14 Days / 13 Nights - Tour
Great Cambodia Discovery
Phnom Penh, Kampot, Sihanoukville, Rattanakiri,
Kompong Thom & Siem Reap
Kingdom of Cambodia
Day 1 Arrival in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Morning arrival at Phnom Penh Airport. Transfer to your hotel. Lunch
at Chao Praya Restaurant.
This afternoon visit Phnom Penh - situated at the
confluence of the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers, Cambodia's capital
city resembles a country town. French colonial influences can still
be seen, with many impressive old buildings restored to their former
glory. We will first climb steps up a small hill to see Wat Phnom
Temple, from where we can enjoy views over the tree lined avenues
of Phnom Penh. According to legend, this temple on a hill (Phnom
in Cambodian language) was built by a lady called Penh - hence the
city name of Phnom Penh. Then we will "board" cyclos (3
wheeled bicycle taxis) and enjoy a ride in this unique mode of transport
along the riverfront to the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda.
The Palace is a magnificent example of Khmer architecture, although
it was built as recently as 1866. We will see the Throne Hall and
the charming Napoleon III Pavilion. The Silver Pagoda is one of
the richest shrines in the world - it has a magnificent floor made
up of over 5,000 solid silver tiles and is home to two priceless
Buddha statues. We will continue by cyclo to the National Museum,
housed in a traditional red pavilion, which is dedicated exclusively
to Khmer art and sculpture. The majority of the exhibits are from
the Angkor period (9th to 15th Century), but some date from as early
as the 4th Century. Please note that in case of bad weather sightseeing
will be done by car only. Late afternoon we will take a walk along
Phnom Penh's riverfront promenade - a popular evening gathering
place for the city's residents and enjoy a refreshing drink at the
Foreign Correspondent Club of Cambodia from where we have a nice
view over the Mekong and Tonle Sap River. Dinner at Topaz Restaurant.
Accommodation at Sunway Hotel, Phnom Penh.
Day 2 Phnom Penh - Takeo - Kampot
American breakfast. We depart Phnom Penh early in the morning. We
drive south out of Phnom Penh and our first stop will be at Phnom
Chisor Temple Mountain, which dates from the 11th Century. About
500 steps lead to the top of the hill - a steep 20 minutes climb.
Once at the top, we can enjoy fabulous views over the surrounding
countryside and there are several well-preserved lintels carved
in sandstone. From Phnom Chisor, we continue south to the quiet
town of Takeo. This was quite an important place in French times
and several old colonial-style buildings remain. We will board a
speedboat for the 30 minutes trip to Angkor Borei (please note that
the speedboat does not have a cover or any shade - hat and sun-tan
cream are essential). We will first stop at Angkor Borei town, located
just a few kilometers by boat from the Vietnam border. We will visit
a small museum with several reproductions of sculptures and inscriptions
from the nearby ruins. Artifacts have been carbon-dated as far back
as the 4th Century and extensive excavations have been done by a
University of Hawaii team trying to find out more about the Funan
era. The museum has a shady garden and is a pleasant place to stop
and have our picnic lunch.
After lunch, continue by speedboat to Phnom Da
Temple, built on the 6th Century site of a Funan Empire era temple.
The existing Phnom Da Temple dates from the 11th Century - the climb
up is easy as this particular Phnom (hill) is not very high. From
Phnom Da, we can walk round the hill, through a tiny (and poor)
fishing village to see Asram Maharosei Temple. The path up to the
temple is steep, over some big rocks. This is the only temple of
its kind in Cambodia, built in Indian style, and well preserved.
Return to Takeo by boat and then drive further south to Kampot.
Dinner at local restaurant. Accommodation at Borey Bokor Hotel,
Day 3 Kampot - Bokor - Sihanoukville
Breakfast. An early morning walk around Kampot before leaving town
to visit Bokor (Phnom Popok) Hill Station. The steep road to Bokor
starts a short distance from Kampot and it takes about 1 hour to
drive up to the top. This mountain has now been declared a National
Park - it was formerly a hill resort, playground for the French
during their occupation of Cambodia. Sadly, the Khmer Rouge destroyed
most of the old buildings but a few ruins remain, including the
former casino and a church. The mountain rises more than 1000 m
above sea level and, although sometimes shrouded in mist, it offers
dramatic views out to sea. We will take a rest in this beautiful
area and enjoy our picnic lunch.
On the way down, we will stop at the ruins of the
former residence of King Sihanouk. Then, continue our journey to
Sihanoukville (formerly known as Kompong Som). The drive along the
coast takes approximately 3 hours, depending on the road condition.
This beach resort has long been a place of relaxation for residents
of Phnom Penh. There are some 10 km of beach along the mainland
and dozens of small islands a short boat ride away. Dinner at local
restaurant. Accommodation at Seaside Hotel, Sihanoukville.
Day 4 Sihanoukville
Breakfast. A full day to relax and enjoy the beach at Sihanoukville.
Lunch and dinner are NOT included. Accommodation at Seaside Hotel,
Note: Your guide and driver will be staying in
Sihanoukville and be at your disposal during your stay. Your guide
would also be happy to arrange a boat trip for you, at extra cost.
Day 5 Sihanoukville - Phnom Penh
Breakfast. Morning at leisure. Lunch prior to departure is not included.
In the afternoon we will drive back to Phnom Penh (3 ½ hours).
Late afternoon arrival in Phnom Penh. Transfer to your hotel. Dinner
and accommodation at Sunway Hotel, Phnom Penh.
Day 6 Phnom Penh - Banlung
American breakfast. Transfer from your hotel to Phnom Penh Airport.
Domestic flight from Phnom Penh to Banlung, capital of Ratanakiri
Province. Flight schedules are subject to change but there is normally
a daily morning flight. Transfer to Lodge de Terre Rouge and Lunch.
This afternoon we will start discovering the countryside
around Banlung. We will first drive to Wat Phnom Soui from where
we have a nice view over the plateau and Banlung. Phnom Soui means
Mango Hill and the Wat is located amongst mango trees. We will see
some of Ratanakiri Province's beautiful forests and visit Cha Oug
Waterfalls (5-6 m wide and about 15 m deep). We will then continue
to Yeak Laom Park, a protected area, which is looked after and managed
by the provincial government with support from the UN. The main
attraction of this area is Yeak Laom Lake, a volcanic crater lake
believed to have been created about 700,000 years ago. Surrounded
by forest up to the crater rim, the present day lake is about 800
meters across and more than 50 meters deep. A beautiful oasis and
a great place for a refreshing swim! We will walk along the lake-side
and visit the simple visitor center, which exhibits different tools
from the various tribes. Dinner and accommodation at Lodge de Terre
Day 7 Banlung
Breakfast. Today we will drive to Voeune Say. The drive takes us
approximately 1 ½ hours north in the direction of Laos, through
hilly countryside and forest. Voeune Say is one of the main villages
on the Se San River. After a short stroll through the village we
will board a boat and continue our journey in a traditional wooden
long boat. We will cruise on this beautiful river and stop on the
way to visit several villages of different minorities. We will visit
Tampoun, Kroeng and Brou minority villages on our cruise today and
observe their way of life. In between the visits we will enjoy our
picnic lunch by the river side.
Late afternoon we return to Voeune Say and drive
back to Banlung. Dinner and accommodation at Lodge de Terre Rouge,
Day 8 Banlung
Breakfast. This morning we will drive northeast of Banlung towards
Vietnam. Our ride takes us first through a big rubber tree plantation,
which was established by the French after the war. We will then
continue through a fascinating Bamboo Forest before arriving in
a mining village. We will visit the mining site (watch out for the
holes!) and observe the simple way they dig for gems. The whole
area is covered with hand-dug holes, which are up to 10 meters deep.
Our next stop is the Bai Srog Waterfall. An impressive waterfall
with seven levels in the middle of the forest! We will enjoy our
picnic lunch in this beautiful spot.
A swim in the clean and refreshing mountain water
is highly recommended! On our drive back to Banlung we will visit
a traditional Kroeung minority cemetery. Dinner and accommodation
at Lodge de Terre Rouge, Banlung.
Day 9 Banlung - Phnom Penh
Breakfast. First thing this morning we will visit the local market.
It is the main market of this region and very busy with all the
minorities from the surrounding villages selling their goods. We
will next visit a coffee and cotton plantation just outside of Banlung.
If you wish we can return to Yeak Laom Lake for a last splash. Lunch
at Lodge de Terre Rouge. Early afternoon departure with domestic
flight from Banlung to Phnom Penh. Flight times subject to change.
Arrival transfer from Phnom Penh Airport to your hotel. Rest of
the afternoon at leisure. Dinner and accommodation at Sunway Hotel,
Day 10 Phnom Penh - Kompong Cham - Kompong Thom
American breakfast. This morning we depart Phnom Penh and drive
northwest to Kompong Cham. The area was famous in French times for
its many rubber plantations. First, visit Wat Nokor, located 2 km
outside town - the temple dates from the 10th Century and has beautiful
old carvings and bas-reliefs. Brightly coloured new Buddhist temples
- a strange mixture, surround the old sanctuary, with statues of
the Hindu god Shiva! Drive into Kompong Cham and walk around the
town and see some of the old colonial architecture. Lunch at local
In the afternoon we will continue our journey to
Kompong Thom. On the way we will visit Wat Kohear Nokor, dating
from the 11th century. The temple and adjacent pagoda are interesting
and it's a pleasant place to see something of Khmer village life.
Continue north to Phum Prasat, with its single ancient temple. Arrive
in Kompong Thom and check into your hotel. Enjoy an early evening
walk through town, along the banks of the Sen River. Dinner at local
restaurant or hotel. Accommodation at Stung Sen Hotel, Kompong Thom.
Day 11 Kompong Thom - Sambor Prey Kuk - Siem
Breakfast. This morning we will visit Sambor Prey Kuk. These pre-Angkor
ruins date from the 6th century and were the centre of the ancient
Kingdom of Chenla. Sambor Prey Kuk is said to be the first temple
site in South East Asia built according to Indian cosmology. The
historical site includes more than 100 temples - many temples have
been overgrown by the surrounding lush forest. However, we can still
see crumbling temples built of brick, sandstone and laterite, and
interesting sculptures remain. It is a privilege to see some of
these most ancient surviving examples of Khmer architecture. Late
morning we will return to Kompong Thom. Lunch at local restaurant.
This afternoon we will drive north to Siem Reap.
The rather bumpy drive takes about 3-4 hours (depending on the road
condition). Late afternoon arrival in Siem Reap. Transfer to your
hotel. Dinner and accommodation at Angkor Hotel, Siem Reap.
Day 12 Siem Reap
Breakfast. From the 9th to 15th Century, Angkor was both the power
base of a mighty military and political force, and the heart of
a rich and sophisticated civilization. We will see massive stone
monuments, wide majestic causeways, imposing gateways and towers
- all in a wonderful jungle setting. Our morning is dedicated to
a visit of the most famous temple - magnificent Angkor Wat. This
architectural masterpiece was constructed in the 12th century and
covers an area of about 210 hectares. We will enjoy exploring the
many galleries with columns, libraries, pavilions, courtyards and
ponds full of water reflecting the towering temple. Intricately
carved bas reliefs extend the length of the outer walls and corridors,
depicting mythological scenes and day to day life at the time of
Angkor's construction. Lunch at Angkor Cafe in front of Angkor Wat.
This afternoon we will visit the "Great City"
of Angkor Thom, which was probably more opulent than most European
cities in the late 12th Century. Visits include the famous Bayon
Temple, himeanakas Temple within the Royal Palace enclosure, Baphuon
Temple, the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper
King. Dinner at Madame Butterfly Restaurant. Accommodation at Angkor
Hotel, Siem Reap.
Day 13 Siem Reap
American breakfast. This morning we will first visit Bakheng Temple.
This temple is perched on top of a natural hill with spectacular
views over the entire Angkor Complex. We will then visit Thommanon,
Takeo - one of Angkor's great temple mountains, Ta Prohm - a favorite
amongst visitors because it has become part of the jungle, Banteay
Kdei with its very attractive carvings, Srah Srang - a Royal bathing
place, Prasat Kravan with unique brick sculptures. Lunch at Chao
Praya Restaurant. This afternoon we will visit a selection of temples,
including the Royal City of Preah Khan which features fabulous carved
stone lanterns and impressive sculptures, Neak Pean - a shrine built
on a small circular island, Ta Som, East Mebon with attractive decorations
on false doors and lintels. Late afternoon we will enjoy the last
daylight at Preah Rup from where we have a great view over the peaceful
countryside. Dinner and classical dance show at Apsara Theatre,
Angkor Village (if available). Accommodation at Angkor Hotel, Siem
Day 14 Siem Reap - Departure
American breakfast. This morning we will drive beyond the main Angkor
complex to visit another favorite temple amongst visitors - the
enchanting Banteay Srei. It appears that the temple was designed
to leave no space undecorated, and the fine carvings in pink sandstone
are quite unique. Our second visit will be to Banteay Samre - featuring
elaborate architecture and exceptional carvings. Time permitting,
visit a local village. Lunch at Bopha Angkor Restaurant.
This afternoon we will first visit the Center of
Khmer Studies an independent, international institution dedicated
to facilitating the study, research, and teaching of Khmer civilization.
A tutor of the center is Professor Chandler, the writer of the most
important recent history books about Cambodia. A local employee
will guide us through the center and tell us about their current
projects in Siem Reap. Time permitting we will then visit Les Chantiers
Ecole, a handicraft center located in the center of Siem Reap. Les
Chantiers Ecole was founded in 1992 in co-operation with the Ministry
of Education and its aim is to revive that ancient art of Khmer
workmanships. We will be able to visit the workshops where the students
learn their skills and at the end of the visit see the finished
products in the shop where they are for sale. Afternoon transfer
to Siem Reap Airport. Departure with international flight.
Sightseeing tour & transfer as detailed in
Tour Guide as described above
Accommodation in specified hotels or hotels of similar category
Full board as specified throughout the whole tour
Domestic flights with Siem Reap Airways as mentioned in the itinerary.
Domestic Airport Tax where applicable
All entrance fees
Boat trips as specified
Transportation by air-conditioned vehicle
Services not mentioned in the itinerary
Meals not mentioned
International flight To and From Cambodia
Cambodia visa fees (currently US$20 per person if arranged on arrival)
Expenses of personal nature (e.g. drinks, laundry, souvenir, etc)
International Airport Tax (currently US$15 from Siem Reap and US$20
from Phnom Penh)
Seat In Coach departures are guaranteed with a
minimum booking of two (2) persons.