Complete Cambodia holiday
Description of Complete Cambodia holiday
Explore the ancient city of Angkor by bike, discover the less-visited Angokorian site of Sambor Preh Kukh, relax on the beaches of Cambodia's south coast and make a difference with the Koh Trong Community Island Project.
This 15-day "Complete Cambodia" tour features the country's most iconic monuments, such as Angkor Wat; plus less-visited destinations, such as the pre-Angkorian temples of Sambor Preh Kukh and the beautiful island of Koh Trong.
Start your Cambodia adventure from Phnom Penh, where you'll get the chance to see some of the most important landmarks of the city on a private, guided city tour. See the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda before heading out to see the killing fields of Choeung Ek and the Tuol Sleng Prison Museum to learn about a dark, but important, period of Cambodia's history.
Head northeast to Kratie next and visit the island of Koh Trong. Learn about a sustainable tourism project that connects visitors with the local community and offers interesting insights into rural Cambodian life. Your next destination is Siem Reap, where you'll get the chance to explore the ancient temple complex of Angkor, as well as the pre-Angkorian temple complex of Sambor Prei Kuk, located about 30 kilometres north of the town of Kampong Thom.
Finally, head to Cambodia's beautiful south coast. Relax at the quiet fishing village of Kep, the riverside town of Kampot, the idyllic Rabbit Island and the beach town of Sihanoukville, before returning to the capital.
|Day 1:||Arrive in Phnom Penh - Upon arrival at Phnom Penh Airport, you will be met by a representative and transferred to your accommodation. Your tour guide will meet you at your hotel in the evening to brief you about your Cambodia itinerary and provide restaurant recommendations. Try the Cambodian dish of fish amok to get a taste of local cuisine.|
|Day 2:||Private Tour of Phnom Penh - Start with a visit to the spectacular Royal Palace, home of King Sihamoni, and the Silver Pagoda, which is located in the southern portion of the Royal Palace complex. Visit the Tuol Sleng Prison Museum (S-21), where prisoners of the Khmer regime were detained and tortured, as well as the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, which are located just outside of the city. Both Tuol Sleng Prison Museum and Choeung Ek can be very emotional places to visit and are not suitable for children, however they provide poignant lessons about Cambodian history during the time of the Khmer Rouge regime.|
|Day 3:||Transfer to Koh Trong - Head for the small riverside town of Kratie in Cambodia's northeast after breakfast. En route, you'll stop at Skoun, a small town with a culinary speciality of deep-fried spiders! Friendly locals sell these eight-legged snacks and delight in joking with tourists who are rarely brave enough to try them - are you up for the challenge? Your next stop is Wat Nokor, near the town of Kompong Cham. Reach Kratie, from where you’ll take a ferry across the Mekong River to reach your accommodation on Koh Trong, an island on the Mekong.|
|Day 4:||Explore Koh Trong - Koh Trong offers a wonderful opportunity to experience rural Cambodian life. Hire a bicycle and travel around the island, stopping to interact with the locals, or participate in a sustainable tourism project that has been developed by the locals and offers tourists an opportunity to work alongside them, tending to fields or learning how to fish.|
|Day 5:||Transfer to Kampong Trom - Cross the river and head north. This stretch of the Mekong River is one of the last sanctuaries where you can see the rare Irrawaddy dolphin. A local boatman who knows the best spots to see these rare creatures will help you search for them. Next, it's time to head south to the picturesque town of Kampong Thom, located approximately halfway between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. This is the perfect place to observe rural Cambodian life and explore local villages and markets.|
|Day 6:||Explore Sambor Preh Kukh & Transfer to Siem Reap - Visit Sambor Preh Kukh in the morning and discover more than 100 pre-Angkorian structures scattered throughout a jungle. The tranquil atmosphere of Sambor Preh Kukh is a world away from the crowded Angkor. Continue to Siem Reap, the former capital of the great Khmer empire. Upon arrival in Siem Reap, you can either relax at your accommodation, explore the town on your own or head out to see the sunset in the ancient city of Angkor.|
|Day 7:||Explore Angkor by Bike - Start exploring the Angkor temple complex by bicycle. Your bicycle tour will focus on Angkor Thom, the walled city built in the 12th century. Also see Ta Prohm, a temple reclaimed by the jungle. In the afternoon, you'll visit Banteay Kdei, Sra Srang, East Mebon and Pre Rup temples.|
|Day 8:||Angkor Sunrise & Tonle Sap - We will take you to Angkor Wat in time to enjoy sunrise (or choose another temple in Angkor to avoid the crowds). See the sun rise from behind the five towers of the temple creating a stunning reflection in the pool at the front. Then, head out to see Tonle Sap Lake and the floating village of Kompong Phluk in the afternoon.|
|Day 9:||Banteay Srei and Angkor Thom - Explore Banteay Srei, a temple famed for its intricate carvings depicting battles, scenes of conquest and daily life during the Khmer era. Built in the 10th century and dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva, this temple is one of Angkor’s highlights. Next, visit the ancient city of Angkor Thom and see the extraordinary Bayon Temple. Bayon is the main temple of Angkor Thom and is known for its 54 towers featuring over 200 huge stone faces. There's also an option to visit the Cambodia Land Mine Museum, approximately 25 kilometres north of Siem Reap. This small museum offers a fascinating insight into Cambodia’s troublesome past and its continuing problems with unexploded ordinance.|
|Day 10:||Fly to Phnom Penh - Transfer to the airport for your flight back to Phnom Penh. You’re free to explore the city at your leisure in the afternoon.|
|Day 11:||Transfer to Kep - Leave Phonm Penh and head towards the quiet coastal town of Kep. This relaxed fishing town is famous for its fantastic beaches, friendly locals, spectacular sunsets and superb seafood, especially fresh crabs.|
|Day 12:||Day Trip to Kampot - Today you’ll have a guided tour of nearby Kampot, a lovely riverside town with some of Cambodia’s best-preserved colonial architecture, famous for Kampot pepper. Enjoy a sunset cruise on the Kampot River.|
|Day 13:||Day Trip to Koh Thonsay (Rabbit Island) - Take a short boat ride to Koh Thonsay – also known as Rabbit Island - where you can spend an afternoon relaxing on its beaches and swimming in the crystal clear waters.|
|Day 14:||Return to Phnom Penh - You have some free time to explore Kep in the morning before transferring back to Phonm Penh. Enjoy a sunset cruise on the Tonle Sap River in the evening to see Cham houseboats and floating villages.|
|Day 15:||Depart from Phnom Penh - Your trip comes to an end today. Check out of your accommodation after breakfast and head to the airport for your flight home.|
1 Reviews of Complete Cambodia holiday
Reviewed on 04 Dec 2018 by Sarah Pajwani
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
We loved every bit of our holiday. It was a hugely varied itinerary from ancient temples to modern history, biking, jungle treks and kayaking to lazing on an idyllic beach. The travel company helped us put together a really good itinerary. Their hotel recommendations were fantastic and the private transportation they organised for us worked well.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
There is so much to see and do in Cambodia that it's worth spending at least a fortnight here. Don't miss the floating lodge(s) on the Tatai river and book a cycling tour to see more of the temples at Angkor Wat
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
It definitely helped local people. Tourism is a key income for Cambodia - and the places we stayed in were all very aware and active around environmental issues - far more than in the UK.
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
PlanetOn your Cambodia adventure, you’ll observe wildlife in a responsible way. You’ll search for the rare freshwater Irrawaddy Dolphin with a local boatman who knows the best spots for observing these magnificent animals while causing a minimum of disruption. The Irrawaddy Dolphin is an endangered species this is one of the last sanctuaries where people can see this beautiful creature.
All our adventures are privately guided holidays and as such we retain a commitment to working with small group sizes. By travelling in small numbers and using expert local guides we can limit the potential for damaging ancient temples and trails.
You will visit several world heritage sites on this itinerary, including the Temples of Angkor and Choeung Ek in Cambodia. In our detailed pre-departure travel pack we have included a note to remind you not leave any litter around these environments – everything you carry in, you must carry out. Aside from the environmental damage, litter can be harmful to wildlife.
We aim to reduce transport emissions through the use of bicycles around the island of Koh Trong and the Temples of Angkor.
Our UK office takes a leading role in setting the standards for an environmentally friendly work environment. We work with local government to recycle our waste and continually look for new ways to be greener, including encouraging travellers to bring reusable water bottles on their holiday.
PeopleIn Ko Trong, a small island on the Mekong, you’ll have a wonderful opportunity to get involved with a sustainable tourism project has been developed by the locals to create more opportunity for the islanders. We support this project, which provides a slice of rural Cambodian life for travellers, by providing an opportunity to work alongside the locals, tending to fields or learning how to fish.
We employ local guides and support staff who we pay fair wages, often exceeding government standards which we still consider too low, and thereby remove the reliance on tipping from travellers for livelihoods.
Our accommodation choices make use of locally owned properties where possible and often include adventurous, authentic choices such as local homestays which therefore involve local people and their communities in the very fabric of our holidays.
We encourage all our travellers to research local customs and read your trip notes before you depart to ensure you are conscientious and respectful in a different culture.
In most cases we strongly recommend that you do not give money to children beggars. If begging is a successful enterprise, parents are encouraged to forsake their children’s education in pursuit of this opportunity.
Talk to us about Packing for a Purpose and see if you can get involved by making a small material contribution to the communities you are visiting. We have developed partnerships with charities and accommodations throughout Cambodia and are constantly working to extend our reach with the help of our travellers.