Khmer Warrior Initiation

Forge Knives, Craft Crossbows & Learn Bokator

$75.00 per guest


  • Experience an adventure filled day discovering Khmer knife forging, crossbow making and the ancient Khmer martial arts of Bokator
  • Meet with three friendly local hosts, all of whom are masters in their craft
  • Take home a personalized handmade crossbow and knife from the first two workshops, while in the third, you will learn defense and attack techniques from the Khmer martial arts of Bokator
  • Have a delicious local lunch

Inclusive of:

  • Pick-up and drop-off service within Siem Reap
  • All equipment, tools and materials for the various workshops
  • Lunch
  • Knife & crossbow to take home with you
  • English speaking guide

Not Inclusive of:

  • Personal expenses
4.5 Out of 5
4 Reviews
Maxim de Bruijn Netherlands
8 May, 2019

Overall we had a terrific day. We were picked up by our guide/translator Lee and started off with knife making in a very...

Evan Moriwaki Cambodia
11 Sep, 2017

Great activity overall! Like a day of manly arts and crafts! I loved the pace of the whole day. Bokator was great! I o...

$US 75.00 per guest
8 hours
1 - 4 guest
Cancellation Policy: Moderate

Full refund available for cancellations made up to 24 hours prior to booking start time.

More About This Experience

In a time when much of Southeast Asia was rife with battles and conquests between competing kingdoms, the Khmer soldiers stood out not only as the fiercest warriors but also as a key element in the success and expansion of the Khmer empire. Carvings on base reliefs on the temple facades are adorned with depictions of warriors waging battles in ancient times. Weaponry and martial arts being two of the most recognizable traits of a Khmer Warrior. We want to bring some of that ancient art back and thus have created The Khmer Warrior Initiation experience to get you more intimate with the warriors of ancient times. Weapons played an important role in the battles waged by the Khmers. In becoming a Khmer warrior, you will first get an opportunity to make your own knife with Ty, our blacksmith host. In traditional smithing techniques and methods that haven't changed for centuries you will burn, mould and sharpen your knife - you now have your weapon.We will then have lunch at local restuarant.After this sumptuous protein filled meal, we'll move on to the last and final stage of the warrior initiation - making crossbows. An effective weapon of choice, the crossbow is still used today, but instead of the battle field, it is used by hunters. Their utility has not yet faded from the culture and thus still lives on in the jungles of Cambodia. Last you will learn the the Khmer martial arts, or Bokator from a local master. Bokator, literally translated to "pounding a lion' is said to have been the origins of the much popular Muay Thai in Thailand. The art form will teach you basic forms and practical attack and defense maneuvers practiced and used in the battlefields of ancient times. Itinerary 0800 - 1130: Pick up from the hotel and head to the knife making workshop 1130 - 1300: Having Lunch at local restaurant 1300 - 1600: Crossbow making 1630 - 1730: Head to the local gym for Bokator

Additional Information:

  • Pick-up and drop-off service is included in this tour. You will be asked to enter your pick up address during checkout
  • Wearing comfortable clothing is recommended
  • An extra set of clothes is recommended
  • A bottle of water is highly recommended
  • This is a kid friendly activity
  • No previous experience needed

Upcoming availability

Tuesday, July 23
Wednesday, July 24
Thursday, July 25

Your Local Host

Ty Kimsean and Sophean

For this tour, three of our hosts will be involved. My Ty for Knife Making, Kimsean for Bokator who is also known as the father of modern Bokator and Sophean & team who will teach you how to craft crossbows. All th...

More about the host

4 reviews from people who took this experience

Maxim de Bruijn Netherlands
8 May, 2019

Overall we had a terrific day. We were picked up by our guide/translator Lee and started off with knife making in a very cool local workshop. The blacksmiths were very friendly and though their English was poor they tried their best to teach us. We were allowed to do a lot of the work ourselves but it was very hard work so the experts jump in whenever you mess up or need a break. Very cool experience! Then we had lunch at a very nice Khmer restaurant. Lee taught us some things about the different Khmer dishes. It was fun and delicious. Next up was making the crossbow. This was fun though in my opinion could've been better when compared to the knife making. Where the blacksmith's workshop was very local and genuine there wasn't really a workshop for the crossbow making. I'd have liked it if, for example, you could pick out a piece of wood yourself and if there were a little more and better tools. On to the Bokotor. That was absolutely awesome. Very inspirational story and a very cool workshop. I didn't want it to stop really. All in all a wonderful day. Service provided by the backstreet team is great!

Evan Moriwaki Cambodia
11 Sep, 2017

Great activity overall! Like a day of manly arts and crafts! I loved the pace of the whole day. Bokator was great! I originally came to siem reap to work with San Kim Sean and he was very gracious. His knowledge of not only bokator but of judo and muay thai was a great help! Forging the knife went great, the guys at the forge know their stuff. Several times they jumped in to help fix the damage I had done to my knife! The BBQ was great! Keep in mind the snakehead (or whatever fish) may be alive. I didn't mind but others may. After the cross bow making was a good way to end the day and be calm.

Kim H Cambodia
28 Aug, 2017

We had a great day, making a knife, learning bokator, preparing and cooking our own lunch of frogs and eels, and making a cross bow. And they were great with the kids, thank you so much, would definitely use backstreet again!

Emily Mora United States
3 Apr, 2017

The tours were very fun, it was a great way to see the culture with the locals. Our guides were really accommodating and pleasant the whole time. We loved it! Unfortunately the booking of the tour was very disorganized, they scheduled two tours at the same time on the same day and told us they fixed the error but they didn't. We were still charged the deposit and we missed out in doing a tour we really wanted to do.

US$ 75.00 per guest
4 Reviews