Full Board-Meals, Accommodation, Transport, Guide, Admission Fees and Tours

Introduction

This original journey through Cambodia captures the essence of the Kingdom is heart, beginning in the lively riverside capital of Phnom Penh, a beguiling blend of Asia past and present. We see the highlights of the city once known as the  Pearl of Asia before he head north and call in at the largest floating village on the Great Lake at Kompong Luong, en route for sleepy Battambang. We take a closer look at life in Cambodia is  rice bowl  and then discover the lost face temples at the sprawling fortress of Banteay Chhmar. Onto Siem Reap and a waiting you at Angkor is the rising sun above the pineapple towers of Angkor Wat, all alone in Ta Prohm at dawn and a face to face meeting with the eccentric images of Jayavarman VII at the Bayon. A wonderful way to end your unique adventure.

In Brief
✦ Day 1: Arrival Phnom Penh. Royal Palace and National Museum
✦ Day 2: Tuol Sleng, Killing Fields, Lunch at PSE and Wat Phnom
✦ Day 3: Phnom Penh to Battambang via Kompong Luong
✦ Day 4: Battambang lifestyle
✦ Day 5: Battambang to Siem Reap via Artisans d Angkor
✦ Day 6: Roluos group. Preah Khan and Remote Temples
✦ Day 7: Kbal Spean, Banteay Srei, Landmine Museum
✦ Day 8: Ta Prohm dawn. Walled City of Angkor Thom
✦ Day 9: Angkor Wat sunrise and free leisure in afternoon
✦ Day 10: Departure

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival Phnom Penh. Royal Palace and National Museum {B}

Upon arrival Phnom Penh airport, you will be warmly welcome by one of our professional tour guide who will bring you to check in hotel. In the afternoon, we explore the stunning Royal Palace complex, home to the Cambodian royal family and a symbol of the nation. We enter the Throne Hall where the royal receptions are held, see the Napoleon III Pavilion made from iron, a gift from the French emperor in the 19th century and 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 Royal Palace and continue to the nearby National Museum, home to the world’s finest collection of sculpture from the Angkor period. Overnight in Phnom Penh

Day 2: Tuol Sleng, Killing Fields, Lunch at PSE and Wat Phnom {B/L}


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. We then travel out of town to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek. Prisoners from Tuol Sleng followed this same route to their fate. An old Chinese cemetery, Choeung 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. We have lunch in the capital at PSE (a French NGO supporting children from the garbage dump) where their Lotus Blanc restaurant serves excellent international and Asian cuisine. The clients can then take a tour of the PSE facilities where both schooling and work/life skills are available to the children and youths as a way of escaping the poverty of their lives spent on the city is main garbage dump. We then make for Wat Phnom, a symbol of the city. Located on one of the few hills in this pancake-flat capital, the first pagoda was originally built in 1373 to house Buddha statues discovered in the Mekong by a woman named Penh. Overnight in Phnom Penh

Day 3: Phnom Penh to Battambang via Kompong Luong {B}

We leave Phnom Penh and travel west towards Battambang province, the rice bowl of Cambodia. We pass through the busy riverside town of Kompong Chhnang and later turn off the main road to visit the floating town of Kompong Luong. The largest floating community on the Tonle Sap Lake, we explore by boat and experience life in a real floating community untouched by mass tourism. We head to the provincial capital of Pursat for lunch and arrive in Battambang late afternoon. Overnight in Battambang

Day 4: Battambang Lifestyle {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. 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. 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. Overnight in Battambang

Day 5: Battambang to Siem Reap via Artisans d Angkor {B}

We leave Battambang after breakfast and travel north towards the trading town of Svay Sisophon. We then journey south to the provincial capital of Svay Sisophon before we then continue west to Siem Reap to the rural district of Puok, home to the Artisans d’Angkor silk weaving project. We visit a working silk farm where it is possible to learn about all aspects of the production process. Then, transfer to hotel for overnight. Overnight in Siem Reap

Day 6: Roluos group, Preah Khan and Remote Temples {B}

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). We continue to Preah Ko (sacred cow). 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. 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. Sister temple to Ta Prohm, the cruciform corridors here are impressive and there are some wonderful carvings adorning the walls, including the spectacular hall of dancers. 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. We finish by experiencing sunset over the rice fields from the royal crematorium of Pre Rup, a classic view of the Cambodian countryside. Overnight in Siem Reap

Day 7: Kbal Spean, Banteay Srei, Landmine Museum {B}

We journey north to Kbal Spean. The original  River of a Thousand Lingas , Kbal Spean is an intricately carved riverbed deep in the foothills of the Cambodian jungle only discovered in 1969. The Khmers venerated its limestone bed with a riot of carvings, including thousands of lingams. We head to Banteay Srei, Angkor is 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. On the way back to Siem Reap, we visit the Cambodia Landmine Museum to learn more about the scourge of landmines and the shadow they cast over rural communities in Cambodia with a visit to this flagship museum promoting mine awareness and education. Overnight in Siem Reap

Day 8: Ta Prohm Dawn. Walled City of Angkor Thom {B}

We rise early to travel to Ta Prohm in the dawn light. Ta Prohm has been abandoned to the elements, left as it was  discovered by French explorer Henri Mouhot in 1860, the tentacle-like tree roots here are slowly strangling the surviving stones. After soaking up the unique atmosphere of Ta Prohm, we continue to the giant pyramid of Takeo, one of the highest temples in the Angkor area. Built at the end of the 10th century, it was never completed. We walk to the first great Buddhist monastery in Cambodia, Banteay Kdei, built in 1186 by Jayavarman VII. We then visit the royal bathing pond of Sra Srang. In the afternoon, we visit the immense walled city of Angkor Thom that was the masterpiece of King Jayavarman VII. The scale is simply staggering and we are immediately overwhelmed by the audacity of Jayavarman on arrival at the city is gates. We begin our visit at the Terrace of the Leper King, continue along the Terrace of Elephants, and visit the Baphuon, once of the most beautiful temples at Angkor, dating from the 11th century. It has undergone a massive renovation by the French and is now once again open for viewing. Our climax is the enigmatic and enchanting temple of the Bayon. Its 54 towers are each topped off with the four faces of Avalokiteshvara (Buddha of Compassion), which bear more than a passing resemblance to the king himself. Overnight in Siem Reap

Day 9: Angkor Wat Sunrise {B}

Rising at the crack of dawn, we journey out to the Mother of all temples, Angkor Wat. Believed to be the world’s largest religious building, this temple is the perfect fusion of symbolism and symmetry and a source of pride and strength to all Khmers. Built in the 12th century by King Suryavarman II, this is most famous temple at Angkor. We stay at Angkor Wat to enjoy a picnic breakfast. As the crowds return to their hotels, we venture into Angkor Wat to enjoy its magnificence in peace and quiet, beginning at the bas-reliefs that tell of tales from Hindu mythology and of the glories of the Khmer empire. Free leisure in afternoon

Day 10: Departure {B}

Afternoon is free at leisure until transfer to airport for departure flight.

What is Not:

✦ All sightseeing and transfer services as detailed in our itinerary
✦ Accommodation in confirmed room category and named hotels
✦ Meals: daily breakfast at hotel only or as specified (drinks not included)
✦ English-speaking local guides (or the relevant language requested)
✦ All entrance fees as detailed in our itinerary
✦ Private air-conditioned vehicle with drinking water during sightseeing
✦ Boat trips as specified

What is Not:

✦ Tour services not detailed in our itinerary
✦ All meals not specified and no drinks except complimentary water
✦ International departure taxes
✦ Visa fees
✦ All International flight tickets
✦ Overweight luggage
✦ Early Hotel check-in/ Late check-out
✦ Expenditure of a personal nature
✦ Tips and gratuities
✦ Other services not listed in What is In
✦ Travel insurance (cover against all cancellation costs, medical expense, including repatriation in the event of accident or illness)

Tour Code: 2WT-BC-10D9N

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