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- Day 1: Arrival in Siem Reap
- Day 2: Siem Reap – Full-Day Temple Exploration
- Day 3: Siem Reap – Further Temple Exploration
- Day 4: Siem Reap – Day Trip to Koh Ker & Beng Mealea
- Day 5: Siem Reap – Boat trip to Battambang
- Day 6: Battambang – Sightseeing Tour
- Day 7: Battambang – Phnom Penh
- Day 8: Phnom Penh - Full-day Heritage Tour
- Day 9: Phnom Penh – Silk Island – Evening Foodie Tour
- Day 10: Phnom Penh – Kratie
- Day 11: Kratie – Mondulkiri
- Day 12: Mondulkiri – Wild Day Out at an Elephant Sanctuary
- Day 13: Mondulkiri – Trekking To The Keo Seima Wildlife Sanctuary
- Day 14: Mondulkiri – Ratanakiri
- Day 15: Ratanakiri – Full-day Exploration
- Day 16: Ratanakiri – Preah Rumkel – Mighty Mekong Falls
- Day 17: Preah Rumkel – Stung Treng – Preah Vihear
- Day 18: Preah Vihear – Siem Reap
- Day 19: Siem Reap – Flight to Sihanouk Ville – Koh Rong
- Day 20: Koh Rong – Day At leisure
- Day 21: Koh Rong – Day At leisure
- Day 22: Koh Rong – Sihanouk Ville – Phnom Penh – Departure
This journey is an opportunity for you to discover Cambodia in-depth in 22 days. Visit the major sites of Siem Reap and embark on a day-trip to the expansive temple complex Koh Ker. Venture by boat to Battambang, known for its peaceful local life and many statues decorating the streets and buildings. In Phnom Penh, gain insight into Cambodia’s past and culture as you visit the capital’s remarkable places such as the Royal Palace, the Independence Monument and the Killing Fields. Travel from the port town Kratie to Mondulkiri, you’ll have the chance to trek through lush forests and spend an entire day with the elephant families at the sanctuary. In Ratanakiri, enjoy its wonderful landscapes as you explore the local Lao villages in the proving. Admire the magnificent temple Preah Vihear before heading to Siem Reap. Relax on the idyllic beaches of Koh Rong island and Sihanoukville to mark the end of this wonderful Cambodia trip!
Arrival in Siem ReapDay 1
Susadei! Welcome to Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Upon arrival at Siem Reap Airport, your private guide and driver are waiting to meet you, holding up a welcome signboard with your names on it and take you directly to your hotel.
After checking-in, you will have time to relax and adjust to the pace of Siem Reap. If time permits, head out to visit the excellent Angkor National Museum. The visit serves as an excellent primer to the gems of Angkor before visiting the temples. The museum provides a potentially large collection of relics, texts and audiovisual presentations relating to the Angkorian era. With even a basic knowledge of the history and symbolism of the architecture, you will have a much richer and engaging experience visiting the temples.
There will be a short tour briefing this evening with your guide followed by a welcome dinner at Friends Restaurant, Marum. It’s a social enterprise based restaurant that empowers disadvantaged youth with vocational training amongst other support.
Please note: You must have both a passport and a visa to enter Cambodia. And your passport must also have at least six months’ validity remaining beyond the date that you enter Cambodia. You can get a visa on arrival in Cambodia. Make sure you have two passport-sizes photographs.
Overnight in Siem Reap
Siem Reap – Full-Day Temple ExplorationDay 2
Today with the help of your private and driver you will embark on a full day’s sightseeing around the Angkor Archaeological Park which stretches over some 400 square kilometres, including forested area. The park contains the magnificent remains of several capitals of the great Khmer Empire of the 9th to the 15th centuries.
Begin your day with an early visit (avoid the crowds) to the 13th-century Ta Prohm, a hauntingly beautiful temple where the roots of giant banyans and strangler figs enfold much of the stonework, creating scenes little changed since the French Adventurer Henri Mouhot re-discovered Angkor in the 1850s. This temple makes the ‘Tomb Raider Temple’ one of the most picturesque and memorable of the Angkor temples.
Continue your explorations by visiting the ancient capital city of Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire that once ruled much of Southeast Asia. This city is surrounded by an 8 m high wall drawing a perfect square. You will enter the city from the ancient South Gate, an impressive stone gate carved with Elephants and four giant faces. On each side of the entrance path, a row of 54 gods or demons is holding the sacred Naga snake.
Return to the hotel for a relaxing break during the midday heat.
Your exploits will continue as you visit Banteay Kdei (“Citadel of Chambers”), a Buddhist monastery from the late 12th Century, and Sra Srang, also known as the “pool of ablutions”. From here, move onto the Bayon Temple in the exact centre of the ancient city. This 12th-century masterpiece is a study in grandeur and is well-known for its 54 towers with enigmatic faces representing the 54 provinces of the Great Khmer Empire.
You will also visit the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King as they are both known for their intricate bas-reliefs. Stroll through the grounds of the former Royal Palace to discover some small hidden temples that are rarely visited.
Finish your day sightseeing with a leisurely gondola boat ride through the moats of Angkor Thom. In the tranquil solitude, visualize the royal city when it ruled over two million people nearly 800 years ago. As the sun approaches the horizon, make your way to Prasat Chrung, a small temple built in the style of Bayon, and climb an iron staircase to a quiet spot for excellent sunset views over the ruins.
Your tour guide and driver will transfer you to a local village on the outskirt of Siem Reap where you will enjoy a home-hosted dinner. Experience the simple Khmer village life, relaxing in a swaying hammock, or helping the local family to prepare dinner, picking fresh produce from their organic gardens. In this amiable and informal setting, feel free to ask the village elders about Khmer traditions and daily life in this community.
Overnight in Siem Reap
Siem Reap – Further Temple ExplorationDay 3
Today, you’ll continue to experience the temple relics but in a way that will really let you feel like you’ve escaped the 20th century and traveled a thousand years back to a time when life was simple and nature was surreal.
As first light dawns, you will be at the most important religious monument in the country, admiring the extraordinary Temple of Angkor Wat across a reflecting moat.
When the sun rises behind the triple towers, the crowds will thin out as most people return to bed or a hotel breakfast. We will make use of the cool temperatures and soft morning light to explore Angkor Wat in a more peaceful atmosphere.
After enjoying your takeaway breakfast (prepared by your guide) near the temple, you will start exploring one of the Seven Wonders of the World: Angkor Wat. At this point, you most probably have gotten glimpses of the towers over treetops and the gates in front of passing. But now you’ll finally get to satiate that curiosity that’s grown in the last few days.
Enter Angkor Wat and learn about the stories and amazing architecture that has stunned archeologists leaving more questions than answers. Angkor Wat possesses some of the most intricate and longest stone carvings in the world. This complex is four times the size of the Vatican City making it the largest religious site in the world. Spend the rest of the morning adventuring through the many passages, levels, and exploring chambers that once housed one of many treasures of the ancient world. It will be an experience you will never forget.
Leaving Angkor Wat behind you will travel to the countryside to see the “gem” of the Angkor area, the pretty temple of Banteay Srey. The so-called “Citadel of the Women” remains the best-preserved temple in Cambodia. It displays some of the finest examples of classical Khmer art as this small temple is noted for its truly remarkable fine bas-reliefs. Banteay Srey is unique in that it is constructed of pink sandstone, which is seen nowhere else in Angkor.
Continue your day by driving up north to Kbal Spean, one of the earliest Hindu pilgrimage sites in Cambodia. Upon arrival, you will take a short trek up the hill through dense jungle with excellent views over the plains and the Kulen hills. At the top, be surprised about the “River of 1000 Lingas” with some remarkable stone carvings of Hindu gods, animals, and other symbols in the river bed.
After enjoying a picnic lunch you can take a refreshing bath in the nearby waterfall, which is extremely popular with the local families.
On the way back to Siem Reap, stop at the Land Mine Museum which promotes mine awareness. Mr. Aki Ra, the museum founder, was trained as a child soldier during the Khmer Rouge regime and is working today as a de-miner. The museum serves also as a rescue centre for a number of land mine amputee children that Aki Ra has brought off Phnom Penh’s streets or from impoverished rural communities.
Your guide and driver will take you out to watch Phare – the Cambodian Circus, an amazing blend of traditional and modern theater, music, dance, acrobatic, juggling and contortion beautifully choreographed and performed in a story about Cambodian lives and society.
Overnight in Siem Reap
Siem Reap – Day Trip to Koh Ker & Beng MealeaDay 4
Today you will visit one of Cambodia’s largest ancient temple complexes. Your tour guide will reveal the hidden secrets of the crumbling shrines as you explore the overgrown jungle around Beng Mealea and Koh Ker.
After breakfast, you will be picked up and driven to the northeast of Siem Reap to Beng Mealea temple. The journey provides stunning views of rice paddies and countryside dotting with palm trees. En route, pause at a local village to observe how traditional bamboo sticky rice is made, and try some bites of its delicious taste.
Upon arrival, set out to explore one of Cambodia’s most mysterious places: the jungle-clad Beng Mealea Temple which, is built on a similar scale and floor plan to Angkor Wat. Utterly swallowed by the jungle, and with minimal restoration work, it is easy to imagine what it must have been like for early explorers discovering these temples for the first time. Walk, crawl, climb and squeeze into/over galleries to see the temple’s amazing setting, reveal history, take picturesque photos, and feel the natural surroundings.
Once you’ve explored the magnificent temple ruins to your heart’s content, you’ll head to a local restaurant, where you’ll enjoy a delicious meal and a well-earned rest.
Continue to visit the second-largest temple complex in Cambodia, Koh Ker, once served as the capital of the Great Khmer Empire. This massive archaeological site extends over 50 square miles (80 sq m) and is home to more than 180 temples, only a handful of which are accessible to visitors amongst the dense jungle that has taken over the ancient city.
Of these stunning 10th century temples, one of the most fascinating is Prasat Prang, an immense seven-tiered pyramid, reaching a width of 203 feet (62 m) and a height of 118 feet (36 m). You’ll also have the opportunity to visit Prasat Thom, Prasat Krahom, and Prasat Krachap, hidden amongst overgrown tropical trees and little visited by tourists.
Finish the tour and transfer back to your hotel in the city in the late afternoon where the remainder of the day at leisure.
Overnight in Siem Reap
Siem Reap – Boat trip to BattambangDay 5
After breakfast and check out of the hotel, meet your guide again and embark on a private boat that will take you on a fascinating journey across Tonlé Sap Lake to Battambang, a pretty riverside town of French elegance, friendly Khmer people and beautifully preserved colonial architecture. The city is famous for its many statues of animals and divinities that decorate the streets and buildings.
Along the way you will pass floating villages and flooded forests, portraying life on this body of water that forms Cambodia’s heart. The boat trip is around 6 hours and you will enjoy a take-away lunch.
Note: This boat trip is only possible in the high water period from July to December as water levels are too low during the dry season (January to June). Therefore the alternative transfer is by road.
Arrive Battambang and set out to explore some of the many cultural villages around Battambang, where you will learn how the locals produce rice paper, prahoc (typical Cambodian fish paste), grolan (sticky rice stuffed in bamboo), and other Khmer treats.
Transfer to visit Phare Ponleu Selpak, a School of Music, Visual & Performing Arts – Phare Ponleu Selpak combines the arts to provide education, support, and entertainment to the poor communities. This project is a success story of how humanitarian aid work can turn into a display of zest for life, genuine warmth and creativity, against all odds. A visit to one of their circus shows will leave you with a lasting memory of the wonderful Cambodian people and should not be missed when in Battambang!
Enjoy a scrumptious dinner Pomme d’Amour with its inventive menu mixing French and Khmer cuisine.
Overnight in Battambang
Battambang – Sightseeing TourDay 6
After breakfast, meet your guide, a short bicycle competency test will be given and you will get fitted for your bicycle (either a mountain bike or sturdy basket bike).
Start with the tour of the main market, Psar Nath includes trying a local coffee. Then paddle to the river and cross a couple of minutes on a local boat to the other side of the Sangke River. Here you will visit Wat Povil Remple and take the opportunity to pray with the monks. It is usually possible to accompany the boats back across the river as they begin their morning alms collection.
Once back on the other side, visit the historic 2.5 Street along with a Thai temple before you arrive at a smaller market. Again time for a coffee or a sugar cane juice.
Continue a short distance to Wat Kor Village, known for its many old Khmer heritage houses built around a century ago. Visit one of the best-preserved homes. Cycle along the river and cross a suspension bridge where only motorbikes and bicycles can pass. On the way back into town there is another short drink stop before return to town for lunch at the local restaurant.
Head to the train station to take an 1-hour unique ride on the traditional Bamboo Train, a bamboo platform laid over 2 sets of wheels on a single track. In the old days, this was used to transport goods between Battambang and Phnom Penh and was a typical mode of transport for farmers and villagers. Today, it takes you through the beautiful countryside to a little village you can explore on foot before returning to your starting point. From there, head towards Phnom Sampeau, meaning “Ship Hill” in Khmer, due to its distinctive shape, and one of the few hills standing out in this otherwise pancake-flat plain. From the small temple on the top, you will have a fantastic view of the typical landscape of paddy fields and sugar palm trees below.
Finish the tour and get back to the hotel in the late afternoon where the remainder of the day at your leisure.
Overnight in Battambang
Battambang – Phnom PenhDay 7
After breakfast, you will be picked up and driven 5 hours to Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia. You will firsts travel first to Kampong Chhnang, known for its traditional pottery, with many kilns at work in this province. In a village near Kampong Chhnang, you will see the different aspects of pottery making and also experience the production of traditional rice wine.
Continue onto Oudong, the former royal capital of Cambodia. The drive passes through many rural villages and pagodas, and you will see the temple mountain with its dozens of stupas from afar. Upon arrival at Oudong, enjoy a traditional Khmer picnic lunch at a hut at the foot of the hill.
After lunch and a short rest, climb the stairs to the top of Oudong Mountain to enjoy magnificent views over the plains below. Your guide will explain the history of the area and its buildings as well as the religious culture of the Cambodian people.
Keep driving south to Phnom Penh. Pause to take a look at the spectacular Vipassana Dhura Buddhist Meditation Centre. Your guide can explain more about the school of Vipassana (Insight Meditation) as you tour the centre. Don’t forget to see the impressive jade Buddha, the mummified monk, and the brightly painted walls telling the story of the Ramayana, the epic Sanskrit poem that decorates many pagodas seen around the country.
Arrive Phnom Penh in the late afternoon and check into your hotel. Then spend the balance of the day at your leisure. Phnom Penh is the vibrant bustling capital of Cambodia. Situated at the confluence of three rivers, the mighty Mekong, the Bassac, and the great Tonle Sap, what was once considered the ‘Gem’ of Indochina. The capital city still maintains considerable charm with plenty to see. It exudes a sort of provincial charm and tranquillity with French colonial mansions and tree-lined boulevards amidst monumental Angkorian architecture.
Overnight in Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh - Full-day Heritage TourDay 8
After breakfast, meet your guide and head out to visit the most remarkable sights of Phnom Penh in a Cyclo (a three-wheeled bicycle taxi), an original Phnom Penh means of transportation and a fun way to explore this lively city.
Begin with a visit to the Royal Palace Compound built-in 1866 by the Predecessors of King Norodom, the most conspicuous feature and also one of the most impressive colorful Khmer-style Palaces. Nearside the Royal Palace is Silver Pagoda (The Emerald Buddha temple), which display plenty of Buddha Statues that were decorated and made by diamond, emerald, gold, and silver.
Next, proceed to visit Independence Monument which was constructed in 1954 after Cambodian took their country back from the French colony. Continue to visit the National Museum, the distinctive red building with a beautiful Khmer architecture was built since 1917 containing more than 5000 art objects made of sandstone, bronze, silver, copper, wood, and others. Pass through the River Front Park whose scenery is much worth shooting.
For lunch, you will be treated to a delicious Khmer meal at Le Lotus Blanc, a lovely charity restaurant where former street children are taught the principles of hospitality.
Gain insight into Cambodia’s recent dark history on a visit to the infamous Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (also known as Prison S21) and listen to English commentary en route. The prison comprises 4 buildings with exhibitions in several rooms. During your visit, you will barely meet a single person who didn’t lose a member of their family during these years, yet they are all willing to talk openly about it with you. They wish you to hear about it and see these places, to ensure that it never happens again.
After an hour and 15 minutes at the museum, take a 40-minute drive to the Killing Fields, see a documentary on the Khmer Rouge regime. Under the leadership of Pol Pot, his government caused the deaths of more than two millions people. There will be around 1 hour and 15 minutes to explore the site. An audio guide is available in 15 languages along with a map of the fields.
Continue to visit the fascinating Russian Market, where you will have ample opportunity to shop for some souvenirs. End your day at Wat Phnom, the birthplace of the city, located on a small hilltop that forms the highest elevation of Phnom Penh.
Overnight in Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh – Silk Island – Evening Foodie TourDay 9
You can sleep in and enjoy late breakfast. After that, spend the rest of the morning at your leisure relaxing at the hotel’s swimming pool.
Get picked up by a moto-remork (tuk-tuk) and venture out of Phnom Penh by crossing the historic Japanese Friendship Bridge before sailing across the Mekong River to Koh Oknha Tey – a beautiful Silk island by ferry.
Along the way, you will visit the majestic Bakhaeng temple with stunning architecture, statues, carvings, and artwork.
Upon arrival, you will set out to explore these islands commonly known as the “silk islands” due to their longstanding tradition of silk weaving. Visit one of these villages where the weavers allow us to wander among their looms, admiring their skills at this knotty art form.
You will have a chance to witness the entire silk weaving process, learning how silk starts with the silkworms, see silk thread being looped and dyed, then admire and purchase the beautiful Cambodian silk fabrics, the final shimmering Khmer silk accessories.
Afterward, enjoy Khmer snacks at a local family’s house while admiring the surrounding scenery. Aboard a boat back to Phnom Penh. Marvel at the unique architectural wonders around the area such as the Wat Ounalom, Royal Palace, and the Silver Pagoda as the sun sinks into the horizon.
Meet your food expert guide and zoom past the streets of Phnom Penh aboard a tuk tuk again and see the city’s famous landmarks by night. Spice up the ride with unlimited beer and drinks you can enjoy as you go from one destination to another.
You will first fill yourself up with the best noodles in town, delight in the rich taste of roasted chicken and ribs, and wrap your own lettuce and rice noodle rolls. Continue to discover the taste of Cambodian cuisine by visiting family-run restaurants that serve authentic Khmer dishes.
Head to a local rooftop bar and enjoy the stunning views of the city as you sip on delicious craft beer or cocktails. Sit among the locals and see how they spend their night with family and friends.
Overnight in Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh – KratieDay 10
After breakfast depart Phnom Penh for a 5-hour drive to Krati, a sleepy Mekong port, and gateway to an encounter with the rare freshwater Irrawaddy dolphin that inhabits the upper reaches of the Mekong in Cambodia.”
After checking into your hotel in Krati, head out to learn about the local lifestyles of Kratie as well as their local productions and witness one of the most endangered wildlife that habitat upriver at Kampi.
Start with a visit to a traditional cafe shop near the central Market of Kratie. This is where you will learn about the lifestyle of Khmer men and women in which mostly men hang out at the cafe while women are working or doing shopping at the market nearby. Next, walk through the market where you will observe the local trades and see some of the old colonial building which remain from the French colony.
Later, travel to Kampi, one of the many deep pools where the rare freshwater Irrawaddy river dolphins gather to feed. You will board a local boat and cruise out into the mighty Mekong for a chance to encounter with gentle creatures. Viewing is almost guarantee, although it is easier to see the dolphins in the shallower waters of the dry season, than in the swollen river of the wet season. After enjoying an hour or more of dolphin viewing, return to your hotel in Kratie where the remainder of the day is at your leisure.
Overnight in Krati
Kratie – MondulkiriDay 11
After breakfast, take a scenic drive southeast towards the junction town of Snuol, your gateway to the wilds of Mondulkiri, where there will be a refreshment stop. The first half of the journey from Snuol is flat, passing through patches of lush forest and areas of cultivation and plantations.
After Khau Si Ma district, the road snakes up through the mountains that give Mondulkiri its name of ‘where the mountains meet’. There is lush jungle hugging the road and locals claim to see tigers on this stretch at night.
Nearing Sen Monorom the scenery changes again, jungle giving way to clusters of pine trees and rolling grasslands. Pause at a lookout point up in the hills, from where we can marvel at the vast stretch of jungle scenery below.
Around midday arrive Sen Monorom and check into Mayura Hill Resort.
After checking into your hotel head east to explore the double drop waterfall of Bou Sraa, one of the most famous cascades in Cambodia. It is possible to access both drops and there are swimming opportunities if you want to want to take the plunge.
On the way back to your hotel, make a stop at a Pnong minority village to learn a little about their way of life. You may be invited to drink some rice wine, as Pnong villagers are extremely hospitable and welcoming of outsiders.
Overnight in Sen Monorom
Mondulkiri – Wild Day Out at an Elephant SanctuaryDay 12
Rise early and head for the Elephant Valley Project, a pioneering elephant sanctuary that is home to the smaller-sized Cambodian Elephants and their larger Thai cousins. With the support of the Pnong villagers, the project rescues and treats domestic elephants who have suffered illness or injury.
Upon arrival you will be greeted by the expert team at the elephant centre. After a brief introduction you will learn all about the important conservation work amid this natural environment and the elephant’s habits and personality traits.
Hike out to the forest to meet the elephants and walk beside them in their natural forest habitat. As part of a small group, you will shadow two elephant families as they go about their daily lives in the lush Cambodian jungle. Listen as the local mahouts share fascinating insights into how they handle the needs and emotions of their elephant charges. A truly memorable day spent alongside these gentle and precious creatures.
After enjoying a deliciously prepared lunch and unwind with a cold drink from the welcoming lounge overlooking the forested valley, you are transferred back to your resort where the remainder of the day is at your leisure.
Overnight in Sen Monorom
Mondulkiri – Trekking To The Keo Seima Wildlife SanctuaryDay 13
After breakfast, meet your guide and head south to the Seima Protected Forest (35km, about 40 minutes away from Sen Monorom).
Upon arrival you start trekking for three hours through the dense forest and around cashew nut clearings to Phnom Ronoung, a steep hill with towering Sra Lao trees festooned with strangler vines, the possibility of seeing Black-shanked Douc though more likely early morning and late afternoon. Spectacular Great Hornbill and Giant Squirrels present though no guarantee. Note it’s quite a scramble up and down the hill.
Around midday you will arrive Leng Pot waterfall. Time to eat lunch, relax, and swim at the waterfall, while enjoying the wild jungle views. There is a fair chance to spot birds & other wildlife in this area.
After lunch, continue trekking for nearly three hours more through the jungle to explore more animals, your local guide will show you bats living inside the tree hole and bear print climbed up on the tree.
Finally you will trek through a bamboo forest and then head back to the drop out point where your private driver is waiting for you and take you back to your resort in Sen Monorom. Spend the rest of the afternoon and evening at your leisure.
Things to bring for the trek:
- Comfortable footwear for hiking (shoes might get wet during river crossings).
- Swimming clothes and towel or sarong.
- Light, long-sleeved clothes to wear during the day (clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty).
- A hat and sun protection.
- Insect repellent.
- Raincoat or poncho.
- Meal is included, you may bring additional snack foods
Overnight in Sen Monorom
Mondulkiri – RatanakiriDay 14
After breakfast, depart Sen Monorom and head north to the remote town of Koh Nhek for two hours. This road used to be one of the bumpiest roads in the country and only passable by a dirt bike in the dry season, but it is now an excellent new highway with a bridge over the Tonle Srepok River. Believed to be the river featured in Apocalypse Now, in which Martin Sheen’s Captain Willard journeys upriver into Cambodia in search of Marlon Brando’s Colonel Kurtz.
After passing through the former district capital of Lumphat, an area that was bombed off the map by B52s in 1973, you will arrive at Ban Lung, the base for exploring Ratanakiri Province.
After checking onto the Terres Rouge Lodge in Banlung, set off to the beautiful crater lake of Yeak Loam, set amid a pocket of lush jungle. Take a walk around the lakeshore with a minority guide from the Tompuon people, learning about plants and animals in the area, as well as the traditional lifestyle. After an introduction to the community and environment of Yeak Loam, enjoy a swim in this idyllic spot. The crystal clear water is cool and refreshing after the short walk and there may be some local children cooling off. As the sun sets behind the forest return to your lodge in Banlung for a well-earned dinner.
Overnight in Ban Lung, Ratanakiri
Ratanakiri – Full-day ExplorationDay 15
After breakfast, travel by road to the small town of Voen Sai on the banks of the San River, passing through some pristine stretches of forest along the way. After that take a local boat across the river to a Lao village on the other side, then follow the riverbank to a unique Chinese village that has been located here for more than one hundred years. Chinese is still the language of choice among residents and in places it looks like a slice of rural China.
Continue on foot to another Lao village with a wooden pagoda, then take a boat up the river to the Tompuon village of Kachon, passing some beautiful sections of river along the way. Kachon is home to a traditional Tompuon burial ground complete with carved effigies of the deceased. Family groups are buried side by side and elaborate ceremonies held after a period of mourning.
After enjoying a home-hosted lunch at the village, return to Terres Rouge Lodge in Banlung by road. Then spend the rest of the day at your leisure. Take advantage of the lodge’s facilities and the swimming pool.
Overnight in Ban Lung, Ratanakiri
Ratanakiri – Preah Rumkel – Mighty Mekong FallsDay 16
After breakfast and check out of your hotel in Ratanakiri, leave Banlung behind and travel southwest towards O’Pongman before veering north towards Stung Treng. You will cross the river by bridge to Tala Borivath and continue north to Preah Rumkel, a small village alongside the Mekong River known as a Community-Based Ecotourism Site.
Upon arrival, you will be welcomed into a local family on the bank of the Mekong River who will be your friendly hosts for the night.
Head out to explore the Sopheakmet Waterfall; that thwarted the grand designs of French imperialists (and which now mark the Lao border). If time permits, you can take the boat across the river to visit Hang Khone, which is the southernmost tip of Laos. The French formerly used this as a ferry port where goods were then transferred back to the ferry by train before they continued their travels by the river. Sunset here is some of the most beautiful sunsets across the Mekong River.
Return to the local home for some shower and then followed by a delicious dinner cooked and served by the family.
Overnight at a local home in Preah Rumkel
Preah Rumkel – Stung Treng – Preah VihearDay 17
After breakfast at the homestay, bid a fond farewell to the family hosts and enjoy a short boat trip down to O’Svay where you will start your paddling tours to explore the Ramsar Wetlands area. It stretches south along the Mekong River from the border with Laos to Stung Treng. Only accessible by boat, it is a haven for critically endangered mammals, birds, fish, and a unique riverine flooded forest system that is a photographer’s dream. With only birdcalls announcing your presence, you maneuvered your way leisurely downstream for a couple of hours.
Stop on one of the many sandy beaches for a picnic lunch, before continuing to Koh Ky.
You will arrive in Koh Ky and carry on to Stung Treng province by boat. From there your driver will take you along the jungle road to the Sra Em commune of Preah Vihear Province for an overnight stay.
Overnight in Preah Vihear
Preah Vihear – Siem ReapDay 18
After breakfast and check out of your hotel, head out visit Preah Vihear. This magnificent temple was built during the period of the Khmer Empire and situated atop a 525m (1,722 ft) mountain cliff at the border of Cambodia and Thailand. After this temple was rediscovered it became the subject of an emotional dispute between Thailand and Cambodia. From the mountain cliff, the views from the top of the hill are simply breathtaking, affording a view of many kilometers over the Cambodian and Thai plains. Enjoy your free time with countryside view.
After exploring Preah Vihear travel south back to Siem Reap via the town of Anlong Veng, a former Khmer Rouge stronghold until the end of the civil war in 1998. Now a boomtown, there is also the option to visit the former house of military strongman Ta Mok. Arrive in Siem Reap late this afternoon and check into your hotel. Spend the rest of the day at your leisure.
Overnight in Siem Reap
Siem Reap – Flight to Sihanouk Ville – Koh RongDay 19
After breakfast, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you to Siem Reap airport for a short flight to the coastal town of Sihanoukville.
Upon arrival at Sihanouk Ville Harbor, take a 40-minute ferry ride to Koh Rong, a group of islands just off the Cambodian coast, near Sihanoukville, which offers 23 amazing white-sand beaches bordering azure seas. It is still very much an unspoiled paradise, with 5 tiny islands in the area, 3 of which are uninhabited.
After checking into your resort, spend the rest of the day at your leisure. Relax on the white sandy beaches, swim in the beautiful, still, and turquoise waters.
Overnight in Koh Rong Island
Koh Rong – Day At leisureDay 20
Spend your full day for relaxing in the tropical paradise of Koh Rong. The island is all largely undeveloped means that the beaches are mostly unspoiled, with soft white sand, clear blue seas, and shade provided by nearby trees.
If you want to be active, we can arrange a trip with a local fisherman and try your hand at fishing. Meanwhile, other activities here available include kayaking, paddleboarding, blob jump, and mountain biking.
Overnight in Sihanoukville
Koh Rong – Day At leisureDay 21
Enjoy your last day in Koh Rong without any planned activities. You are free to sunbath at the beach.
Overnight in Koh Rong
Koh Rong – Sihanouk Ville – Phnom Penh – DepartureDay 22
After breakfast and late check out of your resort in Koh Rong, take a speed boat back to Sihanoukville where your private driver is waiting for you to transfer you (roughly 4 hours) to Phnom Penh International airport for your departure flight home or travel on to more adventures, we will help you with the planning.
Inquire this trip
This tour is built upon our firsthand knowledge & experience, offering you the best choices available. The price of this trip varies depending on the number of people in your party, dates of departure, and the availability of ground services. Please click on REQUEST A FREE QUOTE (above) and supply the required information, enabling us to send you your personalized quote within 24 hours!
Note: Amendments CAN be made to this tour to suit your requirements.
- Enjoy two days of fully guided Angkor complex tours in Siem Reap, with in-depth insights into the history of these extraordinary structures and plenty of time to see the spectacular Angkor Wat
- A day trip to visit the jungle-clad Beng Mealea Temple which, is built on a similar scale and floor plan to Angkor Wat and the second-largest temple complex in Cambodia, Koh Ker, once served as the capital of the Great Khmer Empire
- Delve into the dramatic Khmer legacy in Phnom Penh on a full-day guided tour around the Cambodian capital, passing by the sobering Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21) and Killing Fields of Choeung Ek
- Spend a half-day to explore one of “Silk Islands” villages where the weavers allow us to wander among their looms, admiring their skills at this knotty art form, finish the day with foodie tour by tuk-tuk in Phnom Penh
- Wild day out at a pioneering elephant sanctuary that is home to the smaller-sized Cambodian Elephants and their larger Thai cousins, trek to Seima Protected Forest
- Explore nature and local life in Ratanakiri, visit Sopheakmet Waterfall; that thwarted the grand designs of French imperialists (and which now mark the Lao border)
- Discover Ramsar Wetlands area, a haven for critically endangered mammals, birds, fish, and a unique riverine flooded forest system that is a photographer’s dream
- End your Cambodia trip of a lifetime with a relaxing stay on the beaches on Koh Rong island.
- 21 hotel buffet breakfasts.
- 5 dinners and 8 lunches at well-selected restaurants
- 1 street food tour
- Your own private guide and driver for in-depth cultural touring based on your interests
- Firsthand, sophisticated destination knowledge and recommendations from our locally born travel specialists
- Itineraries that are customized according to your interests and preferences
- A seamless travel experience, including all logistics, hand-picked hotels and restaurants, private airport transfers, internal transportation, and entry visa assistance…etc
- Around-the-clock support from your travel designer and concierge before, during and after your trip
Private English speaking guide, accommodation, private tours and transfer, domestic flights, A/C vehicles, some main meals, all entrance fees, tax and service charge.
What’s Not Included?
Your international flights from and to Cambodia, the entry visa to Cambodia, personal expense, tips to guide and driver.
How to Plan a successful Trip to Cambodia, Step-by-Step
Why to visit Cambodia
Where to Go
When to Go
Obtain a Cambodia Visa
How to book a tour
Packing and Luggage Allowance
Why to visit Cambodia
The Kingdom of Cambodia is a land that continues to surprise and delight its visitors. Home of the Angkor temples (the magnificent legacy of the Khmer empire that ruled over much of Southeast Asia 1,000 years ago) there is much to discover in this country.
By day, learn about the history of the capital city Phnom Penh; by night, dine on traditional Cambodian feasts and experience Cambodian nightlife. Visit the islands that dot the Cambodian coast and the quaint little provincial towns that make up the beautiful countryside. Explore the UNESCO World Heritage site of Angkor Wat, travel the Mekong River by boat and relax on pristine beaches.
Learn about the tragic history of the Killing Fields, the Tuol Sleng Museum and other reminders of the Khmer Rouge regime. You will be amazed by the optimistic attitude of Cambodians, who have found the courage to continue smiling despite three dark decades of civil war. See for yourself what it means to live up to the saying “What doesn’t break us makes us stronger”.
Where to Go
Most popular sites of Cambodia
• Siem Reap – a cluster of villages with a French colonial center; the gateway to the Temples of Angkor
• Phnom Penh – the capital city of Cambodia, situated at the confluence of three rivers and offers an interesting mix of colonial buildings, temples, markets and broad avenues
• Tonle Sap Lake – one of the world’s largest freshwater lakes, home to floating villages, forests, and natural splendor
• Sihanoukville – a jewel of white sands, blue sea and fresh seafood, situated in the south of Cambodia
• Kampot, Kep and Bokor National Park – less known but worth a visit on longer itineraries or when crossing into Vietnam at Ha Tien
When to Go
The best time to visit Cambodia is between November and March. During this time the country experiences the least amount of rainfall without becoming too hot.
In general, the entire country is subject to the same weather patterns, with two main seasons: hot and dry, and hot and wet. If you are unaccustomed to the tropics, you will find Cambodia to be very hot and sweaty.
The dry season runs from November to April on the back of the northeast monsoon. November to January is cooler, while February to April is hot and dusty. November is the coolest month and April the hottest.
The wet season runs from May to October, courtesy of the southwest monsoon. The wet season provides 75% of Cambodia’s annual rainfall. July to September are the wettest months.
Obtain a Cambodia Visa
For most visitors to the Kingdom of Cambodia, a visa is obtainable upon arrival at either airport in Phnom Penh or Siem Reap. Crossing over from Thailand by land, visas are available at Poipet Banteay Meanchey and Cham Yeam (Koh Kong province). Visitors entering Cambodia from Vietnam by land through Bavet / Moc Bai, or Ka-Om Samnor / Chau Doc, will need to have already obtained their visas prior to their arrival through a Cambodian Embassy or Consulate overseas. Tourists can also obtain their visas through the online E-Visa. Regardless of the method of entry, a Cambodian tourist visa is valid for one month.
Note: your passport must be valid for 6 months beyond your travel date, and there must be several blank pages left on your passport. You should also have a 5 cm x 5 cm on a white or off-white background photo ready, as well as USD$30 for the stamping fee.
FYI, a departure tax is charged on all domestic and international flights.
The citizens of the following countries do not need a visa to enter Cambodia for a certain amount of time:
- Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam (maximum stay of up to 30 days)
- Philippines (maximum stay of up to 21 days)
- Myanmar, Thailand, Brunei (maximum stay of up to 14 days)
Unfortunately, citizens of the following countries are ineligible for an e-visa and will have to apply at their nearest Cambodian embassy / consulate:
Middle East – Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia
South Asia – Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
Africa – Algeria, Nigeria, Sudan
How to book a tour
Booking your holiday with Indochina Pioneer cannot be easier! Follow our 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Browse our website www.indochinapioneer.com for tours, cruises and other destination information.
Should you find something that matches your interest, fill in the REQUEST A FREE QUOTE forms. Can’t find something that fits your needs? Then fill the BUILD YOUR OWN TRIP or CONTACT US form and click SUBMIT.
Then sit back! One of our travel experts will get back to you shortly with our customized package and most favorable offer!
In a hurry? Don’t like filling forms? Then call +84 982 116 630 (Mr. Lam) or +84 983 145 799 (Mr. Quyen). We’re available 24/7 and would be more than happy to talk! Certainly, your request will be carefully noted and a nicely crafted package with a pleasant price will follow!
Step 2: Reviewing/ Customizing our offer!
It’s your holiday so everything should be exactly what you want! We encourage your careful review of what we offer, letting us know what changes you would like to make. We’ll be more than happy to fine-tune the tour to fit best your interests, budget and time! This step may require several emails/call exchanges until perfect!
Step 3: Confirming/Paying/ Packing for the trip!
Once you’re satisfied with the customized tour, please let us know and Indochina Pioneer will need a few working hours to place reservations for all of the tour services. As soon as the availability and reservations of the services are confirmed, we will request a deposit. Please refer our Payment Guide for more details.
Once your deposit is received by Indochina Pioneer, we will send you the service voucher which confirms all the services of the tour and provides ground contact details and a guide for the final payment schedule.
And then you start counting down the day for your most fabulous trip!
Booking Amendment & Cancellations:
Booking Amendment: Flexibility is our strongest point. You can amend your booking even after it is made. Just contact your salesperson or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your booking number. Our reservations team is glad to amend your booking with your preferable alternatives. Please kindly note that you will be responsible for any change of the final price caused by your amendment requests.
Travel smart with Indochina Pioneer!
Packing and Luggage Allowance
Packing Checklist – Be sure to check them all 😉
- Travel documents (passport, visas, travel insurance certificate, air tickets, tour voucher)
- Money (cash, credit card, debit card, traveler’s cheques and money pouch)
- Day pack for your personal needs during the day
- Camera and extra memory cards and batteries
- Cell phone and cell phone charger
- Laptop charger (if you are bringing your laptop)
- Travel plug/international adapter
- Medication (including a doctor’s letter if you are carrying a large amount of medication)
- Prescription glasses / contacts and if necessary, contact lens solution
Best to bring along
- First aid kit
- Insect repellent
- Refillable water bottle with filter
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Comfortable clothing, either light or heavy options, depending on the season you are travelling
- Clothes suitable for visiting temples (long pants / skirts, long sleeved tops)
- Waterproof jacket / raincoat / umbrella
- Hat & sunglasses
- Bathing suit
- Ear plugs & eye mask
- Sleep sheet for home stays / trains
- Lightweight travel towel
- Local language phrasebook
Reviews on Our Service
We had a wonderful 7-day trip last July; Kata was awesome to work with. So professional, reliable and helpful!
"Lifetime of Memories"
Lam did an amazing job putting together an itinerary based on phone/text conversations. We told him the where and what and he did the rest. The accommodations were beyond expectation, the guides were unbelievably friendly, and the places we were taken were spectacular. Having guides and drivers is worth every penny. So much time and money would have been wasted had we tried to accomplish this ourselves.
We got to experience so much more because of our guides local knowledge. Lastly, how great it was not to worry about how we were getting to the next adventure. Had we not used Indochina Pioneer I truly believe I wouldn’t have as many astonishing memories.
"Amazing 30 Day Journey with Indochina Pioneer"
If you are looking for a private tour of SE Asia, look no further than Indochina Pioneer. I recently returned from a 30-day private tour of Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand all arranged by Indochina Pioneer and could not have been happier with everything they arranged for me. They are top-notch from working directly with you on planning your trip, arranging visas, having individuals at the airports to meet and walk you through everything when entering the countries, having amazing tour guides and drivers as well as organizing everything for you on the ground and being there to help you all along the way if you have any questions or problems. My tour was amazing with not only the normal tourist sights, but many off the beaten track sights and with your own guides, you learn so much more from these individuals who actually live in the places you will visit. I can’t recommend this tour agency enough. If you are looking to travel to any of the locations Indochina Pioneer has tours, you must book through them, you will not be disappointed.
"Excellent from the very beginning"
We had 21 days on a private tour and every detail was perfectly arranged. Perhaps, the Spanish speaking skills of guides can ve improved, but overall they were very helpful and committed with their job. I want to highlight the performance of Juan (Hanoi), Miguel (Hoi An), Chao (Ho Chi Minh City) and La (Luang Prabang, Laos).
Hotels were as we asked and the timing for the visits was very good.
I recommend this travel agency!