Siem Reap, a resort town in northwestern Cambodia, is the gateway to the ruins of Angkor, the seat of the Khmer kingdom from the 9th–15th centuries. Angkor’s vast complex of intricate stone buildings includes preserved Angkor Wat, the main temple, which is pictured on Cambodia’s flag. Giant, mysterious faces are carved into the Bayon Temple at Angkor Thom.
Welcome to Siem Reap, check in your hotel and start the tour in the afternoon. Visit the temples of the Roluos Group, dated back from 8th and 9th century, consists of three main temples: Bakong, Lolei and Preah Ko. Here you will have a traditional blessing ceremony. Welcome dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Today you will visit the ancient city of Angkor Thom – the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII. The city is surrounded by an 8m high wall. We will enter the city through the ancient South Gate, an impressive stone gate carved with Elephants and four giant faces. On each side of the entrance path is a row of 54 gods or demons is holding the sacred Naga snake. Continue to Bayon Temple – built in 12th century with 54 towers of faces representing provinces of the Khmer Empire. You will also visit Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King. Finish the day at the famous Angkor Wat – built during the reign of King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century. Angkor Wat has more than 2,000 Apsara dancers carved in the temple and many other parts depicted legends, history and lives at the time. Leaving Angkor Wat, we head to Ta Prohm temple the famous temple with overgrown trees over it, also where the Tomb Raider movie was filmed. Back to your hotel. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Visit Kbal Spean, one of the earliest Hindu pilgrimage sites in Cambodia. A short 3 km trek up the hill through dense jungle will reward you with excellent views over the plains and the Kulen hills. At the top, you will see the “River of 1000 Lingas” with some remarkable stone carvings of Hindu gods, animals and other symbols in the river bed. Afternoon, visit Banteay Srei – “Citadel of the Women”. Banteay Srei remains the best preserved temple in Cambodia. The temple is unique and different with all other temples in Angkor Complex since it is constructed with pink sandstone. Back to Siemreap town. Overnight in Siem Reap.
After breakfast, board a private boat that will take you on a fascinating journey Tonlé Sap Lake to Battambang. You will pass floating villages and flooded forests. Pinic lunch on board. ( 6-7 hours boat trip). (Note: Boat trip is not available in dry season from Jan to June, road transfer will be an alternative choice.) Arrive in Battambang, check in and have a short rest. This afternoon, visit the local villages surrounding Battambang where you will learn how the locals produce rice paper, prahoc (Cambodian fish paste), grolan (sticky rice stuffed in bamboo), and other Khmer treats. Tonight, a special visit at Phare Ponleu Selpak. School of Music, Visual & Performing Arts – Phare Ponleu Selpak combines the arts to provide education, support and entertainment to the poor communities. (NOTE: The circus performance is on Mondays and Thursdays. On other days private performances are available on request and is charged as a supplement). Overnight in Battambang. Tour guide: English Speaking
A 3 hour bicycling tour in Battambang will give you a whole view of this charming city. Hop on the bike and let the tour guide take you on an interactive tour of Battambang’s historical downtown, including the old governors’ residence, abandoned or repurposed movie theathre from 1960s, new art galleries in historic building. In the afternoon, head to the Bamboo Train station. The Bamboo Train has been set up by the villagers in order to facilitate the transportation of goods and persons. The “train” itself is very basic: one bamboo platform on 4-wheels is activated by a small motor. Sitting on the platform, you will travel the 8 km to the next station through beautiful landscape and rice paddies (depending on season of visit).(Note: the train tracks from Battambang to Phnom Penh are currently being rebuilt. The long term future of the bamboo train ride cannot be guaranteed. Should the service stop we will arrange alternative sightseeing).After head towards Phnom Sampeau, meaning “Ship Hill” in Khmer, due to its distinctive shape, and one of the few hills standing out in this otherwise pancake-flat plain. From the small temple on the top, you will have a fantastic view over the typical landscape of paddy fields and sugar palm trees. Overnight in Battambang.
Depart Battambang for the overland transfer to Phnom Penh (duration 5 hours not including stops). Visit Kampong Chhnang, known for its traditional pottery, with many kilns at work in this province. Continue to Oudong, the former royal capital of Cambodia. Upon arrival at Oudong enjoy a traditional Khmer lunch at a picnic hut at the foot of the hill. Then, climb the stairs to the top of Oudong Mountain and enjoy magnificent views over the plains below. Before heading to Phnom Penh stop to take a look at the spectacular Vipassana Dhura Buddhist Meditation Center, also located in Oudong. Don’t forget to see the impressive jade Buddha, the mummified monk and the brightly painted walls telling the story of the Ramayana, the epic Sanskrit poem that decorates many pagodas seen around the country. Arrive to Phnom Penh in the late afternoon. Overnight in Phnom Penh.
Tour Phnom Penh on a Cyclo or tuk tuk. First, visit Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda. Next to National Museum. Lunch in local restaurant. Afternoon, option to visit Toul Sleng Genocide Museum, it’s needed to understand the history of Cambodia through the dark time. Or you can visit the Russian Market for shopping, finish the day visiting Wat Phnom. Overnight in Phnom Penh.
After breakfast transfer to the beach resort of Sihanoukville (4 hour drive). Arrive around midday and check into your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Sihanoukville.
Breakfast at the hotel. Enjoy your day at leisure or choose the optional tour below: Ream National Park The park was established in 1993 on a 210 km² area on the Gulf of Thailand that includes thick pristine jungle, mangrove forests and off-shore coral reefs. It’s a nature lovers paradise with nearly 200 bird species, many kinds of monkeys and it is also the habitat of the pangolin. You will be transferred to one of Ream’s most scenic isolated beaches, called Koh Sampouch. A BBQ seafood lunch is included in this shared excursion. Overnight in Sihanoukville.
Breakfast at the hotel. Enjoy your day at leisure or choose the optional tour below: Three Islands tour Take a boat trip departing 9am to explore three islands giving you the chance to snorkel, fish or just rest and relax. Visit Koh Chaluh, Bamboo Island. Have a seafood BBQ lunch. After an easy walk of 10 minutes to the other side of Bamboo Island before departing to either Koh Tres for some snorkeling or Koh Takiev for some more beach. Return to Sihanouk Ville at 4-5pm. Overnight in Sihanoukville.
Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer back to Phnom Penh for your departure flight.