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Overview

Be immersed in Cambodia’s cultural wonders and see how its past has left an imprint on the present. Explore monuments harking back to the glory days of the royal family and the prosperous Angkor Empire. Meet locals to experience the intangible heritage that lies within in their traditions and religion.

Trip Highlights

Cambodian Heritage

Watch traditional artisans and performers

Be enchanted by the graceful moves of traditional Apsara dancers and meet with skilled craftsmen making handmade works of art.

Discover the diversity of Angkor’s temples

From the delicate carvings of Banteay Srey to the imposing towers of Bayon, explore the variety of Angkor’s historic vestiges.

See Cambodia’s contrasting landscapes

Travel from the buzzing, modern capital through sleepy countryside to the charming, riverside town of Siem Reap.

Itinerary

1

Arrive in Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh Airport Phnom Penh (11 km): 20 mins

Upon your arrival in the morning into Phnom Penh, you will be welcomed by your local English speaking guide who will accompany you to the hotel for check in.

Phnom Penh was once considered one of the most beautiful cities in the Orient, and despite its recent turbulent history, it still retains much colonial charm. Cambodia’s capital is a bustling city, majestically located at the confluence of the mighty rivers of the Mekong and Tonlé Sap. Wide tree-lined boulevards and many colonial-era buildings reflect the glorious days and add to the allure of the city, where Asian and Western traditions meet in a fascinating way.

First, head to the Royal Palace. This palace dates back to 1866 and was the last palace built during the French colonial period. The same complex houses the Silver Pagoda, named for the over 5,000 heavy silver tiles that cover its floors. Its original name is Wat Prakeo, meaning Temple of the Emerald Buddha. In this temple you will view a collection of Buddhas in gold, silver, crystal, and bronze.

Continue to the National Museum, which was built in traditional Khmer style. It houses the world's foremost collection of ancient Khmer artistic, archaeological, and religious artifacts from prehistory to the 17th century. Over 5,000 pieces are on display, constituting the repository of the Kingdom's cultural wealth. In addition, the roof space is home to a large bat colony!

This evening you will have a welcome dinner at Bopha Phnom Penh Titanic, the kitchen serves tasty Khmer (and Western) cuisine on the terrace of a breezy terrace restaurant with sweeping river views. Apsara dancing is performed nightly between 7-9pm.

After the dinner you can either be dropped back at your hotel or at the night market on the riverfront.

Overnight in Phnom Penh

2

Phnom Penh - Siem Reap

Phnom Penh – Siem Reap (320 km): 7hr

After breakfast you will drive overland to Siem Reap (6 hours), the gateway to the majestic temples of Angkor and a charming little city.

Today, you head towards the rarely visited Sambor Prei Kuk, the most important pre-Angkorian site in the country that has recently been bestowed UNESCO World Heritage Site honors. Sambor Prei Kuk was built in the Chenla period between the 6th and 7th centuries and there are over 100 well preserved temples scattered in the forest. The three main sites are linked by small and shady tracks. Enjoy a beautiful walk through the jungle with breathtaking views.

The villages around the temple complex still practice the ancient art of craft making, using materials such as bamboo and rattan. Stop at one village to observe the local production. The community runs the Isanborei Craft Hut next to the temples and sells their products there as part of a community-based tourism project. You will have the chance to visit and contribute to the sustainability of the people’s livelihood as the local community will prepare a simple but very tasty lunch for you near the temple.

Continue to Siem Reap.

On arrival into Siem Reap you will check into your hotel and have the remainder of the day at leisure.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

3

Siem Reap

Siem Reap – Temples (06 km): 10 minsSiem Reap – Tonle Sap (20 km): 30 mins

This morning visit 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. Enter the city through the ancient South Gate, an impressive stone gate carved with Elephants and four giant faces.

From here, 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 dozens of towers with enigmatic faces looking out over the provinces the Great Khmer Empire. The Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King are also must-visits as they are both known for their intricate bas-reliefs.

You will have lunch at Mahob Restaurant “Mahob”, the Cambodian word for ‘food’, is a culinary hotspot that takes traditional Khmer cuisine to a new level. Using only locally produced ingredients, this beautiful restaurant serves up some of the best local delicacies that Siem Reap has to offer. Located in a traditional Khmer wooden house in a peaceful cosy garden setting, and away from bust Pub Street area, Mahob provides you with a truly genuine Khmer experience.

This afternoon, embark on an interesting boat trip on the Tonlé Sap Lake, where you will have the opportunity to learn about life on the lake. Tonlé Sap is South East Asia’s largest freshwater lake with its size varying greatly depending on the season, as it is swelling to about four times it size during the wet season. Board a local boat and visit Kampong Phluck, a village where you will see houses on stilts that are submerged when Tonlé Sap Lake extends. On the way, you will pass floating houses and impressive flooded forests, portraying life on the water. (Note: Due to low water levels during the dry season, the boat trip is only possible from June to March. However an alternative floating village at Chong Kneas can be arranged instead).

Overnight in Siem Reap.

4

Siem Reap

Siem Reap – Banteay Srei (37 km): 45 minsSiem Reap – Temples (06 km): 10 mins

After breakfast, travel to the countryside to see the “gem” of the Angkor area, the pretty temple of Banteay Srei. The so-called “Citadel of the Women” remains the best preserved temple in Cambodia. Banteay Srey is unique in that it is constructed of pink sandstone, which is seen nowhere else in Angkor.

On the way back to Siem Reap, stop at the Landmine Museum which promotes mine awareness. Mr. Aki Ra, the museum founder, spent many years clearing land mines without any training! The museum serves also as a rescue center for a number of landmine amputee children that Aki Ra has “adopted” from Phnom Penh’s streets and impoverished rural communities.

Later today, depart on a sightseeing tour of the famous Angkor Wat by ‘remork’ (similar to the Thai ‘tuk tuk’). Built during the reign of King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century, Angkor Wat is constructed following the model of the temple mountain symbolizing Mount Meru, the home of the gods. Inside the temple, the walls are covered with stone carvings and bas-reliefs 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 more than thirty years of intensive labor. Today, Angkor Wat is figured on Cambodia's national flag as the temple symbolizes the soul of the Khmer people.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

5

Departure Siem Reap

Siem Reap - Siem Reap Airport (8 km): 15 mins

Enjoy the day at your leisure for some relaxation at your hotel or for some personal shopping on Siem Reap’s interesting markets. You may visit Artisans d’Angkor, established in 1992 in order to support Cambodian arts and crafts, and to help young people find work in their local villages by continuing the practice of traditional arts. Discover how wood and stone carvings, lacquering, gilding, and silk paintings are created.

Transfer to the airport for your individual departure flight.

Important Information

Our services include:

  • Accommodation in a shared twin/double room in selected hotels
  • Meals as mentioned (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
  • English speaking local guides
  • Tours and transfers as mentioned by private air conditioned vehicle unless stated otherwise
  • Entrance fees for mentioned visits
  • Daily drinking water during the tour

Our services do not include:

  • Visa for Cambodia (Visa issued on arrival for most nationalities, USD30/pax, please bring 1 passport photo).
  • Any surcharge/extra fees for visit of the Angkor Historical site imposed by the Apsara Authorities in Siem Reap which are subject to change without prior notice
  • Other meals than mentioned
  • International and domestic flights (quoted separately)
  • Camera/video entrance fees if applicable
  • Personal expenses (drinks, laundry, telephone, tips etc)
  • Travel insurance including recommended helicopter evacuation for Cambodia
  • Other services not clearly indicated in the package inclusions above

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