Things to See and Do - Siem Reap, Cambodia

Srok Yeung or Our Ecotourism Site - Siem Reap

Background

Srok Yeung or Our Ecotourism Site is a community-based recreational area located at the foot of Phnom Krom mountain near the Tonle Sap Lake, the largest lake in Southeast Asia and also home to theworld's most productive inland fishery. Situated on the northwest Cambodian floodplain, the 100-hectare rural property is owned by the Empress Angkor Hotel, one of the leading hotels in Siem Reap, and is only 20 minutes from the town's airport and the historic Angkor temples.

Visitors are offered a unique chance to experience nature and traditional rural lifestyles with the charm, elegance and comfort of an international-standard hotel while helping to diversify local livelihoods and reduce poverty. The site has been developed by hotel management in partnership with local residents in Phum Krorsang Roleung village, a small rural settlement near the lake.

With four lakes covering 26 hectares, Srok Yeung Ecotourism Site has a wide range of opportunities for fishing and boating. Other activities include cycling and riding on ox or water buffalo-carts operated by local villagers. Depending on the season, visitors can also observe and even take part in traditional agricultural activities such as planting and harvesting rice or tending tropical fruit orchards.

We also offer team-building exercises for companies and other organizations. For the more adventurous, camping in tents with luxury hotel bedding allows visitors to experience the beauty of the Cambodian countryside at night in a comfortable and secure setting. Future plans include a football field, a mini-golf course, a cooking school and luxury resort accommodation.

Despite its remote location, the site offers the full range of catering services available at the Empress Angkor Hotel management. For short visits of three to five hours, these range from lunch boxes and light meals for two people to cocktail receptions and gala dinners with traditional live music and dancing for up to 1,800 guests. For longer visits, we offer full-day packages for groups seeking team-building exercises.

We also offer one or two night camping tours for guests wanting to experience the real Cambodia beyond the temples including the stunning natural environment around the Tonle Sap Lake.Srok Yeung literally means our district but is used in a wider sense to refer to the whole of Cambodia. Similarly, the term Srok Khmer means Khmer district and is also used to refer to our country which is otherwise known as Kampuchea in the Khmer language.

Fishing

Located on the floodplain next to the world's most productive inland fishery, Srok Yeung Ecotourism Site is a paradise for anglers. With the expansion of the Tonle Sap Lake during the wet season each year, the annual floods bring millions of migrating fish from the Mekong River further downstream.

These include commercially-valuable species such as striped snakehead (trey phtuok), climbing perch (trey kranh) and walking catfish (trey andaing). During the second half of 2010, the site's four lakes were stocked with almost a million fish raised in local hatcheries. Half of these were Sutchi river catfish (trey pra), a native species widely farmed in Cambodia.

Also known as "pangasius" and "basa", this species today represents a billion dollar industry with exports of frozen fillets to more than a hundred countries, mostly from Vietnam. Other species stocked in 2007 were walking catfish and red tilapia (trey lapia krahom), an African species that's increasingly popular among Cambodian fish farmers. Barbecue and other cooking facilities are available for those who can't wait to consume their catch.

Three-hour fishing packages combined with boating, cycling and ox-cart rides generally require at least two people and include multiple catering options. Tips to boatmen and ox handlers are optional and not included in our prices.

Boating

Srok Yeung Eco tourism Site encompasses four lakes that are both natural and artificial water bodies. The two largest lakes each cover an area of about eight hectares, offering ample opportunities to explore the area with experienced boatmen from Phum Krorsang Roleung village. The smaller lakes cover six and four hectares. The lakes feature hundreds of lotus flowers and have been stocked with hundreds of thousands of fish.

Equipped with life jackets, our traditional wooden canoes are ready to welcome all visitors including couples who wish to enjoy boating on our lakes [delete repetition: full of fish and lotus flowers]. Boating with groups or loved ones offers long-lasting memories of your visit to Cambodia.

Three-hour boating packages combined with fishing, cycling and ox-cart rides generally require at least two people and include multiple catering options. Tips to boatmen and ox handlers are optional and not included in our prices.

Cycling

The bicycle remains a common form of transport in Siem Reap, one of the poorest provinces in Cambodia. Unlike neighbouring Vietnam and Thailand, however, the health benefits of cycling have yet to be fully appreciated by more affluent people in Cambodia. To combat the global increase in obesity-related diseases, especially in urban areas such as Phnom Penh and major provincial capitals.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends 30 minutes each day of moderate physical activity such as cycling. Srok Yeung Ecotourism Site offers modern bicycles allowing visitors to explore the countryside in a peaceful environment that's safely removed from dangerous motor vehicle traffic and annoying distractions such as child beggars, virus-infected chickens and rabid dogs. Thus, cycling is another activity to make your visit more enjoyable.

Three-hour cycling packages combined with fishing, boating and ox-cart rides generally require at least two people and include multiple catering options. Tips to boatmen and ox handlers are optional and not included in our prices.

Ox cart rides or water buffaloes rides

Oxen are still used for transport by many Cambodians in rural areas, especially in Kampong Chhnang, a province on the western shore of the Tonle Sap Lake which is home of the traditional ceramic cooking-pot industry. Even today, cooking-pot vendors are often seen riding ox carts as they hawk their goods to customers across the country.

In partnership with the people of neighbouring Phum Krorsang Roleung village, Srok Yeung Ecotourism Site offers visitors the rare opportunity to enjoy this ancient mode of transport with experienced ox handlers or by yourself. Races between as many as ten competing ox-carts can also be arranged

Three-hour ox-cart packages combined with fishing, boating and cycling generally require at least two people and include multiple catering options. Tips to ox handlers and boatmen are optional and not included in our prices.

Team Building

Staff at Srok Yeung Ecotourism Site are experienced in arranging team-building exercises for groups of people from companies, educational institutions and both governmental and non-governmental organizations. Language of instruction is available in Khmer, English and Japanese.

Our full-day packages include programme coordination, equipment and games as well as lunch and free access to fishing, boating, cycling and ox-cart rides. Team-building packages can be combined with overnight camping tours if required.

Full-day team-building packages including fishing, boating, cycling and ox-cart rides generally require at least 30 people and include lunch. Tips to boatmen and ox handlers are optional and not included in our prices.

Camping

At Srok Yeung Ecotourism Site, camping has never been more comfortable. For visitors who want to get out of town and experience the real Cambodia, we offer modern tents that sleep two to three people with luxury bedding from our Empress Angkor Hotel. Overnight packages for one or two nights include modern bathroom facilities, full catering services and 24-hour security as well as free access to fishing, boating, cycling and ox-cart rides.

Overnight camping tours can be combined with team-building packages if required. Overnight camping packages including fishing, boating, cycling and ox-cart rides generally require at least 20 people. All meals are provided. Tips to boatmen and ox handlers are optional and not included in our prices.

Catering

Both Asian and Western food is available at Srok Yeung Ecotourism Site with the former including selections from Khmer, Chinese, Japanese and Korean cuisines. Apart from on-site barbecues BBQs, all food is prepared by our highly-trained chefs at the Empress Angkor Hotel.

andnbsp;For groups of two people or more, lunch boxes or light meals are available to guests on a three-hour visit. For bigger groups of at least five people visiting for three hours, we also offer afternoon tea, tropical fruit buffets and picnic lunches.For larger groups of at least 20 people, we can arrange three hour cocktail receptions and five-hour gala dinners with traditional live music and dancing. Cocktails and dinners can accommodate up to 1,800 guests.

andnbsp;For couples, we offer a special five-hour honeymoon or wedding anniversary package featuring champagne and flowers with a deluxe set menu on request. For longer visits with full catering services, we generally require a minimum of 30 people for full-day team-building exercises and at least 20 people for overnight camping.

Environment

As Southeast Asia's largest freshwater body, the Tonle Sap Lake is home to hundreds of fish species and significant populations of migrating birds as well as a large variety of other aquatic animals including mammals, reptiles and amphibians.

Because of its rich natural heritage, the lake and its surrounding areas, including Srok Yeung Ecotourism Site, have been designated as a "biosphere reserve" by UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. This special designation for what is widely considered as the "heart of Cambodia" has also been promulgated by royal decree.

Map of Srok Yeung or Our Ecotourism Site

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