Upon your arrival in Phnom Penh, your guide will welcome you at the airport and then transfer to your hotel for check in. Your hotel room is available from 13.30 on. The remainder of day is free at your leisure. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Phnom Penh Sightseeing
Today you will take a city tour of Phnom Penh, start at with a visit at 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.
After lunch break (your expense), continue to visit Wat Phnom, an ancient pagoda standing atop a hill, built by a wealthy Khmer woman named Penh in 1372 to house the sacred relics. After that you can learn about the darkest period of Cambodia’s history by visiting the genocide museum of Tuol Sleng, an old secondary school which was transformed into a detention centre under the Khmer Rouge. The prison gates carry the name ‘S21’. Thousands of prisoners were detained, tortured and killed here. Returning to Phnom Penh and visit a local art school for learning either Khmer martial art and traditional dance. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
+ 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.
Phnom Penh – Kompong Chhnang – Battambang
You’ll see magnificent scenery along the way of rice fields with large sugar palms and many traditional wooden stilt houses. 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. Arrive at Battambang at the end of the day and check into your hotel. Dinner on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Discover the real Cambodia as a responsible traveller who respects the environment. The Batambang cycling tour is a unique way, off the beaten track to experience the local way of life of the villagers in the hinterland of Cambodia. Along the path, following a small stream you get the chance to see typical houses unchanged for generations, rice paddies, local workshops and much more. Take part in the daily activities such as the preparation of sticky rice, the custom knife making, the preparation of the traditional fish paste “Prahok”. An unforgettable experience, accompanied by the local children’s waving along the ride their “hello”.
The afternoon is spent for discovering 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 the provincial museum and a 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.
In the evening, attend a Circus Art performance at Phare Ponleu Selpak –“the brightness of art” school – an NGOs which support community development through providing social, educative and cultural services to children and their families. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Battambang – Siem Reap - Angkor Wat
Leave by road from Battambang heading for Siem Reap through scenic Cambodian countryside featuring rice fields and traditional wooden houses. The road travels through Sisophon in the province of Banteay Meanchey, 68km from Battambang. From here, and after about 100kms, arrive in Angkor. (Note: the road is not always in good condition.) On the road you’ll observe stone sculptors and silk weavers. At a silk farm about 15km from Siem Reap, you will be able to see all the steps of traditional silk production, from raising the worms to making the silk and colouring it. Arrive at 13.00 at Siem Reap for lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon visit a visit to Angkor Wat, a world heritage site with soaring towers and extraordinary bas reliefs. It is one of the most amazing man-made monuments in the world, erected in the 12th century in honour of Vishnu. Dinner on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
In the morning leave for the northern end of Angkor, beginning the day with Preah Khan Temple, built by Jayavarman VII in 1191 in honour of his father. This monument was both a city and a place for Buddhism studies. Of the same era is Neak Pean, the only island temple of Angkor, and also known as Entwined Nagas. The large central basin is linked with four smaller basins which represent the four great rivers flowing from the earth’s four cardinal points. One of the most interesting features of this site is the superb statute of Balaha, representing the legendary saviour of shipwrecked boats. Continue your exploration of Angkor by heading further south to visit the two very beautiful temples – Thommanon and Chau Say Tevoda – dating from the 12th century and built during the reign of Suryavarman II. They stand out because of their very beautiful sculptured images honouring Shiva and Vishnu. In the afternoon, 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. Meals on your own. Overnight at the hotel.
Siem Reap Departure
Relax by hotel's pool or spend more time to explore the Old Market of Siem Reap as you wish. See your guide again for a transfer to airport for departure flight. Room is at disposal until noon time. Meals on your own. Service end.