Highlights of Cambodia cultural tour
Description of Highlights of Cambodia cultural tour
Cambodia is probably most well known for its troubled past and the stunning Angkor Wat temples, however the country has so much more to eoffer and enjoy by simply heading off the beaten track a little. Travel to rural Battambang to visit the sleeping giant temple of Banteay Chhmar - explore the site to discover hidden carvings and some of the tiny Buddha images that still remain. Travel on the fun open-air bamboo train which passes through the pretty countryside of paddy fields and local villages and visit Phnom Sampeau, an interesting area with a dark past as it was once used as a Khmer Rouge interrogation centre.
Continue on to Phnom Penh with a brief visit en-route to experience life on Tonle Sap Lake. Discover the highlights of the city which still retains some of its colonial charm. The Royal Palace, home to the Silver Pagoda with its huge collection of Buddha statues, is a must see: stroll the grounds often frequented by groups of Buddhist monks and admire the golden nagas along the roof edges. Travel out to Choeung Ek, commonly known as the killing fields, which contains a memorial stupa. Return to the city and visit Toul Sleng Genocide Museum which was a notorious Khmer Rouge prison and interrogation centre.
End the trip in the small coastal town of Kep, once a popular seaside destination for visiting Phnom Penh residents now often overlooked over its busier and slightly flashier neighbour of Sihanoukville. The town has a laidback atmosphere and is popular with locals and visitors alike for its excellent locally caught crab. Take a trip out to nearby Rabbit Island to enjoy the white sand beaches and to explore the local fishing communities before returning to Kep for some final time to relax.
|Day 1||Depart the UK on an overnight flight to Siem Reap.|
|Day 2||Land Siem Reap and drive to the HanumanAlaya boutique hotel. Day at leisure.|
|Day 3||Head out with a packed breakfast today to explore Ta Prohm 'jungle temple' in the dawn light and before the crowds arrive. Continue onto Banteay Srei to see the Angkor-era sculptures and carvings and also visit the lost temple of Ben Mealea. Overnight Siem Reap. (B)|
|Day 4||Today is spent exploring the walled city of Angkor Thom and iconic Angkor Wat. Learn about the history of the sites and the huge stretch of bas-reliefs. (B)|
|Day 5||Drive through the Cambodian countryside today towards Battambang. En-route stop to visit the lost temple of Banteay Chhmar and enjoy a picnic lunch. Overnight Battambang. (B,L)|
|Day 6||Explore Battambang today followed by a trip on the quirky and fun open-air bamboo train, a journey which takes you through the rice fields. Visit the hilltop temple of Wat Banan to see the fabulous views of the area and visit Phnom Sampeau which is home to various pagodas and stupas. Overnight Battambang. (B)|
|Day 7||This morning will be spent out on Tonle Sap Lake discovering the way of life on the lake. Drive to Phnom Penh with a stop for lunch. (B)|
|Day 8||Enjoy a tour of Phnom Penh today with visits to Tuol Sleng, the Khmer genocide museum, and Choeung Ek also commonly known as the Killing Fields. Follow this with visits to the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda, the interesting National Museum and end the day with a sunset river cruise. (B)|
|Day 9||Drive south today to the pretty coastal town of Kep. En-route visit the 8th century temple of Phnom Da by speedboat before ending at the Veranda Natural Resort. (B)|
|Day 10||Take a trip out to the white-sand beach of Rabbit Island today which is home to a small community of fishermen and farmers. Enjoy a seafood lunch before returning to Kep. (B,L)|
|Day 11||Return to Phnom Penh today and take the flight back to the UK. (B)|
1 Reviews of Highlights of Cambodia cultural tour
Reviewed on 13 Dec 2018 by Pascal Auburtin
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
One of the most memorable trips we made: of course the temples, but the surprise was everything else we saw. Also, how welcoming and friendly are Cambodians
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
Cambodia is a very safe country: which means you do not need to be assisted all the time to go from one place to another. I would suggest as a consequence to remain flexible and make plans late rather than early. Should be cheaper also
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?
yes: it was really good to see that we had lots of visits involving day to day people and activities, with a decent concern of these places for environment. I just hope that they stop using too much plastics!!! for example, all water bottles have a plastic wrap that most of the time will end up in the environment!!! so stupid!!!
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?
one of the most memorable trips!!!!
PlanetThe HanumanAlaya hotel aims to be as eco-friendly as possible with water conservation practices and recycling of all paper, glass, cans and plastic. In-room bathroom toiletries often provided in plastic bottles are dispensed in ceramic dispensers to avoid the use of excessive amounts of plastic and low-wattage lightbulbs are used throughout. The hotel also takes part in the annual 'keep the community clean' programme.
Our local agent in Cambodia uses bio diesel for their vehicles in Siem Reap which is more sustainable than normal diesel. This bio diesel is biodegradable as it is made from recycled cooking oil and generates 50% less carbon emissions and 90% less hydrocarbon emissions. They also do a clean-up of the local area around their hotel in Siem Reap every six months or so, picking up litter, etc. Guests are encouraged at the hotels to only use fresh towels when they need them, in common with other hotels across the world and all guides are trained to minimise environmental impact - simple things like not littering, and not leaving cars running idle.
PeopleOur local agent in Cambodia is entirely locally-owned and locally-staffed and firmly believes that tourism has a role to play in the economic development of poor rural villages. They aim to ensure that their community-based itineraries bring a positive experience to local people and visitors and allow the local communities a greater level of control over the activities in their region. They support many sustainable community tourism activities, many of which we can arrange suitable visits to, and endeavours to take guests to remote areas to discover the real Cambodia.
Such initiatives include Artisans d’Angkor which promotes the sustainable development of Cambodian arts and crafts to benefit rural communities. The centre provides training to young Cambodians in traditional arts enabling them to make a living in their own villages. This initiative has helped to create over 1,000 jobs.
Another initiative supported is the Cambodia Landmine Museum, established by a former child soldier to promote awareness and education for tourists and locals on the ongoing problem with landmines. Over 100 people a year are still killed by unexploded landmines and many more injured. The facility also provides a home and school for children affected by mines and poverty.
In Siem Reap our local agents support the Hospital for Children which offers free healthcare to the regions children. The hospital regularly treats 300-500 children per day and is also committed to training health care professionals from around the country. Our local agents have donated equipment to the hospital.
On this holiday you will stay in the Veranda Natural Resort management believes strongly in their commitment to the local community, particularly in relation to the youth of the region. The resort has been involved in various projects over the years to help poor local children gain access to quality education. A key endeavour undertaken by the resort is the Kep International School which is open to both ex-pat and local children. A percentage of the resort’s income goes towards covering the educational expenses of the Khmer children that have enrolled in the school. The resort also helps maintain school facilities and donate educational materials.