Encounter the cultural and architectural riches of this ancient land in Cambodia.

From the majestic temples of Angkor to the gorgeous colonial-era architecture of Battambang and the devastating Khmer Rouge reign of the 1970s, Cambodia is a country that emanates history at every turn. Jungle vines crawl over Angkor Wat’s weathered walls and villagers work their land in much the same way they have for generations. This remarkable small-group adventure will get you deep into the heart and soul of this inspiring destination, meeting local residents, and uncovering the spectacular sights that defy belief.


Start
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Finish
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Destination
Cambodia
Style
Comfort
Theme
Explorer
Code
TKKI
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

  • Kick things off with dinner at Friends the Restaurant in Phnom Penh to support an excellent local cause with a memorable (and delicious) dining experience

  • Enjoy a day out in the countryside nearby the French colonial town of Kampot where we walk through rice fields, discover a hidden cave temple, and relax with a sunset river cruise

  • Learn about local cottage industries in and around historic Battambang, visiting local businesses from pottery and silversmithing to sticky rice and fish paste production

  • Travel by boat with your small group down the Sangker River to Tonle Sap lake – certainly the most scenic way to arrive in Siem Reap

  • Marvel at the spectacle of the ancient Angkor complex with two full days dedicated to this wonder. See the archaeological complex in depth, and take your own time to immerse in the beauty and mystery of the temples

Is this trip right for you?

  • The stories and history shared at the the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21) and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek are confronting and many travellers will find them upsetting. This is an important part of Cambodia’s recent history that we feel is important for travellers to know. If you would prefer not to join these activities your leader can recommend some optional alternatives. Some further information on visiting the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek can be found here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/importance-visiting-cambodia-k...

  • This is a Comfort style trip, which means slightly higher standard hotels and a few more inclusions and meals than on most Original style itineraries.

  • There are some long travel days on rough and bumpy roads with delays due to weather and traffic often unavoidable. Plenty of patience with the pace will go a long way.

  • If you would prefer a shorter, highlights focused trip in Cambodia in Comfort style, see our 6-day Classic Cambodia (TKKS) itinerary.

  • You will visit a number of temples on this trip, and this requires a level of modesty. Be sure to bring clothes that cover the arms and pants or skirts that go past the knees. A light scarf is also a good idea for covering shoulders and arms when it’s hot.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2020.
View the 2019 itinerary
Sua s'dei! Welcome to Phnom Penh. An airport arrival transfer to the hotel is included today. Your adventure begins with an important welcome meeting at 6 pm. After this, enjoy dinner with your fellow travellers in the excellent Friends restaurant, a Phnom Penh institution (and noble social enterprise). If you arrive early today and have some free time, why not stop in at the art deco-designed Psar Thmei (Central Market) – a great place for browsing. Or stroll along the atmospheric Sisowath Quay and grab a coffee or cocktail at one of the many cafes while watching the busy river traffic.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Phnom Penh - Dinner at Friends-International
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.

A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
Head south this morning along National Road 2. You'll pass through the town of Takeo and continue towards Kampot, one of Cambodia's most attractive old towns. Arrive in Kampot and enjoy an afternoon of free time. You might choose to stroll by the river and observe the French colonial architecture or relax on the veranda of one of the riverside restaurants and admire the view of the Bokor mountains. A massage at Seeing Hands is also highly recommended – surely one of the most enjoyable ways to support a great local cause.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Kampot - Khmer massage - USD5
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a day out in the countryside. Visit the Kampot Pepper Project and learn why Kampot pepper has been acknowledged by international chefs as the world’s best. Also visit the Kampot salt field, the only salt field in Cambodia. Take a short walk through the rice fields and climb to where some lovely views of the surrounding countryside are found. A few steps later you will enter the mouth of Phnom Chhnork limestone cave, which has a small 7th-century brick temple inside. Enjoy a walk along the beach at Kep, passing the old buildings near the ocean front. The town was Cambodia's most popular and prestigious beach town from the early 1900s until the 1960s. Sadly many of the mansions and villas didn't survive the reign of the Khmer Rouge, and their ghostly remains mark a dark history.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kampot - Phnom Chhnork
  • Kampot - Countryside tour
Optional Activities
  • Kampot - Sunset cruise - USD30
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Say goodbye to the beach and take a different route back to Phnom Penh (approximately 4 hours). In the afternoon you will visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21) and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek. These serve as sobering reminders of the violent rule of the Khmer Rouge. Here you can learn more about this confronting but important chapter in history. If you'd rather not visit these sites, simply let your leader know. This evening, with free time, you might opt for a relaxing sunset drink at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club – a great way to spend the night, overlooking the confluence of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Phnom Penh - The Killing Fields of Choeung Ek
  • Phnom Penh - Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21)
Optional Activities
  • Phnom Penh - Cyclo tour - USD4
  • Phnom Penh - Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda - USD10
  • Phnom Penh - National Museum - USD10
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel by private minibus through the countryside to Battambang (approximately 5 hours, not including stops). Along the way you will stop to see some local pottery and silversmithing at work. This gives a fascinating insight into small cottage industries in a lesser-visited spot in Cambodia. Arrive in Battambang (pronounced Battambong) and put your feet up after the journey. Perhaps take a stroll along the riverfront to soak up the elegant French vibes of the town. Some of the colonial architecture has been beautifully preserved, and there are friendly Khmer people abound.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Battambang - Bamboo railway - USD10
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Jump in a remork (Cambodian tuk-tuk) and travel through the beautiful surrounding countryside of Battambang. You will visit some small cottage industries that produce rice paper, dried banana, sticky rice cooked in bamboo, and aromatic fish paste (Cambodia’s equivalent of Vegemite or Marmite). In the afternoon, head to a heritage Khmer house, where you will be met by the owner and taken on a journey through Cambodian history. The village of Wat Kor is known for its historic stilted wooden houses, some of which pre-date French colonial times. The house’s large wooden floorboards are shiny from generations of feet walking across them. The owner’s small collection of antiques and agricultural tools paint a picture of Cambodia in the early 1900s. Later in the evening, head to Phnom Sampov and witness the strange phenomenon of the Battambang Bat Caves. For around half an hour each night, the caves come alive with a dense swarm of bats flying out for their night of hunting. Watch the bats fly off into the sunset with a drink in hand.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Battambang - Countryside tour of local producers
  • Battambang - Phnom Sampov bat caves
Optional Activities
  • Battambang - Phare Ponleu Selpak Centre - USD12
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy some breakfast, check out of the hotel, then take a private boat to Siem Reap (approximately 6-7 hours). This classic journey follows the Sangker River downstream to the Tonle Sap – the largest lake in South East Asia. Along the way you'll see fishing villages, a scattering of fishermen and no doubt some local people living atop floating and stilted houses. The roof of the boat provides shade while open sides make for nice viewing as you float along (there's also a toilet on board). Arrive in Siem Reap, the gateway to the famous Angkor complex, which is roughly 7 kilometres out of town. Relax before your temple-hopping begins tomorrow. You might like to hit the night markets for some cheap and delicious street food, or maybe indulge in a traditional massage.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Between January and August, when water levels are typically at their lowest, we are unable to travel by boat. Instead make today's journey by private minibus (approximately 4 hours). In this case, a boat trip to a riverside village is included, so that travellers don't miss out on the Tonle Sap experience.
Spend a full day visiting the amazing temples of Angkor on a guided tour. Angkor Thom, the 'Great Royal City', is famous for its series of colossal human faces carved in stone. The impressive Bayon temple is the centrepiece. The famous Angkor Wat is the largest and most complete structure. It is the only one of Angkor's temples with its entrance facing to the west (the others face east), the reason being that it was constructed as a funerary temple for King Suryavarman II and a westerly countenance was seen to represent a sunset. Ta Prohm temple is an incredible sight, with large trees embedding themselves in the stone foundations of the structure. Today for lunch you will visit the Sala Bai Hotel School, where disadvantaged local youths learn skills that enable them to find gainful employment in the hospitality industry.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Siem Reap - Three day Angkor Pass
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Temples Guided Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
The Sala Bai Hotel School is closed on public holidays and school holidays. On these days, an alternative restaurant will be visited.
An early morning start for those looking to catch the sunrise over the temples. On a clear morning this is a truly spectacular sight. After breakfast, travel out to Banteay Srei, famous for its detailed and intricate stone carvings. It is not a big temple but has been sometimes referred to as the jewel in the crown of Angkorian art. Back at the main temple complex, Preah Khan contains a maze of vaulted corridors and is another complex that has been largely reclaimed by the jungle. Tonight, after dinner, you will visit Phare the Cambodian Circus. Coming from vulnerable households, the performers have gained international recognition through their art practice. Think a Cambodian Cirque Du Soleil, with modern Khmer tales mixing theatre, music, dance, acrobatics, juggling, aerial acts, and contortion.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Siem Reap - Phare Circus Ticket
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Temples Guided Tour
  • Siem Reap - Banteay Srei Temple visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
With no activities planned for today, you are free to depart anytime. If you are not yet temple-d out, your three-day temple pass allows you to return to explore some more of Angkor Archaeological Park on your own, if you’d like. Your leader can help you arrange a remork or car to take you out. If you have extra time you might like to schedule a tasty Khmer Cooking Class, indulge yourself with high tea at Raffles Hotel, or simply relax by the pool.
Optional Activities
  • Siem Reap - Landmine Museum - USD5
  • Siem Reap - Urban Adventure Cambodian Cook-out - USD52
  • Siem Reap - Urban Adventures Tonle Sap Secrets - USD45
  • Siem Reap - Banteay Srey Butterfly Center - USD5
  • Siem Reap - Urban Adventure Street Food by Night - USD48
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

9 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 1 dinner

Transport

Private minibus, Boat, remork (tuk tuk)

Accommodation

Hotel (9 nights)

Included activities

  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Phnom Penh - Dinner at Friends-International
  • Kampot - Phnom Chhnork
  • Kampot - Countryside tour
  • Phnom Penh - The Killing Fields of Choeung Ek
  • Phnom Penh - Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21)
  • Battambang - Countryside tour of local producers
  • Battambang - Phnom Sampov bat caves
  • Siem Reap - Three day Angkor Pass
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Temples Guided Tour
  • Siem Reap - Phare Circus Ticket
  • Siem Reap - Banteay Srei Temple visit

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Important notes

1. A single supplement is available on this trip, subject to availability. Please contact your sales agent if you would like to book this. The single supplement is available for all nights of this trip.
2. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.

Essential trip information

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