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Overview

Combining the exploration of the ancient Angkor temples of Siem Reap with an island escape in the beautiful south, discover the best sites of the golden kingdom with a touch of finesse. Go on exclusive dining experiences, explore Angkor in unique ways, partake in a private Buddhist blessing ceremony and retreat to the pristine southern islands.

Trip Highlights

Ancient Temples & Island Treasures

Divine Dining Experiences

Treat oneself to an exclusive fine dining experience at The Embassy and another special dining experience with traditional Khmer dance show.

Cruise down Tonlé Sap Lake

Take a boat ride down the iconic lake and learn about life on the lake with a visit to Kompong Khleang village.

Indulge in barefoot luxury by the sea

Escape to Cambodia’s southern islands for a private retreat among pristine blue waters and white sand beaches.

Itinerary

1

SIEM REAP ARRIVAL

Upon arrival in Siem Reap, be welcomed by a local English speaking guide and be accompanied to the hotel for check in. After relaxing at the hotel, head out in the afternoon to the temples of Angkor.

Begin exploring the crown jewel of the Khmer Empire, Angkor Wat, travelling in a vintage car. Built during the reign of King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century, Angkor Wat was constructed following the model of the temple mountain symbolizing Mount Meru, the home of the gods. Inside, the temple walls are covered with stone carvings depicting Hindu mythology and the wars Suryavarman II fought during his reign. Angkor Wat is well known for the more than 2,000 Apsara dancers decorating the temple. Construction is thought to have taken around thirty five years of intensive labour. Today, Angkor Wat is featured on Cambodia's national flag as the temple symbolizes the soul of the Khmer people. Arrive just before sunset, when Angkor Wat is less visited and the Apsaras will shine in the most beautiful light.

This evening have dinner at The Embassy, an exclusive fine dining experience headed by executive chefs Pol & Sok who are known as the Kimsan Twins. Having trained under Michelin starred chefs, they have created one of the most unique culinary experiences in Siem Reap. With a constantly changing menu based around seasonality, guests can savour skillfully prepared masterpieces from multiple-course set menus paired with a selection of fine wines.

Overnight in Siem Reap     

2

SIEM REAP

This morning visit the Roluos group, the site of an ancient center of Khmer civilization known as Hariharalaya. It was the first town built by the Angkorian kings in the 8th and 9th century and consists of three main temples: Bakong, Lolei and Preah Ko, two of which will be visited along the way. The surrounding countryside with its paddy fields and sugar palm trees is very typical for Cambodia – enjoy the natural beauty on an ox cart ride, a fun way to get in touch with rural Cambodia and its friendly people. Arrive at Roluos Pagoda, where Buddhist monks will celebrate a private blessing ceremony to wish for health and a safe journey.

After, head to the Tonlé Sap Lake and have the opportunity to learn about life on the lake with a visit to Kompong Khleang village. Drive past expansive rice fields and through local villages where rice and fish can frequently be spotted drying alongside the road. Next, board a private wooden vessel for a boat trip along a canal that leads to the Tonle Sap Lake.

Cruise along the canal with houses on either side: depending on the time of the visit, the houses will either have immediate access to the water or stand perched on stilts high above the ground, a phenomena caused by the annual rising and receding waters of the Tonle Sap Lake, Southeast Asia’s largest lake. Pass by the boats and nets used by local fishermen, and spot them fishing in the waters through which the boat passes. While approaching the lake, see floating houses that move location with the annual ebb and flow of the lake’s waters.

Along the way, gain a better understanding of the local lifestyle with lunch in a family house. This is a unique opportunity to gain first-hand experience of the way of life of the local people- sitting inside a stilted house while watching the boats pass outside. (Note: Due to fluctuating water levels on the lake and canals, the village visited will depend on the date and water levels at that time).

This evening attend a performance of ‘Phare, the Cambodian Circus’. Starting at 8pm, professional artists of Phare Ponleu Selpak (PPS) will perform a show choreographed by themselves. Set up in Battambang in 1994 by young returnee Cambodians from the refugee camps who learned about using art as a means of coping with trauma, PPS has played an influential role in promoting and developing Khmer culture over the years after the Khmer Rouge genocide. The hour long show mixes traditional and modern theater, music, dance, acrobatics, juggling and contortion performed in a story about Cambodian lives and society.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

3

SIEM REAP

Start your morning temple exploration by adventure Jeep to the most illustrious of the Small Circuit Temples, Ta Prohm. Depart your hotel in an army-style jeep at 7am, arriving at Ta Prohm just before 7:30am in order to be the first in the temple as it opens. Built in the mid 12th to early 13th centuries during the reign of Jayavarman VII, Ta Prohm is unique in that it remains largely overgrown by jungle. With many parts crumbling to the ground, it is one of the most picturesque Angkor temples.

Next, visit another temple complex built during the reign of Jayavarman VII, Preah Khan. While Ta Prohm was built to honour the king’s mother, Preah Khan was built for his father. Although the Angelina Jolie film was shot at the former temple, Preah Khan is less-visited and more unrestored, and therefore offers more of a “Tomb Raider” experience.

Return to Siem Reap for a midday break, escaping the heat in your hotel room, pool, or spa with lunch at your leisure. Get some rest before returning to the temples in the cooler afternoon hours.

Departing around 3pm, head into the ancient city of Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII. This city is surrounded by an 8m-high wall, drawing a perfect square. Pass over the city moat causeway that is flanked on either side by a row of 54 gods and demons, each holding a sacred naga snake, and through a towering entry gate decorated with three-headed elephants and capped with four smiling faces of the Buddha.

Continue to Bayon temple in the exact center of the city. This 12th century masterpiece is a study in grandeur and is well-known for its 52 towers with enigmatic faces looking out over the vast provinces of the Great Khmer Empire. The nearby Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King are also must-visits as they are both known for their intricate and unique carvings.

As the sun begins to set, return to your hotel to freshen up before enjoying dinner with a traditional Khmer dance show.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

4

SIEM REAP - SOUTHERN ISLANDS

After breakfast enjoy some free time to visit the Old market independently. The riverside market has dozens of souvenir stalls offering a fairly wide range of souvenirs. The opposite side of the market carries items of interest primarily to locals, and also harbours dozens of small food stalls serving various inexpensive local foods that hygienically and gastronomically adventurous visitors may find inviting. The central aisle, where fruits, vegetables and meat are sold, is colourful and very photogenic. The Old Market is also an important landmark as several restaurants, hotels, bars and shops are in the area.

Transfer to the airport for the afternoon flight to the islands of Sihanoukville province. Upon arrival, direct transfer to the pier of the hotel of choice:

If staying at Six Senses Krabey Island, take a shuttle bus from airport to Ream and then take a boat scheduled at 13:00pm or 16:00pm, depending on the flight time. The duration of the boat is approximately 10 mins.

If staying at Alila Villas Koh Russey, be transferred to Ream and take a short boat ride (around 10-15 mins). The schedule of the boat’s departure is flexible according to the arrival time.

Overnight on Koh Krabey or Koh Russey.

5

SOUTHERN ISLANDS

Breakfast at the hotel.

Enjoy the day at leisure, perhaps with an optional activity, such as diving, snorkelling, kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding and island-hopping boat trips. Contact our Travel Consultant for more details. Supplemental charges apply. 

Overnight on Koh Krabey or Koh Russey.

6

SOUTHERN ISLANDS

Breakfast at the hotel.

Enjoy the day at leisure, perhaps participating in various optional activities, such as a Cooking Class, which introduces the

art of preparing Khmer dishes with local ingredients, or a signature treatment at the resort’s spa. Contact our Travel Consultant for more details. Supplemental charges apply.

Overnight on Koh Krabey or Koh Russey.

7

SOUTHERN ISLANDS - PHNOM PENH DEPARTURE

Sihanoukville – Phnom Penh (230 km): 5-6 hrs

Breakfast at the hotel.

Enjoy some time at leisure until the transfer back to the mainland pier and then onto Phnom Penh or the next destination with driver only.

(Note: For a morning departure by land transfer to Phnom Penh, a supplementary charge will apply).

 

Recommend: Evening flight departure.

Important Information

OUR SERVICES INCLUDE:

  • Transportation with 2017 Hyundai H1, Vintage car & Jeep
  • Service of an English speaking local guide
  • Entrance fees and activities when mentioned
  • Drinking water during touring days

OUR SERVICES DO NOT INCLUDE:

  • Camera / video entrance fees
  • Meals other than mentioned
  • Services other than mentioned
  • Gratuities, personal expenses, drinks during meals unless mentioned

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