Highlights of Cambodia

Starting From

$950/person

Number of days

6

Start Location

Cambodia

Group Size

2-6

Operated by

World Expeditions

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An insight into the historical and cultural highlights of Cambodia including the World Heritage temples of Angkor Wat

Operated by:

World Expeditions

World Expeditions is an adventure travel and ecotourism company that offers guided small group trekking and adventure holidays.

Itinerary

Arrive Phnom Penh

You will be met on arrival at the airport and transferred to your comfortable, centrally located hotel. In the early evening, you will meet with your guide for a trip briefing. During the 1950s & 60s, Phnom Penh was viewed as the ‘Pearl of Asia’, a shining light in city planning and architecture, one which cities like Singapore drew much inspiration. Although tarnished by the impact of revolution and war, the city is once again fast regaining its shine. The chaotic yet charming city, with one of the best riverfronts in the region, now takes its place as one of South East Asia’s boom cities, boasting a charming cafe culture, bustling bars and a world-class food scene. Urban explorers can experience emotional extremes at the inspiring National Museum and the heartbreaking Khmer Rouge sites, illustrating the best and worst of Cambodia’s past. Overnight in Phnom Penh.

In Phnom Penh

Our city tour starts by scaling the gentle steps to Wat Phnom Temple to learn of the city's origins. We then take a traditional cyclo ride to the famous Royal Palace, built in 1866 under the French protectorate and King Norodom. The adjoining Silver Pagoda, built in 1962 is famous for its lavish decorations, silver paved floor and Buddha statues made from precious metals & stones. Wander the National Museum, a treasure chest of Angkorian and pre-Angkorian artifacts. In the afternoon there will be visits to the Tuol Sleng Genecide Museum, an intense and sobering reminder of the recent traumatic history of Cambodia. This is followed by a visit to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek located about 10 km outside of the city. Time permitting, we can visit Phsar Toul Tompong (Russian Market), a perfect place to witness the bustling daily lives of the local people. In the late afternoon, relax aboard a boat and cruise down the Tonle Sap River with drink in hand as the sun sets over the city's skyline. Overnight: Phnom Penh Note: To enter the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda in Phnom Penh, visitors are required to dress appropriately. Guests must cover shoulders (sleeveless tops not permitted) and shorts must be at minimum knee length. The Tuol Sleng Museum and Killing Fields can be a deeply moving experience. Families with young children may wish to opt out and spend their time enjoying the markets instead. Please discuss arrangements with your guide. Overnight: Phnom Penh

Transfer to Siem Reap via Sambor Prei Kuk

After breakfast we depart north up national road 6 to Siem Reap. Our first stop will be Skoun, also known as Spiderville due to its abundance of Cambodia's more exotic local delicacies - deep fried tarantulas, scorpions and various other culinary delights. Heading on toward Kompong Thom, a town on the banks of the Stung Sen River, we pass by through typical Cambodian landscapes of rice paddies, rubber plantations and rural villages. Our next stop will be for your first taste of ancient Khmer temples at Sambor Prei Kuk. Explore the impressive collection of 7th century, pre Angkorian temple ruins. This Hindu temple complex was established at the city of Isanapura which served as the capital of King Isanavaram who ruled over the Upper Chenla Kingdom. Continue on to Siem Reap. Overnight in Siem Reap

The Temples of Angkor

Rise for an early breakfast before heading out with your cameras for a day of amazing sights and experiences. Explore the amazing temple complex and spending the day in this UNESCO World Heritage site. Visit the ancient city of Angkor Thom, surrounded by a 8m high wall. Angkor Thom was the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII. Marvel at the enigmatic faces of Bayon Temple in the epicenter of the city. This 12th century masterpiece is a study in grandeur, its exterior gallery walls featuring extensive, superb bas-reliefs, particularly the East and South Galleries. You also visit the Ta Prohm Temple which has been left just it was when rediscovered: a photogenic and atmospheric maze of trees growing out of temple ruins amidst jungle surroundings, making it one of Angkor's most popular temples with visitors. Continue on to explore Angkor Wat, the most iconic and best-preserved of all temples within the Angkor complex. It is in fact the largest religious structure on the planet. Its massive three-tiered structure is crowned by five lotus towers rising 65m from ground level. The centre piece of any visit to the temples around Siem Reap, Angkor Wat offers many iconic sights for amazing pictures. The trip to Pre Rup Temple will reward you with a spectacular sunset over the Angkor Archaeological Park and its surroundings. Overnight in Siem Reap

Hike Kulen Mountain

This morning we head north from Siem Reap toward the Kulen Mountain range. Our first stop will be to visit the Angkor Centre for Conservation and Biodiversity, the first nature conservation and endangered wildlife rescue and breeding centre in Cambodia. During the tour you will see a variety of native animals and learn firsthand about efforts to save local habitat and wildlife. We then transfer up to the mountain top to visit the river of 1000 lingas. The lingas are believed to bestow fertility to the waters which fed the Angkorian rice fields below. We then visit Cambodia's largest reclining Buddha, carved from the rock which supports the temple housing it before venturing down jungle paths past tucked away villages and cashew plantations until we reach the site of Sra Damrei. Here you will be met by majestic life-size statues of elephants, lions, a turtle and cow set amongst the forest. Nearby, you can enjoy spectacular views across the plains below. En route back, stop at the impressive waterfall to cool off. Half way back to town, we stop at Preah Dak village to support the reforestation efforts by planting a tree. It could be a jackfruit or mango tree which will have the added benefit of directly providing for the local community as well as carbon offsetting. Evening is free to enjoy at your leisure. Siem Reap has a wealth of markets and excellent eateries within easy reach of your hotel.

Siem Reap, trip concludes

As it is departure day there are no activities planned. Depending on your flight arrangements there may be time for some last minute shopping before being transferred to the airport.

Additional Information

A visit to Cambodia is a truly unique and rewarding experience. There is a rich and proud culture and impressive natural scenery and the spirit and warmth of the people make this an exceptional destination to visit. The highlights of this fascinating country are visited on this short journey of discovery. In the capital, Phnom Penh, with its wide boulevards and idyllic waterfront location at the confluence of the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers, we explore the cultural and historical highlights of the city. We visit the Royal Palace, the bustling Russian markets and the powerful Genocide Museum. From Phnom Penh we make our way up river to Siem Reap, near to Angkor Wat, the spiritual heart of Cambodia. The symmetrically perfect Angkor Wat, is just one of a collection of elaborate individual temple sites that are spread over an area of 200 square kms, nominating them as one of the richest in the archaeological world. Our visit of this fascinating site provides a fitting conclusion to a unique insight into this special country of South East Asia.

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