Unspoilt Sambor Prei Kuk
Returning the cycles to the craft hut, we walked into the forest to our picnic-lunch spot next to the O Krouke river, passing en route the unusual square cella at Asram Moha Issey
and the tree-engulfed Prasat Chrey. On typical wooden platforms, the setting was peaceful and the lunch provided by the community members was pretty good. Next on the agenda was an ox-cart ride back to the starting point, a nice add-on but a cushion is necessary to protect your rear-end. The community services at Sambor will certainly add new options to a visit to the site which is overlooked by the majority of visitors to Cambodia. Siem Reap and the Angkor temples are the big-hitter as you might expect, but Sambor has its own magic and making a visit easier for travellers and offering options like cycle and ox-cart rides, trained guides and picnics make it more appealing. Our coach then took us on a journey through the back-roads for a taste of the rural life on show and onto the revered mountain of Phnom Santuk after a quick stop in the stone-carving village of Kakoh. Only a few hardy souls managed the climb to the top of Santuk to view the collection of Buddhas on display, some hewn from the bed-rock of the mountain, before retracing our 809 steps to the bottom and heading for home, getting back to a wet Phnom Penh at 9pm. Sambor Prei Kuk has always been one of my favourite places in Cambodia and with the full backing of the local community, it would be wonderful to see more people enjoying this slice of unspoilt Cambodia.