As the group of Porsche Macan and Cayenne SUVs scythe through the Cambodian jungle, curious villagers looked on, fascinated by the collective convoy of machines that remain an unfamiliar sight in a country, where a luxury car is still not a common sight.
Siem Reap has developed in recent times as the gateway for visitors into the country of Cambodia. The city is home to Angkor Wat, arguably Cambodia’s most famous landmark, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But more than Angkor Wat, Siem Reap also offers plenty of other sites and uncovers a world that will be unfamiliar to those used to the trappings of modern life, while at the same time one can see evidence of progress in the city’s fast-developing downtown area. This part of Cambodia was certainly a fascinating backdrop for the Porsche Adventure Drive 2016, which saw the press and customers alike experience quite the adventure.
What is special about Cambodia
Unlike other Southeast Asian countries closer to the equator, which typically have a more humid climate, Cambodia suffers from dry heat, which gives it a sensation more akin to being in a desert than in a tropical country. Thankfully, it gets cooler at night, as the participants of the Adventure Drive gathered for dinner at the Prasat Kravan temple, not far off from Angkor Wat. Built in the 10th century this temple is one of Cambodia’s oldest ones and to one of the major deities in Hinduism.
Early in next morning, the group sets off into the Cambodian countryside. The route of the Adventure Drive has been set out to fully challenge the abilities of the Cayenne SE-Hybrid, Cayenne, Macan and Macan S, with unpaved roads and rocky terrain the order of the day here. Nothing the Cayenne and Macan can’t handle with ease however. Before the convoy hits the unbeaten tracks though, there’s the business of having to negotiate the Cambodian traffic, which can be described as tricky at best. Once out of downtown, the paved roads disappear and the scenery starts to change. Instead of colonial buildings and historic temples, you start to see vast swaths of paddy fields, dotted by the occasional village that the convoy passes through. With the dry spell, the usual lush green of the padi plantations have been replaced by a pale brown.
Ta Prohm temple: nature has taken over
As the day winds down, the group heads to the enchanting Ta Prohm temple, which is known to most visitors as the setting of the film Lara Croft: Tomb Raider. Nature has seemingly taken over this temple that was once used as a Buddhist monastery and university, with trees growing amongst the ruins.
On their way back to the busy downtown, the group has plenty of time for reflection, and the juxtaposition of the sporty and functional Porsche SUVs against the Cambodian countryside makes for an enthralling contrast. For sure, Siem Reap is a place that offers plenty in the way of historical treasures, and the stories it tells makes it a truly mesmerising destination for those seeking an enlightening escape.
Cayenne: Combined fuel consumption: 9,2 l/100 km; CO2 emissions: 215 g/km
Cayenne S E-Hybrid: Combined fuel consumption: 3,4-3,3 l/100 km; CO2 emissions: 79-75 g/km; Electricity consumption: 20.8 kWh/100 km
Macan: Combined fuel consumption 7,4-7,2 l/100 km; CO2 emissions: 172-167 g/km
Macan S: Combined fuel consumption: 9,0 – 8,7 l/100 km; CO2 emissions: 212 – 204 g/km
Text by Ben Chia // Photos by Porsche AG