No internal flights. A luxurious 2 week private road trip exploring the wonders of Cambodia and tracing its development through the last 2 decades. 'Smile of Angkor' show, Spiderville, backstreets cyclo tour, Kampot sunset cruise on the former Royal vessel, Koh Tonsay Rabbit island, luxurious tent accommodation at the unique Four rivers floating resort, Cambodian village life and much more ...
SIEMREAP ANGKORWAT & ANGKOR THOM – PHNOMPENH – KEP – KAMPOT – SIHANOUKVILLE – KOH KONG
Price based on 2 persons travelling together and sharing a double/twin room.
Price includes : Private air conditioned chauffeur driven car, English speaking local guides, hotels as specified with daily breakfast, boat rides, admission fees, show tickets, main meals where stated, cyclo ride, permits to villages.
Price excludes : International flights ( quoted separately upon request ), Cambodia visa ( obtainable on arrival ), other meals, optional trips or entertainments, tipping and any service not specified.
Scheduled flights to SiemReap Angkor Wat with Singapore, Malaysia airlines,Thai Airways or Vietnam Airlines.
Day 2 Siem Reap (-/-/-)
On arrival in Cambodia at Siem Reap International Airport, go through immigration & customs before meeting with your local guide. Transfer to the luxurious Alila Sothea Hotel with the rest of the day to be enjoyed at your leisure.
Day 3 Siem Reap (B/L/-)
We depart the city for an unspoiled floating community called Kampong Phluk which is astonishing for its stilted-house villages and flooded forest. Stop on the way for the Rolous Market tour. This is a great chance for you to take the photos of locals selling indigenously grown vegetables, different fish species and other local produce. Have a glimpse of one of the bridges built in French colony and overlook at the Rolous River, whose waters flow into the Great Lake Tonle Sap. After this market tour boat trip to the floating community of Kampong Phluk. Visit an island pagoda, school and houses standing on 8 or 10m high stilts, fish farms and learn about the village life. Stop and have lunch in a family's house before getting into a row boat and venturing beyond the villages into the flooded forest, the habitat to some of water-bird species. Eventually we jump back in to the big boat and set off for the largest fresh water lake in SE Asia, Tonle Sap, before returning to hotel at around 3:30pm. Rest of the day is to enjoy your hotel and its facilities. Overnight at 5* The Alila Sothea Hotel.
Day 4 Siem Reap (B/L/-)
Rising early, we journey after breakfast 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. Built in the 12th century by King Suryavarman II, this is most famous temple at Angkor. We begin by unravelling the mysteries of the bas-reliefs that tell of tales from Hindu mythology and of the glories of the Khmer empire.
Also this morning, we continue to Ta Prohm temple, which 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. Left as it was 'discovered' by French explorer Henri Mouhot in 1860, the tentacle-like tree roots here are slowly strangling the surviving stones, man first conquering nature to create, nature later conquering man to destroy.
In the afternoon, we visit the immense walled city of Angkor Thom that 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. The scale is simply staggering and we are immediately overwhelmed by the audacity of Jayavarman on arrival at the city’s gates. The causeway is lined by an intricate bridge depicting the Churning of the Ocean of Milk from Hindu mythology in which devas (gods) and asuras (devils) play tug of war with a naga (seven-headed serpent) to obtain the elixir of immortality.
We begin our visit at the Terrace of the Leper King. This intricately carved platform was the royal crematorium and the statue that was originally thought to be the leper king is now believed to be Yama, the god of death. We continue along the Terrace of Elephants, originally used as a viewing gallery for the king to preside over parades, performances and traditional sports. At the southern end lies the Baphuon, once of the most beautiful temples at Angkor, dating from the reign of Uditayavarman in the 11th century. It has undergone a massive renovation by the French and is now once again open for viewing.
Our climax is the enigmatic and enchanting temple of the Bayon. At the exact centre of Angkor Thom, this is an eccentric expression of the creative genius and inflated ego of Cambodia's most celebrated king. Its 54 towers are each topped off with the four faces of Avalokiteshvara (Buddha of Compassion), which bear more than a passing resemblance to the king himself. These colossal heads stare down from every side, exuding power and control with a hint of compassion, just the mix required to keep a hold on such a vast empire. Before clambering upwards, we unravel the mysteries of the bas-reliefs, with their intricate scenes of ancient battles against the Chams and their snapshot of daily life during the Angkor period.
Day 5 Siem Reap (B/-/D)
Start the day with a visit to the fascinating local silk farm situated just outside of Siem Reap. Once here you get an insight into the life cycle of silk from the mulberry plants to the weaves to the finished article. Next is a visit to the 'Artisans d'Angkor' shop where you are able to pick up some high quality traditional Cambodian silk.
In the evening enjoy the fabulous and unique ‘Smile of Angkor’ stage show. Showcasing Cambodian history through a big stage dance and cultural show.
You will be picked up from your hotel at 6pm so you have plenty of time to enjoy the elaborate buffet dinner with an array of choice. This is then followed by the show performance at 7:15pm. You will then be picked up and transferred back to your hotel or into town at 8:45pm, for you to enjoy the rest of the evening as you wish.
Day 6 Siem Reap - Phnom Penh (B/L/-). 315 kms – 5 hours drive.
We leave after breakfast towards the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh, pausing at Skoun, affectionately known as 'Spiderville', where it is possible to sample the local delicacy of deep fried tarantula. We then arrive in Phnom Penh and check into colonial style Raffles Le Royal hotel before being taken to the waterfront for lunch.
Afternoon visits to the Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda under your own steam. As an alternative you can visit Wat Phnom before spending time for a bit of shopping.
Day 7 Phnom Penh (B/-/-)
Discover the streets of Phnom Penh with a cyclo tour of the city. A popular form of transport throughout Southeast Asia, the cyclo is still widely used in the Cambodian capital and is a comfortable way to see the sights. We start at Wat Phnom, symbol of the city, before heading west past the National Library.We pass Phnom Penh train station before winding our way down to Psar Thmei, the leading market in the city. We then snake through some of the smaller back streets, including 178 St, brimming with art shops, and Bohemian 240 St with its cafes and boutiques. We pass Independence Monument, modelled on the central tower of Angkor Wat and continue stopping to visit the infamous Toul Sleng museum (S-21) before returning to the elegant riverfront. We pass the glittering Royal Palace compound and the stunning National Museum before winding up back to your hotel.
Afternoon is at leisure. Overnight at Raffles le Royal Hotel.
Day 8 Phnom Penh - Kep (B/L/-). 165 kms – 2.5 hours drive
We begin the day with a visit to Choeung Ek (Killing Fields) which is located about 17km southwest of Phnom Penh, and is the best known of the various Killing Field sites in Cambodia. After some time for reflection we leave Phnom Penh and travel south on National Highway 2 towards the south coast, journeying to the old Frenchera seaside resort of Kep.
On the way to Kep we stop off for a brief stroll along Kampot’s river front and stop for lunch at Rikitikitavi. After lunch you will be met by our local guide who will take you on a fabulous sunset boat trip. At 4pm you will be welcomed aboard DIVA a 42 foot river boat, once belonging to King Norodom Sihanouk, she was once referred to as the 'Royal Vessel'. You depart to enjoy a leisurely cruise out towards the mouth of the South China Sea, enjoy a glass or two of icy-cold “Laughing Lizard” Sauvignon Blanc, camembert and crackers as the scenery slowly rolls by. Children frantically wave, as they sit on the veranda of their Muslim Cham, you pass mosques, mangroves and the salt fields with a view of Phu Quoc Island in the distance. After the sunset melts into the horizon you return back to Kampot at 6pm. Returning from the boat trip you will continue to Kep where you have the evening to enjoy at the hotel or wander across to the crab market to try some of the local delicacy.
Overnight at Knai Bang Chatt Resort.
Day 9 Kep (B/-/-)
We travel to the boat pier to board a local boat for the journey to Koh Tonsay or Rabbit Island. We journey across calm waters to this beautiful palm-fringed island, home to a small community of fisherfolk and farmers. We have the whole day to enjoy the white-sand beaches that ring the island, the sun, sea and sand before we travel back to Kep by boat.
Day 10 Kep - Sihanoukville (B/-/-). 130 kms – 2 hours drive.
We leave behind the beaches of Kep and head west towards the popular resort of Sihanoukville, home to Cambodia's finest beaches. We pass through the charming riverside town of Kampot where we may stop for some refreshments. From here, the pretty road passes under the shadow of Bokor Mountain and hugs the coastline for much of its length. We pass through some pretty fishing villages before we arrive in the small town of Veal Renh on National Highway 4. We head south to Sihanoukville, check into 5* Sokha Beach hotel and leave the rest of the day free to enjoy the beautiful beaches and warm waters. into 5* Sokha Beach hotel and leave the rest of the day free to enjoy the beautiful beaches and warm waters.
Day 11 Sihanoukville (B/-/-)
Day at leisure on the beach staying at Sokha Beach Hotel.
Day 12 Sihanoukville – Koh Kong (B/L/D). 225 kms – 3.5 hours drive.
We leave Sihanoukville and head back in land and then along route 48 which cuts straight through the jungle, with dramatic views of the magnificent Cardamom Mountains.
The resort is situated in Tatai, near Koh Kong and you embark at the steps of the bridge in the village of Tatai at 2pm. You then take a boat trip downstream from the bridge to the resort, which takes about 25 minutes in a cruising boat. Once at the floating resort you have the remainder of the day to get settled in to your luxury floating safari tent and to enjoy the beautiful and peaceful surroundings of rivers & mountains. Overnight at the exotic Four rivers Floating Lodge.
Day 13 Koh Kong (B/L/D)
One of the must-sees of the region is a day trip to the Tatai Waterfall. Away from the tranquillity of 4 Rivers Floating Lodge, the thunder of the majestic Tatai Falls reveals the river’s true power as it drops 6 meters to the rocks below. Your day, depending on the tide, starts at around 10am for the 45-minute boat ride past Tatai village to the falls. Turning on to a tributary you head into the heart of the Cardamom jungle to the far-off sounds of exotic birds and its secretive wildlife. Within minutes you are at journey’s end, gazing down into the turbulent waters of the falls. Soon it’s time for lunch, maybe a few moments hydro-massage and a refreshing drink as you find some shade for a picnic and open your senses to the sights and sounds of the jungle. We will also arrange to transport some kayaks for your added fun and adventure. After leaving the falls, we stop at the mouth of a small river where you can paddle your kayak to a traditional Cambodian farm; you will see rice fields and some fruit trees depending of the season.
Day 14 Koh Kong (B/L/D)
Today you only have to decide how to enjoy your last day in Koh Kong. You can just completely unwind and relax on your private pontoon, take out the lodge’s kayaks and explore the surrounding mangroves. Alternatively take one of the day trips, such as the source of life tour which allows you to discover the forest of the surrounding areas or a short excursion to a nearby local village where you will get an insight into a local Khmer village. And finish the day with a short kayak trip to see the beautiful flickering light of the river fireflies in the evening.
Day 15 Koh Kong - Phnom Penh (B/ L/-). 275 kms – 4 hours drive.
After breakfast we leave the river behind and transfer back to Phnom Penh, in plenty of time to the airport for your departing flight. We will arrange for you a packed lunch to take with you for the journey. Fly home via Singapore or Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok or Saigon.
Day 16 Arrive home.