Welcome to Siem Reap, the gateway to the enigmatic jungle temples of Angkor. Upon arrival, a friendly local guide will greet you at the airport and take you to your hotel for check-in. The remainder of the day is yours to explore the quaint yet bustling town of Siem Reap, a hidden gem of word-class wining and dining, kind locals, and charming markets.
After breakfast at your hotel, your awe-inspiring tour of Angkor begins. Entering through the grand South Gate, you’ll explore Angkor Thom, the last capital of the once great Khmer Empire, with the 216 enigmatic faces of The Bayon at its centre. Still within the ancient city walls, you’ll marvel at the view from the summit of Baphuon, the enormous temple mountain, affording unspoiled views over the surrounding ruins. You’ll round off the morning poring over the intricate bas-relief of the Elephant Terrace and Terrace of the Leper King, before having lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, you’ll venture deeper into the jungle to the crumbling ruins of Ta Prohm. Here you’ll witness the monstrous jungle vines and sprawling tree roots that seem intent on claiming the ruins as their own. We cap off our day of adventuring with a welcome dinner and unique performance at Phare Cambodian Circus, a non-profit show enriching the lives of disadvantaged youth in the Siem Reap area.
After breakfast, you will witness the spectacular UNESCO World Heritage Site, Angkor Wat, in all its glory. This incredible twelfth century monument stands testament to the dedication and skill of the ancient Khmer people and is truly a wonder of the world.
After lunch at a local restaurant, you’ll savour the remote peace of Banteay Srei, or the ‘Citadel of Beauty,’ some 20km away. This less-frequented woodland temple is beautifully preserved and is incomparable with any other in Angkor. En route to your hotel, we stop at a rural Khmer village to give you insight into the everyday lives of the friendly local people. The evening is yours to explore Siem Reap some more.
After breakfast you’ll head for the Tonlé Sap, dominating the map of Cambodia as the largest freshwater lake in southeast asia. While here, you’ll observe life on the lake for the fishermen and their families who make their homes on the stilt-housing in the water. Once back on dry land, you’ll have the chance to stroll through Psar Chas, a bustling old market, where you’ll find your pick of souvenirs to treat loved-ones back at home.
After lunch, you’ll be taken to the airport for your short flight to Sihanoukville, Cambodia’s premier beach destination, and gateway to the unspoiled islands that lie just off the mainland. The evening is yours to sample the fresh seafood and take in a sunset over the warm waters of the Gulf of Thailand.
After breakfast at your hotel, you’ll board a small cruise ship, sailing over the crystal-clear turquoise waters to the unspoiled island of Koh Rong Samloem. The island truly is a slice of paradise. Spend the day exploring its pristine jungle, diving, or drinking a fresh coconut while starting out into the endless blue abyss from one of the Island’s many beautiful white sand beaches. In the afternoon, you have the option of returning to your hotel in Sihanoukville, or spending the evening in a charming beach bungalow on the Island.
In the morning you are free to swim in the ocean and lounge at the beach, before your private driver delivers you to Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s industrious capital at the confluence of the mighty Mekong and the Tonlé Sap. We end the day with a delicious dinner at a traditional Apsara dance performance, after which you’re free to stroll along the idyllic, recently remodelled waterfront.
After breakfast, your experience of this city rich in history begins with a stroll around the pristine gardens of the Royal Residence, before taking in the impressive collection of sculpture, relics and prehistoric artefacts in the National Museum of Cambodia. Next you’ll marvel at the soaring spires and golden nagas of the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda, glinting in the mid-morning sun.
After lunch at a local restaurant, you’ll spend a reflective afternoon touring the Killing Fields and the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum. Cambodia’s recent tragic history is well-known, yet you can’t truly appreciate the great strides forward this quaint Kingdom has made without understanding the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge, committed less than 40 years ago. The evening is your own to indulge in all this now rejuvenated city has to offer.
Today you’re free to explore this lively city on your own, soaking in the breathtaking natural scenery and the rich culture. Indulge your senses with the fascinating new sounds, smells, and sights of the capital. When it’s time to leave, your guide will collect you and take you to the airport for your ongoing flight, having seen the very best Cambodia has to offer.
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