Cambodia Culture and Wildlife Adventure covers a 3-day tour in December 2023 with Sam Veasna Conservation Tours (SVC). 

The hidden temple at Prey Veng Village is pictured above.

Dates: 28th to 30th December 2023

Report Written By: Hang Oeang, SVC Bird Guide

Locations: Prey Veng Village, Koh Ker Temple

Total No. of Bird Species: 88

Clients and reviews: Mrs. Carly Boyd-Dovideo and her family

Map of Locations (not exact locations of birding spots):

Introduction

 

This is a 3-day trip that travels from Siem Reap to Prey Veng Community Ecolodge to visit endangered species such as Giant Ibis, Sarus Crane and other species. We will explore the Koh Ker complex before we continue to our eco-lodge.

Prey Veng Community Ecolodge stands as a beacon of sustainable hospitality. This eco-friendly retreat seamlessly blends into the natural beauty of its surroundings, offering a unique and immersive experience for environmentally conscious travellers. The lodge is a testament to the community’s commitment to preserving the local ecosystem while providing a warm and inviting haven for guests. Surrounded by lush greenery and complemented by traditional Cambodian architecture, the Prey Veng Community Ecolodge not only provides a peaceful escape but also actively contributes to the well-being of the region. Guests can partake in community-led initiatives, explore nearby conservation areas, and savour locally sourced cuisine, making their stay a harmonious blend of nature, culture, and responsible tourism.

After two nights and three days at Prey Veng Ecolodge, we returned to Siem Reap province and dropped off at the hotel.

Highlights of the tour

1. Sarus Crane
2. Indochinese Roller
3. Red-billed Blue-Magpie
4. Grey-headed Fish-eagle
5. Black-headed Woodpecker
6. White-rumped Falcon
7. Collared Falconet
8. White-crested Laughingthrush
9. Asian barred Owlet
10. White-rumped Shama
11. Banded bay Cuckoo
12. Small Buttonquail

Cambodian Culture and Wildlife Adventure 3-day Tour

Looking to get further off the beaten track and see ‘real’ Cambodia? This three day trip will take you to Prey Veng village and community run ecolodge to experience a blend of wildlife exploration and cultural discovery. Meet the local IBIS Rice farmers, see a temple complex lost to time and go treking with the best bird guides in Cambodia.

Trip Report


Day 1: Siem Reap to Prey Veng Village via Koh Ker Temple

The tour started from Siem Reap province at 5:30 am and drove to Prey Veng community ecolodge in Preah Vihear province. If we drove straight to Prey Veng Ecolodge, we spent around three hours and a half. But along the way, we did stop at one of the Buddhist temples along the road for our breakfast. During the breakfast, we also did bird observation at that area for around 30 minutes. Then we continued our trip to Koh Ker city, we drove another 30 minutes to the Koh Ker ticket booth.

We explored Koh Ker city for around three hours to observe the birds and history of the temple such as Prasat Pram, Prasat Ktum, Prasat Damrei, and Koh Ker temple etc. We had lunch in front of the Koh Ker temple. And we saw some birds such as Black-headed Woodpeckers, White-rumped Falcon, Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Red-breasted Parakeets, Bronze Drongo, and Bar-winged Flychatcher-shrike etc.

Indochinese Silver Langur
Birding at Prasat Pram
Scaly-crowned Babbler

Black-headed Woodpecker

 

After we finished our tour at Koh Ker complex then we continued our trip to Prey Veng Ecolodge. We arrived Prey Veng village at 3:00 pm, then we went to meet the IBIS Rice farmer and we talked about the IBIS Rice project.

We talked to IBIS Rice farmer, Mr. Chhorn Chhim and other people trying to produce natural compose for next season. We had a warm welcome from Mr.Chhim, then he provided us with a good orientation walked around his house and showed us details of “How to select rice seed for next season?” and “How to make natural compose?”

Indochinese Silver Langur
Discussion with IBIS Rice farmer
Scaly-crowned Babbler

IBIS Rice farmer showing rice seed

 

After we met the farmer then we continued our trip to another place to meet the community people who were waiting for us at Prey Veng ecolodge. We arrived there at 4:30 pm, greeted the community and checked into the room after we got a warm welcome from them. We went to sit at the baray’s platform, chill out and view birds flying over the reservoir. We had dinner at 7 pm, and after dinner, the clients went to bed early.

Day 2: Prey Veng Village

We planned to have breakfast at 6:00 am and walk around the reservoir at 6:45 am for our birding tour. Along the trail around the reservoir, we saw many birds such as White-rumped Shama, Asian barred Owlet, Sarus Crane, Asian green Bee-eater, Small minivet, and other species around that area. We did explore that area for around 2 hours and a half and then we walked back to the lodge and rested.

We had lunch at noon, after lunch we went to sit at the Prey Veng reservoir for a small rest. We stayed at the lodge till 3 pm, then we started walking to visit Prey Veng Temple. Along the way, we also did bird observation around the area but the weather is so hot and very quiet. We arrived at the temple and explored the temple for about an hour.

After finishing the temple, we walked to the car that waiting for us. We planned to explore the village in the late afternoon, want to see the daily life of the people there and also birds. Finally, we saw what we wanted to see! The cutest bird called “Collared Falconet” was perched on a dead tree top near the road. We stayed there till sunset time, then returned to the lodge for a shower and dinner.

Indochinese Silver Langur
Prey Veng Temple
Scaly-crowned Babbler

Asian-barred Owlet

Day 3: Prey Veng Village to Siem Reap

We woke up and had breakfast at 6:00 am. Carly and I went birding again around the reservoir at 6:45 am after breakfast.

We spent around 2 hours and a half, trying to find a new species that we did not see yet. Finally, we saw a few new species such as Greater Flameback, Puff-throated Babbler, Pin-striped tit Babbler and White-crested Laughingthrush.

We walked back to the lodge at 9:15 am and left the lodge at 9:45 am. We arrived in Siem Reap town around 3 pm.

Indochinese Silver Langur
Exploring Prey Veng Village
Scaly-crowned Babbler

Leaving Prey Veng Ecolodge

Hang Oeung

Hang Oeung

SVC Bird Guide

 

Hang has over 7 years of bird-guiding experience with SVC but has also worked for over 15 years prior as one of Cambodia’s best temple guides.

 

Complete Bird List

Total No. of Bird Species: 88
E-bird Trip Report: https://ebird.org/tripreport/191531

 

  1. Lesser Whistling-Duck – Dendrocygna javanica
  2. Rock Pigeon – Columba livia
  3. Red Collared-Dove – Streptopelia tranquebarica
  4. Spotted Dove – Spilopelia chinensis
  5. Zebra Dove – Geopelia striata
  6. Green Imperial-Pigeon – Ducula aenea
  7. Green-billed Malkoha – Phaenicophaeus tristis
  8. Banded Bay Cuckoo – Cacomantis sonneratii
  9. Plaintive Cuckoo – Cacomantis merulinus
  10. Germain’s Swiftlet – Aerodramus germani
  11. Sarus Crane – Antigone antigone
  12. Red-wattled Lapwing – Vanellus indicus
  13. Common Snipe – Gallinago gallinago
  14. Small Buttonquail – Turnix sylvaticus
  15. Asian Woolly-necked Stork – Ciconia episcopus
  16. Lesser Adjutant – Leptoptilos javanicus
  17. Oriental Darter – Anhinga melanogaster
  18. Little Cormorant – Microcarbo niger
  19. Striated Heron – Butorides striata
  20. Chinese Pond-Heron – Ardeola bacchus
  21. Eastern Cattle Egret – Bubulcus coromandus
  22. Great Egret – Ardea alba
  23. Medium Egret – Ardea intermedia
  24. Gray Heron – Ardea cinerea
  25. Crested Serpent-Eagle – Spilornis cheela
  26. Rufous-winged Buzzard – Butastur liventer
  27. Eastern Marsh Harrier – Circus spilonotus
  28. Shikra – Accipiter badius
  29. Gray-headed Fish-Eagle – Icthyophaga ichthyaetus
  30. Asian Barred Owlet – Glaucidium cuculoides
  31. Eurasian Hoopoe – Upupa epops
  32. Common Kingfisher – Alcedo atthis
  33. White-throated Kingfisher – Halcyon smyrnensis
  34. Asian Green Bee-eater – Merops orientalis
  35. Chestnut-headed Bee-eater – Merops leschenaulti
  36. Indochinese Roller – Coracias affinis
  37. Coppersmith Barbet – Psilopogon haemacephalus
  38. Lineated Barbet – Psilopogon lineatus
  39. Greater Flameback – Chrysocolaptes guttacristatus
  40. Black-headed Woodpecker – Picus erythropygius
  41. Greater Yellownape – Chrysophlegma flavinucha
  42. Collared Falconet – Microhierax caerulescens
  43. White-rumped Falcon – Neohierax insignis
  44. Blossom-headed Parakeet – Psittacula roseata
  45. Red-breasted Parakeet – Psittacula alexandri
  46. Small Minivet – Pericrocotus cinnamomeus
  47. Ashy Minivet – Pericrocotus divaricatus
  48. Black-hooded Oriole – Oriolus xanthornus
  49. Common Woodshrike – Tephrodornis pondicerianus
  50. Bar-winged Flycatcher-shrike – Hemipus picatus
  51. Black Drongo – Dicrurus macrocercus
  52. Ashy Drongo – Dicrurus leucophaeus
  53. Bronzed Drongo – Dicrurus aeneus
  54. Hair-crested Drongo – Dicrurus hottentottus
  55. Greater Racket-tailed Drongo – Dicrurus paradiseus
  56. Black-naped Monarch – Hypothymis azurea
  57. Brown Shrike – Lanius cristatus
  58. Burmese Shrike – Lanius collurioides
  59. Red-billed Blue-Magpie – Urocissa erythroryncha
  60. Rufous Treepie – Dendrocitta vagabunda
  61. Gray-headed Canary-Flycatcher – Culicicapa ceylonensis
  62. Rufescent Prinia – Prinia rufescens
  63. Red-rumped Swallow – Cecropis daurica
  64. Black-crested Bulbul – Rubigula flaviventris
  65. Streak-eared Bulbul – Pycnonotus conradi
  66. Stripe-throated Bulbul – Pycnonotus finlaysoni
  67. Sooty-headed Bulbul – Pycnonotus aurigaster
  68. Yellow-browed Warbler – Phylloscopus inornatus
  69. Pin-striped Tit-Babbler – Mixornis gularis
  70. Puff-throated Babbler – Pellorneum ruficeps
  71. White-crested Laughingthrush – Garrulax leucolophus
  72. Black-collared Starling – Gracupica nigricollis
  73. Chestnut-tailed Starling – Sturnia malabarica
  74. Common Myna – Acridotheres tristis
  75. Asian Brown Flycatcher – Muscicapa dauurica
  76. Oriental Magpie-Robin – Copsychus saularis
  77. White-rumped Shama – Copsychus malabaricus
  78. Hainan Blue Flycatcher – Cyornis hainanus
  79. Taiga Flycatcher – Ficedula albicilla
  80. Amur Stonechat – Saxicola stejnegeri
  81. Pied Bushchat – Saxicola caprata
  82. Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker – Dicaeum cruentatum
  83. Ruby-cheeked Sunbird – Chalcoparia singalensis
  84. Purple Sunbird – Cinnyris asiaticus
  85. Ornate Sunbird – Cinnyris ornatus
  86. Golden-fronted Leafbird – Chloropsis aurifrons
  87. Scaly-breasted Munia – Lonchura punctulata
  88. Plain-backed Sparrow – Passer flaveolus