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Kingdom of Cambodia Tour 10 Days / 9 Nights

Kingdom of Cambodia Tour 10 Days / 9 Nights

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A Tour of Cambodia | Ancient Temples, Delicious Cuisine, Exotic Beaches and Pristine Wildlife

Discover the real Cambodia during an inspirational tour of the country accompanied by your Expert and local guides. 

Your journey starts in Siem Reap, where you will explore by bike, tuk tuk and even ox cart, the ancient temples of Angkor (a UNESCO World Heritage site). A boat journey across the Tonlé Sap Lake follows, where you experience first-hand Cambodia’s incredible rural life, including fishermen villages made up of houses on stilts.

A visit to the capital, Phnom Penh, reveals Cambodia's dark past, whilst the French colonial architecture of Battambang is a reminder of Cambodia’s colonial heritage. The tour concludes with a relaxing stay in a southern coastal beach resort Sihanoukville.

With talks and lectures delivered by your Expert throughout the tour, the richness of Cambodia's culture and history will be brought to life in fascinating detail.

Hand-picked local restautants and hotels provide delicious cuisine and a comfortable stay throughout. With ample opportunity to meet and converse with local people, an experience that encapsulates the ‘real’ Cambodia is assured.

Additional options* such as a visit to a national park filled with pristine jungle, mangrove forests and off-shore coral reefs and an island hopping boat tour where you have the opportunity to snorkel, fish or just rest and relax are great ways to enhance your travel experience.

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Day 1 Siem Reap

Morning | Arrive Siem Reap*

Upon your arrival in Siem Reap, you will be welcomed by your local English speaking guide and transferred to your hotel for check in. Siem Reap is the base for exploring the fabled temples of Angkor, the ancient capital of the Khmer empire.

Afternoon | at leisure

The afternoon will be at leisure to relax after the long flight

Evening | Welcome Reception Drink at Hotel with Introduction to Tour by your Expert | Followed by Dinner at a traditional Cambodian restaurant

You will meet with your fellow travellers for a reception drink and introduction to the tour talk before being taken for a welcome dinner at Marum Restaurant. Set in a delightful wooden house with a spacious garden, and featuring a winning mix of creative local cuisine, Marum is named after the Moringa, or 'Tree of life'. 

Overnight | Siem Reap

Meals included: D

*Please click here to view Flight Options.

 

Day 2 Siem Reap

Morning | Explore Angkor Wat

oday you will have a full day amongst the Angkorian temples with a local archaeologist, bringing its magnificent past to life!

Begin with a visit of 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 it symbolizes the soul of the Khmer people.

Return back to Siem Reap town for lunch.

Afternoon | Lunch in Siem Reap | Explore Angkor Thom & Ta Prohm | Sunset Gondola Cruise at Angkor Thom  

at the Yellow Mango Café. A newly built Cambodian culinary hotspot overlooking the Siem Reap River, the Yellow Mango café is an excellent place for both a drink after a day at the temples and to try some of the classical Cambodian gourmet cuisine along with some western favourites. Situated in an airy and contemporary setting, it also features an outdoor patio and garden, offering a refreshing place to enjoy their delightful unique treats.

This afternoon you will jump into a local remork (similar to a Thai tuk tuk) to continue your Angkorian exploration, beginning with 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 8m high wall, drawing a perfect square. Enter the city through the ancient South Gate, an impressive stone gate carved with Elephants and four giant faces. On each side of the entrance path a row of 54 gods or demons is holding the sacred Naga snake. Enter the city and cycle to the exact center where the Bayon Temple is located. 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.

Continue on past The Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King before arriving at Ta Prohm. 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.

The remork will transfer you for a relaxing cruise in a gondola paddle boat at the moat of Angkor Thom compound. Enjoy gliding gently along, as the sun begins to set. The boat will arrive close to the historical ruins of Prasat Chrung with a viewpoint where the sun sets over the countryside.

Cruise back to the Angkor Thom gate and transfer back to your hotel to freshen up before taking dinner.

Evening | Dinner in Siem Reap

Dinner at Asian Square restaurant. Asian Square is one of the more unique places to eat in town, located in the heart of Siem Reap. Designed around a mixture of traditional Khmer and contemporary décor, the restaurant offers a selection of creative fusion cuisine, from exotic local delicacies, to tangy Asian dishes and Western favourites.

Overnight | Siem Reap

Meals included: B, L, D

                                                                                                                       

Day 3 Siem Reap

Morning | Meet with Cambodian Villagers | Boat Trip on Tonlé Sap Lake

Today experience an incredible tour to learn about life in a typical Cambodian village, meet friendly locals and discover traditional village customs and cultures.

In the early morning, you will be transfered from the hotel to Ta Brak village, 25 minutes out of town. A western packed breakfast from the hotel will be taken and, upon arrival, you will sit down with a local family and share this breakfast with them and learn about local village life.

From here, a 30 minute ox cart ride through the village will take you to a local bustling market selling a wide selection of Cambodian vegetables, herbs, fruits and other local produce. Continue your walk through the picturesque countryside village, stopping off to meet the local community along the way, observing local activities such as rice planting, thatch weaving, planting or harvesting of vegetable crops or making fish traps*. The surrounding countryside with its paddy fields and sugar palm trees is very typical for Cambodia.

End the morning at the local pagoda where a special water blessing by Buddhist monks await.

From here make a stop at the 9th Century Bakong Temple, part of the Roluos group and a site of an ancient center of Khmer civilization known as Hariharalaya, before continuing on a boat trip on the Tonlé Sap Lake, where you will have the opportunity to learn about life on the lake. The Tonlé Sap Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and officially designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, covering an area of roughly 2,500 square kilometres, swelling to about 10,000 squre metres in the wet season.

Travel out to Kampong Phluck, a village that receives very fewer tourists, making this the perfect place to see this stilted village and the authentic life of the local fisherman and their families who live amongst the flooded mangrove forest. Board a local boat for a ride on the lake.  On the way, you will see houses on stilts that are submerged in the lake, pass by floating houses and flooded forests.

Afternoon | Lunch on a Floating House on Tonlé Sap Lake 

In one of the floating houses, a delicious lunch will be prepared for you. Enjoy the beautiful scenery dominated by the tranquility of the lake.

Evening | Cambodian Theatre with Performed by Returning Refugees from the Khmer Rouge Camps

This evening attend a Cambodian theatre performance; ‘Phare, the Cambodian Circus’. Starting at 8pm, professional artists of the theatre company, Phare Ponleu Selpak (PPS), will perform an inspiring show, with a mix of traditional and modern theatre, music, dance, acrobatics which tell real life stories about Cambodian life and society. Set up in Battambang in 1994 by young returnee Cambodians from the refugee camps who learned about using art as a means of coping with trauma, the PPS has played an influential role in promoting and developing Khmer culture over the years after the Khmer Rouge genocide. 

Overnight | Siem Reap

Meals included: B, L

*Each tour will be different and the activities will depend on the time of the year, the family, and the needs of the local village.

 

Day 4 Siem Reap - Battambang

Morning | Travel to Battambang 

This morning you will depart through the rural Cambodian countryside for Battambang. Even though Battambang is Cambodia’s second largest city, you will find that the atmosphere is very laid-back in a charming and relaxed river town full of fine examples of French-colonial architecture.

Afternoon | Arrive Battambang & Check-in at Hotel | Tour of French Colonial Architecture | Visit Phnom Sampeau | Night-time Flight of Bats

On arrival you will check into your hotel and enjoy lunch before taking a walking tour of Battambang’s French colonial centre and its architecture. Afterwards head out towards Phnom Sampeau hill, a place where both serenity and man's inhumanity to man are represented in one place; from the small temple at its summit, you will have an incredible view of a landscape of paddy fields and sugar palm trees. At the same time, Phnom Sampeau is home to the notorious killing caves, which are cruel reminders of Cambodia’s troubled past.

Your visit will last until dusk, a time when millions of bats emerge from one of the caves and creating patterns as they fly across the sky. A truly spectacular show of nature.

Evening | Dinner in Battambang

This evening enjoy dinner at Jaan Bai, meaning ‘rice bowl’ in Khmer. It is a social enterprise restaurant providing training and employment for young local people, with all profits going to the overall sustainability of the Cambodian Childrens Trust.

Overnight | Battambang

Meals included: B, D

                                                                                 

Day 5 Battambang - Kampong Chhnang - Oudong Phnom Penh

Morning | Travel to KampongPhnom Penh 

Depart Battambang for the overland transfer to Phnom Penh.

On the way travel to Kampong Chhnang, known for its pottery, where you will see the different techniques of pottery making as well as see how traditional rice wine is made.

Continue to Oudong, the former royal capital of Cambodia. The drive passes through many rural villages and pagodas, and you will see the Oudong Mountain with its dozens of stupas from afar.

Afternoon | Traditional Khmer Lunch | Oudong Mountain | Arrive Phnom Penh and Check-in at Hotel

Upon arrival at Oudong enjoy a traditional Khmer lunch at a picnic hut at the foot of the hill.

Climb the stairs to the top of Oudong Mountain and enjoy magnificent views over the plains below. Your guide will explain the history of the area and its buildings as well as the religious culture of the Cambodian people. Take your time to soak in the magnificent views over the plains below.

Before heading to Phnom Penh stop to view the spectacular Vipassana Dhura Buddhist Meditation Center, also located in Oudong. Your guide will explain more about the school of Vipassana (a school of meditation). Don’t forget to see the impressive jade Buddha, the mummified monk and the brightly painted walls telling the story of the Ramayana, the epic Sanskrit poem that decorates many pagodas seen around the country.

From here, it is not far to Phnom Penh where you will arrive in the late afternoon. Check into your hotel.

Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, was once considered one of the most beautiful cities in the Orient, and despite its recent turbulent history, it still retains a colonial charm. This bustling city, located at the confluence of the mighty rivers of the Mekong and Tonlé Sap, with its wide tree-lined boulevards and many colonial-era buildings, reflects past glory and a fascinating blend of Asian and Western traditions.

Evening | Dinner in Phnom Penh

This evening enjoy a Phnom Penh welcome dinner at the incredible Phkar Romyool. Set in an beautiful colonial building and a former cinema from the ‘Golden Era’ of Khmer cinema, Phkar Romyool Café & Restaurant is one of the most elegant dining venues in Phnom Penh. It is a Khmer specialty restaurant, serving the finest options from all over Cambodia, and features a large colonial style dining room and open air courtyard.

Overnight | Phnom Penh                                                                                            

Meals included: B, L, D

 

Day 6 Phnom Penh

Morning | Walking Tour of Phnom Penh 

This morning depart on a walking tour of Phnom Penh. Starting in the leafy suburb of Boeung Keng Kang, travel through the small streets to Wat Lanka, one of the oldest pagodas in Phnom Penh and then onto the Independence Monument.

Continue to the historic ‘White Building’, designed by the famous architect Vann Molyvann in the 1960’s. This once pristine housing complex now has a facade stained by time and lack of care. As you peek inside the doors and meet the residents, though, and a whole new picture emerges of a close-knit community. The Cambodian Living Arts organization has its roots in this building where their life and artists begin. Take a tour along the street by one of the artists and residents, visit the rehearsal space where it all started out and sit down in local coffee shop to learn about the history of the building, the Cambodian Living Arts, their life and and stories in this fascinating area.

From here continue through the picturesque Wat Bottom Park and 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, view a collection of Buddhas in gold, silver, crystal, and bronze.

Afternoon | Lunch in Phnom Penh Followed by Afternoon Tea & Champagne at the Raffles Hotel | Sunset River Cruise on the Mekong and Tonlé Sap Lake

Take a stop for lunch at the nearby Sugar Palm restaurant before taking an afternoon tea with a glass of champagne at the famous Raffles Hotel, a colonial landmark in Phnom Penh since the 1920’s.

Afterwards you will be transfered to the port to enjoy a sunset river cruise on the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers.

Evening | Dinner at the Foreign Correspondence Club

End the day with dinner at the FCC (Foreign Correspondence Club); an iconic and historical landmark in Phnom Penh. Overlooking the Tonlé Sap Lake in a stunning colonial building, the restaurant revels in traditional Asian flavours and Western favourites. Along with the open air restaurant, there is also a roof terrace that is well known for its cocktails and a venue for live music and entertainment after sunset.

Overnight | Phnom Penh

Meals included: B, L, D                 

 

Day 7 Phnom Penh

Morning | Visit Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum | Russian Market

This morning gain insight into Cambodia’s recent dark history on a visit to the remarkable Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, housed in the former school that was taken over by the Khmer Rouge and used as its main detention and torture centre named ‘S-21’. A grim, but important visit that will allow you to dig below the surface and understand Cambodia better.

Continue to the nearby Russian Market for some retail therapy; it's the best place for wood and stone carvings, jewellery, clothes and Cambodian silk souvenirs.

Afternoon | Lunch at Leisure | Sunset Cocktail at the Eclipse Sky Bar, Phnom Penh Tower

Lunch and the remainder of the afternoon is at leisure, before being taken for a sunset cocktail at the Eclipse Sky Bar, set on the 23rd floor of the Phnom Penh Tower, giving amazing views over the city as the sun sets.

Evening | Traditional Cambodian Arts Performance 

This evening get inspired by a traditional Cambodian arts performance. Lasting an hour and held in the atmospheric gardens of the National Museum they providing a truly unique performance of Cambodian traditional dance. 

End the evening with dinner at the beautiful Romdeng restaurant. Set in a converted colonial villa with a spacious garden, and featuring a winning mix of creative local cuisine, Romdeng not only offers some of the most creative Khmer cuisine in the city, but also helps build a new life for the students who training there. Part of the Tree Alliance group of training restaurants, they provide vocations into the hospitality industry for local street kids and disadvantaged youths.

Overnight | Phnom Penh

Meals included: B

 

Day 8 Phnom Penh - Sihanoukville                                                                  

Morning | Travel to Sihanoukville

This morning you will depart southwards to the coastal destination of Sihanoukville, containing Cambodia’s best and most idyllic beaches.

Afternoon & Evening | Check-in at hotel, Rest of Day at Leisure

On arrival to you hotel the remainder of the day is at leisure.

Overnight | Sihanoukville

Meals included: B

                                                                    

Day 9 Sihanoukville

Morning | Enjoy your day at leisure or enjoy an optional tour*:

Visit Ream National Park

The park was established in 1993 on a 210 km² area on the Gulf of Thailand that includes thick pristine jungle, mangrove forests and off-shore coral reefs. It's a nature lovers paradise with nearly 200 bird species, many kinds of monkeys and it is also the habitat of the pangolin. You will be transferred to one of Ream’s most scenic isolated beaches, called Koh Sampouch. Lunch at local restaurant.

Take the Three Islands Tour

This morning take a boat trip departing 9am to explore three islands giving you the chance to snorkel, fish or just rest and relax. You will visit three islands at Koh Chaloh, Koh Tres and Koh Takiev and will see colorful corals and fishes at the island. At Koh Takiev Island enjoy swimming with in the clear waters or relax on a long yellow sandy beach. Here you will also have a chance to snorkel (equipment provided) on the surrounding coral reef. You will have a Farewell BBQ seafood lunch at Koh Takiev Island before returning to Sihanoukville in the afternoon, arriving 4-5pm.

Overnight | Sihanoukville

Meals included: B

*Not included in tour price. Please request pricing from your Grand Cultural Tours representative.

 

Day 10 Sihanoukville

This morning your tour concludes after breakfast. Please advise your Grand Cultural Tours representative if you require a transfer to Phnom Penh airport or require an extension to your stay.

Meals included: B

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  • 9  nights in 4 and 5 star hotel accommodation with breakfast

  • 4  lunches and 3 dinners with drinks

  • The services of a professional Tour Manager and Expert Guide from start to finish

  • Local expert guides

  • All transfers in high-quality air-conditioned coaches

  • All entrances and admittances fees

 

Not included

  • Flights

  • Cancellation, medical and travel  insurance

Local Expert Guides

Local Expert Guides

Our Local Expert Guides are experienced licenced tour guides with special access to museums, art galleries and other cultural institutions. 

Professional and gifted communicators with unparalleled local knowledge, each one specialises in bringing the past to life. 

For more information about our Expert Guides, please contact us on 020 8877 2883 to speak with a Grand Cultural Tours representative.

Hotels

City

Hotel

Hotel Category

Room Category

Siem Reap

Le Meridien Angkor

Deluxe Class

Superior Room

Battambang

Classy Hotel

First Class

Deluxe Room

Phnom Penh

Frangipani Royal Palace

Superior Class

Deluxe Room

Sihanoukville

Sokha Beach Resort

Superior Class

Ocean Wing Superior

 

Passports and Visas

UK passport holders require a visa for entry to Cambodia. Click here to apply for a visa online via the official evisa website. Please click here for visa application processing requirements. 

Please refer to the Foreign Office website for general Visas information.

 

Foreign Office Travel Advice including Health & Safety Information

Click here for Foreign Office travel advice (for UK nationals). 

 

Airlines (International)

The following airlines currently fly into Cambodia: Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways, Air Asia, Asiana Airlines, Cambodia Angkor Air, China Airlines, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Dragon Air, EVA Air, Jetstar Asia, Korean Air, Lao Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Myanmar Airways International,  Shanghai Airlines, Silk Air,  and Vietnam Airlines.

 

Time zone

Cambodia is GMT + 7 and does not operate daylight-saving system.

 

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a pre-requisite for participating on a Grand Cultural Tour. If you do not currently have travel insurance and would like to contact our partner travel insurance company, please click here for more details.

 

Currency

The currency of Cambodia is the Cambodian Riel. However, US dollars are widely accepted and are used for most transactions over US$1. Click here for Foreign Office money advice.

 

Language

Cambodia's national language is Khmer and unlike the other languages of the region it is not a tonal language. The written script originated in southern India. As in other former French colonies, the educated older generation often speak very good French, while the younger generation prefers English. Outside the major centers of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, most people speak only Khmer. 

 

Weather

Cambodia has two distinctive seasons:

  • Rainy -  from June to October. Traveling during the rainy season has its benefits, as the temple moats in Siem Reap are full, making for great photos. The rains are usually in the afternoon and last 2 - 3 hours.

  • Dry - from November to May.  The dry season can be very dusty, but easier for walking through the jungle terrain around the temples. The temperature is fairly steady 30 - 35 Celsius during the day time, although November to January often has cooler temperatures.

Click here for the BBC's Phnom Penh (Cambodia's capital) weather page.

 

Clothing


Comfortable lightweight clothing in natural fabrics such as cotton is most suitable for traveling in Cambodia. The dress code is fairly casual as in most parts of the tropics but it is advisable to cover arms and legs in the evenings against biting insects. A lightweight raincoat and umbrella are a good idea in the rainy season and the umbrella can also offer useful shade from the sun.

Shoes (and socks!) must be removed before entering any religious building or private home. It is therefore useful to wear shoes without too many laces and which can easily be taken off. We provide small towels to clean your feet before putting back on your shoes.

 

Electricity

Cambodia uses 220V, and a mixture of flat 2-pin, round 2-pin or 3 pin plugs. It is recommended to bring a universal plug adaptor. Power outages happen occasionally but most hotels have their own generator.

 

Reading list

 

Dates & Prices

Start Date(s) Price excluding flights* Single supplement

* Please click here for more information regarding flights for this tour.

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