Cambodia Small Group Discovery
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Destination for this trip:
Battambang, Cambodia; Kampot, Cambodia; Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Siem Reap, Cambodia
Length of trip:
Approximate price of this trip per person:
from $ 0 to $ 2000
Best travel dates to go:
January, February, March, April, September, October, November, December
Detailed Description of this trip:
This tour is designed from the ground up to provide a real understanding of the history and culture of the Khmer people. During 14 varied and interesting days, you visit not only Cambodia's ‘highlights’ such as Angkor Wat and the Royal Palace, but also get well away from the tourist trail, meeting the country’s people and understanding more about their culture and way of life. This journey takes a comfortable pace, punctuated by enough free time for visitors to explore for themselves or just relax a little. We believe that no–one can truly appreciate the beauty of anywhere if they have only ten minutes to see it, so we give you time at each place we visit to take photos, talk to local people or just absorb the atmosphere. Accommodation is in clean, comfortable locally–owned guest houses or small hotels with fan or air–conditioning and private bathroom, each of which has been hand–picked by us. The exception is actually a highlight of the trip – a home stay in wooden houses on the banks of a river. A variety of transport is utilized over the two weeks: riding motorcycle pillion cross–country; speedboat; minibus and by foot – plus a few surprises! This trip is suitable for moderately fit adults of any age and children over 10 years old. There are some short uphill walks, and you must be able to carry your own bags between your room and your transport, and to get yourself on and off boats. There are also options to extend this trip with a seven–day jungle/hill tribe adventure or a few extra days at the beach.
This Trip is Recommended for:
Day 1 - Phnom Penh
Arrival In Phnom Penh.
Arrival at PHNOM PENH airport. You will be met by our representative and taken to your hotel to relax and freshen up.
Late afternoon there is a one–hour trip along the Mekong River in a private open boat.
Day 2 - Kampot
Enjoy Kampot tour.
Pickup in the morning and travel through the countryside to the small town of KAMPOT. On the way we will visit a small local community to learn about rural life and see how village people are working together to improve their lives. A simple Khmer lunch will be served, for which there is a small local charge.
Bed & Breakfast
On arrival in Kampot, you will stay in a charming local house overlooking the river and nearby hills.
The afternoon is free to swim in the river, take a walk or just watch the sun sink over the hills
Day 3 - Kampot
Day in Kep–sur–Mer.
Pickup in the morning for a visit to the abandoned colonial seaside resort of Kep–sur–Mer. Explore the shells of what were once luxurious villas belonging to Cambodia’s elite.
Take a walk along the small palm–fringed beach – plus a chance to swim in the warm water!
Return to Kampot through unspoiled countryside and on to Phnom Penh, arriving by early evening.
Day 4 - Phnom Penh
Visit historical places in Phnom Penh.
The day is spent learning about ancient and modern history – starting with a morning visit to the Royal Palace (still inhabited by the King of Cambodia) and the National Museum, where many statues from Angkor Wat are now stored. In the afternoon, visit the genocide museum of Tuol Sleng – which was originally a school and became a Khmer Rouge prison – and the Killing Fields, where many people were taken and ‘exterminated’.
Day 5 - Battambang
Day in Battambang & Oudong.
Overland travel to BATTAMBANG by minibus. There will be many photo opportunities of the beautiful countryside and the local people.
Stop en–route to visit Oudong, the former seat of the Khmer throne. Enjoy panoramic views of the countryside from the top of a hill that is host to a $4.5m stupa built in December 2002 to host some fabled remains of the Buddha. Arrival early evening.
Day 6 - Battambang
Exploring Battambang on Motorcycle.
Off the beaten track with your motorcycle driver. Headed by a local guide, you will visit some hilltop temples to enjoy the spectacular view and drive along tiny winding tracks into some small villages where tourists hardly ever venture. Visit the caves where many people were tortured and executed by the Khmer Rouge, an important part of Cambodia’s recent tragic history, Return to the hotel by early evening.
Day 7 - Battambang
Keep exploring Battambang with Motorcycle convoy.
Another day exploring with your motorcycle convoy. Headed by your guide, visit some more places of interest, including a cheese factory (not to be missed!). In the afternoon, visit one of the local voluntary organisations who are working with the Cambodian people in developing the country.
Day 8 - Siem Reap
Travel to Siem Reap.
Speedboat travel to Siem Reap, site of the ANGKOR temples.
Your private boat will take you along the winding river from Battambang past many small fishing villages where you can see local people going about their daily lives (except when they all stop to wave to you!). Then across a great lake and through a floating village to the boat terminus where you will be transferred to your hotel.
The afternoon is free to relax.
Day 9 - Siem Reap
Visit main temples in Angkor.
Visit some of the main temples of Angkor – including Angkor Thom, site of the famous heads of the Bayon, and Angkor Wat itself. Accompanied by an English–speaking local guide, learn about the historical evolution of the Khmer kingdom and the building of the temples. Sufficient time is allowed at each site for you to explore at your own pace, take photographs, or just stare in wonder – plus a long break for lunch to shelter from the heat of the midday sun! At just before sunset, climb to the top of Angkor Wat (if you dare!) for a sight not to be missed.
Bed & Breakfast
Return to the hotel by early evening.
Day 10 - Siem Reap
Visit more temples within the Angkor complex.
Visit further temples within the Angkor complex, including Banteay Srei, with amazingly intricate detail carved in red sandstone, and Kbal Spein, the ‘river of a thousand lingas’, with ancient carvings on a riverbed and a scenic short trek through the forest to reach it. Again, the day is unhurried, giving you time of your own and avoiding the pressurised rush of typical guided tours.
Bed & Breakfast
Return to the hotel by early evening.
Day 11 - Siem Reap
Visit more spectacular temples.
A final visit to some of the more spectacular temples – Ta Phrom, still largely claimed by the jungle, and Preah Khan, the ‘sacred sword’, currently undergoing a World Monuments Fund renovation.
The afternoon is free – you can walk around the town, swim in your guesthouse pool, or just relax.
Day 12 - Phnom Penh
Travel to Phnom Penh.
Overland travel to PHNOM PENH by minibus.
Along the way there are many photo opportunities of the beautiful countryside and the local people, and a stop at a small town that is famed for its culinary delicacy of deep fried spider! Arrival early evening.
Day 13 - Phnom Penh
Free time in Phnom Penh.
Free time. A chance to spend time at the markets picking up some local handicrafts, walking around the town, swimming in a local resort pool, or whatever you wish. Your tour leader can give you advice and recommendations if required, and can accompany you at no extra cost (subject to availability).
Day 14 - Phnom Penh
Fly back home.
Transfer to the airport for your flight home.
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