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The sound of cicadas, not cameras

3rd April 2014 Print

Let locally-resident scientists and scholars lead you on an exquisite and exclusive journey through Cambodia. Venture into the lesser-visited countryside on a new tour, avoid the crowds of Angkor, and follow untrodden paths with ABOUTAsia Travel. This 100% not-for-profit bespoke company’s itineraries fund ABOUTAsia Schools, supporting 53,000 Cambodian children with English lessons, school uniforms and text books.

On a tailormade trip, visit a night fair, set up each evening in the fields just outside Siem Reap. People-watch, play games, win prizes, eat local delicacies or browse the market stalls, experiencing a slice of local life. During the day, follow ABOUTAsia’s carefully-researched crowd-avoidance routes around Angkor, soak up the atmosphere in peace and perhaps enjoy a forest temple all to yourself.

Be guided on a rural hike by landmine expert, cartographer and entomologist, Stéphane De Greef, who played an integral role in the research project that led to last year’s discovery of Mahendraparvata city, founded 1,200 years ago in Angkor. Expect to gain from Stéphane a wealth of insight into both the surrounding nature and cutting-edge research into ancient Angkor .

New this season is Countryside Senses, a bucolic ramble that takes you away from the temple sites of Siem Reap to remote villages. Along the way, be blessed by Buddhist monks, see how bamboo rice is made, ride an ox-cart, take a boat ride and cook traditional pancakes. Wind down after the tour with a Khmer meal at a new ABOUTAsia-built villa overlooking emerald green rice fields in a village where there is an ABOUTAsia-supported school. The Chef-prepared dining options include a light three-course lunch, a five-course Classic Khmer Dining menu or a 17-taster-dish Khmer feast called, appropriately, Celebratory Dining.

Deepen your understanding of Cambodian culture further with a visit to Phnom Penh. Take a cyclo tour with a local architecture student who will reveal the city’s secret spots and open your eyes to the varying styles of building design, from Chinese shop-house style to New Khmer architecture. Visit the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng prison, Wat Phnom and Street 178’s boutiques.

Finish in Kep – a charming former French colonial retreat by the sea. Savour delicious crab, go fishing, kayaking or just bliss out by the pool.

A nine-night itinerary costs from £1,179 pp (two sharing) including all accommodation (all five-star, including breakfast – at Victoria Angkor, Raffles Le Royal and Knai Bang Chatt), guiding and domestic transfers. Flights extra. For more information, visit or