Cambodia in Depth

Cambodia in Depth

11 Days / 10 Nights Siem Reap to Phnom Penh or vice versa

Price from$3,536

• Siem Reap • Angkor Temples • Phnom Penh • Sihanoukville • Battambang

Cambodia's culture and history is on show in this exploration starting in Siem Reap with a bird's eye view of Angkor Wat from a helium balloon. You will also visit local villages, explore less visited temples, and enjoy a boat ride along the Mekong River.

Phnom Penh is home to the astounding Silver Pagoda, and museums commemorating the turbulent times of Pol Pot. The delicious Khmer cuisine will delight, and your trip ends with time to kick back and relax in the beautiful and unspoiled beach resort of Sihanoukville.

Day 1: Arrive Siem Reap (D) Upon arrival into Siem Reap, you will be met by your English speaking guide and transferred by private car to your hotel. (The regular check-in time for all hotels is 2pm. Early check-in is not included).

A traditional Khmer welcome dinner will be set for you at The Sugar Palm, set on the terrace of a typical wooden house.

Overnight at: 3 1/2 star: Tara Angkor - Superior Room 4 star: Victoria Angkor Hotel - Superior Room 5 star: Raffles Grand Angkor Hotel - State Room

Day 2: Siem Reap (B) Start the day at sunrise with a transfer to the picturesque Ta Prohm. This beautiful temple is overgrown with fig trees, giving a haunting yet exotic atmosphere. The magnificent roots of the trees have merged over the centuries with the temple's huge stone blocks, emphasizing a 'forgotten city' feeling. Continue to to the jewel of the Khmer Empire; Angkor Wat. Be amazed by the sheer size of the temple and learn how the Khmer Empire prospered between the 9th and 13th centuries. Stroll through the intricately carved hallways that show hundreds of fine carvings and discover small shrines still in use today by the local people. In the afternoon, visit Angkor Thom complex, the ancient royal city of Khmer Empire. Visit the Terrace of the Elephants, which served as a platform from where the King could welcome back his victorious army and the Terrace of the Leper King, which holds detailed carvings winding along a narrow passage way that leads to the Baphuon complex. End the day with a visit to the Ancient Royal City's centre piece; the Bayon temple. As you approach, you will notice the enigmatic faces of former King Jayavarman VII looking into every direction. Late afternoon is a perfect time to visit this highlight as crowds flock to Angkor Wat for sunset, leaving the Bayon standing majestically in the beautiful late afternoon sunlight to explore without the crowds. Return to Siem Reap for a well deserved rest.

Overnight at: 3 1/2 star: Tara Angkor - Superior Room 4 star: Victoria Angkor Hotel - Superior Room 5 star: Raffles Grand Angkor Hotel - State Room

Day 3: Siem Reap Beng Mealea > Banteay Srei > Siem Reap (B,L,D) Depart this morning on a pleasant drive of about 1.5 hours through the Cambodian countryside to Beng Mealea, a sprawling jungle temple constructed in a distinctly Angkor Wat style by King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century. It preceded and may have served as a prototype for Angkor Wat. Contrary to Angkor, few carvings or bas-reliefs are evident. Today the temple is largely overrun by vegetation and the stone walls are crumbling which adds to its charm in a unique way. Accessibility has improved as elevated walkways have been set up throughout most of the temple, although to see all corners does require a sense of adventure as you will need to climb over stone blocks or walk through narrow passageways. Drive on for lunch in a traditional Cambodian restaurant. Then head to Banteay Srei temple. This red sand-stone temple is one of Angkor's most significant structures as its walls are decorated with elaborate carvings which have been preserved remarkably well. They provide an excellent into the Angkor civilization and their beliefs. It was built in the 10th century and was dedicated to the Hindu god - Shiva. (It is advisable to wear sturdy, walking shoes with a decent grip)

Enjoy dinner with traditional dance at a local restaurant.

Overnight at: 3 1/2 star: Tara Angkor - Superior Room 4 star: Victoria Angkor Hotel - Superior Room 5 star: Raffles Grand Angkor Hotel - State Room

Day 4: Siem Reap > Battambang (B,L,D) After an early breakfast, embark on a private boat that will take you on a fascinating journey across Tonle Sap Lake to Battambang. You will pass floating villages and flooded forests, portraying life on this body of water that forms Cambodia's heart. Lunch on board. (Duration 5-7 hours. Note: This boat trip is only possible in the raining season as water levels would be too low during the dry season and transfer times extremely long. Alternative transport by road.)

Arrive in Battambang and enjoy some rest at the hotel. This afternoon, explore some of the many cultural villages around Battambang, where you will learn how the locals produce rice paper, prahoc (typical Cambodian fish paste), grolan (sticky rice stuffed in bamboo), and other Khmer treats. Lunch at local restaurant.

Tonight, a special visit awaits you at Phare Ponleu Selpak. School of Music, Visual and Performing Arts - Phare Ponleu Selpak combines the Arts to provide education, support and entertainment to the poor communities. This project is a success story of how humanitarian aid work can turn into a display of zest for life, genuine warmth and creativity, against all odds. A visit to one of their circus shows will leave you with a lasting memory of the wonderful Cambodian people and should not be missed when in Battambang! After the show, a dinner will be waiting for you at the center. (Note: The circus performance is not performed every day. Private performances are available on request).

Overnight at:
3 1/2 star: Bambu Hotel - Superior Room 4 star: Bambu Hotel - Suite 5 star: Bambu Hotel - Suite

Day 5: Battambang > Phnom Penh (B,L,D) Visit the village of Wat Kor, considered as the tourism village, but less visited. It has a lot of very old traditional Khmer houses dated from 1900s. The house Kor Sang (name of the house) is one of the traditional houses in the village aged over 100 years old. Many artifacts including traditional mirror, table, chair, wardrobe, cases were still left in the house to witness. Around the house, are many types of trees including sapodilla tree (97 years old), golden plum trees (97 years old) and so forth.

Today Kor Sang is owned and occupied by her former builder's grandchildren. It's a good chance to pay a visit at this house and interact with landlord and landlady. Take a tour around the house and its surroundings.

This afternoon, you will be transferred overland to Phnom Penh (duration 4 hours). Upon arrival, check in to your hotel.

Dinner at Malis restaurant.

Overnight at: 3 1/2 star: White Mansion Hotel - Deluxe Room 4 star: Amanjaya Hotel - Junior Suite (Double only) 5 star: Raffles Hotel Le Royal - State Room

Day 6: Phnom Penh (B) Phnom Penh is nowadays a bustling city and its ochre-coloured colonial buildings, bustling squares, trendy cafes, and frangipani-lined boulevards create an atmosphere that is unlike any other city in Southeast Asia. Set out on a city tour by cyclo to visit the National Museum, which houses Khmer art and sculptures from different periods of Cambodian history, and visit the Royal Palace. (Open from 8.00am to 10:30am and from 2.00pm to 5.00pm. Women should cover their shoulders and both men and women should wear skirts or shirts covering their knees).

The palace was built in 1866 by the French for King Norodom and is also home to the Silver Pagoda, which received its name because its floor is made up of 5,329 silver tiles. The palace has been inhabited by kings at all times with the exception of the period when the radical Khmer Rouge party took control in 1975. Under its leader Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge seized power and declared 'year zero'. Opt to learn more about these turbulent years when visiting the infamous Tuol Sleng Museum in the afternoon. Return to your hotel or to one of the riverside cafes or bars where you may want to take in the sunset.

Overnight at: 3 1/2 star: White Mansion Hotel - Deluxe Room 4 star: Amanjaya Hotel - Junior Suite (Double only) 5 star: Raffles Hotel Le Royal - State Room

Day 7: Phnom Penh > Biking Koh Dach > Phnom Penh (B,L) For those who are interested in Cambodian silks and silk weaving, set aside a full day for a boat trip to the rural weaving village on Koh Dach (aka 'Silk Weaving Island) a nearby island about an hour's boat trip up the Mekong River. The weaving village is a typical rural Cambodian stilted village, dedicated almost entirely too silk weaving - people operating hand looms under most of the houses, others dying and spinning silk on spinning wheels made of bicycle parts. There are few regular tours to the village and only a few tourists go there these days.

Cycle from your hotel to the pier and catch a local boat to Koh Dach. Unload your bikes and cycle around the villages, about 10km. Lunch in a local restaurant. Explore more villages and interact with the locals. Return to the pier for your boat journey back to Siem Reap. Note: Because of the remoteness of Koh Dach we are unable to supply a back-up vehicle for this trip.

Overnight at: 3 1/2 star: White Mansion Hotel - Deluxe Room 4 star: Amanjaya Hotel - Junior Suite (Double only) 5 star: Raffles Hotel Le Royal - State Room

Day 8: Phnnom Penh > Sihanoukville (B) Pick up at your hotel and transfer to Sihanoukville (3-4 hours), Cambodia's premier beach resort on the Gulf of Thailand. Upon arrival, check-in to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to enjoy Sihanoukville's white sandy beaches and crystal clear sea.

Overnight at: 3 1/2 star: Independence Hotel - Deluxe Room 4 star: Sokha Beach Hotel - Ocean Wing Superior Room 5 star: Sokha Beach Hotel - Ocean Wing Deluxe Room

Days 9-10: Sihanoukville (B) Days at leisure to relax on the beach.

Overnight at: 3 1/2 star: Independence Hotel - Deluxe Room 4 star: Sokha Beach Hotel - Ocean Wing Superior Room 5 star: Sokha Beach Hotel - Ocean Wing Deluxe Room

Day 11: Sihanoukville > Phnom Penh Departure (B) Free time at leisure until your transfer to Phnom Penh Airport for your departure flight. (The regular check-out time for all hotels is 12.00 pm. Late check-out is not included).

Reverse Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Phnom Penh (D) Upon arrival into Phnom Penh, you will be met by your English speaking guide and transferred by private car to your hotel. (The regular check-in time for all hotels is 2.00 pm. Early check-in is not included).

Welcome dinner will be celebrated for you at The Sugar Palm, set on the terrace of a typical wooden house.

Overnight Welcome dinner will be set for you at The Sugar Palm, set on the terrace of a typical wooden house.at: 3 1/2 star: White Mansion Hotel - Deluxe Room 4 star: Amanjaya Hotel - Junior Suite (Double only) 5 star: Raffles Hotel Le Royal - State Room

Day 2: Phnom Penh (B) Phnom Penh is nowadays a bustling city and its ochre-coloured colonial buildings, bustling squares, trendy cafes, and frangipani-lined boulevards create an atmosphere that is unlike any other city in Southeast Asia. Set out on a city tour by cyclo to visit the National Museum, which houses Khmer art and sculptures from different periods of Cambodian history, and visit the Royal Palace. (Open from 8.00am to 10:30am and from 2.00pm to 5.00pm. Women should cover their shoulders and both men and women should wear skirts or shirts covering their knees).

The palace was built in 1866 by the French for King Norodom and is also home to the Silver Pagoda, which received its name because its floor is made up of 5,329 silver tiles. The palace has been inhabited by kings at all times with the exception of the period when the radical Khmer Rouge party took control in 1975. Under its leader Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge seized power and declared 'year zero'. Opt to learn more about these turbulent years when visiting the infamous Tuol Sleng Museum in the afternoon. Return to your hotel or to one of the riverside cafes or bars where you may want to take in the sunset.

Overnight at: 3 1/2 star: White Mansion Hotel - Deluxe Room 4 star: Amanjaya Hotel - Junior Suite (Double only) 5 star: Raffles Hotel Le Royal - State Room

Day 3: Phnom Penh > Biking Koh Dach > Phnom Penh (B,L) For those who are interested in Cambodian silks and silk weaving, set aside a full day for a boat trip to the rural weaving village on Koh Dach (aka 'Silk Weaving Island) a nearby island about an hour's boat trip up the Mekong River. The weaving village is a typical rural Cambodian stilted village, dedicated almost entirely too silk weaving - people operating hand looms under most of the houses, others dying and spinning silk on spinning wheels made of bicycle parts. There are few regular tours to the village and only a few tourists go there these days.

Cycle from your hotel to the pier and catch a local boat to Koh Dach. Unload your bikes and cycle around the villages, about 10km. Lunch in a local restaurant. Explore more villages and interact with the locals. Return to the pier for your boat journey back to Siem Reap. Note: Because of the remoteness of Koh Dach we are unable to supply a back-up vehicle for this trip.

Overnight at: 3 1/2 star: White Mansion Hotel - Deluxe Room 4 star: Amanjaya Hotel - Junior Suite (Double only) 5 star: Raffles Hotel Le Royal - State Room

Day 4: Phnnom Penh > Sihanoukville (B) Pick up at your hotel and transfer to Sihanoukville (3-4 hours), Cambodia's premier beach resort on the Gulf of Thailand. Upon arrival, check-in to your hotel. The rest of the day is free to enjoy Sihanoukville's white sandy beaches and crystal clear sea.

Overnight at: 3 1/2 star: Independence Hotel - Deluxe Room 4 star: Sokha Beach Hotel - Ocean Wing Superior Room 5 star: Sokha Beach Hotel - Ocean Wing Deluxe Room

Days 5-6: Sihanoukville (B) Days at leisure to relax on the beach.

Overnight at: 3 1/2 star: Independence Hotel - Deluxe Room 4 star: Sokha Beach Hotel - Ocean Wing Superior Room 5 star: Sokha Beach Hotel - Ocean Wing Deluxe Room

Day 7: Sihanoukville > Battambang (B,L,D) Breakfast at hotel then drive bout 10 -11 hours to Battambang. On the way will stop at Kampong Chhnang province to have lunch and visit floating village. Continue to Battambang. Arrival Battambang around 5:00pm. Check in hotel and free at leisure.

Overnight at: 3 1/2 star: Bambu Hotel - Superior Room 4 star: Bambu Hotel - Suite 5 star: Bambu Hotel - Suite

Day 8: Battambang > Siem Reap (B,L,D) This morning we drive to Phnom Banan and walk to the top to reach the 12th Century Prasat Banan Temple to enjoy the breathtaking views over the surrounding plains. Return to town and stop at the vineyard for wine tasting; Battambang is home to the only vineyards in Cambodia. Continue with a walk through the village of Wat Kor, giving you an insight to traditional Khmer life, and visit one the Khmer houses which date back to the 1900's. Lunch is served at local restaurant.

We leave Battambang for Siem Reap, stopping at Puok District to visit the National Silk Centre, a fascinating way to learn about Cambodian silk. Here we can witness silk creation and the growing and harvesting of mulberries.

This evening transfer to a traditional Khmer Welcome dinner will be celebrated for you at The Sugar Palm, set on the terrace of a typical wooden house.

Overnight at: 3 1/2 star: Tara Angkor - Superior Room 4 star: Victoria Angkor Hotel - Superior Room 5 star: Raffles Grand Angkor Hotel - State Room

Day 9: Siem Reap (B) Start the day at sunrise with a transfer to the picturesque Ta Prohm. This beautiful temple is overgrown with fig trees, giving a haunting yet exotic atmosphere. The magnificent roots of the trees have merged over the centuries with the temple's huge stone blocks, emphasizing a 'forgotten city' feeling. Continue to to the jewel of the Khmer Empire; Angkor Wat. Be amazed by the sheer size of the temple and learn how the Khmer Empire prospered between the 9th and 13th centuries. Stroll through the intricately carved hallways that show hundreds of fine carvings and discover small shrines still in use today by the local people. In the afternoon, visit Angkor Thom complex, the ancient royal city of Khmer Empire. Visit the Terrace of the Elephants, which served as a platform from where the King could welcome back his victorious army and the Terrace of the Leper King, which holds detailed carvings winding along a narrow passage way that leads to the Baphuon complex. End the day with a visit to the Ancient Royal City's centre piece; the Bayon temple. As you approach, you will notice the enigmatic faces of former King Jayavarman VII looking into every direction. Late afternoon is a perfect time to visit this highlight as crowds flock to Angkor Wat for sunset, leaving the Bayon standing majestically in the beautiful late afternoon sunlight to explore without the crowds. Return to Siem Reap for a well deserved rest.

Overnight at: 3 1/2 star: Tara Angkor - Superior Room 4 star: Victoria Angkor Hotel - Superior Room 5 star: Raffles Grand Angkor Hotel - State Room

Day 10: Siem Reap Beng Mealea > Banteay Srei > Siem Reap (B,L,D) Depart this morning on a pleasant drive of about 1.5 hours through the Cambodian countryside to Beng Mealea, a sprawling jungle temple constructed in a distinctly Angkor Wat style by King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century. It preceded and may have served as a prototype for Angkor Wat. Contrary to Angkor, few carvings or bas-reliefs are evident. Today the temple is largely overrun by vegetation and the stone walls are crumbling which adds to its charm in a unique way. Accessibility has improved as elevated walkways have been set up throughout most of the temple, although to see all corners does require a sense of adventure as you will need to climb over stone blocks or walk through narrow passageways. Drive on for lunch in a traditional Cambodian restaurant. Then head to Banteay Srei temple. This red sand-stone temple is one of Angkor's most significant structures as its walls are decorated with elaborate carvings which have been preserved remarkably well. They provide an excellent into the Angkor civilization and their beliefs. It was built in the 10th century and was dedicated to the Hindu god - Shiva. (It is advisable to wear sturdy, walking shoes with a decent grip)

Enjoy dinner with traditional dance at a local restaurant.

Overnight at: 3 1/2 star: Tara Angkor - Superior Room 4 star: Victoria Angkor Hotel - Superior Room 5 star: Raffles Grand Angkor Hotel - State Room

Day 11: Siem Reap (B) Free time at leisure until your transfer to Siiem Reap Airport for your departure flight. (The regular check-out time for all hotels is 12.00 pm. Late check-out is not included).

• Tailor-made journey with local English speaking guides • 10 nights in your selected category of accommodation • Transfers & transport • Sightseeing & entrance fees • 10 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 4 Dinners

Pricing (per person) $NZD

Type TWIN SINGLE

2017

3 1/2 star

1 Apr - 30 Sep

4 star

1 Apr - 30 Sep

5 star

1 Apr - 30 Sep

-

-

$3,536

-

$3,946

-

$4,994

-

-

$6,276

-

$6,972

-

$9,134

Departs

2017 Daily

Booking conditions

• Surcharges apply during Chaul Chnam Thmey, the Cambodian New Year 13-16 Apr 2018. • Surcharges apply during public holidays.

If travelling during Chaul Chnam Thmey, the Cambodian New Year. In Cambodia, many shops, restaurants & businesses are closed during this period or may operate on a limited schedule. Departing Phnom Penh or Siem Reap by road may be difficult during this period since many locals will travel over the holiday as well. Flying between cities should be fine, although please allow for some delays and more traffic than usual. Local attractions in the countryside and around Phnom Penh will be crowded with domestic visitors, who usually travel with their entire family. It is recommended that during the Khmer New Year period, smaller local attractions like streams, waterfalls and parks are avoided as they will be very overcrowded with locals on holiday.

Please refer to World Journeys terms & conditions.

Not included

Cambodia visa