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Overview

Slow down and get to know the real Cambodia. Be immersed in the rich history and culture of Siem Reap, feel the frantic energy of Phnom Penh and relax in the tranquillity of the southern coast. Stay longer, breathe deep and savour the laid-back pace of life of Cambodia.

Trip Highlights

Cambodia Relaxation & Revelry

Travel Cambodia at a leisurely pace

Spend longer in each destination and gain a better sense of the daily rhythms of life.

Enjoy a mix of guided tours and free time

Insightful tours with a local guide are balanced with free time to wander and explore at one’s own pace.

See the diversity of Cambodia

From the historic ruins of Angkor to the sleepy coast and the modern capital, this trip highlights Cambodia’s different faces.

Itinerary

1

Siem Reap Arrival

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

Welcome to Cambodia! Upon your arrival in Siem Reap in the morning, you will be greeted by your experienced English speaking guide who will assist you with the immigration formalities and escort you to your hotel, where you will have time to settle in and relax.

This afternoon visit Angkor Wat by local ‘remork’ (a Cambodian tuk tuk). 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, 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 featured on Cambodia's national flag as the temple symbolizes the soul of the Khmer people. You will be there just before sunset, when Angkor Wat is less visited and the Apsaras will shine in the most beautiful light.

In the evening enjoy a welcome dinner at Viroth’s Restaurant. One of the oldest existing establishments in Siem Reap, Viroth’s is known as one of the best restaurants in town. Boasting an extensive menu of Khmer and other Asian favourites, and set in a chic, contemporary, intimate and mostly outdoor setting, this restaurant is definitely one to try whilst visiting the city of temples.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

2

Siem Reap

Siem Reap – Tonle Sap Lake (20 km): 30 mins

This morning begin your temple adventure, traveling by local remok (a Cambodian tuk tuk) into the Angkor Archaeological Park to Preah Khan, originally known as “the city of victorious royal fortune,” and now named after The Sacred Sword that some believe may have once been housed here. Built in the late-12th century in honor of the great King Jayavarman VII’s father, this massive temple complex originally had a population of 97,840 in its service. Less frequently visited than its counterpart Ta Prohm (which was built for the king’s mother), Preah Khan is similar in design but is larger and more complex, and featuring numerous unique structures and carvings. Enter from the east with the early morning light to your back and enjoy the sounds of exotic wildlife that now make the forested compound their home. Venture into the crumbling corridors of the labyrinthian complex in search of hidden features: while Ta Prohm was once the setting of the Angelina Jolie film, Preah Khan offers more of a “Tomb Raider” experience for those willing to explore.

Next, 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 8-m high wall, drawing a perfect square. 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 the many faces of the Buddha looking out towards the provinces of the vast and 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.

Exit the city through the ancient South Gate, an impressive stone gate carved with Elephants and four giant faces. On each side of the entrance path a row of 54 gods and demons stands holding a sacred Naga snake.

Enjoy lunch back in Siem Reap town 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 away from busy Pub Street area, Mahob provides you with a truly genuine Khmer dining experience.

Embark on an interesting boat trip on the Tonlé Sap Lake, where you will have the opportunity to learn about life on the lake. Covering an area of around 250,000 hectares in the dry season and expanding nearly five-fold during the green season, the Tonlé Sap Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and is officially designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Due to a unique phenomenon, when the monsoon begins, the swollen waters of the Mekong River force the Tonle Sap River to reverse its flow northwards, feeding the Great Lake and spreading over the surrounding floodplain. Board a local boat and visit a village where you will see houses on stilts that are submerged when Tonlé Sap Lake expands. On the way, you will pass floating houses and impressive flooded forests, portraying life on the water.  (Note: Due to fluctuating water levels between seasons, the village you visit will depend on the water levels of the lake.)

Overnight in Siem Reap.

3

Siem Reap

Siem Reap – Banteay Srei (37 km): 45 mins

This morning, travel to the countryside to see the “gem” of the Angkor area, the pretty temple of Banteay Srey. The so-called “Citadel of the Women” remains the best preserved temple in Cambodia. It displays some of the finest examples of classical Khmer art as this small temple is noted for its truly remarkable fine bas-reliefs. Banteay Srey is unique in that it is constructed of pink sandstone, which is seen nowhere else in Angkor.

Next, take a short hike through the forest to Kbal Spean, one of Cambodia’s earliest Hindu sites and refreshingly different from the other Khmer monuments. A 3-kilometre trek leads to the ‘River of 1000 Lingas’, a riverbed featuring stone carvings of Hindu gods, animals, and phallic symbols. After lunch at a local restaurant at the base of the hill, visit The Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB).

ACCB is the first nature conservation project established in Cambodia. A knowledgeable staff member will explain about the threats to Cambodia’s wildlife and the efforts of ACCB to protect the environment and promote wildlife conservation through education. As you stroll around the compound’s forested grounds, you will see various endangered species, including a squeaky otter, various primates including hooting gibbons, numerous reptiles such as miniature tortoises, and a beekeeping project, all of which are on site. (Note the ACCB is closed on Sundays and Cambodian Public Holidays.)

On the way back to town, you will have the possibility to stop at local communities along the way and your guide will help you to interact with the local community to learn about the way of life here. Seize the opportunity to see how rice paper is produced and to taste palm wine and palm sugar, which are a popular local produce (seasonal).

Finally, stop at the Cambodian Land Mine Museum, a project established by a reputed former child soldier during the Cambodian civil war who later taught himself how to deactivate mines before establishing the museum as an educational center and social enterprise to sponsor children whose lives have been impacted by these destructive weapons of war.

Transfer back to Siem Reap for a well-deserved dinner with traditional Khmer dance show.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

4

Siem Reap – Koh Rong, Sihanoukville

Siem Reap – Siem Reap Airport (8 km): 15 minsSihanoukville airport – Sihanoukville city (18 km): 25 mins

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your morning flight to Sihanoukville.

Upon arrival, transfer to the pier for the boat to Koh Rong, after which you will check in and enjoy the afternoon at your leisure.

Overnight on Koh Rong.

5

Koh Rong, Sihanoukville

Breakfast at the hotel.

Enjoy your day at leisure, enjoying the sun, sand, and sea of Cambodia’s most idyllic island.

Overnight on Koh Rong.

6

Koh Rong, Sihanoukville

Breakfast at the hotel.

Day at leisure, sunbathing, taking long walks on the beach, or reading in a hammock!

Overnight on Koh Rong.

7

Koh Rong, Sihanoukville

Breakfast at the hotel.

One last day of relaxation, perhaps kayaking, snorkeling, or hiring a boat or motorbike to explore other beaches and bays (own account).

Overnight on Koh Rong.

8

Koh Rong, Sihanoukville - Phnom Penh

Breakfast at the hotel.

Transfer by ferry back to the mainland around mid-morning for your transfer back with driver only to Phnom Penh.

This evening, get picked by ramork, a Cambodian tuktuk, for a night to remember. On this Phnom Penh night tour, there is the chance to experience Cambodian cuisine, delicious cocktails, and local beer, while experiencing the unique nightlife that this vibrant capital city has to offer.

Start off the night at a chic riverside bar for cocktails get to know your tour guide, and kick off an evening of dining and exploring Phnom Penh. After cocktails, hop back into the ramork and join the locals in the bustling street traffic.

The next stop is a popular local restaurant with a charming atmosphere and welcoming Khmer hospitality. Try some delectable local cuisine, including lemongrass chicken and eggplant with pork, sharing the dishes Khmer style with a beer or soft drink.

After enjoying your meal, hop back in the ramork and visit a fresh market where locals pick up their groceries for the following day’s meals. Before walking through the market, stop at a shop selling herb-infused rice whiskey. There are several varieties, each of which offers a different medicinal remedy.

Along the way to your elegant after-dinner cocktail venue, ride past some of the famous sights of French-colonial Phnom Penh and stop at a beautiful monument for a brief story about the history of the city. Next up: drinks at one of Cambodia’s most legendary watering holes. (Note: while there is no dress code, you may feel more comfortable wearing a smart-casual top over a singlet/tank-top)

Zoom through the city lights once again, headed for a popular spot amongst locals for live music and late night dining. With a mix of top Cambodian songs and foreign rock hits, you’re bound to stay entertained as you sample some exotic local delicacies, such as spicy frog and beef with ants. After stopping off at one more iconic city landmark along the way, finish the evening at a charming street of small, hip bars for cocktails or a cold beer.

Overnight in Phnom Penh

9

Phnom Penh

Breakfast at the hotel.

In the morning, discover the secrets of authentic Khmer cuisine in the course of a half-day cooking class at La Rose Suites. The course begins with a guided trip to the market where you will learn about Cambodian vegetables, herbs, spices and other ingredients and their uses in Khmer Cuisine. Return to the school where you will be shown how to prepare these delicious dishes. The hands-on experience is a great way to learn about the cuisine. At the end of your course, indulge in a lunch of your own prepared meals.

This afternoon, you will be greeted by a driver who will take you on a tour to the most remarkable sights of Phnom Penh in a cyclo, an original Phnom Penh means of transportation and a fun way to explore this lively city. First, visit Wat Phnom, a temple founded in the 15th century but dates back centuries earlier to the founding of the city. The site contains some good examples of Khmer architecture and religious statues.

Continue along the lively riverfront to the Royal Palace. This palace dates back to 1866 and houses the Silver Pagoda, named for the over 5000 heavy silver tiles that cover its floors. Its original name is Wat Prakeo, meaning Temple of the Emerald Buddha, although in this temple today you will view a collection of Buddhas in gold, silver, crystal, and bronze, some of which are covered in diamonds.

Your next stop is the National Museum, built in traditional Khmer style. It houses the world's foremost collection of ancient Khmer artistic, archaeological, and religious artifacts from prehistory to the 16th 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!

Overnight in Phnom Penh.

10

Phnom Penh Departure

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

Breakfast at the hotel.

Enjoy some time at leisure until your transfer to the airport for your departure flight.

Important Information

Our services include:

  • Hotel accommodation in half-twin/double shared room with daily breakfast
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
  • English speaking local guide (for other languages supplements apply), except during the Sihanoukville beach stay which is unescorted
  • Tours and transfers as mentioned by private air conditioned vehicle unless stated otherwise
  • All entrance fees as mentioned in itinerary

Our services do not include:

  • Visa for Cambodia (Visa issued on arrival, USD 30/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
  • International and Domestic Flights (quoted separately)
  • Meals other than mentioned above
  • Camera/video entrance fees
  • Personal expenses (drinks, laundry, telephone, tips etc)
  • Travel insurance including helicopter evacuation for Cambodia)
  • Other services not clearly indicated in the package inclusions above

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