13 days / A Great Cambodia Circuit
Imagine a country full of ancient and modern history, saturated with beautiful religious monuments, teeming with wildlife, and lush with rice fields, grasslands, and rivers. This is probably not how most people think of Cambodia, but after travelling through the country on this 13-day tour, your opinion is likely to change. Get off the tourist trail and let our travel experts show you the real heart of Cambodia.
The tour starts in the capital of Phnom Penh, where the former granduer of French Indochina shines through in glimpses amongst the modern buildings of this rapidly growing city. Although the city was the epicentre of the tragic Khmer Rouge regime of the late 1970s, Phnom Penh’s main sights remained relatively untouched. The splendour of the Royal Palace, graceful lines of the National Museum, and the tree lined river quay are just some of the highlights of the capital.
From Phnom Penh, head north to the rural areas of Kampong Thom and Kratie. Situated upon river banks, these two towns receive gloriously few tourists. Pre-Angkorian temples, rice fields, and dense grasslands dominate the scenery of these towns. But perhaps the biggest draw to the area, is a chance to see the endangered Irrawaddy dolphins that inhabit the shallow pools of the Mekong around Kratie.
Spend 3 days in Siem Reap , the base town for exploring the Temples of Angkor. Built between the 9th and 13th century, hundreads of temples lie within the area that once served as the capital for the mighty Khmer empire. With your expert guide, your tour will not only expose you to the beauty of the temples, but also to the wonders of this ancient kingdom. As well as this you will have the unique experience of taking a hot air baloon ride over the temples.
As you continue your loop through rural Cambodia, travel toward the country’s second biggest city, Battambang. Full of semi-neglected, French colonial buildings and situated on the banks of the Sangker River, the town has a quiet charm about it. But the surrounding countryside is what really makes Battambang shine as it is filled with rice paddies as far as the eye can see, stilted wooden houses, fruit farms, and, of course, temples. From here you will make your way back to Phnom Penh and end your tour where it began.
See the best Cambodia has to offer as you travel from city to countryside on the ‘Grand Tour’. Visit ancient wonders and witness the everday life of the local people, whose giant smiles and friendly greetings will be a constant reminder just how special place Cambodia is.
Day 1: Phnom Penh / Arrival
Overnight in Phnom Penh.
Day 2: Phnom Penh
Morning, visit the notorious Choeung Ek Killing Fields & Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21 prison) which serve as a testament to the crimes of the Khmer Rouge (From 1975–1979. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
After lunch, take some minutes at Independent Monument for photo taking. After that, visit the opulent Royal Place, home to Cambodia’s Royal family, and its Silver Pagoda. Continue your visit at The National Museum with its superb collection of Khmer art. The last place to visit today is Wat Phnome, the most famous buddhist temple in Phnom Penh.
Overnight at hotel in Phnom Penh.
Day 3: Phnom Penh → Kratie
Head to Kampong Cham, soak in the scenery of rural Cambodia, drive through cashew nut plantations, rice fields, and traditional villages. Tour the town center before continuing to Wat Nokor.
Afternoon, your lesiure in the sleepy riverside town of Kratie. Enjoy a spectacular Mekong sunset.
Overnight in Kratie.
Day 4: Kratie
Morning, a walk to a local market, see local people trading. Set out for a countryside tour. And then board a boat to try and catch a glimpse of the endangered, freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins. Continue towards the village Sambo for a visit of Wat Sorsor Mouy Roy Pagoda.
Afternoon, cross the river to the island of Koh Trong, take a horse cart or biking, see floating village and much more. Return to Kratie by boat.
Overnight in Udom Sambath, Kratie.
Day 5: Kratie → Kampong Thom
Depart for Kampong Thom, see the countryside scenery and the local life during the transfer. Visit take 1000 steps climbing up to Phnom Santuk Mountain, enjoy spectacular vistas from the top. Continue by road to Kampong Thom. Afternoon, your leisure time in Kampong Thom.
Overnight in Kampong Thom.
Day 6: Kampong Thom → Siem Reap
Heading out to north of town, visit Sambor Prei Kuk, a jungle-enclosed temple complex, very less touristy and worth your visit. See the melding of architecture with nature surrounding. Lunch with local food. Continue towards Siem Reap.
On arrival in Siem Reap, check-in at the hotel and leisure in the afternoon.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 7: Siem Reap
Morning, visit to the antique capital of Angkor Thom. Continue your visit at Ta Prohm, one of the most beautiful temples in Angkor. Lunch at a local restaurant.
Afternoon, visit Angkor Wat the most famous of all the temples on the plain of Angkor.
Evening, enjoy buffet dinner and watch Khmer Traditional Dance Show at a local restaurant.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 8: Siem Reap
Morning, visit some famous temples in Siem Reap including: East Mebon, Ta Som, Neak Panan, Preah Khan, Pre Rup.
Afternoon, sightseeing at the Tonle Sap Lake, the “Great Lake” of Cambodia, on a traditional wooden boat.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 9: Siem Reap
At 8.00am, we drive out of the city to go to Koh Ker. Abandoned to the forests of the north, Koh Ker, capital of the Angkorian empire from AD 928 to AD 944. It takes about 1.5 hour to reach Koh Ker. On arrival, we start to explore the complex.
10.30am, we drive back to Siem Reap. On the way back, we stop at two famous temples: Prasat Neang Khmaw & Prasat Pram. Lunch at a local restaurant near Beng Mealea temple.
1.30pm, we visit Beng Mealea temple. Enjoy a short walk through the dense jungle and discover the wonders of an overgrown temple, Beng Mealea, which lay undiscovered for centuries. We proceed to the last one that we visit today, Banteay Srey, the “gem” of the Angkor area.
Overnight in Siem Reap. (B,L)
Day 10: Siem Reap → Battambang
Transfer from Siem Reap to Battambang. Afternoon, arrive in Battambang, home to some of the most well preserved colonial French buildings and is Cambodia’s second largest city. After checking into hotel, rest of the day is spent at your leisure.
Overnight in Battambang.
Day 11: Battambang
Exploring the city. Visit Phnom Sampeau, home to the killing caves and a small temple. Continue the tour with a ride on a bamboo train. Disembark and visit local villages and farms on the way to Wat Banan, an 11-century temple on a mountain. Climb to the top and enjoy the views over the beautiful countryside. Afternoon, visit to the many cultural villages around Battambang and many more.
Overnight in Battambang.
Day 12: Battambang → Phnom Penh
Morning, depart from Battambang and travel to Kampong Chhnang, known for its traditional pottery. Continue to Oudong, the former royal capital of Cambodia and enjoy an ox-cart ride through the city. Climb the stairs to the top of Oudong Mountain and enjoy magnificent views.
Afternoon, drive to Phnom Penh, stop at Koh Chen, an island in the Tonle Sap River. Arrival in Phnom Penh, check-in to hotel.
Overnight in Phnom Penh. (B,L)
Day 13: Phnom Penh / Departure
Morning, breakfast at hotel. Your leisure time for walking around and shopping in Phnom Penh until we transfer you to airport for your departure flight.
Tour price per person in USD
Saving 5% of the price for group from 3 persons upwards
The price includes:
- Hotels & accommodations.
- Meals as mentioned (B,L,D = Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
- English speaking local guide
- Transfers as mentioned
- Entrance fees.
- Personal expenses