Lotos Rallye 2024 | The best self drive jeep tour in Cambodia
We are back!
Due to circumstances, we were forced to cancel the 2021, 2022 and 2023 editions of Lotos Rally. But we are back. And we certainly are!
Welcome to what is probably one of the most unique and unforgettable Cambodia adventures available. A self-drive vintage jeep tour of Cambodia. This unique tour is reserved for a privileged few guests and few tourists can claim to have driven through Cambodia in a vintage jeep, visited floating villages, seen the endangered Irrawaddy dolphins, experienced majestic elephants, the masterpiece of Khmer architecture of Preah Vihear Temple, a stay in a colonial customs house built in 1916 and much more.
Start date: January 06, 2024
Cambodia – Northeast – Self -drive Vintage Jeep Tour.
Since the inception of the Lotos Rallye in 2013, we have strived every year to develop and improve the route of the Lotos Rallye; looking for new routes, accommodations, restaurants and experiences for our guests. For the 2024 Lotos Rallye, we went the extra mile and created what we believe is the best Lotos Rallye Jeep Tour ever. New roads have been opened up, new locations added, and unique, new hotels included. For new visitors to Cambodia, this tour is the most exciting way to experience this unique country, and even those who have been fortunate enough to join this tour in the past will discover a completely new experience and a new side of Cambodia on this tour.
The LOTOS-RALLYE is not designed to travel at high speed, but to experience the wonderful landscape of Cambodia with its cultural and historical buildings and amazingly friendly people. Visits to temples, local markets, and other special sights are included in this wonderful trip, but each day we have made sure that the route takes you on roads less travelled to give you a truly personal and unique jeep experience. We make sure you do not stress out during your Jeep adventure. Everything is included: Hotels, meals, vintage jeeps with petrol, guides, activities and even drinks during lunch and inside the jeep.
Lotos Rallye 2024 | Only for adventurous vintage jeep lovers
We drive with 2 participants in 1 jeep. The minimum participation is 6 jeeps (12 participants) and there is a maximum limit of 10 jeeps (20 participants). So we drive with a small select group. Most participants have a passion for vintage cars and are adventurous. This is the perfect way to get to know Cambodia.
The organisation is in the trusted hands of André and Lily from Cambodian Travel Partner
The closing date for registration is 15 November 2023
Lotos Rallye 2024 | Itinerary
6 january 2024: Welcome to Cambodia!
Welcome to the magical land of Cambodia – the Kingdom of Wonder. Our team will meet you at the airport and transfer you directly to your hotel. Here you can check in and enjoy the facilities getting used to your new environment before you start an unforgettable journey.
In the late afternoon you will have an orientation briefing (traffic rules, introduction of the staff, road explanation book, Jeep instruction, etc.).
7 january 2024: Explore Angkor by jeep
This morning, you will depart by jeep to the magnificent World Heritage Site UNESCO, the ancient temples of Angkor Wat. We have scouted out some back roads to the temples that still exist so you can get away from the tuk-tuks and busses for a much nicer and more relaxing drive to the temples. With a little imagination, today’s trip will give you a picture of the lost temples as they have lain for thousands of years. An English-speaking guide will lead you through the historic park, where you can see majestic structures and admire the splendor of the ancient kingdom. Most of the temples date back to the 12th century and house some of the most anticipated bas-reliefs and beautiful sculptures such as Garudas and Apsara dancers. First, visit the temple of Angkor Wat, the largest of all temples that has survived the sands of time and is in excellent condition. Here you can admire its dominating towers and sheer presence while taking the time to walk around inside. Continue on to Angkor Thom with its spectacular Bayon Temple. Here, a tour of the superbly preserved temple will allow you to admire 54 intricate and visually stunning four-headed Buddha statues – truly one of the most impressive sights of the temple complex. Lunch will be taken near the man-made lake of East Baray, which was created to supply water to the temple complex. After lunch and a short rest, you will visit Ta Phrom Temple. Made famous by the hit movie “Tomb Raider” starring Angelina Jolie, the temple’s iconic trees with their gigantic roots hugging the walls have slowly taken over, creating a visually stunning and unique backdrop that makes a breathtaking end to your “templing” day“.
In the evening, visit Phare, the Cambodian Circus, which uses modern circus arts and high-energy music to tell uniquely Cambodian stories, exploring themes rooted in Cambodian traditions, ethos and spirit. The performances mix theater, music, dance, acrobatics, juggling, aerial acrobatics, fire and contortion with an explosion of virtuosity and sensitivity. During the hour-long shows, the Phare performers share their emotions and enthusiasm, sweeping the audience away with their integrity and power.
8 january 2024: Siem Reap – Kampong Thom: The Floating Village Kampong Kleang
Today we leave Siem Reap and drive to the city of Kampong Thom. First stop is at Kampong Kleang, the largest floating village in Cambodia. In the dry season, we drive our jeep between the stilts on which the houses are built, rising up to 10 meters in the air. In the rainy season, the water level reaches its peak and can rise up to 1 or 2 meters above the houses. We will offer you a boat ride through the village and have the opportunity to meet the locals. Afterwards we continue our journey and make a short stop in Kampong Kdei. Here you will see one of the most beautiful and best preserved bridges built by the Khmer kings. This bridge dates back to the 10th century. In the late afternoon we will reach our hotel. We can have a sundowner on Santuk mountain and watch the sunset with a cold beer in hand
9 january 2024: Kampong Thom – Chloung: The Mighty Mekong River
After a delicious breakfast, we will drive our jeeps through the beautiful Cambodian countryside to our first stop of the day. We will stop to see some truly impressive carvings. From huge blocks of stone, sometimes up to 8 meters tall, the stonemason chisels and carves some extremely impressive sculptures. The sheer amount of detail that goes into some of his work is extraordinary and you will have plenty of time to admire his work. We continue our scenic drive to our second stop for the day and visit a local rubber plantation. Here you will learn more about the workings of the local rubber industry, how the latex is collected, cleaned and dried before being shipped to an outside rubber factory.
After this excursion, we will take a ferry north of Stung Trong and cross the mighty Mekong River. It is the twelfth longest river in the world and flows from the heights of the Tibetan Plateau to the South China Sea, some 4,500 km from its source. It is the lifeblood of many people, and its impressive size and power can only be experienced firsthand. On the east side of the Mekong is the old French colonial town of Chloung. In this peaceful and traditional town, we will spend the night in the former governor’s mansion built in 1916, where we can experience Cambodia’s colonial past first hand.
10 january 2024: Chloung – Kratie – Chloung: Spot the dolphins
We drive our jeeps along the banks of the Mekong River and pass some of the Muslim Cham villages. These were formed when the Cham fled the Vietnamese conquest and stayed in their new homeland, adding a new dimension to the area. At Kampi, 12 km north of Kratie, we board the boat to try to spot the Irrawaddy Dolphins. These rare, endangered freshwater dolphins live in a beautiful section of the Mekong River near a small rapids. The chance of seeing them playing in the rapids is very high, so have your camera ready. After Kampi, we will head back to Kratie where we will take a ferry to Koh Trong Island. With a local guide, you will explore this island paradise by bike and get explanations about the way of life of the inhabitants and the products that are grown there. Back on the mainland we drive back to Chloung with our jeeps.
11 january 2024: Chloung – Sen Monorom: On the way to Highlands
After Chloung, we continue our way to the breathtaking province of Mondulkiri. The landscape changes from the plains of the Mekong up to the highlands. We drive through forest and hilly landscapes and reach our destination for the next few days in the afternoon. Sen Monorom, the provincial capital of Mondulkiri, is actually an overgrown village, a charming community at the point where the hills that give the province its name meet. The village is inhabited by the indigenous Bunong people, whose tribesmen are frequently encountered in the town. The area around Sen Monorom is dotted with minority villages and picturesque waterfalls. Many Bunong from nearby villages come here to trade: They are easily distinguished from the migrant lowlanders by the characteristic baskets they carry on their backs. Sen Monorom is located at an altitude of 800 meters, and when the wind blows, it is much cooler here than in the rest of Cambodia. After getting used to the town and new surroundings, we rest to recharge our batteries for tomorrow’s adventure.
12 january 2024: Sen Monorom: Off road experience
We drive through small villages and over a mountain pass before we have the opportunity to see how the beautiful Asian elephant lives in its natural environment. There are many elephant projects in Mondulkiri, but the Elephant Community Program is one of the smaller ones working towards a sustainable future for the local community. A large portion of the trip price stays in this community, allowing the mahouts to make a living to support their families and keeping the elephants out of the hard labor of the forest. You will learn how the elephants live, what they eat, and how they have integrated into the local community. Since the focus of the program is on caring for the elephants, riding the elephants is not allowed. However, you will have the opportunity to feed them bananas or bamboo before saying goodbye to these magnificent animals. In the afternoon we will drive through minority villages and discover more of the Mondulkiri Outback. On the way back to Sen Monorom you will be accompanied by the memories of a unique and unforgettable trip.
13 january 2024: Sen Monorom – Banlung: Largest waterfall in Cambodia
In the morning we drive north, 30 km outside Sen Monorom and stop at the largest waterfall in Cambodia. The Bou Sra Waterfall is a magnificent sight, tumbling through a gorge in the jungle near the Bunong town of Bou Sra. The three-tiered waterfall has an upper tier of 12 meters and a stunning lower tier with a massive drop of 20 meters, before a final drop of 4 meters makes for a beautiful sight and a rushing sound. We then continue our journey into the beautiful province of Ratanakiri with its rugged, breathtaking landscape. Until recently this was a tough, grueling drive, but now there is a good new road that makes the journey through this wonderful place much smoother. About 20 km after Lumphat, we leave the paved road and turn onto a small, windy dirt road that takes us to Banlung, the capital of Ratanakiri. This town has a bustling market teeming with products from local ethnic villages. Yeak Laom Lake outside the town is home to some of the rarest and most exotic birds in the region. It is one of the few crater lakes in Cambodia and dates back to about 4000 years ago. The lake is almost 50 meters deep and ensures that the water is very clean and clear. You can cool off on one of the wooden platforms and swim with the local people or just sit back and enjoy the peaceful and natural environment
14 january 2024: Banlung (Ratanakiri province) Gems and Mountains
The word “Ratanakiri” itself is a derivation from two Cambodian words that together mean the place of gems and mountains. These are the two characteristics for which this Cambodian province of Ratanakiri is best known.
In the morning, you will drive by jeep to Kachon where a boat will be waiting for you. After a half-hour ride on the Tonle San River, you will reach Koah Peak. This small village is very traditional and has no electricity, running water or other facilities that we usually expect. Together with your guide, you can visit the village and meet the friendly inhabitants. The guide will show you the remains from the Khmer Rouge period. The villagers had to work hard during the Khmer Rouge, but they survived this time, which is a real miracle. The village is also home to a very different ritual regarding death. Large wooden dolls are placed next to the graves of the dead to help the survivors in the afterlife. These graves are unique in Cambodia and may only be visited in exceptional circumstances and under strict supervision. Works of art and other items that were important to the deceased are also placed next to the grave. After this eccentric visit, you will take a boat back to Koah Peak and then to Ratanakiri. On the way you will stop at a Krueng minority village.
15 january 2024: Banlung – Stung Treng
After breakfast, head west along a new road that passes directly through the hills of Ratanakiri. We will stop in a rural village by a river.
Our accommodation for tonight is located on a high bank of the Mekong River. All bungalows have a balcony overlooking the river. It is a relaxing place overlooking the Mekong River. The Mekong has hundreds of sand islands and by boat we went to a sand island for a very special sundowner.
16 january 2024: Stung Treng – Preah Vihear. Sopheakmit Waterfalls reveals the power of the Mekong
Wake up to the sounds of birds and enjoy the view of the Mekong River. After breakfast, we will drive on a new road along the border with Laos. Some parts are paved, but many parts are still dirt roads. However, it is much better constructed and allows for faster travel than before. You will have lunch on the banks of the Mekong River and also visit the Sopheakmit Waterfalls. This hidden gem is one of Cambodia’s most picturesque natural spectacles and is surrounded by islands and endless waterways. The water, often an iridescent jade color, cascades over the numerous rocks and is especially powerful during the rainy season. After this wonderful experience, you will continue your journey to Sra Em. This small village is located 25 km from the Preah Vihear temple. The most beautifully located temple in Cambodia we will visit tomorrow.
17 january 2024: Preah Vihear – Koh Ker: the most beautifully located temple of Cambodia
You will wake up early and the hotel will provide some snacks for your breakfast. A local pick-up will take you up the steep mountain. At sunrise, you will reach the Preah Vihear Temple where you can find a nice spot for your breakfast. This breathtaking spectacle is a sight not many get to see. Combine the most beautifully situated temple in Cambodia with an unforgettable sunrise and you will experience something you will remember for the rest of your life. After the sunrise, you can explore the temple. The temple is a great place for beautiful photos. Then we will descend and return to the hotel. At the hotel, you can freshen up and have lunch before heading to Koh Ker. We will make a few stops along the way.
18 january 2024: Koh Ker – Siem Reap : Feel like Indiana Jones
After breakfast you will go to Koh Ker. It is a stunning and unique pyramid-shaped temple built in 931 AD. When you enter it, you almost feel like you are approaching a Central American Mayan sight like Chichen Itza. Koh Ker also has a unique political history, having been established by Jayavarman IV as a “new” capital outside the Angkor area. Its importance was short-lived, however; after the king’s death, power reverted to the Angkor area around 944 AD. The arduous climb up wooden steps to the top of the pyramid is quickly forgotten when viewing the breathtaking view from the top.
We leave the village and drive into the Cambodian hinterland to the mysterious 12th century temple of Beng Melea. Beng Melea is overgrown with trees, vines and moss, giving you an impressive glimpse of the majestic temple complex. In the late afternoon we are back in Siem Reap.
19 january 2024: Siem Reap: Stunning Sunset and farewell party
A day off to do as much or as little as you like – a day of shopping in town, a massage, or a little local excursion. But we will end this unforgettable self-drive jeep tour with a grand bouncer.
At 4pm, we will drive the jeeps into the countryside of Siem Reap for a breathtaking sunset. Explore and experience the colours, smells and magnificent views of Cambodia at its best. We will also drive through vast rice fields and as the sun sets, we will take the jeep to find a beautiful spot in the middle of the rice fields. Here we open a bottle of champagne and toast to a beautiful sunset. Later in the evening we have a farewell dinner and an award ceremony in beautiful surroundings.
20 january 2024: Siem Reap airport: Time to say goodbye…
Unfortunately, all good things come to an end, and this year’s Lotus Rally is no exception. Today it is time to say goodbye to Cambodia. Enjoy the ride to the airport and take one last look at the wonderful country you have been privileged to enjoy over the past 14 days. We are sure that you have had a fantastic adventure here that you will remember for a long time. We hope you will come back very soon and we can show you more of Cambodia.
If after this exciting jeep adventure you would like to relax for a few days on a beautiful white sand beach with turquoise sea, we can offer you a package deal. Ask for the possibilities.
Lotos Rallye 2024 | Price
USD $ 4.899 ,- per person (based on share room and 2 persons in 1 jeep.
Single room surcharge: USD $ 735,-
Lotos Rallye 2024 | Included
- all nights in selected hotels with breakfast
- Meals: 13x lunch, 14x dinner. Drinks during lunch and inside the jeep.
- complete set of event documents: road book, routing , rallye signs, start numbers, Poloshirt etc.
- English-speaking guides in tours
- 14 days vintage jeeps, petrol costs, spare parts, service, repairs and vehicle insurance
- Experience organisation by Lily and Andre (German, Khmer, Dutch)
- Support car with mechanical team,
- Sightseeing, entrance fees
- Farewell dinner included drinks with trophy ceremony
Lotos Rallye 2024 | Not Included
- Internationale flight tickets
- Cambodia Visa
- Personal expenses
- Off-meal drinks and drinks during dinner