Koh Ker, Beng Mealea Forest Temples

An incredibly special day of viewing the remote and less-visited temples in the countryside around Siem Reap

Duration

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11.5 hours

Availability

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All year

Peak season

Jan - Dec

Starting Point

Siem Reap

Spend one day birding amongst the spectacular sites of ancient Khmer empire- Koh Ker and Beng Mealea. This trip offers a rich and diverse range of bird species including: Black-headed and White-bellied Woodpecker, Velvet-fronted and Neglected Nuthatch, Rufous-winged Buzzard, Indochinese Bushlark, the beautiful White-Rumped Pygmy Falcon and the Collared Falconet.

Koh Ker gives you the opportunity to explore ancient Khmer history without the abundance of tourists. Koh Ker is a unique pyramidal temple built in 931AD, strikingly reminiscent of the structures built by the Central American Maya. Not only is the appearance unique but also the history, as this was the location that became the capital of the Khmer Empire. This site also allows explorations in the dry and semi-evergreen forest among seldom-visited outlying temples to discover the birds and incredible butterflies.

Beng Mealea temple, thought to be the blueprint for Angkor Wat, gives the birder a chance to pick up some migrants from the north during December – March, often including the difficult to find White-throated Rock-thrush.

What’s included?

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Entry & admission fees

All entry and admission fees are included in the price.

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Transfers

You will be collected and dropped back to your hotel.

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Refreshments

Water will be provided to you throughout the trip.

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Breakfast

Breakfast is provided on this trip.

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Lunch

Home cooked Khmer lunch at the WCS station
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Tip or gratuity

It is your own decision should you wish to tip staff.
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Wifi

Wifi not available outside of major cities and towns.

Itinerary

Subject to change depending on seasons and personal requests

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05:30 - Pick Up

Pick up from your Siem Reap hotel in our aircon 4×4 by our English speaking bird guide we head off on the drive to Koh Ker, through fields and villages. We stop for a packed breakfast en route at some excellent birding spots
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07:30 – Arrival

Arriving at the Koh Ker temple complex we head out into the outlying temples after dry forest and semi-evergreen forest birds
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11:00 – Koh Ker Temple

We head to the main Koh Ker Temple for the opportunity to explore this stunning complex and the birds, butterflies and dragonflies that inhabit the site.
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12:30 – Lunch

Lunch will be at a local restaurant outside the temple
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13:30 - Beng Mealea Temple

We start the drive to beautiful Beng Mealea temple complex for a couple of hours’ exploration around the temple and surrounding forest, before driving back to Siem Reap
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14:30 - Visit Beng Mealea

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17:00 - Drop Off

Drop off back at your Siem Reap hotel

Location

Title Address Description
Siem Reap
13.361657, 103.859881
Koh Ker
Unnamed Road, Cambodia
Beng Mealea
Unnamed Road, Cambodia

Things to note

Transport

4*4 Car

When to go

Accessible all year round. Birds are easier to see between December and March but in wetter season it is incredibly beautiful and alive with butterflies and other wildlife.

Species

Birds: White-bellied Woodpecker, Black-headed Woodpecker, White-throated Rock Thrush, Rufous-winged Buzzard, White-rumped Pygmy Falcon, Brown Prinia, Blossom-headed Parakeet, Burmese Shrike, Collared Falconet, Indochinese Bushlark, Grey-slaty Woodpecker and Rufous-winged Buzzard.

Habitat

Deciduous dipterocarp forest with semi-evergreen forest patches.

Things to bring

  • Sun hat
  • Sun cream
  • Appropriate closed-toe shoes. Walking boots are best
  • Light clothing covering shoulders and knees- this is especially relevant when visiting temples and religious sites. Clothing should not be bright when birding
  • Insect repellent
  • Waterproof coat
  • Small denominations of money. This is especially relevant when entering Northern Cambodia. $20 is the maximum denomination of money that should be taken
  • Binoculars. SVC charge $5 per person per day to use our Swarovski Optik binoculars
  • Ear plugs are recommended for multi-day tours. The sound of nature at night in remote areas can be loud

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