Tailored from $3,000 per person excl. flights
15 Days Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Koh Trong, Kampong Thom, Kep
15 Days Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Koh Trong, Kampong Thom, Kep
Your holiday take in the essential highlights of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap and the cultural and historical offerings of Phnom Penh. A complete adventure, you also go off the beaten track and explore the provinces of Cambodia including the small town of Kratie, where you may meet the rare Irrawaddy fresh water dolphins. You will also take the time to learn about the way people live in traditional communities as well as enjoying some relaxation time on lazy beaches.
Arrive into Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh city tour
Phnom Penh to Ko Trong
Ko Trong community island project
Kratie, Irrawaddy Dolphins
Sambor Pre Kuk to Siem Reap
In and around Angkor
Angkor Wat sunrise and Tonle Sap Lake
Explore Siem Reap
Fly to Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh to Kep
Boat trip to Rabbit Island
Return to Phnom Penh
Depart Phnom Penh
We will meet you on arrival at Phnom Penh (PNH) airport, look out for the Wayfairer welcome sign, and transfer to to your hotel for the night on a B&B basis. Depending on your arrival time you may be able to visit the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda with its floor made of 5000 silver tiles and also take a cycloe tour of the city. If you arrive late in the day then you can get an early start tomorrow and begin your complete Cambodian adventure after a relaxing first night.
You take a tour of the capital today, beginning at the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda if there was no time yesterday. Next there is the option to go around the Tuol Sleng Prison where prisoners of the Khmer regime were held and killed. Although disturbing, it is an incredible historic account of comparably recent events in the country and highlights the changes that have taken place since it was closed.
After lunch we visit another important landmark of Cambodia’s tragic past are the Choeung Ek Killing Fields just outside the city and it is a very emotional place to visit and learn about Cambodian history during the time of the Khmer Rouge regime.
Today we head northeast on our way to Kratie. We make a stop at Skoun a small town whose culinary specialty is deep fried spiders! The friendly local kids sell these eight-legged snacks and delight in joking with tourists who are rarely brave enough to try them. We’ll also stop at the unique Angkorian temple of Wat Nokor and a small Cham Muslim village. We arrive in Kratie, cross the river by local ferry and transfer to our accommodation for the night on Ko Trong Island.
Ko Trong is a small, beautiful island on the Mekong River, where a sustainable tourism project has been developed by the locals to create more opportunity for the island dwellers themselves. We support this project, which provides a slice of rural Cambodian life for visitors. We have an opportunity to work alongside the locals, tending to fields, planting tress or learning how to fish. The island is around 5 miles long and perfectly flat, making it ideal for a relaxing cycle to take in the beautiful fruit orchids. A wonderful way to experience the real Cambodia and still stay in rustic comfort we spend another night in this idyllic island retreat.
This morning we cross the river and drive north to catch a glimpse of the rare Irrawaddy fresh water Dolphin. An endangered species this is one of the last sanctuaries where people can see this elegant creature. We go out with a local boatman who knows the best spots for an encounter with the Dolphins. We then head south, crossing the Mekong by local ferry and making our way to Kampong Thom, our overnight base for visiting your next day exploration of the pre-Angkorian temples of Sambor Pre Kuk.
This morning we explore the temples of Sambor Pre Kuk. Scattered throughout the forest, this was the largest temple complex in Southeast Asia at the time. Built between the 6th and 8th centuries these temples are not as intricate or dramatic as their Angkorian successors, but offer an excellent chronological introduction to Khmer architecture. We then continue on our way to Siem Reap, the gateway to the most amazing temples the region has to offer. Upon arrival in Siem Reap there is time to relax or you may wish to visit the Angkor Wat temples for sunset if you still have the energy.
You start your exploration of the Angkor complex this morning by bicycle. Making an early start to avoid the crowds and enjoying the relative cool of the morning, we use a support vehicle to take us into the temple complex avoiding the surrounding busy roads. Today’s cycle focuses on Angkor Thom, the walled city built in the 12th century. This tour focuses on the excitement of discovery and exploration. We start at Ta Prohm where giant trees spread their roots across the temples. We then use quiet roads, small tracks and alternative approaches to visit other temples and really feel the magic of Angkor. In the afternoon we return to the temples by vehicle and visit Banteay Kdei, Sra Srang (the Royal Bath), East Mebon and then Pre Rup for sunset.
This morning enjoy sunrise at Angkor Wat itself. Built in the 12th century in the high classical style of Khmer architecture, Angkor Wat still stands as a great symbol of Cambodia. The sun rises from behind the five towers of the temple and the experience is truly extraordinary. We bring a packed breakfast and stay at Angkor while the majority of visitors return to their hotels for breakfast.
We then take a detailed tour of one of the largest religious monuments anywhere in the world. After lunch we take a break from the temples and head out to the Tonlé Sap River and the floating village of Kompong Phluk .The river is the home to many Cham and Vietnamese communities living on floating villages around the lake and is a much quieter area than where most of the tourists visit. The lake is the pulsing heart of Cambodia and is where many Cambodians make their daily living. Everything here happens on the lake; schools, shops, restaurants and even floating pigsties.
We continue our exploration of Angkor with visits to Banteay Srei. This is another of the highlight temples and boasts the finest and most intricate of all the carvings to be found in Angkor. Carved from pink sandstone the name translates as ‘The Citadel of Women’ because it was felt that the hands of men could not create such delicate beauty. We’ll also stop at the Land Mine Museum. This small self-guided museum offers a fascinating insight into Cambodia’s troublesome past and its continuing problems with unexploded ordinance.
This afternoon our exploration of Angkor takes us to the ancient city of Angkor Thom and the extraordinary Bayon temple. We time our visit carefully to ensure we that we are there after the crowds have moved on. As the sun gently falls it casts its rays on the giant stone faces and as the light changes so do their expressions creating a magical experience!
Today a short flight takes us back to the capital. A relaxing afternoon can be spent checking out some of the local shops, cafes and restaurants that Phnom Penh has to offer. There is an up and coming scene of local and expat designers and we often have a chance to meet with the owners and designers to talk about living and working in this vibrant city. We then make our way to the National Museum where you will see the world’s finest collection of Cambodian sculpture. This evening you can dine in one of many fine restaurants and your guide will be happy to recommend something to suit your taste.
After breakfast we head south and make our way towards the coastal town of Kep. During the 1950s and 60s Kep was Cambodia’s premier seaside resort and attracted the Khmer elite as well as the French expats. Many a luxurious villas was built here: some in the colonial style, some Khmer and some were very modern for their time. There has been something of a 21st century revival of Kep as a destination and many of the villas have been restored and are now hotels or private residences. Kep now boasts a number of charming boutique accommodations and stylish restaurants.
Nearby Kampot is a wonderful riverside town with some of Cambodia’s best-preserved colonial architecture. The town itself is small and easy to explore by foot. We can pay a visit to a pre-Angkorian pagoda cave known as Phnom Chhnork. This offers some beautiful natural scenery and depending on the time of year we may be able to join in with the locals and help them working in their fields. This region is famous for its production of fruit, vegetables and pepper and again depedning on the season it may be possible for you to visit some local plantations. A sunset cruise on the river is a wonderful way to end the day before you return to your hotel.
Today we take a short boat ride to Rabbit Island. This is a beautiful little island just a short way off the coast from Kep. There are no developments here other than some very simple family-run bungalows and restaurants. Seaweed farming is the only other activity on the island. The golden sand beach here is perfect for swimming and palm trees offer shade at the waters edge. If you’re feeling adventurous you can enjoy squid fried in local Kampot pepper. If this doesn’t take your fancy then swim, have a massage and simply relax on this idyllic island paradise.
We make a leisurely start this morning so there is time for a last swim or walk along the beach before we make our way back from Kep to the capital as the end of your journey draws near. In the evening we take a short sunset cruise on the Tonlé Sap River. You will pass Cham houseboats, floating villages and watch the sun set behind the majestic Royal Palace. There is no better way to watch the sunset for one last time in Cambodia.
Your complete Cambodian experience finishes today after breakfast and we will transfer you back to Phnom Penh (PNH) airport in plenty of time for your onward journey. A truly extraordinary adventure in the Kingdom of Cambodia will you leave with memories that last a lifetime.
Offering a private hideaway in Phnom Penh, Villa Langka is a boutique hotel that overlooks the Wat Langka temple.
Rajabori Villas Resort offers guests a place to stay that perfectly reflects this Koh Trong's philosophy of tradition and nature.
The only boutique hotel in Kampong Thom, Sambor Village offers a tranquil retreat to relax and soak in the Cambodia's local culture.
Grand, softly lit spaces and colonial charm makes Anantara Angkor Resort a truly unique destination in Siem Reap.
Knai Bang Chat prides itself on its signature blend of privacy and personalised service. making it the ideal gateway to minimalist living.
Ko Trong is a small island on the Mekong where a sustainable tourism project has been developed by the locals to create more opportunity for the islanders. We support this project, which provides a slice of rural Cambodian life for travellers, by providing an opportunity to work alongside the locals, tending to fields or learning how to fish.