stop at Wat Phnom Sambok, an 18th-century Buddhist monastery along the way. Sitting atop a hill, climb to the top for a view of the lush forested surroundings. Also enjoy an optional lunch at Kampi Creek, where it’s possible to spot dolphins, before arriving in Stung Treng. Once part of southern Laos, Stung Treng switched to Cambodian ownership during the French colonial era. However, many people here speak both Khmer and Laos. The town is situated on the banks of the Sekong River, which flows into the Mekong River a few kilometers out of town. (Hotel: Golden River Hotel)
Day 5: Stung Treng Trekking and kayaking (B, L)
Today, we start early to make the most of a full day of activities. Travel by private vehicle to the village of Voeun Kham (approximately 2 hours). From there catch a local boat to cruise the Mekong River to the famous Sopheak Mitt Waterfall. Situated on the Cambodia-Laos border, the thundering falls crashing over limestone crags and boulders is a spectacular sight. Moor the boat at a local family’s home and hike through the jungle to a lunch spot overlooking the falls. The hike will take approximately 2 hours. Return to the boat and continue through a gorgeous stretch of the Mekong River, which is home to many bird species, to the village of Osvay (approximately 1-hour cruising). Pass through the Anlong Cheuteal Irrawaddy dolphin pool, where on rare occasions it’s possible to spot freshwater dolphins. Next, it’s into a kayak to paddle amongst this spectacular scenery of flooded forests to Vuen Sien village (approximately 2 hours). After a full day exploring this glorious stretch of nature, return to Stung Treng by vehicle for the night (approximately 1 hour). (Hotel: Golden River Hotel)
Today’s Trek: 6 Km
Day 6: Stung Treng – Siem Reap (B, L)
This morning, set out on your journey to Siem Reap, traveling by private vehicle through Cambodia’s countryside and small towns (approximately 4.5 hours). En-route in Siem Reap, this is the most popular destination for travelers in all of Cambodia, perhaps even in South East Asia. With its cafes, bars, restaurants, food and drink stands, Siem Reap caters to foodies of all persuasions. A visit to the old market is a must, even if you’re not looking for souvenirs; wandering through the stalls and surrounding shops, the silks, cotton, sarongs, silver, and statues are a riot of color and a feast for the eyes. Upon arrival at Siem Reap your guide will take you on an orientation walk to help you get acquainted with this bustling town. (Hotel: Central Corner d’Angkor)
Day 7: Cycle the Angkor Archaeology Park (B, L)
After breakfast at the hotel, you start biking the morning temple exploration at the most illustrious temple with fewer crowds. First, you will visit Ta Prohm which is unique in that it has been left largely as it was found- overgrown by jungle trees and vines, with many parts of the temple crumbling to the ground. This makes the so-called Tomb Raider Temple, as it was used during the filming of the movie, one of the most picturesque and memorable temples of the Angkor complex.
You will then head out to the ancient city of Angkor Thom, enter the city through the ancient Gate, an impressive stone gate carved with elephants and four giant faces. From here, continue to Bayon Temple, found in the center of the city famed as the enigmatic faces representing the 54 provinces of the Great Khmer Empire. The Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King are also must-visits as they are both known for their intricate bas-reliefs.
You will take a break at lunch and stop at the local restaurant to enjoy tasteful Cambodian dishes.
Lastly, you will bike to the gem of the Angkor complex, Angkor Wat. Following your tour leader, you will be mesmerized by the rich history and symbolism of this unique ancient temple. Afterward, you will return to your hotel. (Hotel: Central Corner d’Angkor)
Today’s Ride: 30 Km
Day 8: Discover the Floating Village & Sunset Cruise (B, L)
Today, discover the great landscape of the Tonle Sap lake by bike and boat. This is a unique experience offering a great outdoor adventure into Siem Reap’s countryside by exploring a floating village and enjoying a sunset cruise along the river.
This tour will take you to the charming backroads in order to explore the local ways of life in Siem Reap. You will be greeted by friendly locals and get a deeper understanding of their lives and traditions. The journey will end at the Tonle Sap lake, where you will experience the livelihoods of Cambodian people living in the floating villages, offering you the opportunity to see how families adapt their life to living on the water. At the end of the day, we will catch the sunset on the lake with some snacks and cold beverages. You will return back to the city by private vehicle in the late evening. (Hotel: Central Corner d’Angkor)
Today’s Ride: 40 Km
Day 9: Depart Siem Reap (B)
As there are no activities planned for today, you can leave your accommodation at any time. If you have extra time you might like to schedule an Angkor zip-line and canopy walk adventure, a tasty Khmer cooking class, treat yourself with high tea at Raffles Hotel, or simply relax by the pool. We’ll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).