Unearth the essence of Cambodia

Combining the magnificence of the Khmer Empire with lively Phnom Penh, this introduction to Cambodia is the perfect way to get acquainted with this captivating nation. Witness the grandeur of ancient Angkor Wat, see the enigmatic faces of Bayon, confront the tragedy of the recent past and delight in the hopes for the future on this classic Cambodian adventure.


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

Why you'll love this trip

  • See the very best that Cambodia has to offer in just under a week as you traverse the country with a small group of up to 11 new friends

  • Kick things off with dinner at Friends the Restaurant in Phnom Penh and combine an excellent local cause with a memorable dining experience

  • Discover a land of contrasts and turbulent history, visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21) and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek as well as the opulent Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda

  • Explore the amazing Angkor archaeological complex in depth with your included three-day pass, so as well as guided tours, you have the option to return and explore at your own pace

  • Enjoy more inclusions and a slightly higher standard of hotels on this Comfort trip, you’ll also fly between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap to make the most of your time

Is this trip right for you?

  • The stories and history shared at 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 Ekcan be found here: https://www.intrepidtravel.com/adventures/importance-visiting-cambodia-k...

  • If you would prefer a longer, more in-depth trip in Cambodia in Comfort style, see our 10 day Cambodia Encompassed (TKKI) 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, Cambodia. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm tonight. If you arrive early, perhaps stroll the streets of Phnom Penh, taking in the interesting French colonial architecture. The National Museum, with its collection of classic Khmer craftsmanship, is well worth a visit. Dinner tonight will be at the Friends International restaurant, an organisation that provides training and employment in the hospitality industry to disadvantaged youth. It's a great restaurant to support and the food is delicious – the Western and Asian fusion tapas dishes have put this restaurant on the must visit list.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
Optional Activities
  • Phnom Penh - National Museum - USD10
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
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.

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. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Today a full city tour introduces you to the sights of Phnom Penh, a city that lies near the confluence of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers. The private quarters of the Royal Palace are home to King Sihamoni and are closed to the public. You will, however, be able to visit the Silver Pagoda that lies in the palace complex, which is the most sacred temple in the country. Phnom Penh remains a living relic of the country’s past struggles and successes. Your included visits to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21) and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek tell the story of the tragic legacy of the Khmer Rouge. Tuol Sleng is a former school that served as a Khmer Rouge torture centre, and it’s estimated that more than 20,000 people were held and tortured here. The Killing Fields of Choeung Ek are home to a stupa made up of some 8,000 human skulls, marking the site of the infamous location. This was the execution ground for the torture victims of Tuol Sleng, and standing in this peaceful setting, it's almost unthinkable to imagine that to date nearly 9000 corpses have been exhumed from the area. The visits are major parts of the experience here, but if you don't wish to visit them, please let your leader know. There is an optional visit to Wat Phnom, the temple that gave rise to the foundation of the city in the 15th century. After today's activities, you may wish to spend this evening relaxing in a cafe by the riverfront.

Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Phnom Penh - Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21)
  • Phnom Penh - The Killing Fields of Choeung Ek
  • Phnom Penh - Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda
Optional Activities
  • Phnom Penh - Wat Phnom - USD2
  • Phnom Penh - Cyclo tour - USD4
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take a short flight to Siem Reap (approximately 1 hour). The small but expanding town of Siem Reap is the gateway to Angkor and is the most popular destination for travellers in all of Cambodia, perhaps even in South East Asia. You'll probably notice a change of pace here, so take a walk and enjoy the atmosphere. A visit to the old market is a must, even if you're not looking for souvenirs, wandering through the stalls and surrounding shops the silks, cottons, sarongs, silver and statues are a riot of colour and a feast for the eyes – and there will be one for your stomach too if you try some of the cheap, delicious street food! There's also a long tradition of shadow puppetry in the region, and if you're lucky you might catch a show at one of the local restaurants in the evening, perhaps while you're eating the specialty cuisine of Cambodia – amok, the name given to curry steam-cooked in banana leaves.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Siem Reap - Leader-led orientation walk
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Spend a full day visiting the amazing temples of Angkor on a guided exploration. Angkor Wat is the largest and most complete structure, and the only one of Angkor's temples that has its entrance facing west – the others face east. Of all the temples visited today, Bayon is the centrepiece, with over 200 smiling carved faces and more than 50 gothic towers. For lunch you'll visit the Sala Bai Hotel School where disadvantaged local youth learn skills that enable them to find gainful employment in the hospitality industry. Afterward, you will head to Ta Prohm, a temple where nature has taken over, as large trees have become embedded in the stone foundations of the structure. End the day with a sunset view of the temples – an extraordinary way to see the sun go down.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Siem Reap - Lunch at Sala Bai
  • 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 and school holidays, so on these days an alternative restaurant will be used.
Embrace a very early start today if you wish to experience a sunrise visit to the Angkor complex (this is optional). Today you'll visit the temple of Banteay Srei – you'll see it's not a huge temple, but thanks to its intricate stone carvings it is sometimes referred to as ‘the jewel in the crown of Angkorian art’. Later this afternoon, get an insight into the daily life of Cambodians on a village tour. See the rice fields and family allotment that surround the traditional stilt houses. Be welcomed into a local home as you join together for sunset drinks. This evening, enjoy a final farewell dinner with your fellow travellers and one last night of delicious Cambodian cuisine at a specially chosen restaurant.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Siem Reap - Banteay Srei Temple visit
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Temples Guided Tour
  • Siem Reap - Village visit
Optional Activities
  • Siem Reap - Khmer traditional massage - USD17
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
After breakfast, you are free to leave at any time, as there are no activities planned today. If you would like to spend some more time in Siem Reap, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Optional Activities
  • Siem Reap - Phare Circus Ticket - USD18
  • Siem Reap - Urban Adventure Cambodian Cook-out - USD52
  • Siem Reap - Landmine Museum - USD5
  • 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

5 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners

Transport

Plane, Private minibus, remork (tuk tuk)

Accommodation

Hotel (5 nights)

Included activities

  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Phnom Penh - Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21)
  • Phnom Penh - The Killing Fields of Choeung Ek
  • Phnom Penh - Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda
  • Siem Reap - Leader-led orientation walk
  • Siem Reap - Lunch at Sala Bai
  • Siem Reap - Three day Angkor Pass
  • Siem Reap - Angkor Temples Guided Tour
  • Siem Reap - Banteay Srei Temple visit
  • Siem Reap - Village visit

Dates & availability

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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.
3. Please provide your full name exactly as per passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport) for flight tickets. Ticketing fees may apply for amendments to details within 45 days of departure, and in some cases you will be required to cover the cost of issuing a new ticket.

Essential trip information

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