TASTING THE CULTURE AND CUISINE OF CAMBODIA
PRICE PER PERSON
First Class Option
Super Deluxe Option
All prices quoted are per person and refer to a shared double or twin occupancy. Peak season surcharges and/or compulsory meals may apply during Christmas and New Year periods. Changes to the itinerary may also need to be arranged during these times.
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At the moment of raising a travel request with one of our Travel Advisors, this itinerary may be subject to small adaptations due to the impossibility to perform specific activities on specific days or other (such as museum visits on closing days, bank holidays, religious festivals, etc.). If this is applicable, the revised itinerary and rates will be clearly communicated in the travel proposal that you will receive once you have raised the travel request.
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DAY 1: PHNOM PENH ARRIVAL
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Upon arrival at Phnom Penh International Airport, you will be greeted by your local English speaking guide and transferred to your hotel in the heart of the city. Phnom Penh was once considered as one of the most beautiful cities in the Orient, and despite its recent turbulent history, it still retains a colonial charm. Cambodia’s capital is a bustling city, majestically located at the confluence of the mighty rivers of the Mekong and Tonlé Sap. Wide tree-lined boulevards and many colonial-era buildings reflect the glorious days and add to the allure of the city, where Asian and Western traditions meet in a fascinating way. Relax and unwind after your flight as you will get pampered with a relaxing massage at Bodia Spa. This evening, indulge yourself in a delicious Welcome Dinner at Malis Restaurant, one of Phnom Penh’s top addresses for authentic Khmer cuisine. Overnight in Phnom Penh.
DAY 2: PHNOM PENH
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After breakfast at the hotel, depart on a Khmer Architecture walking tour with a French expert that will take you on a fascinating discovery of Cambodian architecture from both the colonial times and the late 1950s and 1960s, a both culturally and politically vibrant time. During that era, an en vogue ‘New Khmer Architecture’ was emerging uniquely focused on integrating an international style while still being aware of local tradition, materials and climate. Enjoy lunch at the classy Le Wok Restaurant where you will get the chance to taste delicious, fresh Asian Fusion cuisine. This afternoon, you will visit the most remarkable sights Phnom Penh has to offer in a cyclo, an original Phnom Penh means of transportation and a very fun way to explore this lively city. First, head to the National Museum, which houses the world's foremost collection of ancient Khmer artistic, archaeological, and religious artefacts from the 4th to the 13th centuries. Over 5,000 pieces are on display, constituting the repository of the Kingdom's cultural wealth. In addition, the roof space is home to a large bat colony! Continue to the Royal Palace. Continue along the lively riverfront to the Royal Palace. This palace dates back to 1866 and houses the Silver Pagoda, named for the over 5000 heavy silver tiles that cover its floors. Its original name is Wat Prakeo, meaning Temple of the Emerald Buddha. In this temple you will view a collection of Buddhas in gold, silver, crystal, and bronze. After a short break at the hotel, you will be treated to a delicious Khmer dinner at Le Lotus Blanc, a lovely charity restaurant where former street children are taught the principles of hospitality. (NOTE: Le Lotus Blanc is usually closed during national holidays and for the entire month of April over the Khmer New Year holiday). Spend this evening at the Sovanna Phoum Theatre & Art Gallery for a Shadow puppet theatre and classical dance performance. (NOTE: Shadow puppet performances are only held on Fridays and Saturdays. On other days, visit the Royal Arts School for a traditional Apsara dance performance). Overnight in Phnom Penh.
DAY 3: PHNOM PENH – BATTAMBANG
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Depart from Phnom Penh by road, traveling through the beautiful Cambodian countryside and rural villages to Battambang (transfer time 5 hours). You will be taken directly to your hotel for check in. Battambang’s countryside makes this pleasant town a real treat. It is situated along the Sangker River, a quiet body of water that winds its way through Battambang Province and connects the Cardamom Mountains with Tonle Sap Lake and feeds the paddy fields with water on the way, which results in Cambodia’s best rice that can be found here, in Battambang Province. This afternoon, you will be taken to some of the many cultural villages around Battambang, where you will learn how the locals produce rice paper, prahoc (typical Cambodian fish paste), grolan (sticky rice stuffed in bamboo), and other Cambodian treats. You will also visit a weaving and handicraft center. From here, you can experience a short ride on the famous Bamboo Train, an original means of transportation on the old train tracks leading to Phnom Penh. A true rollercoaster ride without loops! (NOTE: The train tracks from Battambang to Phnom Penh are currently being rebuilt and the bamboo train service is not running regularly any more). Enjoy a dinner at the authentic Smoking Pot Restaurant. Overnight in Battambang.
DAY 4: BATTAMBANG – SIEM REAP
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Today, you will embark on one of the most stunning boat trips in Cambodia, as you will be taken from Battambang to Siem Reap by a comfortable private boat. A packed lunch will be provided on board. (NOTE: This boat trip is only possible in the raining season as water levels would be too low during the dry season and transfer times extremely long. Alternative transport by road). First, you will float along the Stung Sangker River until you will reach the Prek Toal bird sanctuary, one of the most important breeding grounds for waterbirds in the region. The largest freshwater lake in Asia, Tonlé Sap Lake, is an exceptional water system as it is swelling to almost five times its size during the raining season. The water of its main drainage, Tonlé Sap River, is being pushed back from the Mekong, carrying an incredible amount of water from the rains, causing the river to reverse its direction and thus causing the lake to overflow, flooding nearby fields and forests and supporting an extraordinarily rich and diverse eco-system. The Lake is also an important breeding ground for fish, providing more than half of the amount of fish consumed in Cambodia. The particular water system requires the people living of the lake to adapt to the living conditions. You will see many villages on the way where people live on stilted or entirely floating houses. Arrive in Siem Reap mid-afternoon, the gateway to the majestic temples of Angkor and a charming little city (Duration of the boat ride ca. 5-7 hours without a visit to Prek Toal). Enjoy some time at leisure. This afternoon, you will have the chance to tour the Angkor National Museum. The interactive museum showcases artefacts from the Golden Era of the Khmer Empire by use of multimedia technology to picture this interesting historical period. This evening, enjoy an Asian-inspired French meal at Abacus Restaurant in a beautiful garden setting. Overnight in Siem Reap.
DAY 5: BATTAMBANG – SIEM REAP
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Discover the secrets of authentic Khmer cuisine in a half-day cooking class at The Sugar Palm. The tour starts with a guided trip to the market where you will learn everything about Cambodian vegetables, herbs, spices and other ingredients of which you will later be shown how to prepare these delicious dishes. Khmer cuisine is influenced by Thai, Indian, Vietnamese and Chinese food and not very spicy. At lunchtime, indulge yourself in your self-prepared meals. This afternoon, explore the illustrious Ta Prohm temple by local tuk tuk. Ta Prohm is unique in that it has been left largely as it was found: overgrown by jungle trees and vines, with many parts of the temple crumbling to the ground. This makes the ‘Tomb Raider Temple’ one of the most picturesque and memorable of the Angkor temples. Continue your tour at the ancient city of Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII. This city is surrounded by an 8 m high wall, drawing a perfect square. From here, continue to Bayon Temple in the exact center of the city. This 12th century masterpiece is a study in grandeur and is well-known for its 54 towers with enigmatic faces representing the 54 provinces of the Great Khmer Empire. The Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King are also must-visits as they are both known for their intricate bas-reliefs. This evening will be at leisure for you to discover further culinary secrets of Siem Reap. Overnight in Siem Reap.
DAY 6: SIEM REAP
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This morning, embark on an interesting boat trip on the Tonlé Sap Lake, where you will have the opportunity to learn about life on the lake. Tonlé Sap is South East Asia’s largest freshwater lake with its size varying greatly depending on the season, as it is swelling to about four times it size during the wet season. Board a local boat and visit Kampong Phluck, a village where you will see houses on stilts that are submerged when Tonlé Sap Lake extends. On the way, you will pass floating houses and impressive flooded forests, portraying life on the water. A delicious lunch will be served in a floating house, where you will be able to sample a meal made from ingredients that can typically be found on the lake. (NOTE: Due to low water levels during the dry season, the boat trip is only possible from June to March, but we can arrange an overland visit to Kampong Pluck that is an equally interesting experience, as you can walk among the stilted houses). This afternoon, head to the countryside around the Western Baray, where you can spot water buffalos in swampy ponds, kids in school uniforms on their bicycles and oxcarts transporting today’s harvest. Visit the Angkor Silk Farm 15 km west of Siem Reap, where you can witness the entire process of silk creation. Of course you can visit the boutique for the opportunity to purchase some refined silk design as well as beautiful wood and stone carving items. Later today, you will visit the legendary Angkor Wat. Built during the reign of King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century, Angkor Wat is constructed following the model of the temple mountain symbolizing Mount Meru, the home of the gods. Inside the temple, the walls are covered with stone carvings and bas-reliefs depicting Hindu mythology and the wars Suryavarman II fought during his reign. Angkor Wat is well known for the more than 2,000 Apsara dancers decorating the temple. Construction is thought to have taken around thirty years of intensive labor. Today, Angkor Wat is figured on Cambodia's national flag as the temple symbolizes the soul of the Khmer people. Highlight the day with watching the sun set over Angkor Wat. As this is your last day in Cambodia, an authentic Khmer Farewell dinner at the renowned Cuisine Wat Damnak Restaurant will crown your culinary experiences in Cambodia. Overnight in Siem Reap.
DAY 7: SIEM REAP DEPARTURE
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Enjoy the day at leisure until your departure. If you are up for some more action, join one of our optional activities, such as a visit to Artisands d’Angkor, the Quad Bike Tour, the Horseback Riding, the Microlight Flight over Angkor or the Massage Treatment (please ask our Travel Advisor for details and prices).
First Class Option
Super Deluxe Option
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