Spend time getting to know the two intriguing destinations of Phnom Penh capital and Siem Reap Angkor, where the Cambodia’s most interesting Present & Past revealed. Begin in Siem Reap, homes to the greatest city of Angkor, once dominated Southeast Asia for nearly 600 years. This journey allows you uncover the story of the Khmer Empire as your guide will explain in-depth of its birth, rise and fall as you discover the ruins of the mystical ancient Angkor Kingdom including the citadel ruins Angkor Wat; the giant smiling faces of Bayon, the “jungle temple” Ta Prohm, the pink Banteay Srei (the Citadel of Women) and the spectacular Khmer countryside and floating village on Tonle Sap Lake. Then set off to
Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital since French colonization. You will learn about the kingdom’s tragic recent history under the Khmer Rouge regime of the 1970s and appreciate its fine architectures.
Experience this hidden civilization “Khmer”, you will be astonished into this enchanting history.
- Best time to go: November to January | Ask for quotation
- Best value time to go: April – September (Low Season) | Ask for quotation
- The Royal palace can be totally/partly closed without prior notice for some royal ceremonies.
- Dress code: Women are suggested to dress modestly – no see through clothes, bare shoulders and must be skirts below knee length during the visits to the Royal Palace and Angkor temples
- Comfortable lightweight clothing and soft-soled walking shoes with low or no heels are suitable.
- For protection from sun, it is suggested you carry a sunhat and sunglasses.
|Best Travel Month||Year round|
|Travel Types||Culture, Family, Group, History, Package Tour|
DAY 1: SIEM REAP ARRIVAL (D)
Meet & greet at Siem Reap Airport and privately transfer with tour guide to your hotel in town. The transfer varies from 20 – 30 minutes.
This evening enjoy your welcome dinner (buffet style) with a series of Khmer traditional dance show at Sokha Siem Reap Hotel. Transfer back to your hotel.
Overnight in Siem Reap
DAY 2: SIEM REAP / ANGKOR TOUR (B)
8.00 AM – start your Angkor exploration with the ancient fortified city of Angkor Thom, built in the 10th century by the greatest of the Khmer rulers, King Jayavarman VII (1181 – 1201). With a population in excess of one million inhabitants, Angkor Thom covered an area of 10 square kilometres and was larger than any city in Europe at the time.
You travel to the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom. Walk along the 8m-high laterite wall (500m) of the ancient city to the relatively unvisited and magical East Gate. The crematoria built against the outside of the city wall are best seen from up on the wall and give rise to the popular name of ― Gate of Death. Then visit the temples that pre-date the great city as we walk pass the monumental Baphuon temple and Phimeanakas, with its beautiful lakes, continuing through the shaded parkland behind the Terrace of the Elephants.
Move to Bayon, Jayavarman’s state temple at the center of the city. We start exploring the lower levels with bas-relief carvings and gradually make our way to the inner walls where unfinished carvings were later completed during the reign of King Jayavarman VII. The structure of the giant faces of Bayon temple is staggering in its construction and most Angkor specialists agree that it is one of the finest examples of classic Khmer architecture. Its third level is stunning – 49 towers are adorned with 172 smiling faces of the omnipresent Avalokitesvara. Sixteen chapels inside the structure indicate its religious importance, while on the outer perimeter over 1,200 meters of exquisite bas-relief record scenes of daily life from 11th century Angkor.
After lunch continue to discover the amazing jungle-entwined Ta Prohm also known the “Kingdom of the Trees” or “Tomb Raider Temple”. Climb over its crumbling stonework and marvel at the tree roots dripping down the temple’s walls and see weathered Buddha faces appear in bas-relief and giant tree roots seem to flow over stone walls.
Once home to 600 exquisite dancers, Ta Prohm is a wondrous site, with giant fig and kapok trees strangling the ancient stonework in a photogenic interplay of man and nature. This temple was built by King Jayavarman VII (1181-1219) as a Mahayana Buddhist monastery and university. It has been featured in several Hollywood movies such as Tomb Raider, Indiana Jones and Two Brothers.
Next is to explore the mightiest Khmer temple and the world’s largest religious monument of Angkor Wat, this allows you to watch the sunset over this World Heritage site. Angkor Wat is stunning at any time of the day, but sunrise and sunset are especially beautiful times to watch the play of light on the stones and sculptures. Contemplate the temple’s spiritual power while you stroll in the cool shade of its hallways, stopping to take in the perfume of burning incense. Lose yourself in contemplation as you catch the rays of sun dancing off the bas relief carvings at sunset.
Constructed under the reign of Suryavarman II (1113-1150), the temple’s greatest sculptural treasure is its 1 mile long bas-relief that wraps around the walls of the outer gallery along with the 2000 figures of Khmer Devas and Apsara dancers decorating the temple, and the construction is thought to have taken around thirty years of intensive labor. Angkor Wat is a representation of the Hindu cosmology and is dedicated to the god Vishnu. The five towers of Angkor Wat are the representation of the five peaks of Mount Meru, home of the gods and centre of the Hindu universe.
Overnight in Siem Reap
DAY 3: SIEM REAP / TONLE SAP LAKE, SILKWEAVING VILLAGE & BANTEAY SREI (B/L)
This morning take a break from temples and travel out to Kampong Phluk “Harbour of the Tusks” on Tonle Sap Great Lake, a village a bit further away but which receives very fewer tourists. Set sail to explore authentic stilted village observing the life of the local fisherman and their families who live amongst the flooded mangrove forest. Enjoy the beautiful scenery dominated by the tranquility of the lake.
Tonle Sap Lake is one of the area’s unique geographical wonders, as it offers visitors insights into the centuries-old traditions of riparian life and the natural splendor of the country. The rich and varied plant, fish and bird life here makes this, the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia, vital to Cambodia and the region. Your tour guide will offer detailed information on why and how this ecosystem is of such importance.
Note: during low water level season (Mid Feb – Jul), the trip will be arranged at Chong Kneas village instead.
LUNCH at Chanrey Tree Restaurant (Khmer Family Set Menu) – drinks excluded
After lunch drive 30 Km north to visit to Institute for Khmer Traditional Textiles [IKTT], a unique forest project established in 1996 by Kikuo Morimoto – a natural dye expert, originally from Japan. Spreading across 23 hectares, the IKTT aims to revive ancient Khmer traditional natural dyes and weaving techniques that stand out from others in the Indochina Peninsula. Then continue to explore Banteay Srei temple “the Citadel of Women”, a pink sandstone temple with beautiful ornate stone carvings which is seen nowhere else in Angkor. Because of its small size, fairy-like atmosphere and extraordinary examples of Khmer sculpture, this temple is often a favourite with visitors. On the way back, stop at a local village along the way to meet local people and see how they produce their local commodities such as sugar palm. Afterwards return to hotel.
Overnight in Siem Reap
DAY 4: SUNRISE AT ANGKOR WAT / SIEM REAP – PHNOM PENH (B)
This morning rise early to witness the spectacular sunrise over the wonderful ruins of Angkor Wat and walk through this mighty temple at dawn, regarded by many as the quintessential Angkor experience. Return to hotel for breakfast.
Meet & greet at your hotel’s lobby and privately transfer to Siem Reap Airport for your 40-minute flight to Phnom Penh, the capital of the kingdom, with your tour guide. Upon arrival at Phnom Penh Airport, meet & greet by your Phnom Penh tour guide and thereafter transfer to your hotel in town – the transfer varies from 40 minutes – 1 hour depends on traffic.
This afternoon you will learn Cambodian dark history once Phnom Penh became a ghost town during the brutal Khmer Rouge regime that terrorized the nation in the 1970s and lead to the deaths of over 2 million citizens. Although it’s not a joyful tour, visiting these monuments unlocks keys to understanding the development of this still developing country.
Start with a visit to the harrowing Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Originally a local high school, it was taken over in 1975 by the Khmer Rouge security apparatus and converted into Security Prison 21 (S – 21). During the three years of Khmer Rouge brutality the prison became synonymous with terror. Over 17,000 people held at Tuol Sleng were interrogated and tortured before being sent to the killing fields at Choeung Ek for execution, while those who died during torture were buried in mass graves in the prison grounds.
Then drive outskirt of Phnom Penh to discover the Choeung Ek Killing Fields Memorial. Approximately 45-minute drive from the city, the site of the infamous “Killing Fields” of the Khmer Rouge. Here, tens of thousands of people, including some foreigners, were executed and thrown into mass graves. In 1980 the remains of over 8,900 victims were exhumed while an estimated 43 mass graves (of a total of 129) have been left untouched. A solemn memorial – a stupa with glass panels encasing over 8,000 skulls (arranged by age and sex) – was erected in 1988 to commemorate the victims of this period of madness.
Overnight in Phnom Penh
DAY 5: PHNOM PENH / CITY TOUR (B)
8.00 AM – This morning you visit the glittering Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, admiring the over 5,000 silver tiles, each weighing about two pounds, covering the floor and the collection of shiny golden Buddhas, and then walk to see the National Museum, home to the country’s most important collection of ancient Cambodian artifacts. Next is making a wish at the spiritual Wat Phnom, a city landmark, for which the capital was named and a popular place for worship.
If time permits as you look around the city of Phnom Penh, you have ample time to explore the city’s burgeoning markets. Among the most interesting is the Tuol Tumpong market, Known as Russian market to tourists.
Remainder of the day as you look around the city of Phnom Penh, you have ample time to explore the city’s burgeoning markets. Among the most interesting is the Tuol Tumpong market, Known as Russian market to tourists, which is housing stalls selling goods ranging from intricate gold and silver jewelry and antique coins to clothing from local factories with discounted prices. Or visit Central Market (Phsar Thmei), also known as Central Market, is a unique colonial style building constructed in 1937. The location where the Central Market now sits was once a swamp area and occupied by a lake known as Beng Decho.
Overnight in Phnom Penh
DAY 6: DEPARTURE (B)
Privately transfer from hotel to Phnom Penh Airport with tour guide
Free at leisure. When it’s time met & greet at your hotel and then privately transfer to Phnom Penh Airport. The transfer varies from 40 minutes – 1 hour due to traffic. We suggest you would leave the hotel by latest 3 hours prior your departure flight.
*** BON VOYAGE ***
TOUR PRICES (US DOLLARS) IS AS FOLLOW:
TOUR PRICE: Upon Request
– Accommodation with daily breakfast
– Transportation by a private a/c vehicle
– Private English speaking tour guides
– Overland transfer with driver only (No guide) where specified.
– Meals as indicated in the itinerary
– Admission fees as mentioned in the itinerary
– Local bottled water while sightseeing
– All government taxes and service charge
– Tips for guides & drivers
– Personal expenses
– Travel insurances
– All airfares and airport tax
– Drinks during lunch/dinner and other additional order on spot (if any)
– Optional tours/services
– Below 5 years old – Free of charge
– From 5 to 11 years old – 50% charge of adult price
– From 12 years old & up – Adult price will be applied