Captivating Cambodia

History, culture, and pride in Angkor Wat
Overview

overview

Place Cambodia vividly in a context of ancient grand kingdoms and recent human tragedy. The stunning ruins of Siem Reap, are the backdrop to a civilization that is still healing from events of the recent past.  Captivating Cambodia reveals and explains the most significant aspects of Cambodia’s ancient and contemporary history. Beginning in Phnom Penh, visit the small monastery around which the town was built some six centuries ago as well as Security Prison 21, where the Khmer Rouge tortured prisoners almost 40 years ago. Spend a day observing local life on a village island on the Mekong before heading to Siem Reap. No trip to Cambodia would be complete without a visit to the amazing Angkor Wat temple ruins. On this trip, you will stay long enough to explore beyond the key sites which concentrate most of the area's tourism.  Explore some of the other remote sites of Siem Reap and enjoy an excursion down the Tonle Sap River to Tonle Sap Lake. Located in the heart of the country, Tonle Sap Lake is a fitting place to end your Cambodian adventure.  

itinerary

itinerary

  • Day 1: arrive phnom penh

    Upon arrival in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, you will be met by a local guide and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day will be free to relax.

    Meals
    None
    Lodging
    Teav Boutique hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: phnom penh
    Visit Phnom Penh's market and its many colorful offerings

    Phnom Penh sits at the confluence of the Mekong, Bassac, and Tonle Sap rivers and is considered one of the loveliest of the French-built cities in this part of the world. It was founded as a small monastery in 1372 by a rich Khmer woman named Penh. She set up the monastery on a nearby hill, or “Phnom” in Cambodian, after she found four Buddha statues in a tree trunk on the banks of the Mekong. You will have the opportunity to visit this site, as well as Wat Ounalom, a very important wat (temple) built in 1443 to house a hair of the Buddha. You will also visit the Silver Pagoda, often called the Pagoda of the Emerald Buddha or Wat Preah Kaeo, after the statue housed there. King Norodom originally built the wooden temple in 1892, and its floor is comprised of more than 5000 silver blocks that together weigh nearly six tons. Continue with your tour to the National Museum, which was designed by French archeologist and painter George Groslier to exhibit works previously scattered about the country. Next, visit the Tuol Sleng Museum, home of the former high school that became the Khmer Rouge’s main torture and interrogation center known as Security Prison 21. Conclude with a visit to the Central Market, a covered market built in 1937 and distinguished by its central dome. It is filled with shops selling jewelry, fabrics, and all kinds of souvenirs, making it a great place for browsing.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Teav Boutique hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: mekong island exploration
    Visit Mekong Island's weavers and other craftspeople

    In the morning, you set out for a one and a half hour cruise by local wooden boat to the small island of Koh Dach. Situated on the Mekong and a bit isolated from the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, it will be here where you discover the real Cambodia. Koh Dach is known throughout the country for its quality of silk and you'll witness the art of silk weaving by hand. What better way to explore the island than by bicycle? Upon arrival at Koh Dach, you'll start cycling along small roads, meeting the local weavers and admiring the lush countryside. All along the trail you will hear the clatter of the looms. Stop and have lunch prepared by a Khmer family. You'll continue your leisure ride to the other side of the island before taking the boat back to your hotel in Phnom Penh. The rest of the afternoon is free. 

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    Teav Boutique hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: siem reap & angkor wat
    Pass villages like these on your way to the ruins

    Transfer to the airport for your morning flight to Siem Reap where you'll set out to explore the world famous Angkor Wat Temple Complex. This temple was dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu by King Suryavarman II and constructed over a period of 30 years. It illustrates some of the most beautiful examples of Khmer and Hindu art and features the longest continuous bas-relief in the world, which runs along the outer gallery walls narrating stories from Hindu mythology. Continue your visit with a stop at Angkor Thom, a fortified royal city with five monumental gates and encircled by a moat over 325 feet wide. In the center of Siem Reap are the city’s most important monuments, including Baphuon, Bayon, and the Terrace of Elephants. The Bayon is one of the most popular of Angkor’s monuments, and is a place of narrow corridors, steep flights of stairs and an amazing collection of towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces. Return to your hotel in the late afternoon. 

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Tara Angkor Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: siem reap: in-depth angkor
    Explore Angkor Wat and other magnificent temples

    Spend a full day on a guided tour of other Angkor sites including Banteay Srei, a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva; Banteay Samre, built in the 12th century and dedicated to the goddess Vishnu; Ta Keo, the first Angkorian monument built entirely of sandstone; Ta Prohm, surrounded by the jungle and looking very much like most of the Angkor monuments would have appeared when European explorers first discovered them; Pre Rup, a pyramid shaped temple; Ta Som, built by King Jayavarman VII for his teacher, Som; and Eastern Mebon, a temple erected by Rajendravarma where the base is guarded at its corners by stone figures of harnessed elephants. Return to your hotel for your overnight.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Tara Angkor Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: siem reap: temples
    Visit Pre Rup and other temples in Angkor Archaeological Park

    The sites you visit today include the Chau Say Tevoda, built during the 12th century and dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu, and Thommanon, a temple that mirrors Chau Say Tevoda. You will also stop by Banteay Kdei, a massive Buddhist temple dating back to the 12th century, and Neak Pean, a Buddhist temple consisting of a square pool with four smaller square pools arranged on each axis. In the center of the central pool is a circular island encircled by two nagas with intertwined tails. You will also visit Prasat Kravan, a temple built for Hindu worship and noted for the bas-reliefs cut into the bricks on the interior walls. Return to your hotel in Siem Reap.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Tara Angkor Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: tonle sap lake & floating village
    Explore village life around Tonle Sap Lake

    After breakfast, take a boat trip on Tonle Sap Lake. You will journey up the Tonle Sap River, which links the Tonle Sap Lake and the Mekong River, until you reach Tonle Sap Lake. This “Great Lake” takes up much of the center of Cambodia and changes in size depending on the season. During the dry season in February, it shrinks to a tenth of its original size becomes one of the richest fishing grounds in the world. Your boat trip will take you to interesting fishing villages such as Kampong Pluk, one of the most remarkable villages due to the height of its stilt houses. Depending on the season and lake conditions, cruise along the canals to explore other areas of the lake that are home to displaced Vietnamese people. Return to Siem Reap where the rest of the day is free at your leisure.

    Optionally, visit Theam's House, a unique artist's studio and workshop home to cambodian artist, Lim Muy Theam. You'll admire his lacquers, paintings and sculptures, crafted in Khmer art. Or visit Artisan D'Angkor - an organization focusing on training unschooled rural youth in creating traditional handicrafts. You'll have the opportunity to observe the youths as they learn the craft and purchase some of the items.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Tara Angkor Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: siem reap / onward
    Bid farewell to friendly and vibrant Cambodia

    Transfer to the airport for your onward flight, or extend a few days to relax at Sihanouk Beach.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    None
    Show on a map
Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Oct 27-Nov 3, 2015
Dec 1-8, 2015
Jan 18-25, 2016
Nov 28-Dec 5, 2016
Or Privately on Request
Land Cost:
$1,700
Phnom Penh to Siem Reap flight add $175 (estimated)
Single Supplement:
$375
The single supplement is applicable if a roommate is not available or if single accommodation is specifically requested. While single accommodation is not available on all trips, we will try and honor this request whenever possible.
Need to Know

Need to Know

Duration:
8 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost.
Comfort Level:
3
Superior 4 * hotels
Group Size:
2-12
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Activity Level:
1
JOURNEYS grading system from I to IV will help you choose an experience with physical demands which match your motivation. 1. Active Active exploration with optional day hikes, easy walking, leisurely bicycling or light canoeing. Comfortable travel by vehicle. 2. Vigorous Experience may include regular hiking or physical exercise in varied environments. Travel by vehicle may be long or over rough terrain. 3. Challenging Parts of trip will involve physical challenge. Daily hiking in rough terrain, high altitude, rough road travel and remoteness from modern medical care may be unavoidable circumstances. 4. Demanding Extended foot travel in very remote areas. Previous wilderness travel experience advisable. Doctor's certification may be requested.

Terms & Conditions: 

Cambodia

Included in costs: Meals as noted, each night in double occupancy accommodations, land transfers between components, English speaking guides, park or site entry fees, surface transport, equipment other than personal gear, government tax, airport transfer assistance, in-country ticket reconfirmation and check-in assistance (where permitted), complete pre-departure packet, toll-free pre-departure phone assistance.

Not included in costs: Meals not noted as included, gratuities, beverages (except tea or coffee at meals), international or domestic airfare unless specified, airport departure taxes not included with air tickets, visas, itinerary changes after confirmation, any services not included in itinerary, any costs incurred due to canceled or delayed flights, acts of nature or other happenings beyond our control, or other costs as are more fully described in JOURNEYS Terms & Conditions.

Deposit and payment schedule: 25% of the land cost per person or the applicable amount based on the trip and the proximity of the departure date. A second deposit of $800 per person is due four months prior to departure, and final payment for land arrangements is due 75 days prior to departure. Any applicable permit fees required in advance are non-refundable as well. Airlines require full payment when tickets are issued. The deposit may be made by Visa, Master Card, American Express, or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted by fax, mail, or via our website. Full payment schedule and cancellation penalties are described in our Terms and Conditions as noted in our Global Expedition Catalog, on our website, and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before advancing a deposit.

Air fares: JOURNEYS can make complete air arrangements applicable to your trip as noted in this itinerary. If you wish to redeem frequent flyer mileage or arrange flights directly with the airline, you may do so on your own at no penalty. If you do, please consult with us on exact arrival and departure dates and times before having your tickets issued to avoid errors.

Insurance: When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee: There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

Bangkok Hospitality

Duration: 3 days

If you are passing through Bangkok and want more than a transit stop, ask for our three day/two night Bangkok Hospitality Extension. We meet you at the airport and transfer you to an attractive centrally located hotel. This extension also includes yo... read more

Phuket

Duration: 4 days

Phuket is the largest of Thailand's islands. It is incredibly varied with rocky beaches, long broad sandy beaches, forested hills, and clear waters great for snorkeling and relaxing. There is no better way to end a trip!

Ko Samui

Duration: 4 days

Relax and explore the beautiful island of Ko Samui. A perfect extension to any Asia tour.

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