It’s a one day trip, “One Day Countryside Life Tour” it’s called and this tour has been the most highlighted one as you will drive closer to see and experience the activities that you have never ever had before anywhere else.
DAY1: VESPA ADVENTURE (1 DAY TRIP) WITH ARTISAN D’ANGKOR
Picked up at the hotel by our Vespa drivers, then we proceed to the north and ride through the pristine Angkor forest towards the area immediately West of Angkor, where the founder of the tour, Akim, was raised. She was born during the time Pol Pot was in power and schools were not available.
During this time her grandfather, Loung Sake, was the Grand Abbot of the Angkor complex and this is where she lived. It is unusual for a girl to be educated by monks, but as granddaughter she enjoyed that privilege and lived in the Wat Angkor Kang Chuong (Angkor Wat Pagoda). Under his guidance the monks at Angkor educated her in Sanskrit scriptures on bamboo scrolls, elaborate prayers and rites. Later when schools started to become available in town she traveled the many miles to claim her daily education.
Originally her family was a substantial landowner at the Angkor area and one of the tour stops is at the land where she grew up. After this we proceed and pass by a shop selling colorful small house temples. Here it is explained why so many Khmer houses have such temples outside and what they mean.
Then we stop at a small local market that is only a few minutes’ drive to get a feel for the atmosphere and what is on offer.
After the market we proceed ultimately over a country path to the parameter dike of Baray lake. There the passengers have to get off the bikes and walk for approx. 1 minute to overcome a small climb. From there we proceed on the embankment of the West Baray Lake.
Following the embankment we arrive at a Chinese cemetery of the Wat Svai Romiet Pagoda and enjoy the beautiful view of the lake and see the difference in the Khmer and the Gregorian calendar. After a drink and fruit at the pagoda, a monk will perform a special ceremony at the main spiritual hall of the pagoda, where all present will be blessed for good luck. Then the tour proceeds by boat (wet season) or by scooter (dry season) to the island in the middle of Baray lake, where the very special West Mebon temple is being restored. The significance of this temple and its special treasure will be explained and the ongoing restoration works observed. Frequently there is an old fortune teller present on the island and if he is there the visitors can have their fortunes told.
The tour will proceed to make acquaintance with local families and other typical livelihoods. Life is poor, but everyone works hard to contribute to the family’s daily income.
The first stop is near the farm where the farmer’s wife weaves baskets and various other wicker objects. All products are sold on the local markets or at road stalls.
The second stop is at a farm where sticky rice in bamboo is made. Sticky rice is sold in the country side markets, on roads and these days to the tourists at Angkor. Then the tour comes to an end and the guests are safely returned to their hotels on the back of the Vespa’s.
Afternoon, visit artisan d’Angkor – located in the center of Siem Reap City where you will find your premium handicrafts that made of silk and see the people working on wood, stone carving on site. Back to the hotel for refreshment and tour around the night market in the evening.