Cambodia Emotion 8 Days

  • Duration:8 days
  • Destinations: Cambodia
884 USD

- Phnom Penh (ភ្នំ ពេញ): the name can’t help but conjure up an image of the exotic. The glimmering spires of the Royal Palace, the fluttering saffron of the monks’ robes and the luscious location on the banks of the mighty Mekong – this is the Asia many daydream about from afar.

Cambodia’s capital can be an assault on the senses. Motorbikes whiz through laneways without a thought for pedestrians; markets exude pungent scents; and all the while the sounds of life – of commerce, of survival – reverberate through the streets. But this is all part of the attraction.

Once the ‘Pearl of Asia’, Phnom Penh’s shine was tarnished by the impact of war and revolution. But the city has since risen from the ashes to take its place among the hip capitals of the region, with an alluring cafe culture, bustling bars and a world-class food scene.

- There's something about Battambang that visitors just love. Forget the fact that there's really not all that much to do in the city proper: the colonial architecture teetering into genteel disrepair, the riverside setting, the laid-back cafes – they all make up for it. It's the perfect blend of relatively urban modernity and small-town friendliness.

Outside the city's confines, meanwhile, timeless hilltop temples and bucolic villages await. Not to mention the most scenic river trip in the country, which links Battambang with Siem Reap.

That Cambodia's best-known circus (the magnificent Phare Ponleu Selpak) is here is no coincidence: the city has an enduring tradition of producing many of Cambodia’s best-loved singers, actors and artists.

- The life-support system for the temples of Angkor, Siem Reap (see-em ree-ep; សៀមរាប) was always destined for great things. It has reinvented itself as the epicentre of chic Cambodia, with everything from backpacker party pads to hip hotels, world-class wining and dining, and sumptuous spas.

This is good news for the long-suffering Khmers riding the wave, but it can make the town a little bling in places. While it's not exactly authentic, just a short distance away lies Siem Reap Province and the real Cambodia of rural beauty. Explore floating villages and rare-bird sanctuaries or just cycle (or quad bike or pony trek) through the paddies as an antidote to the bustle of town.

Angkor is a place to be savoured, not rushed, and this is the base from which to plan your adventures. Still think three days at the temples is enough? Think again, with Siem Reap on the doorstep.

8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS

ITINERARY

DAY 1: ARRIVE IN PHNOM PENH

Arrival flight: TBA

You’ll be welcomed at the airport by your local English-speaking guide and then travel by private car to your hotel, where your rooms are available anytime after 2 p.m. The balance of the day is free for you to relax. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 2: PHNOM PENH (B)

Enjoy a day of history beginning with visit an unmissable introduction to Angkor: the National Museum, a superb example of Khmer architecture which was officially inaugurated in 1920. Here, you’ll experience an amazing range of sculptures emanating from all different periods of Cambodian history. Visit the Royal Palace built in 1866 by King Norodom and comprising different structures grouped together in one enclosure. These house a remarkable collection of Khmer art. Here you’ll find the Silver Pagoda whose key works include a golden Buddha encrusted with 9584 diamonds and weighing 90kgs, and a Buddha featuring emeralds and Baccarat crystal dating from the 17th century.

Moving then to the south of the city, you’ll experience another period of Cambodian history: the regime of the Khmer Rouge. First a visit to Tuol Sleng, referred to as the genocide museum, a former secondary school which was transformed into a detention centre by the Khmer Rouge. The prison gate still bears its original school name, S21. Thousands of prisoners were detained here, tortured and killed. History continues then with a visit to the Killing Fields, Choeng Ek, 15km from Phnom Penh, the burial site for victims of Tuol Sleng. On your return to the city, experience a change of pace with a visit to the Russian Markets, known locally as Tuol Tumpoung, where you can stroll among all the stalls and vendors, trying your hand at bargaining. You’ll find here fabrics, jewels, crockery, handicrafts… all kinds of goods. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Note:

+ Visits to the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda will be led by guides on site as our guides are not authorized to do so.
+ The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda are sometimes closed without notice for official ceremonies. The visit will be replaced with another if possible.
+ The Russian market is closed on public holidays.

DAY 3: PHNOM PENH - BATTAMBANG (B / L)

An early start sees you off to cross the Cambodian countryside on a good road to Battambang. During the drive, you’ll see magnificent scenery of rice fields dotted with sugar palms and traditional wooden houses on stilts. After about two hours, you’ll arrive in Kompong Chhnang, a provincial town where you can walk through traditional potting villages and see local artisans at work making braziers for domestic cooking along with many other utensils and decorative pieces for the home. An hour later back on the road, we’ll stop at Kompong Luong village where a traditional boat will motor around the lake allowing you to view community life of a real floating village and all its unique characteristics. Lunch at the local restaurant. Afterwards, continuing on the road, arrive then at Battambang and your hotel. Dinner on your own. Overnight at the hotel.

Note: Battambang is not highly developed for tourism. Its restaurants, hotels and general services are still quite local.

DAY 4: BATTAMBANG (B)

Discover the charming town of Battambang, beginning with a tour by local Tuk-Tuk from which you’ll be able to see the elegant colonial French-style houses along the river. A visit of the provincial museum and a pretty wooden pagoda precedes your arrival at an 11th century temple, Wat Ek Phnom, the road to which bypasses many traditional villages. On the way, help a family make rice pancakes and talk with local Cambodians about their daily life. In the afternoon, travel along the river whose suspended bridges join all the villages together. Crossing the orange orchards, you’ll arrive at the superb 12-13th century temple Prasat Banon which towers over the peak of the hill you have just climbed up. From here, you can enjoy the beautiful village countryside scenery, the plains and their pagodas. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 5: BATTAMBANG - SIEM REAP (B)

In the morning, you leave Battambang to depart for Siem Reap by road (about 4 hour driving). Stop along the road to meet stone sculptors and watch them at their work. On the way, you also have chance to visit a silk farm, where you will see all the steps involved in making silk the traditional way from raising silkworms to weaving the silk and dyeing it. Via Sisophon in Banteay Meanchey province, you will travel through rice fields and the Cambodian countryside featuring traditional houses. Arrive Siem Reap in the early afternoon. Balance of the day is free for relaxing after the drive. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 6: ANGKOR WAT - BANTEAY SREI - TA PROHM (B)

Meet your guide at reception and head off to the marvellous temple of Angkor Wat, a world heritage site featuring the most extraordinary bas-reliefs. This is one of the most astonishing monuments ever conceived by mankind, and was erected in the 12th century (1112-1152) in honour of Vishnu. In the afternoon, leave for Banteay Srei, one of the most impressive jewels in the world of Khmer art. Built in the 10th century, this little pink sandstone temple whose name signifies ‘the citadel of women’ houses remarkable sculpted lintels in very good condition. Andre Malraux made it famous at the beginning of the 20th century after removing one of its Apsara heads. He restored it to Banteay Srei in 1923. On the road home, visit the ancient Ta Prohm monastery where immense branches have taken root in the stones. Here you will find splendid sculptured devatas (guardian angels) and experience an atmosphere entirely suited to this temple and all those built under the reign of Jayavarman VII. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.

DAY 7: TONLE SAP - ANGKOR THOM (B / L)

In the morning, leave for Kompong Khleang, a village 40km from Siem Reap and as yet bypassed by mass tourism. All the houses are on stilts offering an exceptional natural environment with breathtaking views of floodplains, rice fields and water vistas as far as the eye can see. Walk through the village meeting the locals and a family who raises crocodiles. Afterwards, travel by boat over the canals to a large lake where Vietnamese people live when they are displaced from their homes because of the seasons. Return to the village and have a picnic lunch in a villager’s home.

Return to Siem Reap for a visit Angkor Thom (the Great City) beginning by the south gate and the famous Bayon of the 12th and 13th centuries, dedicated to Buddhism and composed of 54 gigantic towers featuring 216 smiling faces of Avalokitesvara. Then, visit the Elephant Terrace, which was used as a giant reviewing stand for public ceremonies and served as a base for the king’s grand audience hall; and the raised Leper King Terrace, built in the 12th century and which features many beautifully sculptured Apsaras. Dinner on your own. Overnight at the hotel.

Note: The visit of the village may not be possible by paddle boat at certain periods of the year, when the water level is too low and the weather is too hot. We reserve the right to alter the tour according to unexpected conditions (weather, access, water level...) or restrictions.

DAY 8: DEPART SIEM REAP (B) - WITHOUT GUIDE

A free day until transferring without guide to the airport for your flight. Your room is available up until noon. Meals on your own.

Departure flight: TBA

End of service.

8 DAYS / 7 NIGHTS

ACCOMMODATION

Location

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

Phnom Penh

Sangkum *** (Superior)

White Mansion Boutique **** (Deluxe)

Sofitel Phnom Penh ***** (Superior)

Battambang

Battambang Resort *** (Garden)

Battambang Resort *** (Lake)

Maisons Wat Kor *** (Frangipane)

Siem Reap

Auberge Mont Royal *** (Standard)

Tara Angkor **** (Superior)

Heritage Suites ***** (Bungalow Suite)

 

QUOTATIONS: The prices are quoted in US Dollars per person based on group of 2 - 4 persons (2 persons/ room)

 

Valid for travel period from Oct 1st – Dec. 31st 2015

Group size / Price per person

2 pax

4 pax

Single

supplement

Option 1

US$ 884

US$ 693

+ US$ 155

Option 2

US$ 1023

US$ 782

+ US$ 309

Option 3

US$ 1,556

US$ 1,366

+ US$ 842

***Price is not valid from Dec 21st 2015 – Jan 5th 2016***

 

Valid for travel period from January 1st 2016 – Apr 30th 2016

Group size / Price per person

2 pax

4 pax

Single

supplement

Option 1

US$ 907

US$ 684

+ US$ 159

Option 2

US$ 919

US$ 806

+ US$ 309

Option 3

US$ 1,572

US$ 1,380

+ US$ 842

 

***Price is not valid for Feb 6th – 12th 2016***

 

TOUR INCLUSIONS

Services included

Services excluded

·         Transportation by private vehicle with A/C

·         Local English speaking guide(s)

·         Breakfast and other meals mentioned in the program B: Breakfast, L: Lunch, D: Dinner.

·         Accommodation in the category chosen or similar

·         All entrance fees where mentioned

·         Boat/ bike/ tuk tuk rental fee where mentioned

·         Drinks during the meals

·         Meals not mentioned

·         Personal insurance

·         Tips and personal expenses

·         International flights and airport taxes

·         Any service not mentioned in the program

·         Visa on arrival to Cambodia

 

 

 

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