Maison Polanka

What to do in Siem Reap

Templing

Straddled within the shadows of the world heritage site-listed Angkor Archaeological Park, Maison Polanka offers tailored adventures to the temples. Avoiding the crowds, our itineraries also reveal hidden architectural jewels off the tracks. Our guests can get a chance to go further to archeological sites such as the Kulen mountains, Koh Ker, Bantey Chmar or Preah Vihear. We will recommend you guides or guide books, bicycles, tuk tuk or cars, vans or helicopter, picnics and sunset spots, schedules and itineraries to make your stay in Angkor a memorable one.

The great lake

UNESCO registered the Tonle Sap on the list of Biosphere Reserve in 1997, in view of exceptional ecological, economic, social and cultural value. The Tonle Sap is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and one of the world’s top freshwater fisheries.It also shelters the most important waterbird colonies of the region and supports the world’s largest snake harvest. Three million Cambodians are directly dependent upon the lake’s resources. Involved in the protection of the area, Maison Polanka supports OSMOSE, the premier Ecotourism operator in Prek Tuol. More than 100 families in the villages in which Osmose operates benefit from the operator’s income generating activities, and many more from Osmose’s medical, social, schooling and material support and assistance..

Countryside adventures

Beyond the temples, take time to discover the essence of Cambodia: a rural country with rice fields and houses on stilts where nothing has changed for centuries, astonishing landscapes, traditional farming, family life and ceremonies. We selected different projects to discover the real life of Cambodia:

- horse riding: for confirmed riders, a wonderful little ranch organizes sunset rides in the rice fields with very well cared for khmer horses http://www.thehappyranch.com

- nature trek with buffalo/oxen carts: www.buffalotrails-cambodia.com

- quad rides at www.quad-adventure-cambodia.com

- tour for a cause on the Tonle Sap lake with Osmose: www.osmosetonlesap.net

- a jungle canopy adventure in Angkor: www.FlightOfTheGibbon.com

- a helicopter tour over the temples: www.helistarcambodia.com ,

- a day with a professional photographer: www.angkorphotographytours.com

- kayaking, hiking and cycling adventures with www.indochineEx.com.


More than performances, the dancers of NKFC and the artists of Phare Circus reveal the personality, spirituality and energy of modern Cambodia.

The sacred dancers


The Nginn Karet Foundation for CAMBODIA


Based in Bantey Srei district nearby the temple, NKFC supports over 2000 families living in 14 villages. The programs encourage a participatory approach to development.The NKFC respects and supports efforts to promote the traditional culture on which village life is based. The Conservatoire of Dance and Music, completed in 2008, is a major achievement of NKFC’s work. It combines discipline with ancient Khmer traditions, and is central to consolidate the work already carried out in the villages. The dancers have been trained to dance for the Gods and holy ceremonies as per thousands of years ago. Their performances are unique. visit: http://www.nkfc.org/


The Great Circus

Phare Ponleu Selpak


It all began in 1986 in Site 2 refugee camp’s orphanage on the Thai border, when a drawing workshop opened its doors to children. In 1994, after the 8 founders had returned as young adults to Cambodia, they decided to set up Phare Ponleu Selpak (literally “lights of arts”) in their native village of Battambang. It is an association aiming to revive Khmer culture and to help youth blossom through cultural and artistic initiatives. Phare Ponleu Selpak has been gradually expanding its fields of intervention and now includes a drawing school, an animation studio, an illustration and design studio, a music school and a circus/theatre training school. Regarding education, Phare Ponleu Selpak sponsors a public school and includes a local library open to all. Maison Polanka encourages you to visit the drawing studio and attend an amazing circus performance in Battambang. visit : http://www.phareps.org/

Boats on sea - top view with a lot of blue copy space

Shopping tours

Siem Reap’s designers, artists and creatives alike find their inspiration; Sharing to the world the art and fashion featuring the works of local and Cambodia-based artists. Although a destination more linked to the iconic temples of Angkor and the millennium-old heritage of its illustrious past, Siem Reap also has a thriving new generation of artists, designers and visionaries that not only bridge its past but are also redesigning the future of the kingdom. This guide was created to give everyone a window to the visions, craftsmanship, ideas and quirkiness fully embodying the new directions of Cambodia’s renaissance.