Camping by Cambodia's ancient temples

Glamping's popularity has bloomed in recent years, even in the tropical depths of South-East Asia’s forests, but our temple camping expedition is undoubtedly one of the planet's more unique experiences. You’ll sleep in a hi-spec modern tent pitched (by your team of specialists) just metres away from the ancient temples hidden in the Cambodian jungle, and explore the ruins by torchlight, before relaxing at camp to contemplate the astonishing depths of the Milky Way in all its uninhibited glory.

What to expect when camping by Cambodia's temples...

There are several locations to choose from, but for us, Preah Khan of Kampong Svay (sometimes known as Bakan) is easily the pick of the bunch. It’s remote, and completely remarkable. Until recently, the site could only be reached by the most hardy of travellers, accessible by a barely visible and very bumpy dirt track. Now the road infrastructure has improved and a tiny trickle of tourists has started to flow, but this often amounts to no more than a couple of visitors per week.

The jungle-clad temple of Preah Khan is an incredible sight to wake up to - it’s something that most Indiana-wannabees can only ever dream of. Built during the reign of King Suryavarman I (AD 1002-1050), it’s the centrepiece of the Kampong Sray complex and one of the most important Angkorian temples. Known as the ‘divine sword’, much of the temple still stands, along with an intricate bridge that spans the moat.

Until we developed this experience, you could really only visit during the day, which is exciting enough - but the atmosphere after dark is spine-tingling. Waking up to explore the landscape before anyone else is around is an added bonus!

The tents themselves are surprisingly comfortable considering the isolated locations. They are cosy, durable and designed for the Cambodian climate, and to keep things more Selective Asia than Scouts, you will be accompanied by a mobile toilet and shower unit, complete with hot and cold running water.

There’s a small portable generator, ensuring that your meals will be well-cooked and tasty, as well as an unobtrusive light that will be available far into the night. It’s an unbelievable natural high - there’s really nothing like it.

Location: a choice of several remote temple ruins in Cambodia

Duration: from one afternoon to a full fortnight

Accommodation: a lightweight canvas tent, accompanied by a mobile toilet and shower unit (in all but two locations)

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Nick says...

'In the morning, take just a few footsteps beyond your camp for one of the most atmospheric sunrises you’ll ever see - this is a chance to appreciate the ‘simple’ pleasures in a truly unforgettable setting.'

Things to note...

Whilst the amenities are excellent considering the remote nature of the camping, this is still a wilderness experience. You’ll need a love of the outdoors and an appetite for adventure. If you choose to camp at Phnom Kulen or Kor Ker, the need for the mobile shower unit is replaced with fixed bathroom facilities.

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