Cambodia is a country with abundant culture and tradition. Those who have visited Cambodia will recommend the country to all travel enthusiasts. Many people are addicted to this country as it is a peaceful country with numerous tourist destinations. You can visit anywhere in Cambodia without worrying much about the climate. Communication might not be that much of a problem in Cambodia, as many Cambodians also speak English.
The trip begins from Phnom Penh, go on a cruise and have lunch on the Mekong River. Go on a full-day guided tour of Phnom Penh, including a visit to the local market, the Colonial District, the Royal Palace, and the Silver Pagoda. Also, you will go upstream along the Mekong River from where you can see the freshwater dolphins in Kratie, and take a real "off the beaten track" tour through the Ratanakiri region in the northeastern part of Cambodia for three days.
Head towards the embarkation point on the Tonle Se San river and explore the most remote ethnic minority of Cambodia. Then, move deep into the unique Koh Peak village famous for its traditional funeral symbols. Leave for the Taveng village on a private car. We cross the Norng Lek village, the Rumplan, the lava field, and then finally the Torng Kampoul village. While heading back to the city, you will visit the gemstone mines in an amazing lunate land. Continuing the trip, you will visit the rarely visited temples of Beng Mealea, Koh Ker, and discover the Preah Vihear temple. The Preah Vihear temple lies at the peak of a 525 meters' hill in the gorgeous Dangrek mountains. Likewise, you will explore the most significant city of Cambodia, where the Khmer rouge lasted for more than five centuries. In the relics of the archaeological park, you will tour multitudes of sites with the major must-see temples being the Angkor Wat, Angkor-Thom, and Banteay Srei.
On the twelfth day, you depart from Siem Reap towards the previous French colonial city of Battambang. From here, you take a private boat into Tonle Sap, the largest natural lake in Southeast Asia. The path to reach Battambang is only through the Sangker river, a small body of water that flows through the province by following the upstream to the peaceful and pleasant town. On both riverbanks, you will delve into the Khmer rural life that has not changed since the Angkor era.
This city is also one of the best French colonial architecture sites of the country as the region is full of a wide variety of French-influenced buildings. The Siamese army used to control this area before handing over to French in 1902. At Battambang, visit the famous Wat Phnom Banon, Ek Phnom temples and the neighboring villages, the Angkorian era museum and possibly, the well-known Bamboo Train.
- Ground and boat transfer
- Three meals per day
- All entry fees for places mentioned in the itinerary
- International airfare
- Travel insurance
Arrival Phnom Penh
Upon arrival, our airport representative will greet you and transfer you to your respective hotel. On the way, he will give you a brief explanation on your further trip. After arriving at the hotel, check-in, and then you can rest or wander around the streets of this bustling city.
Explore Phnom Penh
Waking up early in the morning, we prepare for an enjoyable trip to Phnom Penh city. This guided tour includes a visit to some of the major attractions of the city. You will tour the Royal Palace, the home of royals moved from the previous capital, Oudong in 1863. Then, we head towards the Silver Pagoda ("Temple of the Emerald-Crystal Buddha"). Next, we continue the trip towards the Central Market, which France recently renovated. In the afternoon, enjoy an authentic Khmer meal in a local restaurant at the edge of the Mekong River. After lunch, pay a visit to the National Museum, the Ounalom Pagoda (the most important pagoda in Phnom Penh). If you have enough time, you can also visit the Colonial District and finally, the Wat Phnom, Pagoda, on the Hill. Later, we return to the hotel where you can rest or explore the town on your own.
Phnom Penh to Kratie
This morning, you will hop on a private vehicle in the hotel and head towards Kratie. After driving for around an hour, we stop at Skun and Kampong Cham and burn incense sticks in the legendary hills of Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei. Then, we also visit the Chup rubber plantation. Then, continue the trip to Kratie via Chlong, the former district of the timber trade. In the afternoon, we stop at Preah Theat village, where we will have some delicious lunch. Upon arrival, step on a boat and cruise on the Mekong river where you will get a unique experience, and also look out for freshwater dolphin that lives in the river. This endangered species suffers from a high mortality rate of the pup, inbreeding, diseases, and habitat destruction, especially fishing nets. If time permits, we will also climb to the Sambok hill from where we can get a panoramic view of the region. Then, we return to the hotel, and the time from then is free.
Kratie to Rattanakiri (Banlung)
Today, we make our way towards Banlung, the provincial city of Ratanakiri. The drive from Kratie to Rattanakiri takes around four hours. This afternoon, we follow the trails through the forest to reach the Kachanh and Cheong waterfalls. Don't forget to carry your swimsuit. There is also an option for an elephant ride. In the late afternoon, we head to the hotel where you can spend the time relaxing after a long trip.
Banlung to Taveng
We take a tour of Banlung's market in the morning, where people sell various crops. After breakfast, we take a vehicle and head on the dusty path towards the village of Taveng. We cross few villages like Norng Lek, the lava field Veal Rumpland and the village of Torng Kampoul. We will also visit the Kroeung village, Kala, and Kres. In the afternoon, we will have a packed lunch as there are no restaurants in the area. While returning to the town, we move through the gem mines of the Borkeo district. The rest of the time is free for leisure.
Today, we head towards the Veun Sai district. We move through the bamboo forest to the regional district and its minority population and also pass through a local market. Then, we take a boat trip on the Tonle Se San to tour the Koh Peak village. The village is famous for its traditional funeral totems. Then, we visit a Laotian pagoda and enjoy its surrounding beauty. We will have lunch at a small local restaurant on the shore of the river. On the way to Banlung, we visit Yeak Lom, a volcanic lake. You can trek around the lake or swim in this lake with crystal clear water. We spend the night in Banlung.
Banlung to Sraem
Departing from Banlung, we head towards Preah Vihear, the holy sanctuary. On the way, we stop at the border town of Stung Treng and explore the town. Then, crossing the Mekong river via a new bridge (built in 2015), we stop at Sraem village, where we will take a short break and check into the hotel. In the afternoon, we move towards Preah Vihear temple, built and dedicated to Hindu's god of destruction, Lord Shiva. After reaching the peak, we can get a gorgeous panoramic view of a Cambodian plain. Then, we return to Sraem village, where we will spend the night.
Day Eight :
Today, we move towards Koh Ker, a 10th century belligerent capital of Angkor. Situated on the former Royal Road of the Khmer Empire, you will notice striking temple ruins at the distance of 120 km from Siem Reap. We take a short break in a hammock, then continue the trip towards another temple relic of Beng Mealea (flower in the pond), built nearby the ancient royal road. Before reaching Siem Reap, we will visit a beautiful, unique village of the fisherman in Kampong Pluk, a village bearing six months on the water and cut off from the world (only accessible by boat).
We begin the sightseeing tour of Siem Reap after breakfast. We start the day by visiting the archaeological park of the ancient Khmer empire. Visit whatever temples and ruins interest you while accompanied by a tour guide who will tell you ancient history about the place. Visit one of the first capitals in Siem Reap called Hariharalaya in Roluos group temples. Then, continue the trip to Banteay Srei temple. on the way back, walk through a butterfly farm and tour around in some small temples like Banteay Samre, Prasat Prei, and Prasat Tor, among many more.
Go for a full day tour to visit the temples located in small and grand circuits: Kravan, Ta Nei, Bat Chum, Srah Srang. Ta Prohm, Banteay Kdei, Pre Roup, Ta Som, Neak Pean, Prasat Pithu, Preah Khan, Preah Palilay. Conclude the day with the view of the sunset from Bakheng temple. The temples have a great variety of styles as they are from different periods.
This day, visit the renowned Angkor Wat temple and the temples in the former capital of Angkor Thom: Bayon, Baphuon, the Terrace of the Elephants, the Royal Palace, the Terrace of the Leper King, Phimeanakas, Chau Say Tevada, Thommanon, Tanei, and Takeo. If you have enough time, you can also visit a silk farm where you will see silkworm breeding, traditional weaving, and many more.
Siem Reap to Battambang
Today, take a full-day boat trip, which begins from Chong Kneas Pier, and head towards Battambang; you will be traveling on a private boat. Cross the Tonle Sap lake and move by the Sangker river along Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary, and through the flooded forest that takes around 6-8 hours in a motorboat. On the way, make a tour to an ancient wooden pagoda built by the local fisherman in the 18th century. You can have lunch at a local floating restaurant in a village named Bakprea. If you are tired of a water trip or don't want to spend much time on the boat, you can also take a trip to Battambang by the road.
Begin the trip on a tuk-tuk and visit the central market, one of the markets built during the French reign in 1935. You can spend a full morning with the Prohoc Market, Samroung Knong Pagoda, and Ek Phnom temple along the Sangke River. Meet the local people and learn how they spend their daily life. This afternoon, drive to Prasat banon, a gorgeous ancient temple standing on the top of a hill. Also, you can visit the Phnom Sampeou, where you will see lots of temples full of monkeys in the hilltop. You will also witness the "deep canyon of ghosts," formerly used as mass tombs during the Khmer Rouge regime. On the way back, get a unique experience on the ride of a Bamboo trail, a small platform of bamboo powered by a gasoline motor on the rail.
Battambang to Phnom Penh
We depart from Battambang today. On the way to Phnom Penh, we will move through the town of Pursat, stop at Krokor mountain, where you will see a wide variety of fish products. Continue the trip through the Kampong Chhnang province, renowned for its floating towns and potteries. Then, see the sight of Oudong, a Khmer capital of the past. Then, head towards Kampong Luong village, a goldsmith's village. We will arrive in Phnom Penh in the late afternoon.
Today, we will move towards the Silk Island, a peaceful haven at 15 km from Phnom Penh. We have to cross the Mekong by the wooden ferry. In almost all the traditional stilt houses, women are weaving silk and cotton fabrics. Traditional patterns or textures of fabric for the Khmer lady can be found on this island. You can buy the finished product from the local seller at an attractive price. There is an option on the way back: visit the Russian Market; visit the museum S21, the notorious center of torture and interrogation under the Khmer Rouge regime.
By late afternoon: transfer to the airport according to your flight schedule.