Phnom Penh | Kampot | Kep | Takeo | Battambang | Siem Reap
From unspoilt beaches to the temples of Angkor, there's no better way to get to know Cambodia than to spend time in her countryside. From faded French-colonial façades of Kampot to the culinary delights of Kep. Add to this the excitement of climbing the ramparts of ancient temples with not a tourist in sight, and you will truly understand this captivating kingdom and her people.
Day 1 - Phnom Penh
On arrival in Phnom Penh, transfer to your hotel and meet your tour leader and group for welcome drinks. The next day take in the city sights including the Royal Palace, Silver pagoda and the thought provoking Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and Killing Fields at Choeng Ek.
Hotel: Frangipani Hotel
Day 3 - Train to Kampot
This morning depart from the city's Art Deco style railway station and head for Kampot. Only reopened in 2016, the railway is still a novelty to locals so you may see families wave at the train as it passes through. Travel on through lush green rice paddies and rural communities before arriving in Kampot in time for lunch. Later, board your private boat for a river cruise to visit a local fishing village. Enjoy the towns laid back charm with faded colonial buildings and chilled out restaurants and bars that line the riverside.
Hotel: Columns Hotel
Day 4 - Kampot & Kep
Kampot is surrounded by picturesque karst limestone mountains that contain numerous caves and a visit will be made to Phnom Chhnork with its 7th century temple inside. Afterwards visit a pepper farm for which the Kampot region is famous, where you will learn about the cultivation and production methods of this sought after produce. Drive past rice fields, salt farms and durian planations on your way to Kep, a seaside retreat established by the French. Enjoy one of the towns famous sunsets over a drink at the Sailing Club.
On the second day in Kep, pass the quiet main beach where locals can often be seen fishing or relaxing by the numerous rent-a-hammock shacks to the renowned crab market. Here locals and tourists can enjoy the freshest seafood including the famous Kep crab with sweet and spicy Kampot pepper. Later take a short boat ride to the idyllic Rabbit Island where you can enjoy swiiming and relaxing on the beach. Return to Kep for the evening at leisure.
Hotel: The Beach House, kep
Day 6 - Takeo
Depart for Takeo where you will board a speedboat to travel along the rice fields canals to Phnom Da to see its striking hilltop temple followed by a visit to the pre Angkorian town of Angkor Borei. Discover the real Cambodia by staying with a local family tonight who will prepare a home cooked dinner made with local produce. Learn about the English speaking classes run by your host for the local children.
Hotels: Meas Family Homestay
Day 7 - Battambang
Meet some of the local children who will be keen to practise their English language skills with you, before heading for Battambang. Enroute, visit Kampong Chhnang on the shores of Tonle Sap lake, famous for its clay pottery as well as Krakor market to gain a fascinating insight into the fishing industry. In the early evening arrive in Battambang, Cambodia's second city and famous for its art scene, night market and green oranges!
The next day explore some of the sites surrounding Battambang whose temples largely escaped damage during the Khmer Rouge era. Visit a local winery, famous for its grape-based cognac on the way to Banan Temple where you can climb the 358 steps to the summit to see the impressive 11th century five spire temple. Afterwards enjoy an exhilarating ride on the famous Bamboo Train as it travels past rice fields. You'll also visit Phnom Sampeau cave with its golden reclining buddha and the summit of Phnom Sampeau where you can enjoy sweeping views of the countryside and at dusk, witness the unforgettable site of millions of bats flying out of a nearby cave.
Hotel: Stung Sangke
Day 9 - Banteay Chhmar
Drive to the remote and fascinating Banteay Chhmar which dates back to the 12th century and remains largely unrestored. Covered with native forest, it maintains a mystical charm and is unusual in that it has had a community inhabiting its surrounds continuously over the centuries. Enjoy a delicious home cooked lunch prepared by this community, before heading to your hotel for an afternoon at leisure.
Hotel: Preah Vihear Boutique Hotel
Day 10 - Preah Vihear & Siem Reap
After breakfast, visit Preah Vihear temple, Cambodia's second UNESCO heritage site. Sitting on an escarpment close to the Thai border, the temple can be traced back to the 9th century and is well preserved due to its remote location. Continue onto Siem Reap with a stop en route at another less visited but interesting temple of Boeng Mealea and a visit to Dom Deak market which retains its authenticity as it is not visited much by tourists. Check into to your hotel in Siem Reap
Hotel: Somadevi Angkor Hotel
Day 11 - Siem Reap
Drive out of Siem Reap to visit Kampong Phluk floating village which is situated on Tonle Sap, one of the largest freshwater lakes in Asia. After a home cooked lunch continue through the Cambodia countryside to Banteay Srei, known as the 'Citadel of women'. This intricately carved and well preserved temple has a different style to the other Angkor temples and was only discovered in the 1990's. Return to your hotel in Siem Reap for the afternoon at leisure - your guide will be happy to reccommend things to do.
Hotel: Somadevi Angkor Hotel
Day 12 - Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom & Ta
Rise early to experience the spires of Angkor Wat emerge with dawn's first rays followed by a tour of the main temple complex. Explore the Bayon of Angkor Thom with its impressive stone faces by tuk-tuk, finishing with a visit to the atmospheric Ta Prohm. Back at your hotel, the afternoon is free to relax - perhaps explore the bustling market and visit the Angkor National Museum. Tonight enjoy a group dinner at a local restaurant to end a memeorable holiday.
Hotel: Somadevi Angkor Hotel
Day 13 - Farewell
On your last day, enjoy free time until your departure transfer.
Make friends along the way as you discover the sights and experience the culture of this fascinating region.
Your small group tour includes: