AUTHENTIC CAMBODIA

Length

8 DAYS

Type of tour

CULTURAL

Type of Service

PRIVATE

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TRIP OVERVIEW

  A real journey into the ‘Kingdom of Wonders‘ along a circular route around the great Tonle Sap Lake.

Get an insider’s view of Angkor temple Complex, the largest archaeological site in the world, with a Khmer expert.

Visit the largest and most authentic floating village on the Tonle Sap Lake off the beaten track.

Explore remote temples, surrounded by tropical vegetation where, thanks to near absence of restoration work, they still preserve the mysterious atmosphere as once was.

Visit the ancient Isanapura, known today as Sambor Prei Kuk, an ancient pre-Angkorian capital where dozens of Hindu temples are evidence of the Indian religious influence on Khmer culture.

Stroll in the capital Phnom Penh, once known as the Pearl of Asia, where the Khmer tradition blends with the colonial charm.

This itinerary can be customised based on your actual travel needs and can be extended to the beach or combined to other tours.

Authentic Cambodia - map © In Asia Travel

DOWNLOAD ITINERARY

Length : 8D 7N
From : SIEM REAP
To : SIEM REAP
Destinations  : Siem Reap, Battambang, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap

ITINERARY

01. ARRIVE IN SIEM REAP

Welcome meeting with our staff upon arrival at the airport and transfer to the hotel.

Included : Private pick up at the airport and accommodation

02. ANGKOR ARCHEOLOGICAL SITE

Banteay Srei, Cambogia (In Asia Travel © Gabriele Stoia)Stone carvings at Banteay Srei

We begin our journey with the visit to Angkor archaeological site, starting with Prasad Kravan, the complex dedicated to the Hindu cult known for the impressive and unique brick sculpture of the deity Vishnu.

We then visit Pre Rup, the “temple mountain” dedicated to the God Shiva and Banteay Srei temple, also known as the “citadel of women”. It is considered the “jewel of Angkor” for the artistic refinement of the bas-reliefs carved on pink sandstone.

Visit the Buddhist Ta Sam temple, small yet extremely charming, Neak Pean a representation of the mythical Himalayan Lake Anavatapta whose waters are thought to cure all illnesses, and Preah Khan temple, “The Great Sword”, built by Jayavarman VII on the battlefield for the reconquest of the kingdom invaded by the Champa Empire.

Included : Accommodation, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation

03. ANGKOR ARCHEOLOGICAL SITE

Angkor Wat, Siem ReapEast gate Angkor Wat

After breakfast we begin the journey to Angkor Wat temple, the largest religious building in the world built on an area of 2 million square meters. Then there is Ta Prohm temple, one of the most enchanting and popular tourist sights, surrounded by huge roots of hundred-year-old banyan trees.

During the afternoon we visit the temples complex of “The Great City” Angkor Thom, where Bayon temple stands out for his distinctive feature: 216 giant stone faces which jut out from the 54 towers.

The day ends with a visit to the Terrace of the Elephants, the Terrace of the Leper King and the Phimeanakas temple.

Included : Accommodation, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation

04. FLOATING VILLAGE AND BEANG MELEA TEMPLE

Villaggio galleggiante Kompong Kleang, Siem ReapKompong Kleang floating village

Today an extraordinary visit awaits us to one of the most untouched and non-touristy floating villages in Cambodia, giving us a taste of the local fishermen’s lifestyle on Lake Tonle Sap.

We head in the morning to Dom Dek village. Time permitting, we stop at the colourful and authentic local market. We make a detour to experience the surreal atmosphere of Kompong Kleang village: a long dirt path lined with houses built over stilts up to 10 meters high to survive the flooding of the rainy season. Uncover the daily life of the villagers. The locals here make their living fishing, as it once was.

We then sail along the canal into Tonle Sap Lake on a private and traditional wooden boat. Further on we reach the floating village: a large community that has lived and worked on the water for centuries. In the village there are schools, shops, workshops and floating restaurants besides houses.

In the afternoon we continue to Beang Melea temple, one of the last Hindu shrines built before the introduction of the Buddhist religion. This is one of the most fascinating visit as no major conservation or restoration work has been done. Furthermore, this site is surrounded by the jungle.

Included : Accommodation, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation

05. BATTAMBANG

Banteay Chhmar temple (© Gabriele Stoia)Banteay Chhmar temple

Early in the morning we leave Siem Reap towards Battambang, the second largest city in Cambodia.

On the way, we visit another must-see Khmer architectural masterpiece, the Banteay Chhmar temple, built in the late 12th century which is still surrounded by vegetation and off the beaten track.

Once in Battambang, we take the thrilling ‘bamboo train‘ ride on board of a motorized bamboo platform on the old railway line to venture into the Cambodian countryside.

We end the day with an extraordinary visit to the cave on Phnom Sampeu Hill to watch the incredible spectacle of millions of bats that swarm daily at 5.30pm towards Tonle Sap Lake to eat.

Included : Accommodation, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation

06. TRANSFER TO PHNOM PENH

Oudong MonasteryOudong Monastery

Let’s carry on our journey to the capital Phnom Penh. The long transfer from Battambang gives us the chance to see the Khmer people’s lifestyle as they carry out their daily activities.

We stop at Pursat town for a visit to the steatite, or soapstone, workshop, where religious statues and a variety of different artifacts are produced. We then visit the terracotta workshops at Kompong Chhnang village.

In the afternoon we reach Oudong, former capital of the Kingdom of Cambodia from 1818 to 1866. Visit the Oudong Monastery, the largest in Cambodia, and the nearby hill where we can admire the sacred stupas that preserve some relics of the Buddha and from where we can enjoy an incredible panorama.

Included : Accommodation, breakfast, tour guide, tickets and private transportation

07. VISIT PHNOM PENH

Throne Hall - Royal Palace © Gabriele StoiaThrone Hall – Royal Palace

Explore the charming capital city of Phnom Penh, once known as the ‘Pearl of Asia’, one of the most beautiful cities built in Indochina in the 1920s that retains its colonial and traditional Khmer charm.

We visit the Royal Palace, today home of the King, where the Throne Room and the Silver Pagoda stand out. Next up is the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (or ‘S-21 School’), which bears witness to the dramatic period during the Khmer Rouge regime.

We end the day with a visit to the suggestive local market.

Included : Accommodation, breakfast, tickets, tour guide and private transportation

08. TRANSFER TO SIEM REAP - DEPARTURE

Kompong Kdei Bridge © Gabriele StoiaKompong Kdei Bridge

After breakfast we begin the transfer back to Siem Reap. Right outside the capital we stop at Skuon market, a place known for its curious food amenities, especially the fried spiders.

Once in Kompong Thom we take a 30 km deviation to visit the pre-Angkorian site of Sambor Prei Kuk, formerly known as Isanapura, capital of the Cenla Kingdom (7th – 8th century). The complex is divided into three main buildings where Hindu shrines with a distinctive octagonal base can still be explored, the last evidence of the Indian influence that gradually disappeared when the Khmer architecture was introduced.

Before reaching Siem Reap we pay a short visit in Kompong Kdey at Spean Preah Toues, the largest 12th century Angkorian bridge still in use today, measuring 86 metres long and 16 metres wide, supported by 21 arches. It was once located in the heart of the kingdom on the main route to the capital city of Angkor.

Arrival in Siem Reap and transfer to the airport.

Included : Breakfast, tickets, tour guide and private transportation

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Angkor, Battambang and Phnom Penh

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