With its unique blend of history, culture, religious landmarks and diverse landscapes, Cambodia has become a destination of choice for anyone looking to explore Southeast Asia. With so much to see and do, we’ve tailored the itinerary of our Cambodia Discovery Tour to include the very best of what this amazing country has to offer.
From Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, or with an extension to Battambang and back to Phnom Penh, there’s no shortage of enchanting places to visit as you travel between bustling cities, farmlands and remote island paradises. The local people are renowned for their warm hospitality and kind attitude towards guests, so you’ll be welcomed with a smile in every little village, town or city you visit.
Although Cambodian cuisine has not enjoyed the same worldwide acclaim compared with neighbouring Thailand, that certainly doesn’t make it any less delicious. Filled with pickled and tangy flavours, a typical Cambodian meal features three or four small dishes, served alongside a bowl of rice or soup. You’ll also have plenty of chances to try the country’s most popular dish, fish amok.
At Hayes & Jarvis, our team of Cambodia tour experts are here to help plan out your ideal trip of a lifetime. We’re always on hand to discuss your options and ensure you get the absolute maximum out of your experience – read more about our Cambodia Discovery package below or get in touch today.
- Visit the iconic attractions and landmarks of Phnom Penh, including Wat Phnom, Royal Palace, National Museum, and S21
- Discover lesser-known gems, such as Kompong Cham, Sambor Prei Kuk and spot Irrawaddy dolphins in Kratie
- Explore over 25 sites and temples, a beautiful silk farm and watch an incredible sunrise over the steeples of Angkor Wat
- Extend your stay with an unforgettable wooden boat trip to Battambang, via floating villages and bird sanctuaries
Start your Journey
Arriving at Phnom Penh International Airport, you’ll be taken directly to the wonderful Aquarius Hotel Urban & Resort for a memorable two-night stay. There’s time for a spot of lunch before heading out to explore the city at your own pace. Visit Wat Langka, one of the city’s five original pagodas and a historical meeting point for both Khmer and Sri Lankan Buddhist monks. The temple remains an important site for followers of Buddhism in Cambodia.
From here, we recommend you head over to the Royal Palace, an ornate complex built on top of an old citadel that serves as the official residence of the King of Cambodia. Make sure to visit the Silver Pagoda located in the grounds of the palace to observe solid gold statues and other priceless Buddhist artefacts. After a long day’s sight-seeing, it’s time to enjoy a delicious meal at a local restaurant before heading back to your hotel for a well-deserved rest.
For your second day in Phnom Penh, we’ve organised a morning tuk tuk tour that will take you between the famous sights of Wat Phnom (from which the city gets its name), the Central Market, and the National Museum. There’ll be plenty of time to explore each stop before heading back to the hotel in time for lunch, after which you’ll be picked up by car and taken on a tour of the notorious Tuol Sleng Museum.
Here you’ll learn about the humbling history of Pol Pot’s dictatorship before continuing onto the vibrant sights and sounds of the city’s famous Russian Market. There’s just time for an hour-long sunset cruise along the Mekong River before enjoying dinner at another local restaurant.
After breakfast in Phnom Penh, it’s time to hit the road for a morning drive to Kratie, a beautiful provincial town situated on the Mekong River. Kratie is most famous for its freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins, rare creatures that you’ll not find anywhere else in the world – and there are plenty of incredible viewpoints from which you have the chance to spot them.
You’ll have the day to enjoy the town’s relaxing atmosphere and unique blend of traditional and colonial architecture before heading back to your accommodation at the nearby Rajabori Villa Resort.
Kompong Cham & Khompong Thom
There’s time for a good breakfast at your hotel in Kratie before taking a drive out to the largest rubber plantation in Cambodia at nearby Chhup, a site originally founded by French manufacturer Michelin. After a pit-stop for lunch in Kompong Cham, you’ll have the afternoon to explore Wat Nokor, an ancient temple dating back centuries.
If you’re brave (or hungry) enough, there’s a unique opportunity to sample a local culinary delight at the town of Skuon – deep-fried spider. After that it’s on to the Santuk Silk Farm, an ideal place to learn more about the country’s rich silk-weaving heritage and production process, before finally arriving at your hotel for the night in Kompong Thom.
Sambor Prei Kuk
Depart Kompong Thom fairly early for a morning trip to Sambor Prei Kuk, home to the ancient Cambodian capital of Chenla. This beautiful city is rich in history and dotted with incredible temples and pagodas – with over one hundred in total.
Then it’s back to Kompong Thom for lunch and to pick up your bags before you hit the road once more, this time for a four-night stay in the northwest city of Siem Reap, a place famously known as the gateway to the ruins of Angkor. There’s time to stop at Naga Bridge en route to Siem Reap, where you’ll check into your hotel around late afternoon. Time permitting, you might be able to get your first viewings of the Angkor Wat complex before dinner at the renowned Tara Angkor Hotel, where you will be staying.
Your Angkor adventure in Siem Reap begins properly on day six of your Cambodia Discovery tour. The magnificent Angkor Wat temple complex is the largest religious monument in the world, stretching across a whopping 402 acres. Originally a Hindu temple, Angkor Wat was transformed into a Buddhist temple at the end of the 12th century. It remains the country’s best-preserved example of classical Khmer architecture and has now been established as a symbol of Cambodia, even featuring on its national flag.
First, visit the Roluos Group, a collection of temples that includes some of the earliest permanent structures built during the time of Khmer Empire. Make sure to explore Bakong, the largest and arguably most fascinating of the temples, a site that still serves as an active Buddhist monastery to this day.
After lunch, your temple tour continues among the brick towers of Prasat Kravan, the baths of Srah Sang, and the Hindu temple at Chau Say Tevoda. You’ll also have the chance to see the immense beauty of Ta Prohm, a temple that has been seemingly devoured by tree roots and surrounding jungle. Despite now being a relative oddity in the area, this is actually how many of the Angkor temples originally looked when they were first discovered by European explorers.
After a delicious breakfast at your hotel, it’s back into the heart of Angkor complex for a visit to Tonle Om Gate, otherwise known as the South Gate, an iconic landmark in the region that lies between Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat. Explore the towers of Bayon, the Royal Enclosure and the famous Terrace of the Elephants, a platform built by King Jayavarman VII from which he could view his victorious returning armies.
You’ll have the chance to eat lunch back at the hotel before heading back to the Angkor Wat complex and enjoying Angkor Wat. As your visit to this incredible temple draws to a close, there’s just time to sit and bask in the sight of an incredible sunset, truly one of the most beautiful sights you’ll ever experience. After that it’s time for a delicious meal at a local restaurant before another comfortable night’s stay at Tara Angkor.
After an incredible adventure in Angkor Wat, it’s time for a relaxing drive through typical Khmer countryside to the remote Beng Melea temple. Here you’ll have chance to discover another ancient temple that has been almost devoured by the surrounding jungle before stopping for a picnic in the beautiful temple grounds.
After that, head onto Banteay Srei, a temple that’s regarded by many as the best example of classical Khmer art. It’s worth taking the chance to visit a nearby village to see how local families live and work, offering another unique insight into Cambodian culture. There’s also time to explore the site of Banteay Samre, a spectacular monument that has been restored in the Angkor-style, before heading back to Siem Reap in time for your evening meal.
For your penultimate day in Siem Reap, it’s worth rising early and postponing breakfast to catch the incredible sunrise over Angkor Wat, a perfect chance to get another perspective of the beautiful temple complex. Don’t forget to bring a torch for the pre-daylight stroll.
Later in the day, visit the towering enclosures and corridors of Preah Khan, another site built by King Jayavarman VII that has undergone significant restoration in recent decades. From here, head over to the fountains of Neak Pean, the stone elephants of Eastern Mebon, and the mountain temple Pre Rup – all before lunch!
Of course, you may want to take the rest of the day at your own pace, though there’s always the option to visit the nearby Puok Silk Farm or Western Baray. A wonderful final meal awaits at the Apsara Dance Show, an unforgettable performance and the perfect way to enjoy your last night in Siem Reap.
As your magnificent Cambodian adventure draws to a close, take a morning walk with a local guide along the Siem Reap River, visiting local villages and markets. Here you’ll have a great opportunity to pick up any last-minute souvenirs or handmade trinkets. In the afternoon, visit Artisans d’Angkor, a market selling ornamental sculptures, silk garments and traditional paintings, all produced by local craftspeople.
All that’s left to do then is to head to Siem Reap International Airport to catch your departing flight home – or, of course, your next destination. Many of our guests decide to take the opportunity to visit nearby Battambang during July and January. Get in touch with one of our Cambodia tour experts to discuss your options and arrange a three-night extension.
- International flights and airfare taxes
- Cost of accommodation (double room based on two people sharing) for a total of 9 nights (alternative but similar accommodation may be used at certain times of the year)
- Board basis is Breakfast only
- 1 bottle of mineral water per person per day
- Private/small group (air-conditioned) transport / transfers
- Assistance and porterage: meeting and assistance on arrival/departure at airports and hotels
- English-speaking local guides for all guided excursions as illustrated in the itinerary
- Entrance fees (excluding video camera fee) for monuments and palaces and entertainment, and park fees for all guided excursions as illustrated in the itinerary
- Taxes, including X% Government Service Tax (subject to change)
- Activities: (List all tours and experiences)
- Visa arrangements and fees
- Travel insurance
- Personal expenses, such as alcoholic beverages, telephone calls, laundry, camera fees, spa and business facilities in the hotel
- Video and professional still camera fees during excursions
- Gratuities for drivers, tour directors, local guides, naturalists and hotel staff
- Meals (unless specified)
- Optional attractions and excursions (unless specified)
- Car hire and insurance
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