The Cambodia Tour is an itinerary of 10 days duration through places, colours, flavors, scents and sensations that manifestly show the diversity and richness of this wonderful country. This Cambodian journey unfolds before your eyes like a movie whose decor changes with each scene and where the viewer never feels bored, not even for a second. An ideal itinerary to discover this much undiscovered country with its amazing artistic heritage, its beautiful landscapes, lifestyle, culture, and with abundant opportunities for sightings, handicrafts, gastronomy …
A half day city tour beginning with the Royal Palace, within which is the Silver Pagoda. Next to see the National Museum of Fine Arts. Last stage is a visit to the Buddhist temple at Wat Phnom, which is linked to the founding of Phnom Penh.
Morning start to Kratie, (320 km road around 6am), via Kampong Cham. Stopping at Skoun Market, renowned throughout the country for its culinary specialty: giant land spiders. Arriving early afternoon to book into a resort on an island in an absolutely beautiful setting, where no cars are allowed. Rest of the day is left to visit the island with its villages, either by bike or just by walking around. Or just simply staying and relaxing to enjoy the beauty and tranquility of the site.
Dîner at resort.
A cruise in search of the last freshwater dolphins. Leave for Kampong Thom (275 km road) around 6am.With a visit to a rubber plantation that once belonged to Michelin. Crossing Kampong Cham, the third largest city in the country. Much damaged during the war with Vietnam, but the center of town retains some beautiful colonial houses and a lovely temple of the eleventh century; Wat Nokor.
Shortly after the city a brief stop at Phnom Srey and Phnom Proh(The “Hill of Men” and “The Hill of Women”). A few km before reaching Kampong Thom, turning off to the right and a climb to Phnom Santuk Hill where many Buddhist sculptures can be seen, all carved into the same rock flank. Booking into the hotel.
Dinner at the hotel.
Departure for Siem Reap. 35 km after leaving Kampong Thom we turn off to visit the archaeological complex of Sambor Prei Ku. Arriving early to visit the group of Angkor temples. Then to view the Sunset at Pre Rup, one of the last brick temples built in about 961. It marks the end of an era and offers a superb view over the towers of Angkor Wat. Booking into the hotel by late afternoon.
The morning is devoted to Angkor Wat. The most majestic and famous temple-mountain site. Afternoon excursion to Banteay Srei, also called the “Temple of Women”. On the way back a brief stop at Banteay Samre; a small, attractive temple in the style of Angkor Wat.
Morning visit to Angkor Thom, “The Big City”. Inside, the first building to view is the Bayon, a temple mountain built to the glory of Jayavarman VII. Then a walk to see Baphuon, a majestic State Temple recently restored by the EFEO and whose base is 120 m by 100m and also Phimean Akas of the tenth century. From there we move on to the Elephant Terrace and the Leper King. In the afternoon a four temple visit within the Grand Circuit. First of all Preah Khanh, then Neak Pean, a Hindou inspired building, then to Ta Som, a Buddhist temple topped by towers of faces, now almost engulfed in vegetation as in the final temple :Ta Prohm, certainly the most romantic of them all.
Transfering then to Battambang by road (175 km, about 3h30). First stop after about fifteen km to visit a village specialized in the breeding of silkworms. Shortly before arriving at Battambang, a second stop to learn about the making of rice paper, which is used in many culinary dishes. Then to Ek PhnomTemple. The afternoon is left for a tour of the city with its market, iron bridge and the Governor’s residence. (Not French, but Thai, built about 1830), there are also some beautiful colonial houses.
The whole day is devoted to the discovery of Battambang and its region, still little known but with many possibilities for discoveries and activities. The program can be put together beforehand or on site with the guide to hand, based on your interests and the season. This is an opportunity, for example, to visit modern pagodas or to climb to the small temples atop of Phnom Banon and Phnom Sampeou. The more athletic can try a kayak descent from a village to the city center, and gourmets can follow a cooking class with lunch in a local home and a walk to the market. Also a visit to the fish market and the manufacturing of “prohoc”, followed by an incense factory producing 2,500 sticks per day. There’s a tour to the studio of a sculptor and a rice cake maker … for everyone, a ride on a “bamboo train” from O’Saloa to O’Tambang: a unique form of transport in the whole world connecting two villages, whilst at the same time providing a beautiful view of the Cambodian countryside.
Return to Phnom Penh by Highway 5, along the southwest shore of the Tonle Sap (290 km, about 8 hours). Two thirds of the way, we leave the main road for a very bumpy secondary road leading to a floating village inhabited by a population of 7,000 people. Grouped together are about 1,300 ethnic Vietnamese, Khmer and Cham families. A canal visit follows by boat and then continuing on to Kampong Chhnang, a small town famous for its pottery and finally arriving in Phnom Penh by late afternoon.
Free day for shopping and sightseeing then transfering to the airport in time for your return flight.
End of services.
An ideal complement to the tour around the Tonle Sap is a getaway into the provinces that opens up the Gulf of Siam: Kep, Kampot, Sihanoukville and its islands that offer great opportunities for new discoveries, swimming, relaxing, diving.