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Siem Reap 4 nights
Battambang 2 nights
Phnom Penh 4 nights
Kep 2 nights
Day 1: Fly to Siem Reap.
Day 2 Siem Reap: Arrive Siem Reap and transfer to your hotel.
Day 3 Siem Reap: Begin a full day of exploration of the ancient city of Angkor, entering Angkor Thom via the South Gate. Continue to the ruins of Bayon, Baphoun, Phimeanakas, the Royal Palace, the Elephant Terrace and the Leper King Terrace. In the afternoon visit the petit circuit: Prasat Kravan, Srah Srang, Banteay Kdei and the impressive Ta Prohm Temple mystically enveloped by the jungle. Also visit the Ta Keo, Chau Say Tevada and Thommanon Temples.
Day 4 Siem Reap: Drive through the Khmer countryside to visit beautiful Banteay Srei temple built in the 10th century and dedicated to the Hindu god, Shiva. These buildings, known as the "jewel of Khmer art" are miniature in scale, unusually so when measured by the standards of Angkorian construction. Return via Banteay Samre temple before visiting the epic Angkor Wat to enjoy the sunset.
Day 5 Siem Reap: This morning take a boat to a floating village for a glimpse of local life on the great lake of Tonle Sap - the largest freshwater floodplain lake in the world, which increases and decreases in size annually creating an incredible environment for both wildlife and people. Return to town to visit an orphanage.
Day 6 Siem Reap/Battambang: Drive to colonial Battambang and visit the Provincial Museum and drive by the picturesque Sangker River to the 11th century Wat Ek Phnom. This afternoon experience a short ride on the very basic Bamboo 'Train', set up by villagers to transport themselves and their goods.
Day 7 Battambang: This morning visit a local NGO (non-government organisation), Phare Ponleu Selpak which gives circus, drawing and music classes to children from poor families. This afternoon you will visit the Phnom Sampov and killing fields before continuing on to Phnom Banon for magnificent views of the surrounding plains.
Day 8 Battambang/Phnom Penh: Drive to Phnom Penh stopping en route at a fishing village and pottery village before proceeding to Oudong Mountain – Cambodia's former capital with royal tombs situated on Royal Fortune Hill. Visit a silversmith village then continue to Phnom Penh, visiting La Rose Spa for a Khmer Traditional Massage.
Day 9 Phnom Penh: This morning’s tour includes the National Museum, the Silver Pagoda, the Royal Palace, Wat Phnom and the Central Market. Continue by car to visit the PSE (Pour Un Sourire d’Enfant) for a short tour to learn of the work they do with street children. This afternoon visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the notorious Khmer Rouge “Killing Fields”, the graphic nature of this dark period of history may cause distress.
Day 10 Phnom Penh: This morning enjoy a cyclo tour through the old colonial streets of Phnom Penh, a unique way to discover the city, which includes a visit to the Champey Academy of Arts which is a non-profit professional art school working to preserve, protect and promote Cambodian culture. Scholarships are also given to children from poor families to learn and experience their culture. In the afternoon drive along the Mekong River to Koh Dach Island to visit a traditional Khmer weaving village. Walk through the village and see how they produce their own dyes and weave silk on old looms.
Day 11 Phnom Penh: Day at leisure. Alternatively, take a full day cookery class or to learn about traditional massage at the Cambodian Massage Academy (both additional expense).
Day 12 Phnom Penh/Kep: This morning drive to Takeo Province stopping at Tonle Bati, Ta Prohm, Yeay Peou Temples and Prasat Neang Khmau before reaching Chiso Mountain to visit the 11th century Khmer Brahmanic temple. Continue to Kampong Trach to visit limestone caves and passages that shelter Wat Kirisan where you'll see various stalactites and stalagmites in the shapes of dragon heads, monkeys and whales. Continue to Kep, a coastal province located in the south west that has mountains, evergreen tropical forests, unspoiled islands, coral reefs, sandy beaches and fresh seafood. Founded during the French colonial period, Kep was renovated into a beautiful seaside resort during the 1960s.
Day 13 Kep: This morning drive to Kampot, a small provincial town with colonial style houses and regarded as a prominent fruit growing region. Continue to Tek Chhou waterfall and discover the jewels of Kampot's countryside, visiting plantations and different villages along the way, with an opportunity to witness their daily lives.
You may wish to extend your stay in Kep or Sihanoukville to allow more time to relax on the beach.
Day 14 Kep/Phnom Penh: Time at leisure before tour concludes with a transfer to the airport for your onward journey.
12 nights privately escorted tour by air-conditioned car £2299pp
08444 937 531