On arrival at Phnom Penh Airport, you are met and transferred to hotel. The capital city of Phnom Penh was once considered the loveliest city of Indochina. Despite its recent turbulent history, it still maintains considerable charm. A city tour acquaints us with some major sights of Phnom Penh. The private quarters of the Royal Palace are now home to the royal family and are therefore very close to the public. At the northern area of the palace grounds is Silver Pagoda, the most sacred temple in the country. We also climb up a small hill to visit the legendary Wat Phnom and enjoy a fantastic view over the surrounding areas. O/N in Phnom Penh.
The sightseeing tour of Phnom Penh begins with a visit to the National Museum, which is dedicated exclusively to Khmer art and sculpture. The majority of the exhibits are from the Angkor period from 9th to 15th century, but some date from as early as the 4th century. We continue to one of the city's lively open markets - Psar Toul Tom Pong, all called the Russian Market, where anything and everything is for sales. The Tuol Sleng Prison Museum and the notorious Killing Fields of Choeung Ek are not to be missed. A visit to these sights provides a deep insight into the painful bloody rule of the Khmer Rouge.
Heading out of town we visit the Tonle Bati with Ta Prohm and Prasat Yeay Peo Temple. O/N in Phnom Penh.
The overland expedition begins as we depart the town and pass through Cambodia?s biggest growing rubber area to Kampong Cham. The deep contrast of lush vegetation and red surface of basaltic soil is incredible all along the way. On arrival in Kampong Cham we visit the beautiful French colonial architecture and Wat Nokhor containing the ancient temple and modern style pagoda. The following destination of our trip is Kongpong Thom. Along the way we make stop over at Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei, two hills whose names were translated as the 'man hill' and the 'woman hill'. After checking into hotel we visit some nearby villages and climb 980 steps to the top of Phnom Santuk for an impressive sunset view over the surrounding areas. O/N in Kompong Thom.
An early morning start to drive to the archeological sight of Sambor Prei Kuk , which is dotted with hundred pre-angkor styled temples. The road conditions are very poor, but the spectacular scenery of this ancient ruin, with a mixture of temples and forest, makes the hardship all worthwhile. We travel by roads to Siem Reap, passing the charming Khmer countryside. The town of Siem Reap is our base for visiting the world famous temples of the ancient city Angkor, which is home for the capital of the powerful Khmer Empire dating from 802 AD to 1350 AD. This stunning and extensive site sprawls through the dense jungle, over an area of 60 square miles. O/N in Siem Reap.
Today we spend a full day exploring the wondrous ancient ruins with the South Gate of Angkor Thom, which is famous for its series of colossal human faces carved in stone, the impressive Bayon Temple, the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, the Elephant Terrace, the Terrace of the Leper King and the largest as well as the most complete temple of Angkor Wat. This architectural masterpiece was constructed in the 12th century and covers an area of about 210 hectares. We stroll around this massive edifice, seeing the many galleries with colums, libraries, pavilions, courtyards and ponds full of water reflecting the towering temple. O/N in Siem Reap.
The jungle covered temple of Ta Prohm is an incredible sight. There are enormous fig trees and gigantic creepers which embrace themselves in the stone foundations of the structure giving the impression of man's creation being reclaimed by the powerful forces of nature. We explore this masterpiece as well as some of the surrounding temples including Banteay Kdei, Sra Srong, Ta Keo, Thommanon and Chau Say Tevado. The grand circuit with Preah Khan, Kravan, Neak Pean, Krol Ko, Ta Som, East Mebon and Pre Rup Temples, is also visited this afternoon before we walk up to Phnom Bakheng Hill for a view of the spectacular sunset over these sandstone monuments. O/N in Siem Reap.
After breakfast, we embark on a short cruise on Tonle Sap Lake, Cambodia?s biggest natural water body (If time permits). The experience is wonderful as we pass by floating village, friendly children in small boats and fishermen at work. The trip ends after your transfer to Siem Reap Airport for departure.
Transfer in private air-conditioned vehicle with driver and truck on bad road conditions + Meal as mentioned: B = breakfast + Accommodation: twin sharing room at the below mentioned hotel or similar one + English or French speaking guide + Boat trip on Tonle Sap Lake + Entrance fee to indicated sights
Other meals, tip, drinks, airport tax, single room supplement, personal expenses, travel visa, flight in/ out Cambodia, any optional additional tours or activities during free time.