An eleven day Cambodia holiday, fully guided by local experts, around many of this glorious and highly underrated country’s cultural highlights. The most famous is, of course, Angkor with its vast ruined empire and city of temples, in particular Angkor Wat which we will visit at sunrise. We also travel off the beaten track, with plenty of time spent on water in fact, taking a boat trip up the Sangkar River past stunning floating villages, as well as across Tonle Sap Lake, taking in its extraordinary flooded forest and small local communities.
Departure from Phnom Penh.
Arrival in Phnom Penh and check-in to a small, comfortable, downtown hotel close to the historic riverbank quarter. Time to relax before stretching your legs with an introductory walking tour, taking in the historic French Quarter, Wat Phnom and the lively waterfront area as well as giving you a first-hand feel for the bustling street-life before finishing perhaps, with sundowners at the famous Foreign Correspondents Club?
Day tour of some of the sites of Cambodia’s fascinating capital city: the infamous Killing Fields site and the highly moving Khmer Rouge Genocide Museum at Tuol Sleng help to explain the country’s recent tragic history. The picturesque Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda will provide plenty of photo opportunities whilst the Russian Market offers some ‘retail therapy’ and a chance for a local style lunch.
Travel through Cambodia’s scenic countryside to the small provincial town of Siem Reap in Western Cambodia – our base for the next few days while we visit the nearby Angkor Temple complex. Stops on the way include the famous ‘spider village’ of Skuon, (tasting not compulsory), the rarely visited but well preserved 10th century temple of Kuhananokor and lunch by the Tonle Sap Lake. A dusk visit to the atmospheric ruins of Banteay Kdei Temple completes our day.
Angkor – an unforgettable two-day tour of this fabulous site – its vast jungle clad temples and mysterious stone carvings. Our programme begins with dawn at Angkor Wat, followed by a comprehensive morning tour of the temple itself. Late morning return to Siem Reap to escape the midday heat and for some lunch, siesta or relaxation. Afternoon walking tour of Angkor Tom: Leper King Terrace, Preah Palilay, Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, Elephant Terrace, Baphuon and last but not least, (we’ll wait until the crowds have gone), the dramatic Bayon Temple with its famous faces.
We’ll begin with a forest hike up Bahkeng Hill to visit the spectacular Phnom Bahkeng Temple and check out the views, before moving on to the huge jungle-clad ruin of Preah Khan. Dense jungle, enormous roots and trees and screeching parakeets make this atmospheric temple one of everyone’s favourites. After a midday break in Siem Reap Town, the afternoon programme continues with a short jungle walk to Ta Keo via the remote and rarely visited Ta Nei Temple. A visit to the famous Ta Prom ruins – the famous ‘Tomb Raider’ Temple continues our jungle theme and concludes our day’s visit.
Morning trip to one of the more remote and less visited temple sites, the truly spectacular Beng Melea. A huge partially ruined temple complex, overgrown by jungle, lying to the west of Siem Reap, this is one of the most impressive Angkor monuments. Return to Siem Reap with an afternoon at leisure to relax by the pool, visit the National Museum, explore the markets or even take a Khmer cookery lesson?
Spectacular boat journey across the Tonle Sap Lake, past the flooded forest and Prek Toal bird sanctuary and on down the Sangkar River and its floating stilt-house fishing villages to the town of Battambang. Stop off on the way to visit the Prek Toal community water hyacinth weaving project. Time of arrival will depend upon water levels.
Morning ride through the paddy-fields on Battambang’s famous ‘bamboo train’, followed by some leisure time to explore the friendly provincial town or just chill-out in one of the many coffee shops. After lunch we’ll visit the surrounding villages and their traditional cottage industries and handicrafts, either by bicycle, or tuk-tuk for the less energetic.
Travelling east, our first stop will be the lively and colourful local market in Pursat Town for a chance to stretch our legs, check out the weird and wonderful produce on display, meet the friendly locals plus of course plenty of photo opportunities. Moving on, we’ll stop at the fascinating river port town of Kompong Chnang where half the town is actually floating on the Tonle Sap River, and explore the bustling river front area before continuing to our days final destination - Phnom Penh.
Morning transfer to Phnom Penh airport for a return flight to your homeland.
Guest Name: Mr. Mac
N.of Person: 2 pax
Booked: Best Cambodia and Vietnam Highlight Trip
Tour Style: Classic Highlight Tours
Duration: 10 Days