Secrets of Siem Reap

Storytelling at sunrise in the city

Siem Reap is known for its temples, but there’s so much more to this little city. Join us on a sunrise discovery of secluded corners and hidden histories, getting behind the scenes of ‘temple town’ as it comes alive. Explore the contrast of bustling markets and buzzing breakfast spots with tranquil pagodas and sleepy backstreets, as you gain insights into local art, architecture, food, and superstitions.

Highlights

  • See the city as it wakes up in the beautiful morning light
  • Discover ‘behind the scenes’ locations to understand how locals live
  • Gain a deeper understanding of local history (including the 1960s ‘golden era’ and the Khmer Rouge) and sites of significance
  • Learn about religion and spirituality, with a visit to a local pagoda
  • See ‘before and now’ photos to visualise days gone by
  • Eat breakfast at a locals favourite hangout

The Details

  • Start time – 6am
  • Finish time – approx. 10am
  • Meeting place / pick up – TBC
  • Cost – depends on group size. Please send us your booking enquiry.
  • Special notes – would you prefer tuktuk or to ride a bike? Mild cycling difficulty.

Itinerary

This trip runs for half a day.

Meet your guide at the break of dawn to explore the city of Siem Reap as it wakes up. We’ve carefully designed this off-the-beaten-track route to give you a sneak-peak at backstreet life that most visitors rarely get to experience. This insightful tour will take you along the meandering river to places of historical significance, but rarely known and discussed.

Between modern developments, quaint wooden houses traditional to Cambodia can be found, and nestled between the chaos you’ll discover iconic ‘60s architecture from the country’s ‘golden era’. With ‘before and after’ images you will reimagine the city before tourism arrived, and when Siem Reap was nothing more than a peaceful fishing village.

Some of the city’s most beautiful landmarks have hidden histories, and your guide will take you on a journey of days gone by, including sad events from the Khmer Rouge and before. Into the modern day, you’ll explore bustling local markets and sample delicious tropical fruits and for the more daring, some weird and wonderful insect snacks! You’ll also have time to find inner peace in the tranquil grounds of a local pagoda, and learn all about the life of Buddhist monks.

Your tour will conclude with a hearty breakfast at arguably Siem Reap locals’ favoured cafe; your guide will help you pick from the menu a variety of delicious flavours and dishes.

Impact

  • Learn from locals – spend the morning with a local expert
  • Understand how this small village has turned into an international tourist destination, and the impact this has had on local life
  • Cambodian cuisine is largely undiscovered, get to the heart of the country by sampling its flavours
  • Support locally-owned businesses
  • Get off the beaten track to spread the economic benefit of tourism
  • Meet a variety of characters and story tellers

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