Near the town of Kampong Thom, lie the 6th and 7th century temples of Sambor Prei Kuk which are well off the tourist trail and blissfully free of crowds. Spend a day walking or cycling through these magnificent ruins, which are connected by shady dirt paths. Stop for a catered lunch, enjoy the scenic countryside, and visit a local craftshop.
Temple of Sambor Prei Kuk
Ox-cart ride through the country side
Santuk Silk Farm
Depart Siem Reap early for Kampong Thom, a small town located between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh (2.5 hour drive). Today, you head towards the rarely visited Sambor Prei Kuk, one of the most important pre-Angkorian sites in the country that is enlisted to potentially become Cambodia’s next UNESCO World Heritage Site. Sambor Prey Kuk was built in the Chenla period between the 6th and 7th century and there are over 100 well preserved temples scattered in the forest. The three main sites are linked by small and shady tracks. Enjoy a beautiful walk through the jungle with breathtaking views. Your visit supports a community-based tourism project. Enjoy an ox-cart ride through the countryside and there is also the chance to ride a local bicycle to explore the area.
The seven villages around the temple complex still practice the ancient crafts using materials such as bamboo and rattan. The community runs the Isanborei Craft Hut next to the temples and sells their products there. You will have the chance to visit and contribute to people’s livelihood as the local community will prepare a simple but very tasty lunch for you near the temples.
Continue to the Santuk Silk Farm, where you can gain further insight into the process of silk weaving and relax in the garden. Then, drive back to Siem Reap.
This tour can be done in reverse (Phnom Penh – Siem Reap) or continue to Phnom Penh (2.5 hours) as well.