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21Days/20Nights in Cambodia Package Tour


21Days/20Nights in Cambodia Package Tour

Day 1/Arrival Phnom Penh[B/-/-]

Upon arrival in Phnom Penh International Airport, you will welcome by our guide with diver and then transfer you to hotel for check in. 

Day free at leisure [No services] 

Accommodation at hotel

Day 2/Phnom Penh[B/-/-]

After breakfast, we explore the stunning Royal Palace complex, home to the Cambodian royal family and a symbol of the nation. We begin amid the beautiful royal gardens, landscaped with tropical plants and studded with gleaming spires. We enter the Throne Hall where the royal receptions are held and the Cambodian king's coronation took place. We then pass the Napoleon III Pavilion made from iron, a gift from the French emperor in the 19th century.

We continue to the Silver Pagoda, named after the 5000 silver tiles covering the floor, each weighing 1kg. Inside are some of the country's most cherished treasures, including a life-size gold Buddha studded with 9584 diamonds, the largest weighing 25 carats. There is also a delicate emerald Buddha made of baccarat crystal, which gives the temple its Khmer name of Wat Preah Keo (Temple of the Emerald Buddha).

We leave the RoyalPalace and continue to the nearby National Museum, home to the world's finest collection of sculpture from the Angkor period. The exquisite building was completed between 1917 and 1920 and features a lush courtyard garden surrounded by collections from the pre-Angkor, Angkor and post-Angkor periods. We concentrate on the incredible sandstone sculpture from Angkor, as well as the intricate bronzes. 

This afternoon, we come face to face with the horrific crimes of the Khmer Rouge. Tuol Sleng was a former high school that the Khmer Rouge turned into a centre for interrogation, torture and death.  Today it is a museum of torture and serves to remind visitors of the terrible atrocities that came to pass in Cambodia. 17,000 people passed through the gates of this prison and only seven lived to tell the tale.

The Khmer Rouge were meticulous in their record keeping, photographing all the prisoners and many of these haunting black and white images are on display in the cells. Enemies of the revolution were killed here, as well as many Khmer Rouge loyalists, denounced by an ever more paranoid political party. It became a production line for killing, as those that worked within its walls were unwaveringly loyal to Pol Pot. The party did not make mistakes, so those sent here had to be guilty. The role of the prison was not to prove innocence but to confirm guilt. Tuol Sleng is a profoundly moving experience and not everyone will want to visit. However, it is key to understanding the hell into which Cambodia descended and how far it has come in the years since.

We then travel out of town to the Killing Fields of Choeng Ek. Prisoners from Tuol Sleng followed this same route to their fate. An old Chinese cemetery, Choeng Ek was turned into an extermination camp for political prisoners. The remains of 8985 people were exhumed from mass graves and are kept in a memorial stupa here. Despite the horrors of the past, it is a peaceful place to go and a tranquil spot to reflect on the tragic events that engulfed Cambodia and its people.

Then, enjoy sunset at Wat Phnom, symbol of the city. 

Accommodation at hotel

Day 3/Phnom Penh – Takeo – Kep160 km/ ~01Day[B/-/-]

Breakfast at hotel 

We head south to continue to Kep province. The rest of day is free at leisure. 

Accommodation at hotel 

Day 4/Kep – Rabbit Island[B/-/-]

We travel to the boat pier to board a local boat for the journey to Koh Tonsay or Rabbit Island. We journey across calm waters to this beautiful palm-fringed island, home to a small community of fisherfolk and farmers. We leave some time free to enjoy the white-sand beaches that ring the island. After a lunch of fresh seafood, there is more time to enjoy the sun, sea and sand before we travel back to Kep by boat. 

Day 5/Kep – Sihanouk Ville, 68 km/ ~1.20 hrs[B/-/-]

Breakfast at hotel 

We leave behind the beaches of Kep and pass through the charming riverside town of Kampot where we may stop for some refreshments. We then take on the snaking road that winds its way up through the dense jungle of Bokor National Park. This is a beautiful road with an ugly past, as many hundreds of indentured labourers perished during its construction after the First World War.

We emerge on a plateau and see the remains of the Black Palace, one of King Sihanouk's former residences up here. The views are incredible, as the jungle tumbles away to the coastline below. We continue to the abandoned hill station of Bokor, a cool retreat from the heat of the Cambodian plains for the French colonials.

We explore some of the decaying buildings here, including the old Catholic church which sits eerily on the hillside and the shell of the Bokor Palace Hotel, once the most salubrious address in town. There are also the remains of an old casino here and a Le Corbusier designed house.

After exploring the historic remnants of Bokor, we drive to the Popokvil Falls, a lovely waterfall set amid the jungle. We enjoy a picnic lunch at this scenic spot. There may be the chance for a swim, but it depends on the season, as the falls can be just a trickle in the dry season.

Later we travel back down the mountain and head west towards the popular resort of Sihanoukville, home to Cambodia's finest beaches. This pretty road passes under the shadow of Bokor Mountain and hugs the coastline for much of its length. We pass through some pretty fishing villages before we arrive in the small town of Veal Renh on National Highway 4. We head south to Sihanoukville, check into our hotel and leave the rest of the day free to enjoy the beautiful beaches and warm waters.

We continue trip to the resort of Sihanouk Ville. 

Accommodation at hotel

Day 6/Sihanouk Ville[B/-/-]

Breakfast at hotel 

We take a small boat to Koh Rong. Enjoy a relaxing morning on the quiet beaches. 

In the afternoon, return to Sihanouk Ville. 

Accommodation at hotel

Day 07/Sihanouk Ville[B/-/-]

Breakfast at hotel 

Day free at leisure [no services] 

Accommodation at hotel 

Day 08/Sihanouk Ville – Phnom Penh 227 km/ ~3hours[B/-/-]

Breakfast at hotel 

We enjoy excursion to the maritime national park of Ream, with a mangrove ecosystem and isolated beaches. 

Return to Phnom Penh and transfer to the hotel. 

Accommodation at hotel

Day 09/Phnom Penh - Kratie[B/-/-]

We leave Phnom Penh and travel northeast to the bustling provincial city of Kompong Cham. En route, there is the chance to pause at Skuon, affectionately known as 'Spiderville', where it is possible to sample the local delicacy of deep fried tarantula. We arrive in Kompong Cham mid-morning and visit the sacred hills of Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei (man and woman hill). Later we see the 'fusion' temple of Wat Nokor, an 11th century sandstone temple with a colourful modern wat set in its central courtyard. There are some intricate carvings at this temple and the kitsch contrast between the Hindu past and the Buddhist present is almost unheard of elsewhere in Cambodia. We then enjoy a local lunch in Kompong Cham.

We continue northeast to Kratie, a sleepy Mekong port and gateway to an encounter with the rare freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins that inhabit the upper reaches of the Mekong in Cambodia. We check into our hotel and leave some time free to soak up the atmosphere of this charming town, with its well-preserved colonial-era architecture. We spend the night in a comfortable local hotel.

Day 10/Kratie - Mondulkiri[B/-/-]     

After breakfast in Kratie, we travel to Kampi, one of the many deep pools where the rare river dolphins gather to feed. We board a local boat and cruise out into the mighty Mekong for a chance encounter with these gentle creatures. Viewing is commonplace, although it is easier to see the dolphins in the shallower waters of the dry season, than in the swollen river of the wet season. After enjoying an hour or more of dolphin viewing, we then travel south towards the small junction town of Snuol, our gateway to the wilds of Mondulkiri.

After a (very) local lunch in the small town of Snuol, we leave behind the surfaced roads of civilisation and take on the red earth roads of hill country. The first half of the journey from Snuol is flat, passing through patches of lush forest and areas of cultivation and plantations. After Khau Si Ma district, the road snakes up through the mountains that give Mondulkiri its name of 'where the mountains meet'. There is lush jungle hugging the road and locals claim to see tigers on this stretch at night. Nearing Sen Monorom, the provincial capital, the scenery changes again, jungle giving way to clusters of pine trees and rolling grasslands. The scenery is unique for Cambodia and dotted with traditional Pnong villages, the main minority group in Mondulkiri. On arrival in Sen Monorom, we check into a comfortable local hotel for the night.

Day 11/Mondulkiri[B/-/-]

Breakfast at the hotel. 

We leave Sen Monorom after breakfast and head east towards the double drop waterfall of Bou Sraa, one of the most famous in Cambodia. Along the way, we stop at a Pnong minority village to learn a little about their way of life. We may be invited to drink some rice wine, as Pnong villagers are extremely hospitable and welcoming of outsiders.

We continue to Bou Sraa and explore the falls. It is possible to access both drops and there are swimming opportunities for those who want to take the plunge. We enjoy a picnic at the falls and then continue east to the village of Pichenda on the other side of the river. We return to Sen Monorom later in the day, perhaps stopping to visit another minority village along the way. 

Accommodation at hotel

Day 12/Mondulkiri – Kompong Thom[B/-/-]

Breakfast at hotel 

We will transfer you direct to Kompong Thom to check in at the hotel. 

Accommodation at hotel

Day 13Kompong Thom – Siem Reap[B/-/-]

Breakfast at hotel 

After breakfast in Kompong Thom, we continue northwest on National Highway 6. This was an old Angkor road and we stop in Kompong Kdei to see one of the ancient Angkor bridges that were built to span the rivers. Spean Praptos or the Praptos Bridge has more than 20 arches and is a spectacular sight, reinforcing the impression that the Khmers were like the Romans of Southeast Asia. We continue to Siem Reap where we check into our hotel and enjoy a local lunch in this buzzing town.      

Day 14/Siem Reap[B/-/-] 

Breakfast at hotel         

In the morning, we visit the sites of Angkor Thom, including Victory Gate, the Bayon, Baphuon, Phimean Akas, the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King. 

In the afternoon, we travel to the mighty temple of Preah Khan or 'Sacred Sword', built by King Jayavarman VII in the late 12th century. Sistertemple to Ta Prohm, the cruciform corridors here are impressive and there are some wonderful carvings adorning the walls, including the spectacular hall of dancers. Look out for the curious two-storey structure that is almost Grecian in inspiration. This is one of the few temples originally dedicated to Buddhism and Hinduism. The original eastern entrance was for Mahayana Buddhists, while the other cardinal points represented the Hindu trinity of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma.

We then continue on to the elegant curves of Neak Poan. This petite temple is the ultimate ornamental fountain, its series of elaborate spouts including the heads of lions and elephants. Originally Neak Poan was on an island at the centre of vast baray (reservoir), known as Jayatataka or reservoir of Jaya.

We finish by experiencing sunset over the rice fields from the royal crematorium of Pre Rup, a classic view of the Cambodian countryside. 

Accommodation at hotel 

Day 15/Siem Reap[B/-/-] 

Breakfast at hotel 

In the morning, we visit magnificent Angkor Wat to explore its architecture. 

In the afternoon, we travel to the large stone temple of Eastern Mebon, originally located on an island in the centre of the now dry Eastern Baray (reservoir). A low pyramid, this temple has large guardian elephants on each corner. This is one of the few temples where we can understand the construction techniques of the ancient Khmers, as there are still large soil ramps on each side of the temple, showing us how they moved these heavy stones into place.

We visit the royal bathing pond of Sra Srang. No bath will ever be quite the same again when you have set eyes on this vast pool, once for the exclusive use of the king and his concubines. Originally lined with sandstone steps, we climb up on to the western terrace and meet friendly local children jumping in the water.

We walk to the first great Buddhist monastery in Cambodia, Banteay Kdei, built in 1186 by Jayavarman VII who was a Mahayana Buddhist. We explore its extensive corridors and elegant sculptures. Although it is in a ruinous state, it often receives far fewer visitors than nearby Ta Prohm, giving it a serene atmosphere.

We then return to Siem Reap via the temple of Kravan. Built entirely from brick and dating from 921, this temple was extensively restored in the 1960s. Inside the small towers are some of the best brick carving found anywhere in the Khmer empire, including a giant Vishnu.

Accommodation at hotel 

Day 16/Boat trip on Tonle Sap[B/-/-]

Breakfast at hotel 

In the morning, we head to Banteay Srei, Angkor’s ultimate art gallery. This petite pink temple is the jewel in the crown of Angkor-era sculpture. The elaborate carvings here are the finest found in Cambodia and the name translates as ‘Fortress of the Women’, thanks to the intricate detail here, considered too fine for the hands of a man.

Originally believed to date from the latter part of the Angkor period, inscriptions at the site suggest it was built by a Brahman in 967. However, some architectural historians have suggested that the inscriptions may date from an earlier structure on this site and the temple is in fact later, marking a high-water mark in Khmer sculpture.

Later we visit the 12th century temple of Banteay Samre. Built by King Suryavarman II, the genius behind Angkor Wat, this temple has been extensively restored. The temple is unique in that over-quarrying of sandstone led to the use of laterite for the roofed corridors. The pediments above the inner doors here include some of the most accomplished carving from the Angkor period. 

In the afternoon, we travel back in time to one of the earliest capitals in the Angkor area, Hariharilaya, now known as Roluos. We begin with a visit to the brick temple of Lolei, originally set on an island in the centre of the Indratataka baray (reservoir). This temple has some well preserved sandstone carvings and the vast stone doors are carved from a single piece of stone.

We continue to Preah Ko (sacred cow), named in honour of Shiva’s mount, Nandin. This temple owes more to the pre-Angkorian brick sanctuaries of Cambodia’s earlier Chenla empire than the sandstone behemoths that came later. Originally coated in stucco and painted, there is still some of the ancient plaster visible on the rear towers.

Finally, we encounter Bakong, the earliest of the temple mountains, which later became the signature of Khmer kings. It is a giant pyramid, its cardinal points marked by giant elephants. We climb to the summit for views over the surrounding countryside.

For those that are interested, we can offer a short diversion to the small country town of Roluos, a world away from the circus of Siem Reap. Only 10 minutes from Angkor, we help you discover the real Cambodia.

Day 17/Siem Reap – Tonle Sap Lake[B/-/-]

Breakfast at the hotel. 

We travel to Phnom Krom for a cruise on the Tonle Sap, visiting lifestyle of local people living in floating villages. 

This afternoon, we visit Artisans d’Angkor and enjoy shopping at old market. End the tour relaxing as you get pampered with a rejuvenating one hour Khmer Traditional Body Massage

Accommodation at hotel

Day 18/Siem Reap - Battambang[B/-/-] 

We leave Siem Reap after breakfast and travel west towards the trading town of Svay Sisophon. We then head deeper into Banteay Meanchey province to the incredible jungle temple of Banteay Chhmar, famous for its signature faces of Jayavarman VII. After travelling through some beautiful stretches of Cambodian countryside, we start at the enigmatic temple of Banteay Top. Here the central tower has collapsed, only to be rebuilt and resembles a precarious tower of building blocks.  The interior includes original wooden supports, a rarity in this tropical climate.

We continue to the main temple of Banteay Chhmar for a thorough exploration. We see the magnificent carvings of Lokesvara with 32 arms, nicknamed lok sam-pee (Mr 32) by Khmers, as well as the beautiful Hall of Dancers, similar to the famous Preah Khan. After clambering about among this sleeping giant, we continue to explore the outer complex, including the outer gate of Ta Prohm, like a smaller cousin of the impressive Angkor Thom gates and protected by a moat.

After a picnic lunch around Banteay Chhmar, we travel south through Sisophon once more before continuing to Battambang, a historic riverside city on the banks of the Sangker River. We spend the night in a comfortable local hotel. 

Day 19/Battambang[B/-/-]

After breakfast, we travel to Wat Koh district to visit a local village and learn about rural life in Cambodia. We learn about the rice harvest, fruit farming and how the sugar palm is used. After our village visit, we board the bamboo train to travel back towards Battambang. These 'local trains' are bamboo platforms with wheels and they fly along the rail tracks offering great views of the surrounding countryside.

After lunch in town, we travel to the hilltop temple of Wat Banan. The winding road follows the Sangker River and passes by many traditional wooden homes, offering an authentic glimpse of rural Cambodia. Arriving at the temple, we ascend to the summit and are rewarded with striking views of the surrounding plains. There are five towers here, leading some ambitious Battambang residents to claim it may have been the inspiration behind Angkor Wat.

We continue to Phnom Sampeau, a sacred mountain dotted with interesting pagodas and stupas. There is also a moving memorial to Khmer Rouge victims who were thrown into one of the many caves that pepper this holy mountain. We then return to Battambang town for the night.

Day 20/Battambang-Phnom Penh[B/-/-]

We leave Battambang after breakfast and travel southeast towards Pursat province. We pass through typical Cambodian landscapes of endless ricefields dotted with sugar palms. We come to the small town of Krakor and turn off the main road to visit the incredible floating town of Kompong Luong. The largest floating community on the Tonle Sap Lake, there are almost 10,000 inhabitants living here. Everything floats on water, including the schools, the clinic, the shops and the petrol station. We explore by boat and experience life in a real floating community untouched by mass tourism.

We journey to the busy riverside town of Kompong Chhnang where we stop to enjoy a local lunch. We then drive to the former Cambodian capital of Udong. We explore the sacred hills here, which include historic pagodas and several stupas containing the remains of Cambodia's former kings. Later we continue to the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh. We check into our hotel and soak up the atmosphere of this quixotic riverside capital. 

Day 21/Phnom Penh-Departure[B/-/-]

 After breakfast, we will transfer you to airport for departure flight. 

END OF SERVICES 

 

 

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SERVICE OVERVIEW

We offer the following services in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam:

  • Classic Tour
  • Study Tour
  • Natural Tour
  • Trekking Tour
  • Cycling Tour

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