Cambodia and Thailand holiday

“A two week, small group guided tour of Cambodia, with a few days on Thailandís Koh Mak island at the end of the trip. ”

Highlights

Phnom Penh | Site of Killing Fields | Khmer Rouge Genocide Museum | Siem Reap | Angkor Wat | Walking tour Angkor Tom | Banteay Kdei ruins | Phnom Bahkeng Temple | Preah Khan | Beng Mealea | Battambang bamboo train |Kymer and Thai food | Koh Mak island, Thailand| Koh Chang National Marine Park | Bangkok

Description of Cambodia and Thailand holiday

This two week guided, small group Cambodia holiday spends ten days taking in the cultural and natural highlights of this magnificent country, with a few days of Thailand holiday highlights thrown into this magical mix at the end too. With so many holidays focusing more on Thailand than Cambodia, this one spends quality time in the former, exploring not only its famous ancient temples at Angkor Wat, but also other little known spiritual and ecological wonders. Cambodia has a complex history too, of course and, as we travel through its rural villages we will hear stories not only of those dark times, but also of more positive and vibrant times today.

Starting in Phnom Penh, the dynamic capital, we will have guided tours of sites that include the historic French quarter of Wat Phnom, the famous Foreign Correspondentsí Club and, importantly, before we start our journey around the rest of the country, the notorious site of the Killing Fields and the Khmer Rouge Genocide Museum at Tuol Sleng.

From here, we travel into Cambodiaís rural areas taking in the typical scenes of paddy fields, stilt houses and luscious terrain en route to Siem Riep where we will see the great temples complex at Angkor Wat. Jungle clad and a world famous UNESCO World Heritage Site, these ruins of ancient temples, the largest religious monument in the world, stretch back to the 12th century. We also visit a lesser known temple, Beng Mealea, about 50km from Angkor Wat, still largely unrestored and jungle covered, it is a wonderful site with a lot fewer tourists.

We have plenty of journeys into Cambodiaís stunning landscapes on this holiday too, including a river trip on the Sangkar, where you will see typical waterside life, with houseboats and homes on stilts forming welcoming communities along the way. We also have a chance to cycle through villages on the outskirts of Battambang, Cambodiaís second largest city in terms of population, where there are plenty of opportunities to take in myriad village life and gain a great perspective on rural Cambodia. We will also include a trip on the regionís famous bamboo train.

Finally, there is plenty of relaxing to be had as we cross the border into Thailand and head to Koh Mak island, a tropical idyll with coconut palm lined beaches in Trat Province. Before completing our trip in bustling Bangkok, enjoy some beach time here as well as a snorkelling trip out to the waters of Koh Chang National Marine Park where coral reefs make your two nation odyssey complete. Note that during monsoon months, May-Sept, our final island stop will be Koh Chang instead of Koh Mak.

Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.

01273 823 700

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Check dates, prices & availability

Date
Price
Basis
28 Sep 2016
£ 2365
including UK flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 28 Sep 2016 departure
27 Oct 2016
£ 2365
including UK flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 27 Oct 2016 departure
25 Nov 2016
£ 2365
including UK flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 25 Nov 2016 departure
24 Dec 2016
£ 2565
including UK flights
Available
Click here to enquire about or book the 24 Dec 2016 departure
Vouchers
Accepted
Holiday type

Small group holiday

This is a 'small group adventure' - you will be sharing your experiences with like minded people. Group sizes are limited to a maximum of 11 persons, a genuinely small group. Experience has taught us that smaller groups are less intrusive to local cultures and environments whilst allowing more interaction with local people. Furthermore it means greater flexibility on a day to day basis and on a social level it proves to be fun. Whether you are travelling alone or with friends/family its good value, and a great way to meet new people! The intention is to travel as a group of friends rather than a typical tour group, so don't expect stick-on name badges or any following the umbrella.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Cambodia and Thailand holiday

Environment

Through regular visits to their sites (and if present souvenir shops) we help sustain local businesses and enterprises, such as the handicraft school for handicapped persons in Siem Reap, the 'land-mine museum' in Siem Reap where we help support the organizer's mine clearance operations through donations, the Prek Toal community based tourism project which helps villagers to supplement their incomes by weaving water hyacinths as well as teaching local children about environmental awareness.

Passengers are taken to a family home just outside Siem Reap to enjoy traditional Khmer food which we purchase then enjoy with the family. This provides a unique insight into the everyday lives of the Cambodian people as well as fostering deeper understanding of the people themselves. It shows our passengers that there is more to Cambodia than stunning temples and a tragic history.

Information: Providing suitable, relevant information for our customers; to help them to gain a wider understanding of our style of tourism that focuses on learning, genuine interaction with the local communities, reciprocity and cultural exchange processes. To be aware of the potential impact of tourism on the local society, culture and environment, and to behave and dress appropriately with a respect and appreciation for local customs, mores and traditions and a respect for the ecology of areas visited. Our guides and leaders thus facilitate communication of our values to both travellers and local communities, educating them in sustainable tourism practices

Group sizes: By limiting groups to small sizes we aim to reduce the impact on both local communities and the environment whilst allowing for greater genuine interaction with said communities. It also results in a higher guide/customer ratio thus greater facility for supervision and individual assistance and allows us to use smaller hotels and restaurants and employ the services of more genuinely Ďlocalí operators perhaps not otherwise well equipped for larger groups.

Destinations: We combine the well known tourist sites with many off-the-beaten-track, rarely visited destinations thus diverting tourist revenue and contact with responsible tourism into areas not usually benefiting as well as providing a more authentic view of the region visited.

Community

We received the Tourism Authority of Thailand Green Award in 2008 for Best Niche Tour Operator, in 2010 for Best tour operator for Local Communities and in 2012 in the Maritime, Nature and Heritage category.

Local products: As much as possible we aim to employ local personnel, (guides, drivers, agents etc), use local restaurants and smaller privately owned accommodation. Customers are also encouraged to buy and use local products and services as much as possible in order to support and stimulate the local economy.

Instruction: By explaining our methods and the reasons behind them local agents, guides and hotels are encouraged by us to adopt further responsible tourism practices themselves and guides and drivers are provided with additional training in this respect.

We arrange visits to Meas Kong Primary school in Kompong Tom Province where passengers have the chance to meet teachers as well as donating materials: e.g. pens, pencils, books.

Reviews of Cambodia and Thailand holiday

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 10 Feb 2012 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Angor Wat temple is beautiful. It was amazing to see that almost one thousand year building in such a good shape.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Be prepared for dress code in temples. Thin long pants and T-shirt are must.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


It did benefit local people for sure. With so many tourists around you can imagine that country in few years. People are friendly and hard working for the money.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


This was amazing and very educational trip. I am so glad I have seen Cambodia and specially Angor Wat.

Reviewed on 08 Dec 2009 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Everything, the whole trip was brilliantly planned as we traversed through Cambodia, to a Thai Island, then to Bangkok without any hiccups anywhere. From the sadness felt at the Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields, to the mysteries of the Angkor Temples, to the cheerful greetings by all Cambodian people, riding elephants in rivers, solitude of the remote islands, finalising in the Kings Birthday celebrations in Bangkok. How can you pick a "most memorable" moment. Oh, nearly forgot, the food in Cambodia was the best I have tasted anywhere.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Make sure you visit the Elephants on Koh Chang, but stay on Koh Mak island. The operator has so much local knowledge in each place we visited, we saw places others would not venture to.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes. We ate locally, we used local transport, we were always made aware on environmental issues and hopefully we left the places we visited with no impact other than good ones.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


I have travelled to a lot of countries, with a lot of tour companies. Both myself and my partner agree that this is our best holiday ever. It exceeded all expectation by a long way. Each day was FULL. Each night we would flop in to bed exhausted. That is how a holiday should be. I would find it hard to recommend changes that would make it any better!!

Reviewed on 04 May 2009 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Difficult to single out any one thing. A few memorable moments are the temples at Angkor which revealed something new each day, the somewhat sobering experience of Tuol Sleng. Trying tarantula (tastes like chicken). The Tonal Sap lake a river boat ride to Battambang. The food and local people. The local guide Fin is the best, he is very knowledgeable, friendly, enthusiastic and flexible. The list goes on

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Travel light, it's easy & cheap to get laundry done. You can buy T shirts for one or two dollars. Take plenty of $1 dollar notes. Have a stop over in Bangkok on the way in so you don't start your holiday tired. The walking is easy, no need to bother with hiking boots.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


I feel the holiday will have had some small benefit for local people as we had a local guide and driver. Eating at local restaurants and staying in hotels that are not a part of an international chain.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?


I would call it more of an experience than a holiday, itís worth every penny.

Reviewed on 28 Jul 2006 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The first night at Angkor, seeing Angkor Wat and travelling down the Mekong by boat.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Make sure that you ask any questions before you go, and get up to date information on the Visa requirements and airport taxes.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes, it did benefit the local people as we used local guides and transport and guest houses and ate in local, small restaurants. The air travel had the greatest negative impact on the environment.

Reviewed on 02 Dec 2006 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


It's between Angkor Wat and washing an elephant in a river on Koh Chang.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Investigate the trip fully, talk to the travel agent and look up the places you would be going to, it not always easy to know what you are getting from the itinerary.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


To a degree.

Reviewed on 12 Aug 2005 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Just one part? I canít give you one place or experience because it was all so great. Each time I thought Ďwell it canít get better than thisí it did! The whole experience was far better than any expectations I had, from the temples of Angkor to the markets, the local cuisine, the activities, this trip was just one memorable experience after another.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Take plenty of one dollar bills Ė almost everything seems to cost one dollar in Cambodia! Also, pack light Ė itís easy to get laundry done and you will need all the extra space in your bags for all the great things you can buy in the Russian market!

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes, it was one of the best things about the trip, meeting the local people and feeling that any money spent helped to support the local economy. Could I also take this opportunity to say how excellent the tour guide was and particularly the local guides, who were extremely friendly and knowledgeable and made the history and culture of the countries we visited, come alive.

4. Any other comments?


I donít know about reborn, but it was certainly one of the best trips of this sort that I have been on and I would not hesitate to recommend it. I would also recommend this trip to anyone who has concerns about diet. As a vegetarian I have had great difficulty with other tours because the tour leaders have not been able to understand or accommodate my dietary needs. This is the first time on an organised tour that being a veggie has been a total non-issue and I would like to thank everyone involved for making it such a hassle free experience and for introducing me to the joys of Thai and Cambodian cuisine. Thanks Lesley and Mark, I canít wait to book my next trip!

Reviewed on 12 Aug 2005 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


I can definitely say that I enjoyed every minute of my holiday starting with the harrowing experience of the Cambodian 'killing field' and then continuing with the uplifting visit to the temples of Angkor and the final icing on the cake of the Thai tropical experience of Koh Chang island with its jungle hiking, water falls bathing and elephant riding coupled with relaxing on the beach and the local food.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


My tip to anyone booking this holiday is that if you do not love nature, spicy food, rice or fish don't bother to book. But if you do then you will love it.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


I feel that this holiday did benefit the local people because it provided employment and brought in obviously needed financial rewards.

4. Any other comments?


Finally my rating for this holiday has to be a five stars and it was certainly the best holiday I have ever had. I felt culturally and physically enhanced to the point where had it not been for my family and social commitments I could have remained there for much longer. Thank you.

Reviewed on 12 Sep 2005 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


The temples of Angkor Wat and the Thai island of Koh Chang. The local people - warm and welcoming. Touching, feeding and riding elephants. Learning about Cambodia's recent history.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


Take plenty of mosquito repellent. Although this was the rainy season rains usually came in short and heavy bursts; the pluses are that it's cooler (relatively speaking) and that there are less people. Be prepared for upset stomachs - there is virtually no healthcare in Cambodia but good services in Thailand. Try to see the Angkor temples at times other than those recommended for 'best light' to avoid crowds.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


Yes and no - Cambodia desperately needs the money but as always it only reaches a lucky few. No travel really is environmentally friendly, especially long haul and using private transport locally and using hotels in areas where water is scarce, so that side does not bear thinking about! Protective measures though can include creating as little waste as possible (and not leaving it behind in the countryside!), using water and electricity wisely etc., e.g. not using the air con/using it only occasionally.

4. Any other comments?


Overall rating: **** for holiday, ***** for Tour Operator

Reviewed on 21 Jan 2005 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


Best part of the holiday was in Cambodia temples and the killing fields.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


I would emphasis to other travellers the length of the bus journeys - some journeys do not look too long or arduous on paper but given the condition of some the roads time spent travelling is considerable

3. Any areas for improvement?


Because the groups are very small in my case 5 passengers the composition of each group and how they integrate into a workable group is of considerable importance. In my case this did not happen and maybe the group leader should take more cognisance of this - This was my first experience of group travel and I should hesitate to travel as a group again after this experience.

4. Any other comments?


Overall the experience was memorable as to places seen - the administrative arrangements were very efficient and the tour guide very informative

Reviewed on 20 Jan 2005 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?


  • Cambodia: all of it! The two days in Phnom Penh were well spent. Angkor was also magnificent. And the Cambodian people were wonderful.
  • The little touches - like the stops we made travelling from Eng Dao hill resort to the island of Koh Chang (a Thai Tescos, a Buddhist theme park and a rubber plantation).
  • The local guides.
  • Great food.


  • 2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?


  • Don't bring large hiking boots (contrary to some advice).
  • Do read up a bit on Cambodia/Angkor before you go.


  • 3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?


  • I would recommend making a full day in Bangkok at the end of the journey standard (and so one less day on Koh Chang). It's a nice balance, having started in Phnom Penh - especially for those, like us, who had not previously visited the region. And if we hadn't done it, I think the last day would have been long and stressful.
  • I would also recommend looking for a less developed resort than Koh Chang (or our part of it).


  • 4. Any other comments?


  • Our tour leader - Mike - was excellent: professional, level-headed, good company, flexible and knowledgeable about the region.
  • We really appreciated the flexibility shown in allowing us to go to Bangkok early as the skies in Koh Chang were unseasonably overcast.
  • The use of local guides, local accommodation and - most of all - small, local eateries was really appreciated; it was all very good quality and much more interesting than the standardised international alternatives.
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