Day 1: Carvings, Ruins and the Forest
Starting early in the morning, you will drive out of Siem Reap, away from the town and into the beautiful Cambodian countryside. Our first stop is a truly unique, and almost unknown treasure. A few kilometers off the road, if you know which track to take, stands an imposing rock formation. Carved on several sides, in exquisite detail, are a range of spectacular images from the Angkorian times. You will most likely be the only people there, giving you time and freedom to fully appreciate this unique site.
Continuing your drive north you will soon arrive at the spectacular temple of Koh Ker. It is a stunning and unique pyramidal temple built in 931AD. Walking in you could almost feel you were approaching a Central American Mayan sight such as Chichen Itza. Koh Ker also has a unique political history having been set up as a ‘new’ capital away from the Angkor area by Jayavarman IV. However, its importance was short lived; after the King’s death power was returned to the Angkor area around 944 AD. A tiring climb up wooden steps to the top of the Pyramid will soon be forgotten when you take into account the breath-taking views afforded from the summit. After exploring the temple you will take a break to enjoy some traditional Khmer cuisine for lunch.
A short drive south will then connect you to a narrow tree lined, red dirt road which will transport you into another world. As you drive down the road, through river beds and past small local dwellings the foliage will gradually increase in density and you will truly get the feeling you are travelling far off the beaten track. Soon you will be deep inside the protected forest and will arrive at your spectacular accommodation for the next two nights; Be Treed resort. Working closely with the local community, Be Treed is a unique destination for the off-the-beaten-path travelers, nature seekers and adventurers in a small part of wild Cambodia. Depending on availability, you will either be staying in one of the stilt houses or the tree house. Wherever you stay, you will have the feeling of complete immersion into nature, with the sights and sounds of the forest surrounding you at all times as you sleep high up in the trees. All houses are situated a few minutes away from the main building and also away from each other, only increasing your feeling of solitude. After dinner, you will be able to relax and fall asleep in one of the most unique surroundings in Cambodia.
Day 2: Exploring Nature
After a delicious breakfast, today is all about getting to know the environment. Be Treed is the brainchild of Ben and Sharyn who have lived in Cambodia for many years. Now they, their two daughters and their dogs, have dedicated their life to protect the forest from illegal logging and poaching in order to keep this little corner of Cambodia safe, green and beautiful. Their philosophy is to work directly with community partners working at trying to change things at a micro level, with the hope that this change can eventually impact many.
Staying in this area allows you to experience pure nature at its finest, away from the tourist crowns in other areas of Cambodia. The forest is home to endangered and threatened species of Cambodian wildlife: banteng (wild cow), pileated gibbons, silver langurs, barking deer, sambar deer and many species of birdlife. The area also provides excellent opportunity for hiking through the forest. Here you can also explore Angkorian era “cave-temples”, and the quarries where the ancients carved out their stone, as well as admire the beautiful and aged trees people are working so hard to protect. There is also the opportunity to join Ben on one of his regular protection patrols. If you are feeling particularly adventurous, you can try the pair of 300 metre ziplines traversing a valley, providing you will beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding forest.
You will spend your final night in the trees alone with nature, feeling you have got to know a side of Cambodia that few tourists are lucky enough to experience.
Day 3: Hidden Temples and Rubber
After breakfast you will travel south along the dirt roads leaving the forest behind you and into the plains. Your first stop is the magnificent ruined temple of Preah Khan temple of Kampong Svay. Even if you have visited some of Cambodia’s temples before, this will truly be a special experience. The secluded jungle temple is as spectacular as some of its more famous relatives, yet is a virtual unknown on the tourist trail. The temple walls seem rise up out of the undergrowth, while large trees almost engulf the temple in certain areas. Preh Khan’s secrecy allows you to explore the entirety of this impressive complex in solitude, wandering in and out with the feeling that’s time, nor people, have touched this temple in hundreds of years. A truly unique and magical feeling, one that is very hard to come by these days in Cambodia.
As you drive back towards Siem Reap you will be able to drive through Cambodia’s largest rubber plantation, travelling 10 km straight through the impressive plants, stopping for photos on the way. Your final stop on this wonderful trip will be the Khleang Khmaut Temple. This beautifully stupa is covered in impressive carvings with four, very special faces surveying the landscape. After appreciating this unique temple, a short drive will take you back to the highway and into Siem Reap. This unique trip may be short on days, but is packed full of unique, exciting experiences, far away from the regular tourist routes.
If you require more information about this 3 Days Betreed Adventure, please click on the More Info button.
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