Cambodia·January 21 - 27 2024
A life-changing cultural adventure in stunning Siem Reap, Cambodia.BOOK NOW
If you’ve always wanted to explore the far corners of the globe, to stretch your understanding of the world and see monumental beauty — now is your chance. Join us on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure to Southeast Asia; to a breathtaking town of ancient temples, lotus flowers and Buddhist monks — Siem Reap, Cambodia! You'll be guided and cared for by our local team who is eager to show you Cambodia's world-famous temples, culture and history. By the end our week together you'll feel refreshed and renewed, and more importantly inspired by your life-changing experiences and memories. *Please note we are requiring proof of COVID vaccination (including a booster shot) and reserve the right to require a pre-retreat test for all guests * - Group Size: 12-16 guests - Luxury Score: 2.5 (out of 5) - Activity Score: 4 (out of 5) - Active + Adventurous - Cuisine: Omnivore (some meat + seafood offered); Vegetarian options always available
Take a guided tour of the UNESCO World-Heritage site Angkor Wat - the largest religious structure in the world. Learn about the complex history of the temple and its use by both the Hindu and Buddhist religions. Walk past local monks as you explore the grounds and climb to the top for 360 views.
In addition to Angkor Wat, we will visit several other local temples such as Ta Prohm (as known as the temple from the movie Tomb Raider) built more than a thousand years ago and overtaken by huge strangler fig trees. We'll also visit the incredibly detailed Angkor Thom and its famous gates.
New for 2024! We'll visit a nearby elephant sanctuary. This non-profit center cares for dozens of elephants who were rescued from harsh conditions locally. We'll spend a morning observing them as they enjoy their natural surroundings. You'll have a chance to get up close as you walk with them into the forest.
Enjoy optional daily yoga classes from our breathtaking private rooftop practice space. Watch the sun rise over Cambodia's tropical landscape during our morning vinyasa flow classes. Most evenings we will have a slower-paced class offering such as restorative, yin or meditation. Mats and props are provided.
Our retreat hotel has a full-service restaurant on site with made-to-order breakfast offerings such as French toast or eggs dishes that are served with tropical fruit, coffee and juice -- or try a more adventurous offerings such as stir fried noodles (yes, for breakfast!) You'll also savor four group dinners during the week (with two at our favorite local restaurants).
Enjoy hotel-level amenities and service in an intimate and lush garden setting away from the hustle and bustle of the center of Siem Reap town (Pub St)... However it's easy to jump in a $2 tuk tuk to go exploring or visit the surrounding areas by foot. A saltwater swimming pool is the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail and cool off after a day of adventures.
Venture out of the town of Siem Reap as you cycle past small villages, palm trees and water buffaloes. Our guided epic bike ride was an absolute highlight of the week for guests last time and it ends with a stunning sunset (and a cold beer if you choose) with 360 views of rice paddy fields.
Get off the beaten path of average tourists as you'll have the chance to visit the village and home of our guide and family, as well as meet lots of their neighbors. We'll take educational and fun gifts for all the village kids too!
You'll have plenty of time to book additional excursions and explore town on your own. Such as a visit to a local floating village or a bustling market to prep for your cooking class with a chef. Or - a past guest favorite - sunrise at Angkor Wat! Our on-site team and the hotel staff will help you book and plan out anything extra you'd like to do!
In addition to our owner and Chief Zen Officer Anna, each Above Yoga retreat has one or two additional certified yoga teachers on-site who will lead a portion of the classes and support students in their practice. We find that an opportunity to participate in a variety of classes with various teaching styles adds to our guests’ overall retreat experience.
Anna is Above Yoga's Chief Zen Officer and lead yoga instructor. Anna handles all retreat planning and logistics. She aims to hold space for others to experience personal growth, transformation and community through wellness travel. She loves to teach yin, slow flow and also moderately paced vinyasa flows focused that are accessible to every level of student but that offer challenges in an inclusive and warm environment.
Young is our local guide and partner in Cambodia. He and his family will make you feel like a part of their family. He is a certified guide in Cambodia and an expert on the ancient temples. He'll be with us on all temple tours, the countryside bike tour and the visit to the local village (we go to his family's home!). You are also able to book Young for additional temple or other tours as desired for a nominal hourly rate. Young lives with his wife and young daughter locally in Siem Reap.
Katie is a licensed Clinical Social Worker and runs her own therapy practice. She specializes in Restorative and Trauma-Sensitive Yoga and has been teaching it for 6+ years. She loves the restorative and gentle styles of practice as they compliments her passion for helping others work through anxiety and stress. She's also the host of a podcast called "Healing Charlotte." Katie has also been on retreat with us to Ireland, Morocco, France, Panama and Mexico!
Loretta Jo has been practicing yoga and guiding students for almost two decades. She created Yoga-Mojo and later, the Cary Yoga Collective, so all students can experience the uplifting magic that occurs within practice – the unified mental, physical, and spiritual “mojo” that moved her to begin her own personal yoga journey. Her holistic classes incorporate storytelling, Sanskrit language, mantras, mudras and yoga mythology; and are sprinkled with humor and joy.
Everything on an Above Yoga Retreat is 100% optional. You can skip any classes, activities or group meals as desired. On this retreat we tend to start our days a bit earlier to avoid being on a tour (or in yoga class) during the hottest part of the day. There's always plenty of time in the afternoon to relax, nap or hop in the saltwater pool on-site.
Daily yoga classes
Daily on-site breakfast
Five (5) curated group lunches or dinners
Wine + beer with group dinners
Local guide for all tours
Temple ticket (3 day pass)
Guided tours of local temples
Visit to elephant sanctuary
Guided biking tour of countryside
Visit to local village
Donation to local school children
Assistance with booking additional excursions
Private Facebook group for participants
Pre-Retreat Zoom meeting
A detailed itinerary, packing list and constant support leading up to and during the retreat
A mobile-friendly secure web app for use on the retreat
Roundtrip airfare from the US to Asia
Comprehensive travel insurance
Meals not mentioned above (budget $10 per meal)
Alcoholic beverages (outside of group dinners)
Cambodia Tourist Visa ($36)
Two XL twin beds. En suite private bathroom. Share with a friend or be paired with another solo traveler.
One king bed. En suite private bathroom. Book two spots to share with a travel companion, or single supplement fee of $350 for private room.
One king bed. Large en suite private bathroom. Separate desk and sitting area. Book two spots to share with a travel companion, or single supplement fee of $400. These rooms are adjacent to the rooftop yoga practice space.
Cambodia is a country in Southeast Asia and is bordered by Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. We highly recommend extending your trip after the retreat to explore other parts of Cambodia (like the bustling capital of Phnom Penh), or places like Phuket or Chiang Mai, Thailand or Hoi An or Ha Long Bay in Vietnam. There are also direct connection flights to Singapore, Hong Kong and other major hubs in Asia.
It's a beautiful nation of 17 million people with a complex and storied history, including one of history's most impressive empires (the Khmer Empire of the 900s - 1400s) and one of the world's darkest modern genocides (the reign of the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s). Modern Cambodia is a beautiful of mix of new development, preserved ancient temples, welcoming people and unique cuisine (that's rarely experienced outside of the country's borders). In your free time we are happy to help you book other local excursions like visiting a floating village or checking out a local market to buy spices and fruits for a chef-led Cambodian food cooking class.
We'll be staying in our favorite property - it's tucked away from the bustling streets of Siem Reap, but just minutes away from the markets and nightlife of Pub Street. Enjoy hotel-level amenities and service like a restaurant, bar and coffee service in an intimate and lush garden setting. A saltwater swimming pool is the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail and cool off after a day of adventures in SE Asia. Please note, this small boutique hotel, it is not private to our group, so there may be few other guests (adults + children) staying on property at the same time.
We highly recommend you fly into the SE Asia region at least a day earlier than required in order to give yourself addition time if there are flight delays or cancellations. The retreat program will start at around 6 pm on the first day and end at 10 am on the final day. Round trip transportation to the hotel from the Siem Reap Airport (REP) is provided no matter when you arrive / depart. You can also engage our travel agent partner to book all of your retreat-related flights for a fee of just $38.
Cambodia does require you to complete an e-visa application a few weeks before arrival (cost: $36). Further instructions will be provided to booked guests. Upon arrival, many larger merchants and restaurants will accept credit cards to complete transactions. Otherwise, while Cambodia has their own currency, US dollars are accepted everywhere in the city.
Cambodia is hot and humid all year long. The average weather for January is highs in 80s & 90s and lows in the 70s. It's the dry season, so rain showers should be rare. Please note: there is a dress code followed for temple and village visits. This includes shoulders and knees covered. More information and suggestions will be shared, but loose thin pants or skirts and a light t-shirt work best. However, shorts, bathing suits and tight yoga clothes are fine for while at the retreat center or just around town.
All guests must show proof of COVID vaccination (including at least one booster shot) in order to attend this retreat. We may also require proof of a pre-retreat negative test. Other vaccinations or preventative medications (unrelated to COVID) may be recommended by your health professional when traveling in Southeast Asia. While millions of travelers visit the area every year without issue, Cambodia is still a developing country with few modern medical facilities up to western standards, so we strongly recommend you take out comprehensive travel insurance. We also recommend you consult with your doctor before booking if you have chronic health conditions.
This retreat is an activity and adventure score of 4 out of 5. This is not, however, meant to be an indicator that you need to be in extraordinary physical shape to participate. It's meant to indicate that our main touring days will be full (see: sample day schedule above). Please note that the temple, elephant and biking tours DO require a good bit of walking (or peddling). This is usually on flat roads or paths, but often on uneven ground, and in hot and humid conditions. Also know that we will often be traveling in traditional "tuk tuks" (aka open cabs pulled by motorbikes). If constant creature comforts are a top priority, this is NOT the best retreat for you.
You'll receive additional extensive pre-retreat information in your welcome docs, our pre-retreat virtual meeting, several pre-retreat emails and in our private Facebook group (if you're on social media). This will be your retreat leader's 4th time to Cambodia and the SE Asia region. We work with our extensive contacts, close partners and friends in the area to ensure a seamless and enjoyable trip for all our guests. If you have other questions you'd like answered before you book, please email us!
The people, the place, the trips, the yoga, the hotel, Young the guide and of course Anna made this retreat so incredibly special it is actually difficult to put it in to words. This retreat was so humbling yet so much fun. Something that will stay with me forever. I made friends with complete strangers who I hope to meet again on another one of Anna's retreats because there is absolutely no doubt that I will be booking more. Everything from the pre-trip comms to saying goodbye was perfect. Thank you xxx
Sarah, United Kingdom (Nov. 2022)
Trust me, as a 2X repeat of the Cambodia Retreat, your life will never be the same. Are you an outdoors person? – Above Yoga has you covered. Do you like shopping and learning to cook the local cuisine? Check! Are you a history buff intrigued by the Cambodians powerfully impactful history – prepare to be truly affected. Traveling with Anna, you can rest assured that your trip accommodations, meals, and safety are supremely covered. Now, it's on you to lean in and accept all the love and lessons Cambodia has to offer.
Kevé, Salt Lake City, UT (Nov. 2022)
As with previous retreats, the trip was amazing from start to finish. In this case, I signed up because it would be my first Asia adventure and my experiences with Above Yoga have always exceeded my expectations. The hotel, food, excursions and of course yoga were magical. The trip to the school was a unique experience I'll always remember.
Lee, Charlotte, NC (Feb. 2020)
This trip was so awesome. As a solo traveler, a place like SE Asia can be intimidating but the communication and availability Anna showed before and during the retreat was excellent. The optional excursions were great - I’d highly recommend Angkor Wat at sunrise!! The yoga, food, and community were all great as well. Highly recommend!
Bethany, Milwaukee, WI (Nov. 2022)
This was an absolutely eye opening trip and after lots of apprehension I am thrilled that I joined the group. Anna’s thorough communication was helpful and reassuring. Her info on visas and what to bring on the trip was crucial. The retreat property was central to markets, shopping and so unique. The staff was helpful and attentive. We also could not have had a better tour guide for our excursions. Young made us feel part of his family and less a tourist. I feel like we had very intimate experiences and got to know the country and its people better. Meals were great on property and off.
Stuart, Charlotte, NC (Feb. 2020)
I don’t know if I ever would have traveled to SE Asia if it weren’t for Anna’s Above Yoga retreat. I’m a yogi but my husband is not and we both thoroughly enjoyed the retreat (made for any level of yoga practice). Anna provided travel adviser-like expertise for visas, flights, packing, pre- and post-retreat travel ideas, and was so informative about travel to SE Asia. She curated fun, cultural activities and made everything optional so we could do as much yoga and exploring as a group or have downtime as needed. She cares for her travelers - she followed everyone’s flights to make sure we got in, helped a traveler with delayed luggage and had a First Aid kit she wasn’t afraid to use. Anna scouts her trips making connections to provide the best opportunity to experience Cambodian culture with temple tours and a unique bike tour watching the sunset in rice fields - all with the wonderful guide she met previously. The perfect location - close to the action but tucked away and quiet.
Rebecca, Milwaukee, WI (Feb. 2020)
This was life changing. Anna is the only guide I would trust to organize my trek across the world, solo, on a 15+ hour flight, prior to ever doing something like this! I had a month planned to be in Asia and this retreat was the prefect start, it gave me the confidence to connect with other travelers, the time for self care, the courage to speak in another language and confidently ask questions about the culture I was experiencing. 10/10!
Marissa, Milwaukee, WI (Nov. 2022)
I greatly appreciated the hand holding in the preparation portion for the trip. It took the anxiety out of traveling, leaving only a feeling of excitement leading up to the trip. I greatly enjoyed all of the planned group adventures and meals which exposed us to traditional Cambodian experiences and important cultural experiences that would not have been obtainable had I planned the trip. The trip was a great balance of yoga retreat and vacation that fostered a unique connection between retreat goers.
Loren, Lisle, IL (Nov. 2022)