Cambodia's Highlights

11 Day Private Tour in the Kingdom of Cambodia

Cambodia Tour Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Cambodia

Day 2: Phnom Phen Walking Tour

Day 3: Transfer to Kratie

Day 4: Transfer to Ou Svay

Day 5: Transfer to Preah Vihar

Day 6: Transfer to Siem Rieap

Day 7: Angkor highlights by Bicycle

Day 8: The Great Lake Tonle Sap

Day 9: Transfer to Battambang

Day 10: Countryside tour Battambang

Day 11: Siem Rieap Departure

Day 1: Arrival in Cambodia

Welcome to Cambodia, the Kingdom of Wonder!

Upon arrival at Phnom Penh international airport, meet your driver outside the arrival hall and be transferred to your hotel.

The rest of the day remains free.

Day 2: Phnom Penh Walking Tour

Meet your guide and tuk-tuk driver at 9AM and ride to the Independence Monument. The monument was built in 1958 and represents Cambodia’s independence from France, which they gained in 1953. Continue with a walk through the Independence Park and observe the Statue of the King’s Father and the Cambodia–Vietnam Friendship Monument. Hop back onto the tuktuk and head for the Central Market. The market was constructed in 1937 by the French and recently renovated. The art deco building is a unique landmark of the city. Nearby, one of Monivong Boulevard’s oldest buildings hosts an excellent view point over the capital’s busiest district and most famous street: Monivong Boulevard. Visit the Railway Station afterwards, which was built in 1932. A short walk away is the National Library. This beautiful building is home to impressive historical documents. Sit down at the library and learn more about Phnom Penh’s history. Lunch is served in a nearby local restaurant that serves many local favorites. Continue to the nearby Wat Phnom, which is considered to be the birthplace of the city of Phnom Penh. Also the near Old Quarters is an interesting visit with the Post Office being the center of attention. Opt to climb on top of the old abandoned hotel (own risk*) for a great view of the “Colonial Square”. The Royal Palace was built by the French in 1866 on the site of the old town. The main building on the compound is the Throne Room. It was built in 1917 in the traditional Khmer style and has a tiered roof and a 59-meter tower, which is influenced by Angkor Thom’s Bayon Temple. On the compounds of the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda stands out in its own distinctive way. The Pagoda’s steps are of Italian marble. On the inside the floor is comprised of more than 5000 silver tiles, which together weigh nearly 6 tons. The pagoda houses a magnificent 17th century Emerald Buddha statue and a 90kg gold Buddha studded with 9584 diamonds. Visit Wat Ounalom at the end of the afternoon. The Wat is beautifully located on the river side and is possibly the city’s most esthetically famed pagoda. The last walk of the day brings you to the Conference Hall Building, designed by Cambodia’s most famed architect. The building is located at Chaktomuk, where the four rivers that bypass Phnom Penh all meet together. Opt afterwards to stay at the riverside or return to the hotel for a free evening.

* Note 1: The Old Colonial Hotel is a building in despair. The steps to the top are a bit shaky and the Monkey colony that lives at the building is not very friendly.

Day 3: Transfer to Kratie

Transfer to Kratie and stop on the way in Kampong Cham to visit Wat Nokor. This Angkorian temple dates back to the 11th century and has blended with a modern style pagoda. The Wat also is home to a number of bones and skulls that still remind people of the Khmer Rouge years. Visit Phnom Hanchey. This historical site is located on the banks of the Mekong River and allows a great view of the river. On top of the hill new and ancient pagodas harmoniously blend together. Arrive in the late afternoon transfer straight to Kampi, the place famous for the Mekong Dolphins. The Mekong is home to a number of deep pools in which fresh water dolphins live. Kampi is home to the largest number of dolphins, which are critically endangered. Board a local boat and float around the waters of the Mekong late in the late afternoon.  Check in at your local resort. afterwards Located beautifully on a small island in the middle of the Mekong River, the Rajabori Bungalows are a real community institution blending harmoniously with its environment.

Day 4: Transfer to Ou Svay

Enjoy after breakfast a bicycle ride of about 7km around the island of Koh Trong. The island is famous for its fresh fruits, traditional architecture and beautiful location. Meet with local villagers and visit them at home to try local fruits such as coconut and pomelo. Visit the Khmer pagoda on the north side of the island and the Vietnamese style pagoda on the south side. During the rainy season when the water levels are high, a small floating village also appears on the south side. The community runs the entire tourism operations on the island, giving it a perfect place to responsibly contribute to the development of this small and friendly community. Return afterwards to the bungalows and walk to the pier for a short trip across the river to Kratie town. Transfer from here to O’Svay. Ou Svay is located on the border with Laos along the Mekong River. This pretty village has access to the amazing RAMSAR wetlands side and the Preah Mimeth waterfalls. Upon arrival enjoy a home cooked lunch by the community and board a rustic longtail boat afterwards. Pass through flooded forest and observe the amazing scenery. Pass through the Anlong Cheutteal Dolphin Pool and continue to the Preah Mimeth waterfalls. Hike a short distance through the forest and another 1.5km over a tarmac road before reaching the falls. A well-deserved cold drink is served and take in the amazing show that unfolds in front of you. Return to the boat and visit on the way back the Dolphin Pool in which a small number of Mekong River Dolphins still make their habitat. Spotting the dolphins is not easy but with the help of your boatman you might catch a glimpse of this critically endangered species. Return to Ou Svay and transfer from there to Stung Treng.

Day 5: Transfer to Preah Vihear

Wake up with the sound of roosters and meet your local host for a simple local breakfast. After breakfast bid farewell to your hosts and travel with your driver and guide to Preah Vihear.

Purged on the cliffs of the Dangrek Mountains that border Thailand, Preah Vihear is by far Cambodia’s most dramatically located temple. Arrive after breakfast at the foot of the mountain and climb aboard a pickup truck for the steep climb up to the temple. Once on top, take in the serene environment and majestic sights of the temple. Explore the temple and be amazed with the size of the complex. Started by King Suryavarman I and finished by King Suryavarman II, the temple was listed as a UNESCO site on 7 July 2008.

Day 6: Transfer to Siam Rieap

Leave Preah Vihear after breakfast and drive towards Siem Reap. On the way, visit first the temple sight of Koh Ker. Koh Ker was the Capital of the Khmer Empire for a very brief period between 928 and 944AD. In this short time, some very spectacular buildings and immense sculptures were constructed. Left to the jungle for nearly a millennium and mostly un-restored, this great archaeological site has been rarely visited until very recently. The ancient Khmer city is in a distant jungle location with up to a hundred ruined temples including a huge stepped pyramid, the largest in the region. More ancient temples are being found in the jungle allowing for a true sense of discovery. Koh Ker is a paradise for those who want to witness how forceful the elements of nature can reclaim manmade structures. Continue from here to Beng Mealea, your second stop of today. Beng Mealea was built between the late 11th and the first half of the 12th century. It is assumed that King Suryavarman II ordered the construction of Beng Mealea, maybe even as a prototype of its larger brother; Angkor Wat, but no actual prove can be found in its depictions. The ruins of Beng Mealea are overgrown with vegetation, allowing a real “wilderness experience.” In recent years a wooden pathway has been constructed throughout the temple to allow people to observe the beauty of the temple in ease. However, most people venture of the beaten track and find their own way through the temple allowing them to experience the feeling the first explorers must have felt when they uncovered this magnificent structure. Continue afterwards to Siem Reap.

Day 7: Angkor Highlights by Bicycle

Angkor Wat dates back to the first half of the 12th century. King Suryavarman II constructed this magnificent masterpiece and built it to become the largest religious monument in the world. Its perfection in composition, balance, proportions, reliefs and sculptures make it one of the finest in the world. This temple is an expression of Khmer art at its highest point of development. It took in its entirety roughly 30 years to construct Angkor Wat. Continue afterwards to the former capital of the Angkor Kingdom, Angkor Thom, which translates to “Great City”. The city covers an area of 9km² in which numerous breath-taking monuments were built. The South Gate offers the grandest access to the city where the Victory Gate grants access on the East side, leaving the East Gate, which is also known as the Gate of the Death beautifully untouched in a very quiet part of the complex. The centrepiece of the city is the Bayon. Its most distinctive features are the 216 serene stone faces that seemingly face all directions. The Baphuon and Phimeanakas are structures built in the 11th and 10th century respectively and both were built in the pyramid style. The Terrace of the Elephants is a 300 meters long terrace that has three main platforms and two subsidiary ones. The south stairway is framed with three-head elephants gathering lotus flowers with their trunks. The central stairway is decorated by lions and garudas in bas-reliefs in a stance of support for the stairways. One of the main attractions of this terrace is the facade decorated with elephants and their riders depicted in profile. Likewise, the Terrace of Leper King was constructed in the 12th century. The curious name of this terrace refers to a statue of the Leper King that is on the platform of the terrace. Lunch can be enjoyed in between the visits and may be back at the hotel or at a local restaurant in the Angkor area. The remainder of the afternoon is dedicated to Ta Prohm, which is considered to be the most photographed temple within the Angkor complex. Constructed in the Bayon style between the late 12th and early 13th century, Ta Prohm was left pretty much untouched by archaeologists. The trees that grow out of the ruins allow for a mysterious feeling filled with photogenic opportunities. King Jayavarman VII constructed the temple as a Mahayana Buddhist monastery and university and it is estimated that close to 80.000 people resided at the temple.

Visit other temples like Banteay Kdei, Batchum, Palilay etc. Just speak with your guide. Note that the order of the visits can be changed. Best is to ask your guide when to visit which temple in order to avoid the crowd.

Day 8: The Great Lake Tonle Sap

Start the day with a visit to Kampong Phluk. The village is actually a cluster of three villages of stilted houses built within the floodplain of the Tonle Sap. The villages are primarily Khmer and have about 3000 inhabitants between them. Flooded mangrove forest surrounds the area and is home to a variety of wildlife. Enjoy an intriguing boat trip through the village and its mangroves and learn more about this exceptional way of life. Continue afterwards to Wat Sanlong Pagoda. Enjoy a picnic lunch away from the crowds. After lunch, cycle about 25km through the beautiful countryside that surrounds Siem Reap. Endless paddy fields and beautiful local villages. End the drive at Preah Dak, where your minivan awaits you. Transfer back to you hotel.

Day 9: Transfer to Battambang

Transfer without guide to Battambang in the morning and visit en-route the Silk Farm of Artisans d’Angkor. Here people with underprivileged backgrounds are given an opportunity to improve their livelihoods by reviving the ancient crafts of making art and producing silk. A local representative accompanies you and walks you through the farm and explains all the steps necessary to produce quality silk. Continue to Battambang afterwards and enjoy a free afternoon.

Day 10: Countryside Tour Battambang

Leave the hotel after breakfast at 9AM and head by bicycle the Central Market (Phsa Nat). On the way observe the colonial houses, the old train station, the old stone bridge, and Government Hall. Make a stop at the statue of Battambang and listen to the myth that surrounds him. Continue by tuk-tuk to the countryside where the real Cambodian life awaits. Explore the beautiful countryside by tuk-tuk and make stops on the way to learn more about culture, religion, and agriculture. See how Bamboo Sticky Rice is made and visit a fish factory, a banana chips factory and see how Cambodian fresh noodles are made. Later in the morning visit the beautiful green vegetable and fruit plantations. Taste the fruits and learn how the crops are grown here. Lunch is served at a local home nearby. Depart the home by tuk-tuk and head for the south of Battambang where a short one-hour boat cruise awaits over the Sangke River. Observe Battambang from the boat before visiting the famous Cable Bridge (referred to as the Cambodian Mini San Francisco Bridge). At the end of the afternoon make your way to the Bat Cave. Surrounded by rice fields, at around 6PM, the bats fly out, millions of them, in search of food. It is an incredible sight to behold! After sunset, return to the hotel where you arrive around 7PM.

Day 11: Siem Rieap Departure

Transfer to the airport of Siem Reap in the morning for your departure flight.

We wish you a safe continuing journey!

Additional Information:

1. Projects you support while traveling this program:

A local family:

As part of Lolei Travel’s commitment to help the local community, we always pay a small contribution when we visit a local home, have a lunch at a family’s home or when the family allows us to make use of any service or equipment they are able to offer us.

The Pagoda:

A Pagoda is a community institution. If you had lunch on the grounds of a pagoda, or visited a pagoda and met with a local monk, Lolei Travel donates to that pagoda. The Pagoda usually uses the money for development of its ground, which benefits the entire community they are located in as everyone is allowed to make use of the pagoda, its facilities and its guidance.

Kok Dong Community School:

Even if you haven’t visited the Kok Dong Community School, Lolei Travel still supports the school with materials, computers, and donations and any other materials and advice needed for the school to continue to develop the young minds of Cambodia in model citizens.

2. Dress code:

Note that when you visit a Buddhist country, people are more conservative. Especially at religious or holy sites visitors are expected to dress properly and act properly. Many attractions and/or countries have a Code of Conduct. Before visiting a site or country, do some research about these ethics and during your visit respect the local customs. Dress appropriate when visiting religious or holy sites and cover your shoulders and knees. Do not wear clothes that are too revealing or have imprinted insulting texts or images. Take off your hat and shoes where necessary and stay respectful to the local culture and the people.

Price on request (depending on the number of guests, travel period and requested hotel category)

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