Duration: 12 nights escorted tour
Price from: £2769pp
Siem Reap 4 nights
Battambang 2 nights
Phnom Penh 4 nights
Kep 2 nights
Day 1: Fly to Siem Reap.
Day 2 Siem Reap: On arrival you will transfer to your hotel.
Day 3 Siem Reap: Enter Angkor Thom via the South Gate and 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 jungleenveloped Ta Prohm Temple. Also visit Ta Keo, Chau Say Tevada and Thommanon Temples.
Day 4 Siem Reap: Drive through the Khmer countryside to visit beautiful 10th century Banteay Srei temple 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', used by villagers in times past to transport themselves and their goods. Later, visit Phnom Banon Temple for magnificent views of the surrounding plains.
Day 7 Battambang: This morning visit a local NGO (nongovernment organisation), Phare Ponleu Selpak which gives circus, drawing and music classes to children from poor families. This afternoon visit the Phnom Sampov Pagoda and killing fields before watching the sunset at a hillside bat cave.
Day 8 Battambang/Phnom Penh: En route to Phnom Penh stop at fishing and pottery villages before proceeding to Oudong Mountain - Cambodia’s former capital with royal tombs situated on Royal Fortune Hill. Visit a silversmith village then on arrival in Phnom Penh, visit 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. 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, a non-profit professional art school working to preserve, protect and promote Cambodian culture. This afternoon embark on a walking tour of the quiet backstreets for a true insight into local life.
Day 11 Phnom Penh: At leisure. Or, take a cookery class or learn about traditional massage at the Cambodian Massage Academy, both additional expense (see page 193).
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 11thcentury 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.
Day 13 Kep: First stop today is La Plantation, an organic pepper and spice farm, for a guided tour and lunch. Continue to the sleepy town of Kampot, where there’s time to explore the colonial style houses before boarding a boat to the entrance of the ‘green cathedral’ (a canopy of green over the Kampot River). Here, you have time to kayak before returning to Kep.
Day 14 Kep/Phnom Penh: Time at leisure before tour concludes with a transfer to the airport for your onward journey. Alternatively, why not extend your stay at the beach?
Meals: Breakfast. Lunch also included on days 3, 4, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12 & 13. Dinner also included on days 3, 4, 6, 8, 9 & 10.
Tour price: The price shown for this privately escorted tour by air-conditioned car is based on the best value travel dates in low season and includes international flights, private transfers between your hotels, 3*plus accommodation, sightseeing as outlined, private services of an English speaking guide and entrance fees.
4* and 5* hotels are also available at a supplement.
Phare Ponleu Selpak and Provincial Museum in Battambang is closed Sat and Sun; PSE only opens Mon-Sat mornings.