In the centuries since the enigmatic fall of Angkorian civilization, the lush Siem Reap countryside has become dovetailed by sandy tracks best explored on a mountain bike. To call this landscape diverse is an understatement. You will cycle through open rice fields dappled with sugar palms with views stretching to the distant Phnom Kulen hills, then along narrow dirt tracks past the bare earthen yards of stilted wooden houses fringed by fruit trees. Children will cry out barang (‘foreigner’) as they rush to catch a glimpse of you. On these professionally guided excursions, you set the pace so that if there is a curiously appealing path between the palm fronds or what looks like an undiscovered temple to explore, you have plenty of time to investigate. Typically your ride will take around two hours and lead to the West Baray, an Angkorian reservoir. Well, well, what do you see over there? Cool drinks, cold towels and air-conditioned transport to bring you home to Amansara.

If you prefer to delve deeper into Cambodia by its waterways, we will take you half an hour from Siem Reap to the Tonle Sap. The largest freshwater lake in South East Asia rises and falls by five meters with the changing seasons. This inland sea is fringed by seasonally flooding forests and home to around 200 fishing villages, some along its shores but others which appear to float. Your kayaks will be waiting for you fully assembled at a lakeside village. Paddle past houses built on eight meter high wooden poles as an adaptation to the flooding as you cruise towards mysterious water gardens. Depending on the time of year, you will have cold drinks waiting on the terrace of a charming house atop the riverbank, or you will climb aboard the Amanbala to continue your adventure around this fascinating lake.

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