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Cambodia Explorer

0
  • 8 Days 7 Nights
  • Max Guests : 14
  • Adults
  • 11 - 18 November 2024
  • $1635 pp

Detail

Sua s’dei សួស្តី! Hello and welcome to Cambodia!

Our Cambodia explorer trip visits the highlights of this fascinating country, including the capital Phnom Penh, the historic second city of Battambang, and the famous Siem Reap and Angkor Wat.

Phnom Penh is set at the meeting point of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers, it was once known as the “Pearl of Asia” and considered one of the loveliest French-built cities during colonial-era in the region. And life centres around the lively river-front area where the locals come to take in the air, snack on the street hawker’s food and enjoy impromptu waterside entertainment.

Cambodia’s second-largest city, Battambang-is a pretty riverside town of French elegance, friendly Khmer people and beautifully preserved colonial architecture. A short drive from town, the scenery quickly becomes one of villages and rice paddies, offering an excellent opportunity to see a bit of authentic rural Cambodia.

The small but expanding town of Siem Reap is the gateway to Angkor. This is the most popular destination for travellers in all of Cambodia, perhaps even in South-East Asia. The markets are a great place to shop or to try some cheap, delicious street food and Siem Reap is our starting point for exploring the majestic temple complexes.

On this trip, we’ll be travelling by car, bus, and boat. The trip will be 8 days – 7 nights.

This small group trip is for adults only and will host a maximum of 14 adults. The trip requires a minimum of 8 people to go ahead.

Highlights

  • Explore the magnificent temples of Angkor Wat
  • Eat authentic Khmer cuisine
  • Explore the historical city of Battambang
  • Stroll through the French colonial city of Phnom Penh
  • Learn Cambodia's sobering and confronting history
  • Soak up the emerging arts and textiles scene

Price Includes

  • 🏨 7 Nights Hotel Accomodation
  • 🚌 Trip Transport incl car, bus and boat transport
  • 🍜 Most meals -7 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners
  • 🇰🇭 Khmer - 🇬🇧 English guide
  • 💫 Activities as described in itinerary
  • 🛄 Airport transfers

Price Excludes

  • International airfares
  • Travel insurance
  • Meals and drinks not included on itinerary
  • Tips and personal expenses
  • Visas

Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Some of you will arrive direct from our Viet Nam trip into Phnom Penh airport – welcome!

Otherwise, we will arrange for your airport transfer direct to our boutique hotel in downtown Phnom Penh.

You will have time to settle in, and explore our immediate locale, before we meet for a welcome dinner at Khmer restaurant on the riverbank.  

Meals: Dinner

Accommodation: Sun and Moon Urban Hotel or similar

Day 2 - City Exploration

After breakfast, you will discover Cambodia’s dark history. First visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a former high school which was used as the notorious Security Prison 21 (S-21) by the Khmer Rouge regime. A grim visit, but it’s an important site that will allow you to gain insight into Cambodia history. Then drive to the outskirts for a visit Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, a former orchard and mass grave of victims of the dark period. 

On the way back, stop at Lotus Blanc – one of the training centres at Pour un Sourire d’Enfant (PSE), a French Non-Governmental Organization that was established in 1996. PSE provides education, healthcare, food and protection to 6,500 children every year. We enjoy a tasty lunch here, with your meal also helping to provide free education for unprivileged children.  

Head back to hotel to relax and in the late afternoon, hop on a cyclo for a fun tour of the most significant sights of the city. 

Ride along the river towards the former French Quarter. The Quarter lies near Wat Phnom-the birthplace of Phnom Penh on the hill of the city where you will also visit. Inside the temple, you will experience the Chakkumpi “Khmer fortune teller” manuscript on palm-leaf.  

Ending of your tour, we stop at Le Moon Rooftop with the the perfect vantage to enjoy a cocktail and have opportunity to learn more about Khmer language and culture from our expert guide. 

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: Sun and Moon Urban Hotel Hotel or similar

Day 3 - Travel to historic Battambang

We depart Phnom Penh for the historic city of Battambang – approx 5 hour drive.

En-route, you will stop at Cambodia’s former capital, Oudong. The drive passes through rural villages, local pagodas, and scenic rice paddies before reaching the main hill, you also visit a family that is producing palm sugar at their house. Later on, climb to the top of the hill of Oudong for great views over the rural plains.

Now you are ready for a simple picnic lunch and some chill out time in a hammock during midday.

Drive on to Kampong Chhnang town, and witness the process of how to make low-fired pottery wares where the area’s famous for. 

Continue to Battambang and the rest of the afternoon is free for you to explore or relax.

Cambodia’s second-largest city, Battambang-is a pretty riverside town of French elegance, friendly Khmer people and beautifully preserved colonial architecture. A short drive from town, the scenery quickly becomes one of villages and rice paddies, offering an excellent opportunity to see a bit of authentic rural Cambodia.

This evening, you can enjoy street market along the riverbank for tasting local dishes such as Khmer curry with noodles, and fried or grilled spicy chicken. It is a fun and real experience with the locals!

Meals : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Classy Hotel 

 

 

 

Day 4 - Battambang + countryside +arts + sunset

In the morning, you will take a Remork motor or “tuk tuk” amongst the countryside. Through the village, you witness farmers how to make bamboo sticky rice cake, dried bananas, Nam-a typical Khmer snack “Paste of fish or pork with chili”, rice paper for spring rolls drying under the sun. And you can also see the villagers’ manufacture process of rice wine, rice noodles, Prahoc “typical Cambodian fish paste” and dried fish. 

Next wander around the Phare Ponleu Selpak, literally “the Brightness of the Arts”.  It is a non- profit association, started up since 1994 by a young group returned from the refugee camps during the Cambodia civil war. Students take classes like acrobatics, music and a variety of art disciplines. Don’t miss out art gallery and cultural spaces at an antique wooden house which regularly exhibit the work of many from the graduates, and other artists-the lovely way of tapping into the local scene which is the province famous for! 

We enjoy lunch at local restaurant and in the afternoon, visit a village that is surrounded by beautiful natural scenery, Wat Kor is also known as the “Cultural Village” for its number of charming ancient wooden houses, some of which were constructed in the early 20th century.

Late afternoon, visit Phnom Sampeou meaning ‘Ship mountain’ is a natural site. On the summit of hill stands a pagoda and three natural caves. Get ready for a fabulous show of nature: Millions of bats will exit the caves – for 15-20 minutes straight – and fly like flocks of birds to feed on insects in the surrounding countryside. Enjoy the sunset view!

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Classy Hotel

 

Day 5 - Siem Reap and Tonle Sap Lake

Today, we travel to Siem Reap – approx 3 hours drive. 

After we’ve checked in, a tasty lunch will be served at the hotel.

In the afternoon, visit a Cambodian handicraft centre incubating local artisans and combining contemporary designs inspired by Khmer culture with traditional know-how.

A short transfer from Siem Reap town takes about 30 minutes and then take a private wooden boat from Chong Kneas’ pier to visit the floating village on Tonle Sap lake.

The lake was designated as a protected area under UNESCO’s Biosphere Reserve in 1997. It is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and connects to the Mekong River. Tonlé Sap Lake plays a central role in Cambodia’s food provision.

The floating Chong Knea village is a village complete with houses, schools, restaurants and shops!

 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: Angkor Holiday Hotel  or similar  

 

Day 6 - Angkor exploring

In the morning, we start at the South Gate of Angkor Thom, the capital of Angkor until the 15th century and was the religious and administrative centre of the vast and powerful Khmer empire.

Continue to Ta Phrom – one of the most beautiful and famous temples in the area, as it have been (almost) untouched since it was discovered and retains much of its mystery. For all would-be Mouhots and closet Indiana Jones, Ta Prohm is the perfect lost-temple-in-the-jungle: Strangler figs and kapok trees entwine themselves around the ruins of Ta Prohm. Their roots burst apart even the thickest of walls, yet their clinging embrace prevents the walls’ collapse. 

In the afternoon, visit the most beautiful temple Angkor Wat, the Cambodia’s ancient temple city is one of the wonders of the oriental world. Masterpieces of decorative details as well as of architectural style, its awe-inspiring ruins survive as testament to the spectacular achievements of Southeast Asia’s greatest civilisation. Angkor Wat’s five famous towers rise into the sky, a geometrical arrangement of numerous galleries, adorned with beliefs and the stone images of celestial Apsara dancers, as well as portals, chambers and courtyards.

 

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation:  Angkor Holiday Hotel or similar

 

 

Day 7 - Khmer cooking class, temple visit and performance

This morning you will be taken to the market by a local family and then get into the kitchen and learn to prepare typical everyday Khmer dishes. Accompanied by your hosts, you will go to the pagoda to offer part of the food you’ve prepared. Then have the opportunity to experience a Buddhist blessing. This ritual, very popular among the Khmers, aims to drive out evil spirits, such as disease or bad luck.

Back at Monyroath’s family home, you will enjoy the lunch you’ve prepared.

In the afternoon, visit Banteay Srey temple, the fabled pink temple of women, so called because it is made of pink sandstone and considered a tribute to the beauty of women. 

In the evening, enjoy the “Cambodian circus” show in Siem Reap by the energetic and talented young professional artists from Phare! After successful tours around Europe, Australia, Japan, the United States, and more, the talented young Cambodian artists of the Circus School Lighthouse perform in Siem Reap.

 

MealsBreakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: Angkor Holiday Hotel or similar

 

 

Day 8 - farewell

Today is our final day and after our breakfast, we pack up and get ready for our flights.

You have the option of continuing our travel with Pip & Co Travel and joining the 6 day – 5 night Laos Explorer or returning home.

Meals: Breakfast

What to Expect

When you join a Pip & Co Travel trip to fascinating Cambodia, here is what you can expect:

  • So much history: Learn about the impacts of war and colonisation, and the stories of the people affected.

  • Meet the locals: Khmer people are renowned for their friendliness and openness! 
Map

FAQ

Who comes on the trips?

Lots of different people! A lot of women in their 50s – 70s are interested in our adults trips.

Families with younger pre school and primary school aged children are interested in our family trip options.

Travellers who share a love of discovery, learning, adventure, fun and kindness of any age or gender are right for Pip & Co Travel trips!

What are the payment terms?

To secure your place on the trip, you need to pay a deposit of $500 AUD. Payment can be made by credit card or bank deposit. 

If you need to cancel the trip, your deposit is a “lifetime” deposit – which means you can use it for any of our other trips.

Full payment is required 95 days before the trip date – for this trip 8 August 2024.

I'm travelling solo

We love having solo travellers on our trips.

We can match you with another solo traveller of the same gender, or in some cases there are limited solo supplements available. You can ADD $395AUD to your trip to secure your own room.

Travel insurance

All Pip & Co Travellers will need to purchase comprehensive travel insurance prior to the trip.

If you need help with this, please contact us.

 

Where does the trip begin?

We begin this 8 day trip in the capital, Phnom Penh. You can fly to the city from many cities in Asia, such as Saigon, Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. 

If you are joining the Cambodia Explorer trip from our Viet Nam trip, I will provide flight suggestions to you.

The trip ends in Siem Reap.

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