Day 1 + 2 Phnom Penh
Arrival in Phnom Penh international airport where you’ll be met and assist by our guide. Transfer to your hotel, rest and if time permits we will have tour to visit Phnom Penh.
In day 2 of your visit, you will be guided through the city’s must see sites, we head out to the National Museum, with its collection of classic Khmer craftsmanship, is well worth a visit. The private quarters of the Royal Palace are home to King Sihamoni and are closed to the public, but you could visit the Silver Pagoda that lies in the palace complex, which is the most sacred temple in the country. Consider a visit to Wat Phnom, a peaceful temple situated on a hill for which the city is named. According to legend, a 14th-century woman named Penh found sacred Buddhist objects in the nearby river and placed them here on the small hill. A great way to spend your first evening after the meeting is to stroll along the famous Sisowath Quay and enjoy a coffee or cocktail at one of the many cafes while observing the busy river traffic.
Day 3 + 4 Battambang
Travel to Battambang with pricate car for an about 5 hours, this is Cambodia’s second-largest city, a riverside town of French elegance. The city is famous for its many statues of animals and divinities that decorate the streets and buildings. The city lacks the traffic of Phnom Penh and the visitor numbers of Siem Reap, so it’s a great place to get a real slice of Cambodia. In the evening, perhaps walk along the riverfront where locals indulge in hobbies such as yoga and folk dancing
Next, you’ll enjoy a half-day bike trip through the beautiful surrounding countryside of Battambang. Stop along the way to discover the local rural way of life, discovering small cottage industries producing sticky rice, noodles, and fish paste. There are a number of activities for your free afternoon today. Perhaps take a ride on the famous bamboo train, a great chance to interact with locals. Previously mainly used for transporting agricultural products and people, it’s often one of people’s favorite activities. The train is made of a wooden and bamboo carriage powered by a small engine. Maximum speed is around 15 km per hour and it can easily be disassembled when carriages come in the opposite direction. You can also see students rehearsing in their circus and music school, and young painters at work in visual arts (open on Mondays and Thursdays only). There’s also an optional cooking class to learn the secrets of local dishes such as amok, Khmer curry, and fried spicy chicken.
Day 5 + 6 + 7 Siem Reap / Angkor Wat
Travel by private boat across the Tonle Sap Lake (approximately 7 hours), taking in the magnificent views, scattering of fishermen and local people living atop their floating villages. The small but expanding town of Siem Reap is the gateway to Angkor. This is the most popular destination for travelers in all of Cambodia, perhaps even in South East Asia. You’ll probably notice a change of pace here, so take a walk and enjoy the atmosphere.
A visit to the old market is a must, even if you’re not looking for souvenirs; wandering through the stalls and surrounding shops, the silks, cottons, sarongs, silver and statues are a riot of colour and a feast for the eyes. There’s also a long tradition of shadow puppetry in the region, and if you’re lucky you might catch a show at one of the local restaurants in the evening, perhaps while you’re eating the speciality cuisine of Cambodia – amok, the name given to curry steam-cooked in banana leaves.
Next: Spend a full day temple-hopping with your local guide to make the most of your visit to the world-famous Angkor complex, built between the 9th and 13th centuries when the Khmer empire was the pre-eminent influence in South-East Asia. The ruins are scattered over an area of some 160 square kilometres, but the main cluster of temples is close to Siem Reap so you’ll have plenty of time to fully appreciate the great archaeological sites. These include Angkor Wat, the Bayon and the jungle-covered Ta Prohm. The temples were believed to represent the cosmic world and were set in perfect balance, symmetry and composition. The intricately carved bas-reliefs and architectural designs are mind-blowing and there are spectacular photographic opportunities at any time of day – watching a sunrise or sunset is a must.
Next: Continue your exploration of the Angkor Complex this morning on a half-day tour. The constructions you’ll see yesterday and today include the eponymous Angkor Wat, the largest and most complete structure, and the only one of Angkor’s temples that has its entrance facing west – the others face east. Then there is Angkor Thom, the ‘Great Royal City’, a temple that is famous for its series of colossal human faces carved in stone. Of all the temples visited, Bayon temple is the centrepiece, with over 200 smiling carved faces and more than 50 gothic towers. You’ll also visit Ta Prohm temple, where nature has taken over again and large trees are embedded in the stone foundations of the structure.
Your afternoon will then be free and there are some optional activities to keep you busy. If you feel like some adventure, maybe do the Flight of the Gibbon zip-line course, which gives you a birds-eye view of the beautiful rainforest – and an adrenaline rush, of course. You could get to the heart of Cambodia through its food with a cooking class, where you’ll whip up a 3-course gourmet meal, get to experience local village life, and, best of all, eat your culinary creations. Another option is to visit the sobering Landmine Museum. It’s located a little further field, but is well worth the journey.
Day 8 + 9 Enjoy your holiday at the beach in Sihanoukville
Today, you’ll take a short flight to Sihanoukville, Cambodia’s number one beach destination. There are several optional tours available, chat to us for more details and price tag per person
Day 10 Phnom Penh departure
Our driver will transfer you overland from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh airport for departure flight. Thank you for traveling with CambodianPrivateTours.com