This morning visit the Roluos group, the site of an ancient centre of Khmer civilization known as Hariharalaya. It was the first town built by the Angkorian kings in the 8th and 9th century and consists of three main temples: Bakong, Lolei and Preah Ko, two of which will be visited along the way. The surrounding countryside with its paddy fields and sugar palm trees is very typical for Cambodia – enjoy the natural beauty on an ox cart ride, a fun way to get in touch with rural Cambodia and its friendly people. Arrive at Roluos Pagoda, where Buddhist monks will celebrate a private blessing ceremony to wish for health and a safe journey.
After, head to the Tonlé Sap Lake and have the opportunity to learn about life on the lake with a visit to Kompong Khleang village. Drive past expansive rice fields and through local villages where rice and fish can frequently be spotted drying alongside the road. Next, board a private wooden vessel for a boat trip along a canal that leads to the Tonle Sap Lake.
Cruise along the canal with houses on either side: depending on the time of the visit, the houses will either have immediate access to the water or stand perched on stilts high above the ground, a phenomena caused by the annual rising and receding waters of the Tonle Sap Lake, Southeast Asia’s largest lake. Pass by the boats and nets used by local fishermen, and spot them fishing in the waters through which the boat passes. While approaching the lake, see floating houses that move location with the annual ebb and flow of the lake’s waters.
Along the way, gain a better understanding of the local lifestyle with lunch in a family house. This is a unique opportunity to gain first-hand experience of the way of life of the local people- sitting inside a stilted house while watching the boats pass outside. (Note: Due to fluctuating water levels on the lake and canals, the village visited will depend on the date and water levels at that time).
This evening attend a performance of ‘Phare, the Cambodian Circus’. Starting at 8pm, professional artists of Phare Ponleu Selpak (PPS) will perform a show choreographed by themselves. Set up in Battambang in 1994 by young returnee Cambodians from the refugee camps who learned about using art as a means of coping with trauma, PPS has played an influential role in promoting and developing Khmer culture over the years after the Khmer Rouge genocide. The hour long show mixes traditional and modern theatre, music, dance, acrobatics, juggling and contortion performed in a story about Cambodian lives and society.
Overnight in Siem Reap
Meals Included: Breakfast & Lunch (B/L)