Best Of Cambodia
10 Nights/11 Days
10 Nights/11 Days
Cambodia is a Southeast Asian nation whose landscape spans low-lying plains, the Mekong Delta, mountains and Gulf of Thailand coastline. Phnom Penh, its capital, is home to the art deco Central Market, glittering Royal Palace and the National Museum’s historical and archaeological exhibits. In the country’s northwest are the ruins of Angkor Wat, a massive stone temple complex built during the Khmer Empire.
Arrival in Siem Reap
Arrival in Siem Reap. Transfer (6 kms).Time at leisure. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Siem Reap – Angkor Wat
The crowning jewel of Khmer architecture, Angkor Wat is the national symbol and the highlight of any visit to Cambodia. The largest, best preserved, and most religiously significant of the Angkor temples, Angkor impresses visitors both by its sheer scale and beautifully proportioned layout, as well as the delicate artistry of its carvings. As you enter the main building, ascend through a series of galleries and courtyard before reaching the central sanctuary, which offers beautiful views back over the causeway and across the surrounding countryside. On the way, stop to enjoy the intricate stone carvings that adorn nearly every surface, with some 1,700 Apsaras, or celestial dancers, sculpted into the walls. Along the outer gallery walls run the longest continuous bas-relief in the world, which narrates stories from Hindu mythology, including the famous Churning of the Ocean of Milk. Angkor Wat is stunning at any time of the day, but sunrise and sunset are especially beautiful times to watch the play of light on the stones. Preah Khan is a temple built by King Jayavarman VII with towered enclosures and shoulder-hugging corridors in a jungle setting. Seemingly miniature in comparison to the other Angkor temples, Banteay Srei is considered to be the jewel of classical Khmer art. Built in pink sandstone, the walls are covered in exquisitely preserved carvings of unusual delicacy. Because of its small size, fairy-like atmosphere and extraordinary examples of Khmer sculpture, this temple is often a favourite with visitors. Watch the sunset over the Cambodian countryside from the upper terraces of an ancient Angkorian temple. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Siem Reap – Angkor Thom
The fortified city of Angkor Thom covers an area of 10 square km. Enclosed by a wall and wide moats; the city includes many of Angkor’s most popular sights. Enter by the monumental South Gate over a causeway lined on either side by statues of demons and gods, each carrying a giant naga. Continue to the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper Kings, former spaces for public ceremonies, both adorned with dramatic bas reliefs. Visit the ruined Baphuon, Royal Enclosure and Phimeanakas before continuing to the mysterious Bayon Temple. In this temple, one of the most popular and compelling in Angkor, explore the galleries of beautifully preserved bas reliefs and ascend narrow stairs to reach the central sanctuary, where visitors bear witness to giant stone faces smiling enigmatically down from every angle. See Prasat Kravan – the five brick towers were built for Hindu worship in 921 and are notable for the bas-reliefs cut into the bricks on the interior walls. Visit the massive Buddhist temple dating from the 12th century, Banteay Kdei, which is surrounded by four concentric walls, the outer walls measuring 500 by 700 meters. Head to a basin opposite of Banteay Kdei, Sras Srang, measuring 800 by 400 metres with a tiny island in the middle where only the stone base remains of what was once a wooden temple. Explore the jungle-clad Ta Prohm, one of the most popular attractions of Angkor. Since much of the jungle has not been cleared from the ruins, it looks very much as most of the Angkor monuments would have appeared when European explorers first stumbled across them. Also see the first Angkorian monument built entirely of sandstone, Ta Keo. It was built by Jayavarman V who ruled from 968 to 1001, and was dedicated to Shiva. Discover Thommanon Temple and Chau Say Tevoda, both built around the same time in the 12th century and similarly designed. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Siem Reap – Chong Kneas
Excursion by boat to Chong Kneas floating village and visit Phsar Chah (Old Market).
Take a boat ride to Chong Kneas Village to view the scenery and day to day life of the communities living around the lake. Visit Psah Chah Market, originally destroyed by the Khmer Rouge in 1975 and reopened in 1996. It has many interesting food stalls and souvenir shops. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Siem Reap – Phnom Kulen
Visit Phnom Kulen, historically revered by all Cambodians as a sacred place of pilgrimage. It was the site, then known as Mount Mahendraparvata, that Jayavarman II chose in 802 to proclaim himself a divine universal ruler and marked the beginning of the Angkor period of Khmer history. At this location it’s possible to see some of Kulen’s spectacular riverbed rock carvings. Continue to Kbal Spean, also known as the River of 1000 Lingas, where there are carvings in the riverbed (in the same way as at Kulen). It should be more spectacular but many of the carvings have been looted. Near Kbal Spean is a waterfall that can be reached by hiking 2 kilometres uphill. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Travel northeast from Siem Reap to Koh Ker, a remote group of early Angkorian ruins from the 10th century capital of Jayavarman IV. Several monuments and temples still remain, with some of the most interesting being the pyramidal Prasat Thom, Prasat Bram and Prasat Leung. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Siem Reap – Phnom Penh
Arrival in Phnom Penh. Time at leisure. Overnight in Phnom Penh.
Explore Phnom Penh, a chaotic, energetic and always fascinating city. Graceful tree-lined boulevards and riverfront promenades are reminders of bygone eras; today they teem with life and activity, as motorcycles weave in and out of traffic, vendors hawk their wares, and pedestrians go about their business. Start your tour at Wat Phnom, the birthplace of the capital; according to legend the city began here when a woman named Penh found four Buddha statues and built the temple to house them. Afterwards, see the splendour of Cambodia’s royal heritage by visiting the Royal Palace, still the official residence of King Norodom Sihamoni, the adjacent Silver Pagoda, also known as the Pagoda of the Emerald Buddha, and the elegant National Museum, which contains a comprehensive collection of Khmer art. In the afternoon, learn about a chapter from Cambodia’s more recent, tragic past at the Tuol Sleng Museum (Museum of Genocide). Finally, explore the modern-day city, visiting one of Phnom Penh’s two great markets, the Central Market, located in a distinctive domed Art Deco building or the sprawling Russian Market.Overnight in Phnom Penh.
Tonle Bati, a lake located 35 km south of Phnom Penh has a beach and two impressive Angkorian laterite temples from the late 12th century, Ta Prohm and Yeay Peau. Both were built under King Jayavarman VII, the same period in which the Bayon and Angkor Thom temples were constructed. Ta Prohm is a temple built by King Jayavarman VII (who ruled from 1181 to 1201) on the site of a 6th century Khmer shrine. Inside the north gate is a statue of the Hindu god Preah Noreay. Overnight in Phnom Penh.
Oudong was the former capital of Cambodia between 1618 and 1866. The twin ridges of Phnom Oudong feature several stupas containing the ashes of former Khmer kings. On the larger hill are the remains of Vihear Preah Ath Roes, Vihara of the 18-Cubit Buddha. After exploring the temples, enjoy the panoramic views of the Cambodian countryside. Kampong Chhnang: is a province well known for its fine clay pottery. The name of the province means “Port of Pottery”. The people of this province enjoy making pots, vases and various others types of ceramics during their off time between harvest seasons. Take a short sail from waterfront to see one of the floating villages on the Northwest known as Chong Kos. Many of the village inhabitants there are ethnic Vietnamese. Living on the water, they have all the amenities a mainland village would have – houses, shops, vendors, petrol station and even a mosque.Overnight in Phnom Penh.
Depart Phnom Penh
Enjoy breakfast at the hotel. Check out from the hotel you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back home.