Day 1: Fly to Phnom Penh
Fly to Cambodia’s captivating capital, Phnom Penh. Depending on your time of arrival, the rest of the day is yours to start soaking up the local culture.
Day 2: Explore Phnom Penh
A somewhat European city of airy boulevards and colonial villas, scarred still by the events of 1975, in recent years Phnom Penh has been engulfed by energy and optimism. Today’s visit the magnificent Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and the National Museum, before time to reflect on the past at the harrowing Tuol Sleng Museum and Killing Fields. Sunset at hilltop Wat Phnom rounds off the day.
Day 3: Kep and Kampot
Depart for the beach town of Kep, stopping en route at Tonle Bati, a peaceful site of Angkor-era temples. Travel on to a pepper farm to learn about the renowned Kampot pepper. Take a boat ride out to Koh Thonsay where you can spend a few hours relaxing on the beach before returning to Kep.
Day 4: Journey to Sihanoukville
Visit the impressive cave temple of Phnom Chhnork before travelling to Kampot for a walking tour. A charming riverside town, Kampot has a wealth of colonial architecture to discover. Travel to Sihanoukville, Cambodia’s premier beach resort. Head up to the summit of Victory Hill for late afternoon views down over the city and Gulf of Thailand.
Day 5: Sihanoukville at Leisure
Spend the day at leisure. A delicious group lunch at a local restaurant is included.
Day 6: Travel to Phnom Penh
Return to Phnom Penh with a stop en route at the Kirirom National Park. Here footpaths wind their way amongst lush greenery and gushing waterfalls – keep an eye out for a variety of bird species.
Day 7: Journey to Battambang
Journey north to Battambang stopping at Udong, a former capital city. Also visit a potters’ village and Touch Hill. Set in some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes, Battambang is also home to Cambodia’s grandest colonial architecture.
Day 8: Explore Battambang
Head out of town to the 12thcentury Prasat Banan Temple and admire the breathtaking hilltop views. Return to Battambang and take a stroll through the village of Wat Kor, then explore a local house for a glimpse of traditional Khmer life. Visit a local NGO, La Maison de Coco, where traditional skills such as weaving are taught to locals before a visit to Phnom Sampov to see the bat cave.
Day 9: Travel to Siem Reap
Begin the journey towards Siem Reap, stopping in Puok District to visit the National Silk Centre. Learn about the cultivation of silk, from the planting of mulberry trees used to raise the silkworms to the harvesting of silk threads. Observe the artisans using the dyed and treated silk threads to create beautiful products in the workshops. On arrival in Siem Reap the rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 10: Explore Angkor
The Angkor Archaeological Park encompasses over a thousand temples, all the remains of different capitals of the Khmer Empire between the 9th and 15th centuries. Rising early, journey to the old city of Angkor Thom and pass through the magnificent South Gate. At Angkor Thom’s centre is the enigmatic Bayon, a breathtaking temple of sculptural decorations. Also, admire the Elephant Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King. Continue to Ta Prohm, left in the grips of the jungle. The rest of the day is dedicated to Angkor Wat, the most magnificent, and best preserved of all of Angkor’s treasures.
Day 11: Around Siem Reap
Journey to Kbal Spean to see the intricate stone carvings in the river bed and banks. Continue on to Banteay Srei, a richly embellished Hindu temple. Lunch will be taken at a traditional Khmer home. Explore the early 12th-century temple of Banteay Samre before climbing to the summit of the Pre Rup for views over the lush paddy fields at sunset.
Day 12: Tonle Sap Lake
High water season (Aug to Feb) Enjoy a morning cruise on Tonle Sap Lake, visiting a floating village and observing the way of life of these lake communities. Back on dry land, visit Beng Mealea, a mysterious temple overrun by jungle. Return to Siem Reap via Les Artisan D'Angkor, where disadvantaged youth are taught traditional Cambodian crafts. Enjoy dinner while watching an Apsara dance performance. Low water season (Mar to Jul) Visit Chong Kneas floating village before heading to Beng Mealea where you will explore this mysterious temple overrun by jungle. Return to Siem Reap via Les Artisan D'Angkor, where disadvantaged youth are taught traditional Cambodian crafts. Enjoy dinner while watching an Apsara dance performance.
Days 13 14: Siem Reap to Australia
This morning is at your leisure before you are transferred to Siem Reap airport to board your flight to Australia, arriving home to same or following day.