Cambodia Cities & Beach
Travel 01 Mar 2019 - 30 Nov 2019
Book by 31 May 2019
Saving £275 per person
- 3 nts Siem Reap Cambodia Tour, Siem Reap - Standard room - Breakfast
- 5 nts Sok San Beach Resort, Koh Rong, Cambodia Beaches - Pavilion Garden View - Breakfast
- 3 nts Phnom Penh Cambodia Tour, Phnom Penh - Standard room - Breakfast
- Includes a FREE 60 minute Khmer Massage and complimentary daily mini bar at La Rose Boutique Hotel Phnom Penh
- Flights to Siem Reap via Bangkok and return from Phnom Penh via Bangkok with Thai Airways, accommodation throughout, private, shuttle road and shared boat transfers and prepayable taxes.
- This holiday is ATOL protected 2713
Standard room - Breakfast
Day 1 Siem Reap: A sleepy backwater until a few years ago, Siem Reap now attracts many visitors as it is the gateway to the temples of Angkor, Cambodia's spiritual and cultural centre. Afternoon tour of Angkor Wat Temple, the largest in the world, with its intricate carving and sculptures of over 11,000 figures depicting life in the 12th century. It is an astounding architectural feat, a sumptuous blend of towers and sky.
Day 2 Siem Reap: At leisure to relax or sightsee independently. We highly recommend the spectacular Beng Mealea or Koh Ke, or perhaps book an optional excursion.
Day 3 Siem Reap: A full day sightseeing at the vast Angkor Thom complex incorporating elaborate entrance gates and the pyramid temples of Baphuan and Pimeaneakas. Also visit other temples in the area, including Ta Phrom dating back to the 12th century which was used as a location for the film "Tomb Raider".
Day 4 Siem Reap: Onward to the destination of your choice.
Pavilion Garden View - Breakfast
This Khmer-style rustic resort is fringed by a stunning shoreline of glorious white sands and turquoise waters.
Standard room - Breakfast
Day 1 Phnom Penh: Day at leisure in Cambodia’s capital city, which retains an undeniable charm despite its tumultuous past. Crumbling colonial architecture makes an attractive backdrop to the bustling streetside cafes and riverfront. Maybe head to one of the riverfront cafes or haggle for bargains at one of the markets. Alternatively, take an optional excursion to a Khmer dance school to enjoy a performance of classical and folkloric dance by underprivileged children and orphans.
Day 2 Phnom Penh: At leisure. Why not consider booking one of our optional excursions?
Day 3 Phnom Penh: A full day tour taking in the National Museum housing a vast collection of Khmer antiquities, the Royal Palace, the extravagant Silver Pagoda and also visit Wat Phnom. Also a visit the central market for an opportunity to enjoy some shopping. A visit to the “Killing Fields” and Genocide Museum is optional.
Day 4 Phnom Penh: Onward to the destination of your choice.
Flights to Siem Reap via Bangkok and return from Phnom Penh via Bangkok with Thai Airways, accommodation throughout, private, shuttle road and shared boat transfers and prepayable taxes.
Prices are per person based on 2 adults sharing (unless stated otherwise). Subject to availabilty, terms and conditions apply.
Standard room - Breakfast
This once sleepy backwater in northwest Cambodia has undergone one of the fastest periods of growth in Southeast Asia due to its close proximity to the world-famous temples of Angkor. The town has a sophisticated air along with an array of fine hotels and a flourishing dining scene however, much of the towns traditions and culture have been conserved, creating a wonderful blend of the ancient and modern.
Situated around 3 miles from Siem Reap, the staggering temple complex of Angkor, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most important archaeological sites in Southeast Asia and the highlight of any visit to Cambodia. Dating back to the 9th century and scattered throughout a huge area of forest, together the temples comprise one of the world's greatest man-made wonders.
The centrepiece is the superbly preserved and visually entrancing Angkor Wat, the world's largest religious monument, built to replicate the heavens on earth. The sheer scale of this vast moated temple is hard to grasp – the entire site takes in nearly 500 acres and features five imposing lotus-shaped towers, sweeping courtyards, mysterious passageways and intricate carvings on the temple walls.
The huge walled city of Angkor Thom also forms part of the complex and encompasses many fine temples and palaces. There are five gateways into Angkor Thom each approached by a causeway built across the moat and lined with statues of gods and spirits. Within Angkor Thom is the famous Bayon Temple with its giant stone faces, possibly the most celebrated structure at Angkor after Angkor Wat. Other highlights within Angkor Thom include the pyramid of Baphuon, Phimeanakas and the royal viewing stands of the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King.
Another must see is Ta Phrom, which featured in the Tomb Raider film. Still covered in jungle as well as gigantic roots that intertwine with temple walls and corridors, creating a truly magical sight. If time allows you may also wish to see Preah Khan, which literally translates as 'Sacred Sword'; Banteay Srei; East Mebon; Pre Rup; Srah Srang or Ta Som.
Temples aside, no visit to Siem Reap is complete without exploring the fascinating string of floating and stilted villages on the nearby Tonle Sap lake, one of the largest freshwater lakes in Southeast Asia. In the wet season it swells to more than five times its size in the dry season flooding the surrounding plains and forests, creating an incredibly diverse and rich eco-system. The lake is also home to numerous species of waterbird, many of which can be seen at the Prek Toal Biosphere Reserve.
As the days draw to a close and you want to sit back and relax, Siem Reap has a surprisingly diverse range of places to eat and drink. Eateries, from hawker stalls to five star venues, are scattered across the town, although many are concentrated in the Pub Street and Old Market areas. You may also like to take in a show highlighting the ancient art of Aspara dance, as depicted on the walls of the Angkor temples.
Pavilion Garden View - Breakfast
The Cambodian coast features palm-fringed beaches, a scattering of resorts and some beautiful offshore islands where a castaway ambience prevails, while inland are a series of national parks and some impressive mountain scenery. Whether you opt for Kep, Sihanoukville or Koh Rong, a stay on Cambodia's southern shores is an ideal conclusion to an exhilarating tour of cultural delights.
KEP, SIHANOUKVILLE AND KOH RONG
Kep, which was founded as a seaside retreat for the French elite in 1908, became the favoured haunt of privileged Cambodians before falling on hard times under Khmer Rouge rule when the city became all but deserted. Today, Kep is experiencing something of a renaissance, with many seduced by its narrow sandy beaches, crumbling colonial buildings, tranquil atmosphere and delicious seafood - particularly crab. Additionally, Kep's interior is occupied by Kep National Park where a variety of trails reward you with pagodas, wats and viewpoints along with a variety of flora and fauna. Day trips to the little known Koh Tonsay (Rabbit Island) are also highly recommended. Lined with gorgeous palm groves, this stunning secluded stretch of sands offers a castaway experience, whether you take a blissful promenade around the coastline or take a nap on a swinging hammock, it's a wonderful laid-back escape.
Sihanoukville is Cambodia's premier beach resort and offers something for all tastes. Overlooking the Gulf of Thailand the peninsula of Sihanoukville is surrounded by tropical white sand beaches and a smattering of undeveloped offshore islands. There are a number of beaches around Sihanoukville, including busy Occheuteal and Serendipity Beaches, quieter Otres Beach and, our favourite, Sokha Beach. This radiant stretch of sands, lapped by clear shallow waters, is an ideal choice for swimming, relaxing or indulging in watersports. Additionally, boat trips to the surrounding offshore islands where coral reefs are perfect for snorkelling or diving are also available and a lovely way to while away a few hours.
For a true Robinson Crusoe experience, the dazzling Koh Rong archipelago is quite possibly that clichéd tropical island paradise you've been seeking. Most of the islands remain undeveloped and boast glistening white sand beaches, crystal clear turquoise water teeming with marine life and deserted oases of virgin rainforest. Lying secluded in this magnificent seascape is Song Saa Private Island, Cambodia's first luxury private island resort where all villas have their own plunge pool and you can forget the hustle and bustle of real life and lose yourself in the natural world.
Standard room - Breakfast
Situated at the confluence of three rivers – the mighty Mekong, the Bassac and the great Tonle Sap - the capital of Cambodia is a vibrant, bustling city with wide tree-lined boulevards, French colonial mansions and monumental Angkorian architecture. Bistros and boutiques line the riverfront, smart shops and art galleries dot the side streets and the city enjoys a heady dusk-to-dawn nightlife.
Arguably the most impressive of the city's attractions is the elegant complex housing the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda that dominate the southern riverfront. The palace dates back to 1866 and inside its gleaming yellow walls are the Throne Hall, the Chan Chaya Pavilion, the Napoleon III Pavilion and the King and Queen's residential quarters. The adjacent Silver Pagoda is home to a stunning collection of Buddha statues.
Other notable sights include the National Museum, which houses a significant collection of Khmer artefacts; Wat Ounalom, an attractive and prestigious pagoda considered the centre of Cambodian Buddhism; and one of the most important landmarks in the city, Wat Phnom. Surrounding the hill on which Wat Phnom sits is the old French Quarter and its many fine colonial buildings, some of which have been restored.
To truly understand the more recent history and tragic events endured by the Cambodian people, the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum and Choeung Ek Killing Fields Memorial are essential stops, although they're not for the faint-hearted. Toul Sleng Genocide Museum, is the one-time school that became a notorious prison for those who fell foul of the Pol Pot regime, while the Killing Fields are about 8 miles southwest of the city, was one of the execution and burial grounds used by the Khmer Rouge. Informative audio guides include testimony from both survivors and guards of the regime.
For something rather more uplifting, yet also giving an insight into the Cambodian way of life, do consider one of the many cooking classes available. You'll learn the secrets behind Khmer cuisine, from shopping for the ingredients in the market, to cooking and tasting your creations.
For tourists and locals alike, the lively riverfront is the city's focal point. This wide promenade is lined with restaurants, cafes and bars and particularly comes alive after dark. The riverside also has its own Night Market on Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, where you'll find a selection of clothing, souvenirs and food. Alternatively, the Central Market and Russian Market (so named as Russians were the first tourists to shop here and the name stuck!) offer excellent selections of traditional souvenirs as well a unique local market experience. Modern malls can also be found for those seeking international clothing labels, electronics, beauty products and much more.
As well as the many eateries in the riverside area, Phnom Penh has a vast range of places to eat, from street food and cheap noodle shops to five star restaurants and western options.