Siem Reap Temples: A Jeep Adventure

In Siem Reap province, classic military jeeps from the civil war era have found a new lease on life thanks to the innovative spirit of a local entrepreneur.

Once tasked with carrying soldiers to the front lines, these iconic green vehicles now ferry delighted tourists through the scenic countryside of Siem Reap and the awe-inspiring temples of the Angkor Archaeological Park

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Transformed into symbols of adventure, these jeeps not only provide a thrilling experience but also bolster the local economy.

Lim Kanha, the sales manager at adventurescambodia.com, reminisces about the humble beginnings of the business in 2011, starting with just one jeep. Thanks to customer support, the fleet has expanded to 14 jeeps, sourced from various provinces and neighboring countries.

Maintaining these vintage vehicles is a labor of love, with the tour operator’s maintenance team constantly sourcing spare parts to keep them running smoothly.

Kanha explains, “Most of our jeeps are surplus military vehicles. Some were kept in storage, while others were repurposed for agriculture or storage. We acquired all the examples we could find.”

Beyond Travel, Local Benefit

Beyond providing employment opportunities for locals, these jeep tours also drive sales of souvenirs, traditional food, and beverages.

Visitors to Preah Dak village are treated to a glimpse of a bygone era, where time seems to stand still. Villagers proudly preserve their culture and traditional way of life, earning their livelihood by selling handmade souvenirs and local delicacies to jeep-borne guests.

Yol Sa, a national tour guide, mentions the variety of Khmer cakes available, such as num kruok, small round cakes made from rice flour and coconut cream.

In addition to jeep tours, guests can participate in cooking classes and demonstrations of traditional crafts. They can also opt for rides on traditional ox or buffalo carts, adding another layer to their unique experience.

Nem Narin, a local artisan, shares her craft of making decorative flowers from silk produced by her own silkworms, showcasing the richness of Khmer culture.

Kanha highlights the diverse tour options available, including visits to Angkor Park and natural attractions in the area, such as the sandstone caves in the eastern foothills of Kulen Mountain.

Lee Akim, the company’s founder, takes pride in the satisfaction of her guests, with many international visitors booking additional tours due to the excellent service provided by her team.

With 90% of tourists hailing from the West, the jeep tours offer an authentic and immersive experience off the beaten path, leaving visitors with lasting memories and sparking positive word-of-mouth recommendations among friends and relatives.Explore more about Cambodia with our interactive map.

Tom Starkey
Author: Tom Starkey

Tom Starkey is an International Development graduate from Sussex University with 12-years of experience across 4 continents, Tom's goal is that he wants to showcase his love for Cambodia, where he lives, works and now happily calls home.