Authentic Cambodia in Depth
The best Cambodia private English guided tour arrival at Phnom Penh. Discovering Phnom Penh highlights and board a local boat from Kratie waterfront to Koh Trong Island. Cycle through traditional Khmer villages, traveling to Sopheak Mitt Waterfall in the Mekong River and having a unique opportunity to view The Rare Irrawaddy dolphins from our kayaks at the nearby Anlung Cheuteal Dolphin Pool
Day 1 – Arrival in Phnom Penh
Upon arrival at Phnom Penh airport, you’re greeted by our experienced guide and transferred to your hotel for check-in. After check-in, you will be free on your own, either to stay in your room and prepare for tomorrow’s tour or going out to explore the area around your hotel by yourself.
Phnom Penh Hotel: Cardamom Hotel (4 Star)
Day 2 – Phnom Penh’s Highlights – The Killing Field (B)
After having breakfast at the hotel, head out to the Choeung Ek Memorial, where a stupa made up of some 8,000 human skulls marks the site of the infamous Killing Fields. This was the execution ground for the torture victims of Tuol Sleng and standing in this peaceful setting it’s almost unthinkable to imagine that to date nearly 9000 corpses have been exhumed from the area. Confront Cambodia’s tragic past on a guided tour of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a former school that served as a Khmer Rouge torture center. It’s estimated that more than 20,000 people were held and tortured here.
In the afternoon, visit the National Museum. Housed in a beautifully traditional building, it contains many outstanding examples of Khmer craftsmanship. Learn about a brighter period in Cambodian history with a visit to the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda. Explore Wat Phnom, a peaceful temple situated on a hill for which the city is named. According to legend, a 14th-century woman named Penh found sacred Buddhist objects in the nearby river and placed them here on the small hill.
Day 3 – Phnom Penh – Kratie – Koh Trong Island (B)
This morning, after taking your breakfast, we leave early by private transfer for our trip to Kratie. En route, we pass through Skuon (a small town famous for its tasty spiders), where it’s possible to sample an eight-legged snack. It’s recommended that you eat these furry arachnids as you would a crab, by cracking the body open and pulling the legs off one by one – delicious! Kratie is a picturesque town on the banks of the Mekong. Until recently Kratie was a strategic trading port on the river between Phnom Penh and Stung Treng. Both the French and Khmer Rouge found the town useful and there are a number of French colonial buildings that remain. Board a local boat from Kratie waterfront to Koh Trong for our island homestay. Approximately 280 families call this 6km island home.
Depending on the season and the height of the Mekong River we may need to walk up a stretch of beach and then take a local bike to our destination. The island is famous for growing grapefruits (supposedly some of the best in Cambodia), rice and other agricultural products. Our homestay is a wonderful opportunity to witness everyday Cambodian life and in the evening we enjoy a traditional-style dinner. Facilities are basic and multi-share with mattresses, bedding, and mosquito nets all provided. Underneath the house, a few hammocks are strung around making this a very scenic place to unwind.
Koh Trong Hotel: Homestay (3 Star)
Day 4 – Koh Trong Island – Kratie – Stung Treng (B)
A 9km loop road around the KohTrong Island’s perimeter provides opportunities for us to leisurely cycle through traditional Khmer villages, fruits orchards, and rice fields while observing the daily rituals and routines of traditional village life.
We will leave Koh Trang Island in the mid-afternoon to Kratie City. We wander down the river boulevard and take a break for lunch before driving to Kampi Reserved Center where you see the River Dolphins.
Afterward, we travel to Stung Treng situated on the banks of the San River (which flows into the Mekong River a few kilometers out of town).
Stung Treng Hotel: Golden River Hotel (3 Star)
Day 5 – Stung Treng Explore (B)
After having breakfast in a local restaurant, we start early for a full day of activities. Travel to the village of OuSvay and catch a local boat close to the famous Sopheak Mitt Waterfall in the Mekong River on the Cambodia-Laos border. We then hike back to Preah Rumkel where we enjoy a simple local lunch cooked by the community.
Afterward, we have a unique opportunity to view The Rare Irrawaddy dolphins from our kayaks at the nearby Anlung Cheuteal Dolphin Pool. Enjoy kayaking down the river through the spectacular flooded forests to Veun Sien village. (1.5-2 hours trekking, 2.5-3 hours kayaking)
Day 6 – Stung Treng – Preah Vihear (B)
This morning we set out on our journey to Preah Vihear Province traveling through the wilds of Cambodia. We will stop for a short visit to the Tbeng Meanchey city before driving on to SAEM Town where you check-in the hotel.
In the afternoon, drive up Preah Vihear Mountains to see the UNESCO Temple Sites of Preah Vihear, standing on The Hilltop of Dangrek Mountains Range. Down below is the border of Cambodia – Thailand.
Saem Tow Hotel: Happiness Guesthouse (3 Star)
Day 7 – Preah Vihear – Koh Ker temples – Siem Reap (B)
Your final destination today is Siem Reap, land of Angkor. However, we will not miss one of the most important temples along the way, Koh Ker temple Group, known as the Pyramid of ASIA. We will spend time walking around this nice temple, surrounded by small jungles, and big trees. Lunch not included Arrive in Siem Reap, check-in at hotel for the rest of your trip.
Siem Reap Hotel: Cheathata CTA Hotel Siem Reap (3 Star)
Day 8 – Siem Reap – Angkor Complex (B)
Visit the antique capital of Angkor Thom (12 century): the South Gate with its huge statues depicting the churning of the ocean of milk, the Bayon Temple, unique for its 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avalokitesvara, the Phimeanakas, the Royal Enclosure, the Elephants Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King.
Continue to the most famous of all the temples on the plain of Angkor: Angkor Wat. The temple complex covers 81 hectares and is comparable in size to the Imperial Palace in Beijing. Its distinctive five towers are emblazoned on the Cambodian flag and the 12th-century masterpiece is considered by art historians to be the prime example of classical Khmer art and architecture. Enjoy wonderful sunset from the top of the Pre Rup Temple. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 9 – Siem Reap – Another day at Angkor Complex (B)
Visit Banteay Srey, known as Citadel of Women or a Pink Temple, and Banteay Samre Temples. Visit the unique interior brick sculptures of Prasat Kravan, Srah Srang (“The Royal Baths” was once used or ritual bathing), Banteay Kdei (surrounded by 4 concentric walls), Ta Prohm, one of the area’s most beautiful temples. Ta Prohm has been relatively untouched since it was discovered and retains much of its mystery.
Neak Pean, a fountain built in the middle of a pool (representing the paradisiacal Himalayan mountain-lake) and Preah Khan temple, Built by King Jayavarman VII. Preah Khan is, like Ta Prohm, a place of towered enclosures and shoulder hugging corridors. Unlike Ta Prohm, however, the temple of Preah Khan is in a reasonable state of preservation and ongoing restoration efforts should maintain and even improve this situation.
Day 10 – Siem Reap – Tonle Sap Lake – Leaving Siem Reap (B)
In the morning, we will enjoy a boat ride on the Tonle Sap Lake at Kampong Phluk Village. This is the largest permanent fresh-water lake in South East Asia and flows into Tonle Sap River, joining the Mekong in Phnom Penh. We will see a fishermen’s “floating village” with floating schools, floating police station, etc. It is the same as a big village floating on the lake, and the “village” moves from place to place following water levels and current. Next, transfer to Siem Reap airport for flight to the next destination.
Specification: Authentic Cambodia in Depth