Beyond Unique Escapes Treak Village Tour
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Meet locals on a Treak Village Walk and Talk
Beyond Unique Escapes is arguably Siem Reap's best tour company, offering an array of excellent tours to the temples and villages. If you only do one tour in Siem Reap, this is the one I recommend. I've done it a few times and it's one of my favorites. The two-hour Treak Village Walk and Talk is an engaging walk with a knowledgable guide through tiny Treak village. Little more than a hamlet of bamboo shacks and timber houses on stilts, surrounded by rice paddies, the stroll offers a real insight into village life, the challenges of survival on so little, and poverty in Cambodia. It is a small group tour and the guide has a relationship with villagers, so is sensitive to their needs and knows who to visit for a chat and who to leave alone. To get the most out of this experience, you need to interact with the locals and use your guide as a translator to ask them questions about what they're doing and about their lives. Also be willing to share a bit about yourself, so it's a two-way exchange. But be prepared: Cambodians are very direct! The tour only costs $20 per person and profits go back to the village community fund to pay for everything from wells to houses for the poorest villagers, so you're also giving something back. You can do the tour in the morning or afternoon, however, I prefer the late afternoon for the kind of magic light you see above. This is a good tour to do in the wet season when the lush countryside is very photogenic. Take wet weather gear.
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