Comprehensive Cambodia

Travel Idea:

Comprehensive Cambodia

Like this vacation? Speak DIRECTLY with the travel agent who compiled it!

Length of trip:

9 days

Approximate price of this trip per person:

from $ 1995

Best travel dates to go:

Dec 01, 2008 to Dec 09, 2008; Feb 16, 2009 to Feb 24, 2009;


Detailed Description of this trip:

Cambodia is worth spending more time than just a few days. This trip includes a thorough visit to the ruins of the Siem Reap area, but also includes an exploration of Tonle Sap River and Lake. From Phnom Penh, you will also explore the ancient capital of Oudong and travel north along the Mekong to Kampong Cham in central Cambodia, a region seldom included on tourist itineraries.



Trip Itinerary:

  • Day 1 - Phnom Penh

    Hotel

    On arrival in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, you will be met by a local guide and transferred to your centrally located hotel.

    Sightseeing

    Phnom Penh sits at the confluence of the Mekong, Bassac and Tonle Sap Rivers, and is considered the loveliest of the French built cities of Indochina. It was founded as a small monastery in 1372 by a rich Khmer woman called Penh. She set up the monastery on a nearby hill, or “Phnom” in Cambodian, after she found four Buddha statues in a tree trunk on the banks of the Mekong. You will have the opportunity to visit this site.

  • Day 2 - Phnom Penh

    Historical and Educational Tours

    Today you will have a full day of guided sight seeing at places such as Wat Ounalom. Built in 1443 to house a hair of the Buddha, this very important temple consists of 44 structures facing the Tonle Sap Lake. Another interesting sight is the Silver Pagoda, often called the Pagoda of the Emerald Buddha or Wat Preah Kaeo after the statue housed there. King Norodom originally built the wooden temple in 1892, and its floor is comprised of more than 5000 silver blocks that together weigh nearly six tons.

    Museums

    Continue with your tour to the National Museum, which was designed by French archeologist and painter George Groslier to exhibit works previously scattered about the country.

    Museums

    Next, visit the Tuol Sleng Museum, home of the former high school that became the Khmer Rouge’s main torture and interrogation center known as Security Prison 21.

    Shopping

    Conclude with a visit to the Central Market, a covered market built in 1937 and distinguished by its central dome. It is filled with shops selling jewelry, fabrics and all kinds of souvenirs, making it a great place for browsing.
    Meals: Breakfast

  • Day 3 - Phnom Penh

    Phnom Penh - Oudong - Phnom Penh.
    Sightseeing

    Today you depart for Oudong, located about 25 miles from Phnom Penh and once the capital of Cambodia from 1618-1866. The ridges of Oudong feature several stupas containing the ashes of former Khmer kings. On the large ridge are the remains of Vihear Preah Ath Roes, “Vihara of the 18-cubit Buddha”. There are good views of the Cambodian countryside from here.

    Hotel

    Return to Phnom Penh for your overnight.
    Meals: Breakfast

  • Day 4 - Kampong Cham

    Phnom Penh - Kampong Cham.
    Sightseeing

    After breakfast, you will journey north through the Mekong River basin to Kampong Cham. This lively port on the banks of the Mekong River has some good examples of colonial architecture. The Mekong River, which rises in Tibet, flows over 190 miles through Cambodia before continuing on through Vietnam to the sea.

    Hotel

    Overnight at a local hotel in Kampong Cham.
    Meals: Breakfast

  • Day 5 - Phnom Penh

    Sightseeing

    In the morning, visit a few of the sites in Kompong Cham, including the Wat Nokor Bayon, an 11th century Mahayana Buddhist shrine. Nakor Bayon is made of sandstone and laterite, with a large reclining Buddha and numerous alcoves containing Buddha images. Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei are two temples set atop hills, and translate as “Man Hill” and “Woman Hill” respectively. The hills offer beautiful views of this central part of Cambodia.

    Hotel

    Afterwards, return to Phnom Penh for your overnight. Meals: Breakfast

  • Day 6 - Siem Reap

    Phnom Penh - Siem Reap.

    Transfer to the airport for your flight to Siem Reap, where you begin your tour of the Angkor sites.

    Sightseeing

    Angkor Wat, the temple dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu by King Suryavarman II, was constructed over a period of 30 years and illustrates some of the most beautiful examples of Khmer and Hindu art. It also features the longest continuous bas-relief in the world, which runs along the outer gallery walls and narrates stories from Hindu mythology.

    Sightseeing

    Continue your visit with a stop at Angkor Thom, a fortified royal city with five monumental gates, that is encircled by a moat over 325 feet wide. In the center of Siem Reap are the city’s most important monuments, including Baphuon, Bayon, and the Terrace of Elephants. The Bayon is one of the most popular of Angkor’s monuments, and is a place of narrow corridors, steep flights of stairs and an amazing collection of towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces.

    Hotel

    Overnight at a hotel in Siem Reap. Meals: Breakfast

  • Day 7 - Siem Reap

    Historical and Educational Tours

    The sites you visit today include the Chau Say Tevoda, built during the 12th century and dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu, and Thommanon, a temple that mirrors Chau Say Tevoda. You will also stop by Banteay Kdei, a massive Buddhist temple dating from the 12th century, and Neak Pean, a Buddhist temple consisting of a square pool with four smaller square pools arranged on each axis. In the center of the central pool is a circular island encircled by two nagas with intertwined tails.

    Sightseeing

    You will also visit Prasat Kravan, a temple built for Hindu worship and noted for the bas-reliefs cut into the bricks on the interior walls.
    Meals: Breakfast

  • Day 8 - Siem Reap

    Sightseeing

    Your final tour of Angkor includes the Roluos Group, monuments that mark the beginning of Classical art.

    Sightseeing

    Lolei is built on an islet with sandstone carvings in the niches of the temples. Preah Ko has inscriptions in Sanskrit on the doorsteps of each of its temples, and Bakong, the largest and most interesting of the Roluos group, still has an active Buddhist monastery.

    Sightseeing

    Afterwards, take a boat trip on Tonle Sap Lake. You will journey up the Tonle Sap River, which links the Tonle Sap Lake and the Mekong River, until you reach Tonle Sap Lake. This “Great Lake” takes up much of the center of Cambodia and changes in size depending on the season.

    Fishing

    During the dry season in February, it shrinks to a tenth of its original size and becomes one of the richest fishing grounds in the world. Your boat trip will take you to interesting fishing villages such as Chong Kneas, a floating village where both Khmer and Vietnamese live, and to Phnom Krom, a hill with spectacular views over the lake. The three towers on the hill are dedicated to Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma.

    Hotel

    Return to Siem Reap for your overnight. Meals: Breakfast

  • Day 9 - Siem Reap

    Siem Reap - Onward.

    Transfer to the airport for your onward flight. Meals: Breakfast

Planning a similar vacation?
Work with the expert travel agent who compiled this trip
to build your own personalized itinerary!
Fill out the form at the top of the page

Planning a similar vacation?

Have the expert travel agent who compiled this itinerary build a dream vacation for you!

Additional comments about your trip (optional)

Font Size: increase font size decrease font size