Marvel at the remains of a pre-Angkorian temple, visit an active local pagoda and market for a taste of daily life, stop a renowned silk farm and more on this enticing excursion. After being picked up by a sidecar-bike at their hotel, guests ride northwest through Siem Reap to arrive at Svay Romiet Pagoda and the West Baray. Here they’ll ride along the water’s edge of the 11th century reservoir towards West Mebon and the 8th century ruins of Ak Yom Temple.
The next stop is Artisans d’Angkor’s Silk Farm for a guided tour of the farm and production of silk. Afterward, a stop at Pouk Market offers a glimpse into the local life and community found on the outskirts of Siem Reap before riding back to the hotel through the countryside via Pouk Pagoda and Krabi Reil.
The Jewel Temples of King Jayavarman VII
Guests embark on a memorable experience to discover some of Angkor’s smallest yet remarkable temple ruins. One of the stops along the journey will be Preah Khan, which translates to “Holy Sword” in Khmer. Located in the Angkor Archaeological Park and still largely unrestored, it shares similarities with the more famous Ta Prohm, covered in vegetation with trees seeming to swallow the ruins. Next, Kro Ko, which means “the shed of the oxen”, is a single tower monument with two enclosing walls built of laterite with an entry tower at the east and a moat with steps. There is a library built of laterite and sandstone opening to the west on the left of the interior courtyard.
From there, the small and charming Neak Pean features a collection of five unique ponds with unique features. Some historians believe that it represents Anavatapta, a mythical lake in the Himalayas with waters thought to cure all illnesses, and was originally designed for medical purposes. The ancient Khmer believed that bathing in these pools would balance a person’s elements and cure diseases based on the Hindu belief of balance with four connected pools representing water, earth, fire and wind.
Finally, the experience ends with a stop at Ta Som. Little is known about the purpose of Ta Som temple, but it may have been dedicated to the King’s father or one of his teachers. Ta Som was swallowed up by the jungle until the 1930s, when it was cleared out enough for visitors to access the site, but left in its mostly unrestored state. Ta Som depicts both Hindu and Buddhist icons, as the official Angkor religion switched back and forth over the centuries.
Pearaing Wildlife Conservation and Bird Sanctuary
After hopping in the sidecar, guests zip southwest out of Siem Reap toward Wat Pren Pagoda, passing through beautiful countryside and vibrant rice fields. Upon arrival at the Pearaing Wildlife Conservation and Bird Sanctuary, ride through the swamp forests before hopping on a small boat and taking a trip around the dam and famous Tonle Sap to view various species of birds and herds of water buffalo. During the relaxing 4.5-hour journey, visitors also learn how the local community is working to preserve the local environment.
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