Mystic Angkor & beautiful South Cambodia

Korong Koh Rong

Overview

Discover the architectural history of Cambodia and soak up the atmosphere of the countryside away from the usual tourist routes. This tour aims to show Cambodia from a slightly different point of view than the usual temples and beach itinerary. Scattered throughout Cambodia are some wonderful examples of old French colonial architecture. Much of these are left in a state of gentle decay, ramshackle vestiges of a bygone era. Starting at the magnificent temples of Angkor, you will travel by road through the country along a French colonial trail, ending your trip with a few days of rest on tropical beaches in the south.

 

Duration: 11 days, 10 nights

Tour Route: Siem Reap – Phnom Penh – Takeo – Kampot/Kep – Koh Rong island.

Starts/Ends: Hanoi/ Siem Reap (pickup & drop off at the hotel)

Group Size: Private tour only

Commencement date: anytime of the year.

Highlights:

  • Follow in the footsteps of pilgrims from the past along the immense causeway of the temple which is a city: the holiest of holiest, the one and only Angkor Wat
  • Angkor Thom means "the great city" in Khmer. The 12th-century royal Buddhist city is especially famous for its grand Bayon Temple, but has several other sights of interest as well.
  • Succumb to the enigmatic smiles of the 216 giant faces of the Bayon, Angkor’s strangest temple
  • Experience nature running riot at the mysterious ruin of Ta Prohm, the original Tomb Raider temple
  • Marvel at the exquisite carvings adorning the tiny temple of Banteay Srei, the finest seen at Angkor
  • Cycling along the roads less travelled, undiscovered by mass tourism
  • Discover the secrets of Bar street, Siem Reap’s quaffing capital where the action goes on all night and visit Angkor Night Market
  • Relax with a massage or spa, the perfect medicine for tired bodies
  • Tonle Sap Lake – See how people live their distinctive habits, in the floating villages of Southeast Asia’s largest fresh water lake
  • Click and clack on the bamboo train, which is one of the world’s all-time classic rail journeys
  • Wat Banon – Well-preserved ancient hilltop pagoda near Battambang, with superb views from summit
  • Tread peacefully upon the 5000 silver floor tiles at the Silver Pagoda, in the Royal Palace
  • Step back in time at the National Museum, home to the world’s finest collection of Angkorian sculpture
  • Check out the Art Deco masterpiece that Psar Thmei, Phnom Penh’s central market
  • Wat Phnom – on a leafy hill, Wat Phnom give you a view that has changed little in a half century
  • Soak up the city by night, with a happy hour cocktail, a fine meal and crawl through the city’s bars
  • Mekong Boat trips Cruise the river as the sun sinks behind the spires of the Royal Palace
  • Kick back in Kampot, a pretty riverside town with some of Cambodia’s best preserved colonial architecture
  • Explore abandoned villas and remote islands in the colonial-era beach resort of Kep, a town that’s slowly coming to life. Enjoy delicious fresh seafood.
  • Koh Rong, a true island paradise. With its white sand beaches and calm turquoise waters, and a refreshing absence of roads and fast-food joints.
 Duration: 10 day
 Category: Family Tours
 Suitable: Mystic Angkor & beautiful South Cambodia

Itinerary

BRIEF ITINERARY

Day 1: Welcome to Siem Reap

Day 2: Siem Reap (B/D)

Day 2: Siem Reap (B/L)

Day 4: Siem Reap – Phnom Pe nh (B/L)

Day 5: Phnom Penh (B/L)

Day 6: Phnom Penh – Takeo – Tampot (B/L)

Day 7: Kampot & Kep (B/L)

Day 8: Kampot – Sihanouk ville – Koh Rong island (B)

Day 9: Korong Koh Rong Free time for leisure (B)

Day 10: Korong Koh Rong Free time for leisure (B)

Day 11: Koh Rong island- Phnom Penh – Departure (B).

* B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner

Day 1: Arrive – Siem Reap, Welcome to Cambodia

Arrive at Siem Reap: Treasures of the Kingdom of Cambodia, special welcome to everybody, a moment of courtesy meeting, then self-introducing with our Cambodian tour guide in the meeting point of Siem Reap.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

Day 2: Pink Temple & Rolous group (Meal: Breakfast, Dinner)

Drive to the rural outskirts, 35km from Siem Reap to visit the smallest, but magnificent, Banteay Srei, built in the 10th century and dedicated to Shiva. The temple was the birthplace of the Khmer classical stylistic architecture. The bas-relief works are the best examples of Khmer classical art remaining. The pink sandstone structure bears a series of striking and beautiful sculptures, lintels, pediments and friezes. Khmers say the temple must have been carved by women because the details are too fine for the hands of a man. On the way back stop at Pradark Village, where you will see the villagers making palm sugar, and handicrafts for selling to tourist. It’s a nice chance for you to see the local people living at the country side with their struggling for daily life.

Drive straight to the Rolous Group including Lolei, Preah Ko & Bakong temple. This island temple consists of four brick towers on a double plate rite platform. The 3 temples Bakong, Lolei and Preah Ko – located 11 Kilometers (6.8 miles) southeast of the Siem Reap Market – comprise the Rolous group of monuments, and are dating back to the late ninth century. This is the earliest site of the 600 years Angkor Period that is open to visitors.

Dinner with Apsara Dance show at local restaurant.

For the travelers thirsting for cultural highlights of Cambodia, no visit to Cambodia is complete without attending at least one traditional Khmer dance performance, often referred to as 'Apsara Dance', after one of the most popular classical dance pieces. Traditional Khmer dance is better described as 'dance-drama' because the dances are not merely dance but also meant to convey a story or message.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

Day 3: Angkor highlight (Meal: Breakfast, Lunch)

After breakfast, we continue to Angkor Thom, which was the masterpiece of King Jayavarman VII.

Following the occupation of Angkor by the Chams from 1177 to 1181, the new king decided to build an impregnable fortress at the heart of his empire. We begin to visit Bayon Temple. At the exact center of Angkor Thom, this is an eccentric expression of the creative genius and inflated ego of Cambodia’s most celebrated king. From there, we walk to Baphuon, once of the most beautiful temples at Angkor, dating from the reign of Uditayavarman 1 in the 11th century. We continue to visit Terrace of the Leper King. Along the Terrace of Elephants, originally used as a viewing gallery for the king to preside over parades, performances and traditional sports. We continue to Ta Prohm ``Tomb Raider`` fame. Ta Prohm has been abandoned to the elements, a reminder that while empires rise and fall, the riotous power of nature marches on, oblivious to the dramas of human history. We continue our journey to the Mother of all temples: Angkor Wat. Believed to be the world's largest religious building, this temple is the perfect fusion of symbolism and symmetry and a source of pride and strength to all Khmers.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

Day 4: Siem Reap – Phnom Penh (Meal: Breakfast, Lunch)
After breakfast, travel by road from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh. On route you will witness the everyday lives of Cambodians as you pass through interesting provincial towns, bucolic villages with delightful scenery. This is no ‘freeway dash’ as you will often slow down to let cows and water buffalo wander across the road, pass horse drawn carriages, and school kids walking and cycling to/from school.

Before arriving at Phnom Penh, we stop at Kampong Khleang. Board a local boat to Kampong Khleang, meaning the village of the stilts, a lively commercial fishing village located south on the edge of the Tonle Sap lake. All houses are stilted and some are up to four & five meters tall. Enter the stilted village, now flooded and travel through this large town through to a more separate Vietnamese village on to the edge of the Tonle Sap.

Not far from Phnom Penh you may choose to stop at Skoun, also known as ‘Spiderville’ due to the deep fried tarantula that is the local delicacy. Are you adventurous enough to try one? You may wish to stop off in Kompong Kdei, to look at Spean Pratos – an ancient Angkorian bridge.
Upon arrival in Phnom Penh you will check-in to your hotel.

Overnight in Phnom Penh.

Day 5: Phnom Penh (Meal: Breakfast, Lunch)

After breakfast, we meet our guide and continue to learn about the dark side of Cambodia – Its more recent turbulent and harrowing history. Initially you visit the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum (also known as S21), ironically a former school, located in a quiet Phnom Penh suburb. This was the infamous Khmer Rouge prison / torture center. Once you have gained an initial insight of the brutality of the Khmer Rouge regime you will be driven 15km from Phnom Penh to visit the 'Killing Fields'. This is where Toul Sleng prisoners were forced to march and then executed; it is now a memorial site located in a beautiful quiet setting.

A short distance away you will visit the organization where most of the workers and staff at L'irresistible started out: Pour un sourire d’Enfant, meaning “For the smile of a child”. This organization is helping to improve the lives of the residents of Stung Meanchey, one of the poorest neighborhoods of Phnom Penh. Here you will learn about the struggles of daily life in poor urban Cambodia and how history has impacted the present. Be inspired by the work being done at the center through its education, vocational training, and job placement programs for street children. After learning about the school through an informative video, visit the souvenir shop and browse the items made by the parents of the center’s students. Then enjoy lunch at Lotus Blanc, where you can support the training of these kids by being their guest. (Note: closed on weekends and public holidays).

Afternoon, we visit to the Royal Palace compound, built in 1866 by the predecessors of King Norodom. This is the most conspicuous feature and also one of impressive colorful Khmer-style Palaces.

Nearside the Royal Palace is Silver Pagoda (The Emerald Buddha temple), which displays plenty of Buddha Statues that were decorated and made by diamond, emerald, gold and silver. We continue to visit the National Museum, the distinctive red building with a beautiful Khmer architecture, built since 1917 and which contains more than 5000 art objects made of sandstone, bronze, silver, copper, wood and others. Next, visit Wat Phnom, a Buddhist temple located in center of Phnom Penh City then free shopping at Russian market for souvenir.

Overnight in Phnom Penh.

Day 6: Phnom Penh – Takeo – Kampot (Meal: Breakfast, Lunch)

This morning, we leave Phnom Penh and head south. We first visit Tonle Bati where you can explore the small yet picturesque Angkorian temple of Ta Prohm. On the banks of the nearby river is a line of bamboo shacks with hammocks, a great place for a relaxing drink. We get on our car to the quiet town of Takeo before taking a short cruise to Angkor Borei town, located just a few kilometers from the Vietnam border. There is a small museum, which displays several reproductions of sculptures from the nearby ruins and a few artifacts dating back as far as the 4th century. After seeing this pleasant place, we continue our boat trip to visit a pre-Angkorian style temple of Phnom Da and a nearby temple of Asram Maharosei. The steep path over some big rocks makes Asram Maharosei different from other temples in Cambodia.

We then continue south following the picturesque drive to Kep / Kampot. The southern coast of Cambodia, edging the border with Vietnam, once served as a glamorous seaside resort for the French in the early 1900s. Evocative of the French Riviera towns along the Mediterranean coast; the towns of Kep, Sihanoukville and Kampot have tree-lined, wide roads fringing the ocean, large statues, luxury villas, casinos and even a palace overlooking the Gulf of Thailand.

Overnight in Kampot.

Day 7: Kampot/Kep Exploration (Meal: Breakfast, Lunch)

After breakfast, we begin a trip to the Crab Market to sample some of the delicious fresh crab that Kep is famed for. This is also a must.

Embark on a short boat trip to one of Cambodia’s best kept secrets, Rabbit Island.  Known as ‘Koh Tonsay’ by locals, this very laid-back little island is home to beautiful simple, white-sand beaches, a clear calm sea and has not been spoilt by mass development. Spend the morning relaxing on the island; beach chairs, hammocks and even cabins are provided and cold drinks are easily available. The clear blue sea is perfect for swimming or snorkeling (your boat driver can supply snorkeling gear for a small charge). The more active can even choose to hike around the island.

Visit Kep National Park and doing the Sunset Rock hike to observe the sun setting over the Gulf of Thailand (walking shoes, a map and flashlight are needed). Alternatively, a short walk or cycle tour around the tiny town will take you past crumbling colonial villas, an assortment of statues (including one of a giant crab) and the lovely little beach.

Overnight in Kampot.

Day 8: Kampot – Sihanouk Ville – Koh Rong (Meal: Breakfast)

We then travel along the southern coast towards Sihanouk Ville, which has long been a place of relaxation for Cambodians. Arrived in Sihanouk Ville, we take a fast boat to Koh Rong “Paradise Island”.

Overnight Koh Rong.

Day 9 + 10: Koh Rong – Free Leisure (Meal: Breakfast)

Enjoy a full day of sun and swimming in the warm coastal waters. This is the moment that the dream of going on vacation to an exotic country becomes reality.

Overnight Koh Rong.

Day 11: Koh Rong – Phnom Penh – Departure (Meal: Breakfast)

We say farewell to the island and take the express boat back to Sihanouk Ville. Upon arrival at Sihanouk Ville port, meet your driver (without guide) and drive back to Phnom Penh. Arrive in Phnom Penh, transfer to airport for departure to next destination. It’s time to say goodbye, we thank you for traveling with us and warmly welcome you to come again.

*** Note: To have enough time, please book departure flight from Phnom Penh not early then 4 pm.

*** End of our services ***

Important Information

Price Includes, Price Excludes

Meals

Transportation

Accommodation

Price Includes

  • Accommodation with daily breakfast in double shared room
  • Meal: as mention in program (B: Breakfast, L: Lunch and D: Dinner)
  • Airport transfers & Tours by air con. vehicles as per program
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees as specified
  • Local English-speaking guide as per program
  • All boat trip as mentioned in program
  • 24hours supporting hotline
  • All government taxes
  • Boat ticket: Sihanouk Ville – Koh Rong – Sihanouk Ville
  • Cold water and towel during tours

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Cancellation by Customer

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