Beyond Unique Escapes Village Tours
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Experience a day in the life of a village
The excellent Siem Reap based tour company, Beyond Unique Escapes offers some of the best village experiences I've done in Cambodia, including A Day in the Life of a Village, in tiny Kompheim village, some 16km from Siem Reap. You might begin with an ox cart ride through the rice fields, help a family make rattan walls for a rustic house, and do a little cooking over coals, as the locals do. The tour varies depending on the time of year and what the villagers are up to. If it's rice planning or harvesting season, for example, you can join in and try your hand at planting or plucking rice from the paddies. It's back-breaking work and while I was only at it for half an hour it felt like I'd been bent over all day. This is another experience that gives you a chance to give back. A small part of your tour fee goes to the families who host you while a larger part is contributed to a village fund that is used for projects such as installing wells and building houses for the poorest villagers. Tips: wear a hat, sunscreen, and sturdy waterproof walking boots/shoes, especially if you're doing the tour during the wet season when things can get wet. If you don't have time for a full day, their two-hour Treak Village Walk and Talk gives you a taste of village life and a chance to interact with locals. Both are wonderful tours to do in wet season. While you may get a little damp (take an umbrella and raincoat), the countryside is lush and green and very photogenic.
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