Take this 12-day trip to the major highlights of Cambodia, beyond the typical tourist bus route. Explore the relax vibe of riverside Kampot, travel to the ancient temples at Angkor near Siem Reap. Experience the hospitality of Khmers with a village homestay in Chambok and learn about the tragic history of Cambodia at the eye-opening sites of Phnom Penh. With a skilled guide bringing the history to life and lots of freedom to explore this beautiful country by yourself, this adventure is not like a typical transitional trip through one of South East Asia's most captivating countries. The trip begins from the bustling city of Bangkok and heads towards major cities of Cambodia like Siem Reap, Kampong Cham, Phnom Penh, and many more while ending at the Ho Chi Minh City of Vietnam.
Is this trip right for you?
This trip is for those who value independence but also want the advantage of a local leader and a group of fellow travelers. This itinerary perfectly combines included activities and free time when your guide can suggest you on places of your preference.
You will be spending a night on a homestay with a local family on this trip. The homestay will be shared and have a basic facility. However, this is an excellent way to experience the rural lifestyle and connect with local people.
You will be traveling some days for a long distance; in both paved and unpaved roads, so you need to make sure you can handle the trip.
Accommodation is basic – a combination of simple hotels, guesthouses, and a homestay.
The tales of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21) and Killing Fields of Choeung Ek are unpleasant for many travelers, and they might find it upsetting. We feel it is important to share this critical part of Cambodia's history; however, if you prefer not to join this, you can manage other activities with the help of your guide.
You will be visiting lots of temples on this trip. Many of these temples don't allow clothes that reveal shoulders and thighs. So, be sure to carry clothes that cover the shoulders and pants or skirts that go past the knees. You can also use a scarf to cover your shoulders.
Temple-hop at the Angkor Complex with your fellow travelers accompanied by the expert local guide who will share the ancient history of the place
Experience the local lifestyle of Cambodia while staying in a homestay in Chambok
Enjoy a mouthwatering authentic Khmer dinner and also a traditional dance performance
Spend a couple of nights in the riverside hub of Kampot and explore another side to southern coastal Cambodia
Learn the tragic history of Khmer Rouge in Phnom Penh while visiting the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21) and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek
- All entry fees for places mentioned in the itinerary
- Three meals per day
- Ground transport
- International airfare
- Entry Visa fee
- Travel Insurance
Upon arrival, our representative will pick you up at any Bangkok's airport, then transfer you to your hotel. On the way, he will give you a brief explanation on your further tour. If you have enough time, you can explore this bustling city. Take a riverboat and head to China town to explore its crowded streets, visit the majestic Grand Palace, tour the temple of the Emerald Buddha. You can also wander around the chaotic streets of Khao San Road, or indulge in a Thai massage. There is plenty of activities in Bangkok to keep you occupied. In the evening, you can go to the night market and try some of the delicious authentic Thai street food.
The trip is going to be long this day, as you travel across Thailand and enter Cambodia. We will be traveling for approximately ten hours on a private minibus, so be sure to load up on snacks and reading materials. This travel time does not mean you will only be on the bus; this time includes time spent at the border crossing and a stop for lunch. You might think there will be troublesome procedures in the border, don't worry, your guide will help you for worry-free border procedures. On arrival, the evening is free for you to explore this bustling small town. You can go to Pub Street and grab a bite to eat and experience the city's nightlife. Or, you can simply rest in your hotel and prepare for tomorrow's trip to Angkor Wat.
Note: If you are planning to get your visa at the border, you will need cash in US dollars and a passport photo.
Siem Reap/ Angkor Wat
You will visit the astonishing Angkor complex, accompanied by your guide today. The complex spreads to an area of over 160 square kilometers. This complex is the largest religious monument in the world. Fortunately, the main group of temples is close to Siem Reap, so you will have enough time to fully visit the great archaeological sites like Angkor Wat – the amazing main temple, Bayon – a wonder of many carved decorations, and Ta Prohm – a chain of smaller temples covered in tree roots and jungle. Learn about the ancient history of these beautiful sites from your guide who has extensive knowledge of the site. The ancient history makes this visually stunning site much more beautiful, and you can appreciate the site from a different perspective.
This day is free for you to explore Siem Reap on your own pace. If you feel like taking on some adventurous activities, head towards the Angkor zip-line course to get an adrenaline-filled journey with a bird's eye view of the rainforest below. Likewise, you can pay a visit to the notable Landmine Museum. The museum is a bit far, but it is well worth the journey. There is also the 'Siem Reap Street Food by Night' Urban Adventure. This three-hour tour will allow you to taste the variety of flavors of the city and feel the buzz of the local markets. If you decide to get a longer Angkor Pass, then you can head back to visit more of the astounding temples within the complex, or go early morning to the complex and experience a memorable sunrise at Angkor Wat.
After breakfast, we travel by a public bus towards Kampong Cham, which takes around five hours. Formerly a significant trading hub, this peaceful town is now a great example of small-town Cambodia. After arrival, the rest of the afternoon is free. So, you can spend the time to visit many beautiful places by yourself. You can visit the tranquil 11th century Wat Nokor. Also, you can hire a bicycle and ride on to the rural island of Koh Paen, linked to the Kampong Cham by a huge bamboo bridge. The bridge is accessible only during the dry season. In the wet season, you can travel only through ferry. Most of the inhabitants of the region make their living by fishing and growing tobacco and sesame. So, it is also a great way to get a closer look at some of Cambodia's cottage industries. Besides, you can visit the twin mountain temples of Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei, which is a bit further out of town.
Take a private vehicle and drive for around five hours into rural Cambodia to the region of Kampong Speu and the village of Chambok. Chambok community's members will guide you on a walking tour of the village and also tell you about the community's history, lifestyle, and eco-tourism projects. Meet your host family and head towards the homestay where you will spend the night. You will be sleeping on the floor at the homestay, and you have to share a room with other travelers or members of the community. However, this is a great way to experience the rural Cambodian lifestyle. If you are up for some active activities, you can go for a hike to a gorgeous waterfall in the evening. This hike takes around 60-90 minutes, depending on the weather, and your fitness. However, the walk is undoubtedly worth it. In the evening, head to the community center where you will have a local Khmer dinner prepared by the community's people. Also, enjoy a traditional dance performance. You can show a step or two too.
Hop on a private bus and head out towards Kampot, Cambodia's one of the most attractive old towns. The town is very famous for its pepper and used to supply many French restaurants with this spice for many years during colonial rule. At present, the village is famous for its harvesting of durian. The spiky, tart fruits that you will either love or hate. This afternoon, you can wander along the riverside and observe many French colonial restaurants, or grab a cup of coffee on one of the riverside restaurants and relish the view of the Bokor Mountain Range. Besides, you can ask for more places to explore your tour guide who will happily help you.
Day Eight :
This day is free for you to explore this chilled-out town. Head to the roundabout in the center of the town, to get a unique photo opportunity. Here, a giant durian statue sits smack in the middle. You can also shop for goodies at the covered market. Furthermore, you can explore the nearby countryside. You will see lots of fields of Kampot pepper and rice, and also a salt field and a limestone cave where you will see a small seventh-century brick temple inside referred to as Phnom Chhnork. Besides, you can always opt for a relaxing day while enjoying one of the many traditional massages.
Departing from Kampot, we travel by private vehicle to the capital city of Phnom Penh. The trip from Kampot to Phnom Penh takes about four hours. The capital lies on a confluence of two rivers; Mekong and Tonle Sap and is quite popular for some fine examples of French-inspired architecture. You can also spend the afternoon visiting the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda. Also, you can visit Wat Phnom, the place covered in myth. Or, visit the National Museum where you can see its excellent Khmer collection. Besides, you can take a cyclo tour around the city, instead of walking and visit lots of popular places like the art-deco Psar Thmei (Central Market), US Embassy, Wat Phnom, Mekong river front, Independence Monument and Royal Palace.
Today, get the chance to learn about Cambodia's tragic past on a guided tour of Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21) and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek – two sites that tell the tales of the terrible legacy of the Khmer Rouge. Some visitors find the story of these places sad/upsetting. So, if you don't want to visit these sites, inform your tour guide/agency who will manage different activities for you. After this, the afternoon is free for leisure activities. If you want to relax, visit the Seeing Hands massage parlors, which are some of the best in the city. You will be helping a cause if you go for a massage in these parlors, as visually impaired masseurs and masseuse operates the parlor.
Ho Chi Minh City
We take a local bus from Phnom Penh to head towards ho Chi Minh City. The trip will take approximately 10hours, including border crossing and lunch. Your trip guide will help you with border crossing procedures so that it won't be an annoyance for you. On arrival, get out and explore the gorgeous Ho Chi Minh City's blend of old and new, east and west. Don't forget to taste a baguette or some of the excellent coffee on offer – both markers of the city's strong French influence.
Ho Chi Minh City
There is no plan for the final day; you can leave the hotel at any time. We will transfer you to the airport approximately three hours before your flight schedule. However, if you want to go for a further trip, or want further accommodation, inform your travel agency or guide who will help you to organize an additional trip or accommodation.