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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.

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.

Day 1: arrive phnom penh

See the beautiful Golden Palace in Phnom PenhSee the beautiful Golden Palace in 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 and settle into your hotel (room is available after 2:00 pm).

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.

Later this afternoon, we recommend you head up to the hotel rooftop to watch the sunset over cocktails in one of the best possible locations. You'll be sure to enjoy the breathtaking views of the royal palace and the Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers. 

Meals
None
Lodging
La Rose Boutique Hotel or similar

Day 2: phnom penh city

Visit the Golden Palace in the nation's capitalVisit the Golden Palace in the nation's capital

After breakfast, you will head out on a guided tour of the city beginning with a visit to the Royal Palace, built in 1866 by King Norodom and housing a remarkable collection of Khmer art. Here you’ll find the Silver Pagoda, whose key works include a golden Buddha encrusted with 9584 diamonds and weighing 90 kgs, and a Buddha featuring emeralds and Baccarat crystals dating back to the 17th century. Afterwards, travel to the south of the city to learn about the darkest period of Cambodia’s history: the regime of the Khmer Rouge. Visit the genocide museum of Tuol Sleng, an old secondary school that was transformed into a detention center under the Khmer Rouge. The prison was called "S21" and thousands of prisoners were detained, tortured and killed here.

Afterwards, visit the infamous Killing Fields, one of the numerous sites where thousands of people were killed and buried by the Khmer Rouge communist regime. This is a part of the heritage of Cambodia and this regime ruled the country, as Democratic Kampuchea, from 1975 to 1979.

Notes:
*Visits to the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda will be led by guides on site as our guides are not authorized to do so.
*The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda are sometimes closed without notice for official ceremonies. If this is the case, the visit will be replaced with another option if possible.

Optional Evening Performance - Cambodia Living Art dance (additional cost): The magnificent dance performances of Cambodian Living Arts provides a great opportunity to learn more about the preservation of traditional arts in Cambodia and a truly entertaining show run by young Cambodians eager to share their passion for dance with visitors from around the globe. You'll enjoy an evening performance in one of the most memorable settings possible, just next to the beautiful National Museum in central Phnom Penh. During the show, you will hear explanations about the struggles of preserving traditional arts during and after the time of the Khmer Rouge. You'll also see different dances representing different celebrations and important occasions in the lives of the local people. The show is rich in variety and very lively with some of the best performers in the country - a truly memorable experience. 

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
La Rose Boutique Hotel or similar

Day 3: phnom penh by tuk-tuk

Visit Phnom Penh's market and its many colorful offeringsVisit Phnom Penh's market and its many colorful offerings

After breakfast at the hotel, you begin the day with a Khmer architecture tour by tuk-tuk – an excellent way to discover Phnom Penh's diverse building styles and bustling city. While the city is still awakening, head west to the Olympic Stadium sports complex. Stroll around the complex and witness the locals doing their morning exercises, which makes for a great candid snapshot! Proceed to Orussey market, one of the largest and most important markets of the city. It’s crowded and sometimes hectic, but definitely a one-of-a-kind experience. Return to the tuk-tuk where your next stop will be the National University. Your guide will lead you through the campus of the biggest university of the country and its buildings. The open-air canteen is quiet and inviting at this time of day, so feel free to have a seat and take a coffee break. After some refreshments, continue your tour past the monumental government buildings and the old railway station, through the side-streets, to a place where you can see street art created by numerous local and international artists. Continue to the National Library, where you can browse through the old books in this beautiful historic building. Just next to the National Library, hidden under trees, you will find a typical local restaurant.

In the late afternoon, you will join a street food tour. Street Food always was, and still is, an essential part of Phnom Penh’s daily life and culture. Led by a local chef, you will have the chance to experience the rich diversity of traditional Khmer cuisine by tasting a variety of unusual dishes while gaining a deeper knowledge of local life. Your amazing host, Nara, was born in Battambang and as the eldest of eight kids, had to learn early how to take care of his (7!) sisters. Fortunately, his grandmother was not only a great cook but also a great teacher who initially aroused Nara’s enthusiasm for cooking. Whenever there was a party or celebration in his village, Nara and his grandmother were happy to serve the best local food with fresh ingredients and traditional recipes. After being educated in a pagoda, Nara moved to Phnom Penh and took his first job as a chef in a restaurant. This opened the doors to his culinary journey. He was offered the opportunity to work as a teacher at a renowned cooking school in Phnom Penh, which finally gave him the ability to share the distinctiveness of Cambodian food and the life and culture of the Kingdom. Afterwards, return to your hotel where the rest of the evening will be free to relax. Note: After the Street Food Tour, you may not want dinner.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
La Rose Boutique Hotel or similar

Day 4: flight to siem reap & angkor wat

See the magnificent Angkor WatSee the magnificent Angkor Wat

Transfer to the airport for your morning flight to Siem Reap, where you'll meet your local guide and transfer to your hotel for check-in.

This afternoon, 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. Return to your hotel where the rest of the day is free.

Optional evening activities (additional cost):
1. Apsara Show with Dinner:

End the day with a traditional dance show, one of Cambodia's most famous arts. The dancers take you on a journey from the Angkorian palaces to villages today. The troupe, featuring live singers and musicians, present eight Classical and folk dances.

2. Phare Circus show:
Attend a Circus Art performance at Phare Ponleu Selpak – “the brightness of art” school – an NGO that supports community development by providing social, educative, and cultural services to children and their families. More than just a circus, Phare performers use theater, music, dance, and modern circus arts to uniquely tell Cambodian historical, folk, and modern stories. The young circus artists will astonish you with their energy, emotion, enthusiasm, and talent. 

3. Aperitif at Theam House Gallery: 
Late in the afternoon, travel to Theam's House, an artist’s studio that includes a workshop and a gallery where Theam's collections are displayed. Enjoy an apertif while viewing Cambodian aesthetics and culture. Aperitif included.

4. Dinner in the countryside:
Take a journey through the countryside to Chandara Villa, a beautiful place kept largely inaccessible to the mass tourist crowds and nestled among lovely gardens. Enjoy a romantic walk to a private spot for a pre-dinner cocktail before dinner is served. The evening will be made all the more special by the candlelight and surrounded by lush rice paddies.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Shinta Mani Shack or similar

Day 5: siem reap: in-depth angkor

Explore Angkor Wat and other magnificent templesExplore Angkor Wat and other magnificent temples

In the morning, you’ll take part in a monk blessing ceremony in one of Siem Reap’s pagodas or temples. Before the ceremony, your guide will reveal some interesting facts about Buddhism in Cambodia, the daily life of the monks, and the disciplines they observe. While you are receiving the blessing by the monks, they will chant and sprinkle holy water on you. After giving a donation to the monks, a piece of red Cambodian string will be tied around your right wrist to represent the fading away of negative thoughts and deeds from your life and to bring you good luck, health, and protection in return. After the ceremony is complete, you'll have a chance to chat with the monks and exchange some thoughts and ideas with the help of your tour guide as translator. 

Afterwards, visit Angkor Thom, "the big city", a fortified royal city with five monumental gates, that is encircled by a moat more than 325 feet wide. In the center of Siem Reap are the city’s most important monuments, including the 11th century Baphuon; the Bayon Temple, built around the 12-13th century with an amazing collection of towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces; the Terrace of Elephants, once used for royal audiences and public ceremonies; and the 12th century Terrace of the Leper King with its magnificent Apsara sculptures.

Next, visit Srah Srang, which means “the Royal Bath”, a large water reservoir situated at the east of Banteay Kdei temple. It is a gorgeous spot to end the day in the Angkor complex watching the sun go down. The baray (or reservoir) was originally constructed in the 10th century and two centuries later remodeled by the famous King Jayavarman VII (who also built the famous Bayon). You will enjoy a tasty white wine or beer and exotic finger food on the grass with a mat while watching the sunset over the water.

Finish the day by visiting Ta Prohm, a 12th century temple that is in pretty much the same condition as it was found - hidden by the jungle.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Shinta Mani Shack or similar

Day 6: siem reap free day or optional activity of choice

Explore the mysterious Ta Prohm ruinsExplore the mysterious Ta Prohm ruins

You'll have the day free to explore Siem Reap on your own. If you are still interested in learning more, consider one of these options (additional cost):

Option 1 - Cooking & culture experience ($75): Early this morning, travel further into the Angkor Archeology Park, where another beauty will be waiting for you. Banteay Srei (“The Women’s Citadel ”), though not the largest of the temples in the Angkor complex, it is perhaps the most refined. This 10th century temple is dedicated to the Hindu god, Shiva. It is mostly built of red sandstone with elaborate and distinctive carvings.

Afterwards, you will have the special opportunity of making your own traditional breakfast by preparing rice noodles under the guidance of a local family. Enjoy your finished product together with the family. Then continue to another village specializing in bamboo sticky rice production and harvesting coconut. Assist in the preparation of the bamboo dish while tasting delicious Cambodian snacks and a fresh coconut. Along the way, explore sugar palm stallsand learn how villagers process the fruits in many different ways. Give it a try! The next and last of your village stops leads you to a house where a family creates palm leaf handicrafts as a source of income. The villagers will teach you to make one that you can take home as a souvenir. Return to your hotel where you have the rest of the day free to do as you like. Includes lunch.

Option 2 - Roluos Temple ruins ($50): After breakfast, set off to the Roluos group of temples, located about eight miles east of Siem Reap. Once the first capital of the Khmer Empire, this group of temples contain some of the earliest permanent structures built by the Khmer. Some temples date back to the ninth century and were built of bricks, laterite, or sandstone. These group of temples include Bakong, Lolei, and Preah Ko, along with tiny Prasat Prei Monti. The 9th century Bakong temple was the first temple made of sandstone and served as the official state temple of King Indravarman I in the city of Hariharalaya, known today as Roluos. This temple is shaped like a stepped pyramid, similar to the Borobudur temple in Java, a feature of early Khmer architecture. It is thought that perhaps Borobudur was a prototype of Bakong, indicating there may have been exchanges between the Khmer's and the Sailendras in Java. Lolei is another 9th century temple dedicated to Shiva and members of the royal family. It was once located on an island in the center of the now dry Indratataka Baray. The temple features some decorative carvings including the sky-god Indra mounted on the elephant, Airavata along with makaras (serpent-like monsters), and multi-headed nagas. Your final Roluos temple visit takes you to Preah Ko and Prasat Prei Monti. Preah Ko was the first temple built in ancient Hariharalaya in 879 to honor members of King Indravarman I's family. Its name, Sacred Bull, comes from the three statues of sandstone in from of the temples central towers representing Nandi, a white bull that serves as the mount of Shiva. This temple is known for its beautiful intricate carvings. Prasat Prei Monti is a hidden ruin among the Roluos group thought to have been the state temple of Jayavarman II or his successor Indravarman I during the mid to late 9th century. Though perhaps not as architecturally interesting as some of the other temple ruins, it has historic significance.

Next, visit the Grand Circuit, which include Preah Khan, Neak Pean, Ta Som, East Mebon and Pre Rup. The Preah Khan Temple was built in 1191 by Jayavarman VII in honor of his father. This temple, once a place for Buddhism studies, has been left largely unrestored, with trees and other vegetation growing among the ruins. Another interesting 12th century temple is Neak Pean, the only island temple of the Angkor temples known as "Entwined Nagas". The large central basin is linked with four smaller basins that represent the four great rivers flowing from the earth’s four cardinal points. One of the most interesting features of this site is the superb statute of Balaha, representing the legendary saviour of shipwrecked boats. Ta Som is a small, 12th century temple that has also been large left unrestored. Next up is the East Mebon, a 10th century temple built on an artificial island in the center of the now dry East Baray reservoir. Dedicated to the Hindu god, Shiva, this temple was built of durable Khmer construction materials including sandstone, brick, laterite, and stucco. There is a central tower on a square platform at the top from where you can look out and imagine the vast expanse of water that once surrounded the temple. Close to the East Baray is Pre Rup, another 10th century Hindu temple built as the state temple of Khmer king Rajendravarman. It is thought that funerals were conducted here with the ashes of the body ritually rotated in different directions. Includes lunch.

If you like, attend another show of your choice tonight (not included in land cost).

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
Shinta Mani Shack or similar

Day 7: tonle sap lake & floating village

Explore village life around Tonle Sap LakeExplore village life around Tonle Sap Lake

Today you'll make your way about 25 miles (1 hr drive) outside of Siem Reap to the village of Kompong Khleang. All the houses are built on stilts amid a natural environment with breathtaking views. Depending on the season and the level of water, you will enjoy floodplains, rice fields, and water as far as the eye can see, or impressive stilted houses. Travel by boat over the canals to a large lake where people live on the water, their houses moving with the rhythm of the seasons. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the village.

Return to your hotel where you have the rest of the afternoon free to relax.

Meals
Breakfast, Picnic Lunch
Lodging
Shinta Mani Shack or similar

Day 8: depart siem reap

Bid farewell to friendly and vibrant CambodiaBid farewell to friendly and vibrant Cambodia

Transfer to the airport for your onward flight, or extend a few days to relax at Sihanouk Beach, located on the southern Cambodian coast. Or, consider extending to Vietnam, Laos, or Thailand to discover other cultures and sites.

Meals
Breakfast
Lodging
None

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
From
$2,200
Phnom Penh to Siem Reap flight add $150 (estimated)
Single Supplement:
$650
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.
Custom & private on your dates

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:
●●●●○
(see full descriptions)
1st class hotels (4-5 star)
Activity Level:
●○○○○
(see full descriptions)
Group Size:
Most custom trips can accommodate groups of any size, from one person to as large of a group as you'd like. Some exceptions apply; ask your Adventure Specialist for details.
Terms & Conditions: 

Southeast Asia

Please note that this trip operates under different payment and cancellation policies than those described in our complete Terms & Conditions as noted on our website and elsewhere. Please review the complete Terms & Conditions prior to submitting a deposit. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

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 $1000 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. All payments are subject to cancellation if payments are not received by the due dates. All payments may be made by Visa, Master Card, American Express, Discover or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted via our website. Full payment schedule and cancellation penalties are described in our Terms and Conditions as noted on our website, and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before advancing a deposit.

*HOLIDAY departures may require an additional deposit. 

Additional cancellation fees
Cancellations that occur between 61-90 days prior to departure will be subject to a cancellation fee that is 50% of the land cost, and cancellations 31-60 days prior will be subject to a 75% cancellation fee. Cancellations between 0-30 days are 100% NON-REFUNDABLE. All payments are subject to cancellation if payments are not received by the due dates.

Airfare
We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your reservation, 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.

From the Bird's Word Blog

Embracing Slow Travel on Treks around the World

Journeys trip leader Coco Rae has traveled with with students and adults, in groups and independently, in cities and deep in the wild. In advance of an upcoming trip to Mt. Kilimanjaro, …

Visit iconic Angkor Wat and Siem Reap's many other treasures
Visit iconic Angkor Wat and Siem Reap's many other treasures
Visit Phnom Penh's market and its many colorful offerings
Visit Phnom Penh's market and its many colorful offerings
Visit Mekong Island's weavers and other craftspeople
Visit Mekong Island's weavers and other craftspeople
Spend time exploring the charming town of Siem Reap
Spend time exploring the charming town of Siem Reap
Visit Pre Rup and other temples in Angkor Archaeological Park
Visit Pre Rup and other temples in Angkor Archaeological Park
Explore village life around Tonle Sap Lake
Explore village life around Tonle Sap Lake
Bid farewell to friendly and vibrant Cambodia
Bid farewell to friendly and vibrant Cambodia
Pass villages like these on your way to the ruins
Pass villages like these on your way to the ruins

Captivating Cambodia

History, culture, and pride in Phnom Penh and Angkor Wat

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 and the amazing Angkor Wat temple ruins, where you will stay long enough to explore beyond the few sites that concentrate most of the area's tourism.  Also enjoy an excursion downriver to Tonle Sap Lake, a fitting place to end your Cambodian adventure in the heart of the country.  

itinerary

See Trip Extensions
View Map

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 and the amazing Angkor Wat temple ruins, where you will stay long enough to explore beyond the few sites that concentrate most of the area's tourism.  Also enjoy an excursion downriver to Tonle Sap Lake, a fitting place to end your Cambodian adventure in the heart of the country.  

Continue to detailed itinerary...

itinerary

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.
  • Day 1: arrive phnom penh
    See the beautiful Golden Palace in Phnom PenhSee the beautiful Golden Palace in 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 and settle into your hotel (room is available after 2:00 pm).

    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.

    Later this afternoon, we recommend you head up to the hotel rooftop to watch the sunset over cocktails in one of the best possible locations. You'll be sure to enjoy the breathtaking views of the royal palace and the Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers. 

    Meals
    None
    Lodging
    La Rose Boutique Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: phnom penh city
    Visit the Golden Palace in the nation's capitalVisit the Golden Palace in the nation's capital

    After breakfast, you will head out on a guided tour of the city beginning with a visit to the Royal Palace, built in 1866 by King Norodom and housing a remarkable collection of Khmer art. Here you’ll find the Silver Pagoda, whose key works include a golden Buddha encrusted with 9584 diamonds and weighing 90 kgs, and a Buddha featuring emeralds and Baccarat crystals dating back to the 17th century. Afterwards, travel to the south of the city to learn about the darkest period of Cambodia’s history: the regime of the Khmer Rouge. Visit the genocide museum of Tuol Sleng, an old secondary school that was transformed into a detention center under the Khmer Rouge. The prison was called "S21" and thousands of prisoners were detained, tortured and killed here.

    Afterwards, visit the infamous Killing Fields, one of the numerous sites where thousands of people were killed and buried by the Khmer Rouge communist regime. This is a part of the heritage of Cambodia and this regime ruled the country, as Democratic Kampuchea, from 1975 to 1979.

    Notes:
    *Visits to the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda will be led by guides on site as our guides are not authorized to do so.
    *The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda are sometimes closed without notice for official ceremonies. If this is the case, the visit will be replaced with another option if possible.

    Optional Evening Performance - Cambodia Living Art dance (additional cost): The magnificent dance performances of Cambodian Living Arts provides a great opportunity to learn more about the preservation of traditional arts in Cambodia and a truly entertaining show run by young Cambodians eager to share their passion for dance with visitors from around the globe. You'll enjoy an evening performance in one of the most memorable settings possible, just next to the beautiful National Museum in central Phnom Penh. During the show, you will hear explanations about the struggles of preserving traditional arts during and after the time of the Khmer Rouge. You'll also see different dances representing different celebrations and important occasions in the lives of the local people. The show is rich in variety and very lively with some of the best performers in the country - a truly memorable experience. 

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    La Rose Boutique Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: phnom penh by tuk-tuk
    Visit Phnom Penh's market and its many colorful offeringsVisit Phnom Penh's market and its many colorful offerings

    After breakfast at the hotel, you begin the day with a Khmer architecture tour by tuk-tuk – an excellent way to discover Phnom Penh's diverse building styles and bustling city. While the city is still awakening, head west to the Olympic Stadium sports complex. Stroll around the complex and witness the locals doing their morning exercises, which makes for a great candid snapshot! Proceed to Orussey market, one of the largest and most important markets of the city. It’s crowded and sometimes hectic, but definitely a one-of-a-kind experience. Return to the tuk-tuk where your next stop will be the National University. Your guide will lead you through the campus of the biggest university of the country and its buildings. The open-air canteen is quiet and inviting at this time of day, so feel free to have a seat and take a coffee break. After some refreshments, continue your tour past the monumental government buildings and the old railway station, through the side-streets, to a place where you can see street art created by numerous local and international artists. Continue to the National Library, where you can browse through the old books in this beautiful historic building. Just next to the National Library, hidden under trees, you will find a typical local restaurant.

    In the late afternoon, you will join a street food tour. Street Food always was, and still is, an essential part of Phnom Penh’s daily life and culture. Led by a local chef, you will have the chance to experience the rich diversity of traditional Khmer cuisine by tasting a variety of unusual dishes while gaining a deeper knowledge of local life. Your amazing host, Nara, was born in Battambang and as the eldest of eight kids, had to learn early how to take care of his (7!) sisters. Fortunately, his grandmother was not only a great cook but also a great teacher who initially aroused Nara’s enthusiasm for cooking. Whenever there was a party or celebration in his village, Nara and his grandmother were happy to serve the best local food with fresh ingredients and traditional recipes. After being educated in a pagoda, Nara moved to Phnom Penh and took his first job as a chef in a restaurant. This opened the doors to his culinary journey. He was offered the opportunity to work as a teacher at a renowned cooking school in Phnom Penh, which finally gave him the ability to share the distinctiveness of Cambodian food and the life and culture of the Kingdom. Afterwards, return to your hotel where the rest of the evening will be free to relax. Note: After the Street Food Tour, you may not want dinner.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    La Rose Boutique Hotel or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: flight to siem reap & angkor wat
    See the magnificent Angkor WatSee the magnificent Angkor Wat

    Transfer to the airport for your morning flight to Siem Reap, where you'll meet your local guide and transfer to your hotel for check-in.

    This afternoon, 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. Return to your hotel where the rest of the day is free.

    Optional evening activities (additional cost):
    1. Apsara Show with Dinner:

    End the day with a traditional dance show, one of Cambodia's most famous arts. The dancers take you on a journey from the Angkorian palaces to villages today. The troupe, featuring live singers and musicians, present eight Classical and folk dances.

    2. Phare Circus show:
    Attend a Circus Art performance at Phare Ponleu Selpak – “the brightness of art” school – an NGO that supports community development by providing social, educative, and cultural services to children and their families. More than just a circus, Phare performers use theater, music, dance, and modern circus arts to uniquely tell Cambodian historical, folk, and modern stories. The young circus artists will astonish you with their energy, emotion, enthusiasm, and talent. 

    3. Aperitif at Theam House Gallery: 
    Late in the afternoon, travel to Theam's House, an artist’s studio that includes a workshop and a gallery where Theam's collections are displayed. Enjoy an apertif while viewing Cambodian aesthetics and culture. Aperitif included.

    4. Dinner in the countryside:
    Take a journey through the countryside to Chandara Villa, a beautiful place kept largely inaccessible to the mass tourist crowds and nestled among lovely gardens. Enjoy a romantic walk to a private spot for a pre-dinner cocktail before dinner is served. The evening will be made all the more special by the candlelight and surrounded by lush rice paddies.

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

    In the morning, you’ll take part in a monk blessing ceremony in one of Siem Reap’s pagodas or temples. Before the ceremony, your guide will reveal some interesting facts about Buddhism in Cambodia, the daily life of the monks, and the disciplines they observe. While you are receiving the blessing by the monks, they will chant and sprinkle holy water on you. After giving a donation to the monks, a piece of red Cambodian string will be tied around your right wrist to represent the fading away of negative thoughts and deeds from your life and to bring you good luck, health, and protection in return. After the ceremony is complete, you'll have a chance to chat with the monks and exchange some thoughts and ideas with the help of your tour guide as translator. 

    Afterwards, visit Angkor Thom, "the big city", a fortified royal city with five monumental gates, that is encircled by a moat more than 325 feet wide. In the center of Siem Reap are the city’s most important monuments, including the 11th century Baphuon; the Bayon Temple, built around the 12-13th century with an amazing collection of towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces; the Terrace of Elephants, once used for royal audiences and public ceremonies; and the 12th century Terrace of the Leper King with its magnificent Apsara sculptures.

    Next, visit Srah Srang, which means “the Royal Bath”, a large water reservoir situated at the east of Banteay Kdei temple. It is a gorgeous spot to end the day in the Angkor complex watching the sun go down. The baray (or reservoir) was originally constructed in the 10th century and two centuries later remodeled by the famous King Jayavarman VII (who also built the famous Bayon). You will enjoy a tasty white wine or beer and exotic finger food on the grass with a mat while watching the sunset over the water.

    Finish the day by visiting Ta Prohm, a 12th century temple that is in pretty much the same condition as it was found - hidden by the jungle.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Shinta Mani Shack or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: siem reap free day or optional activity of choice
    Explore the mysterious Ta Prohm ruinsExplore the mysterious Ta Prohm ruins

    You'll have the day free to explore Siem Reap on your own. If you are still interested in learning more, consider one of these options (additional cost):

    Option 1 - Cooking & culture experience ($75): Early this morning, travel further into the Angkor Archeology Park, where another beauty will be waiting for you. Banteay Srei (“The Women’s Citadel ”), though not the largest of the temples in the Angkor complex, it is perhaps the most refined. This 10th century temple is dedicated to the Hindu god, Shiva. It is mostly built of red sandstone with elaborate and distinctive carvings.

    Afterwards, you will have the special opportunity of making your own traditional breakfast by preparing rice noodles under the guidance of a local family. Enjoy your finished product together with the family. Then continue to another village specializing in bamboo sticky rice production and harvesting coconut. Assist in the preparation of the bamboo dish while tasting delicious Cambodian snacks and a fresh coconut. Along the way, explore sugar palm stallsand learn how villagers process the fruits in many different ways. Give it a try! The next and last of your village stops leads you to a house where a family creates palm leaf handicrafts as a source of income. The villagers will teach you to make one that you can take home as a souvenir. Return to your hotel where you have the rest of the day free to do as you like. Includes lunch.

    Option 2 - Roluos Temple ruins ($50): After breakfast, set off to the Roluos group of temples, located about eight miles east of Siem Reap. Once the first capital of the Khmer Empire, this group of temples contain some of the earliest permanent structures built by the Khmer. Some temples date back to the ninth century and were built of bricks, laterite, or sandstone. These group of temples include Bakong, Lolei, and Preah Ko, along with tiny Prasat Prei Monti. The 9th century Bakong temple was the first temple made of sandstone and served as the official state temple of King Indravarman I in the city of Hariharalaya, known today as Roluos. This temple is shaped like a stepped pyramid, similar to the Borobudur temple in Java, a feature of early Khmer architecture. It is thought that perhaps Borobudur was a prototype of Bakong, indicating there may have been exchanges between the Khmer's and the Sailendras in Java. Lolei is another 9th century temple dedicated to Shiva and members of the royal family. It was once located on an island in the center of the now dry Indratataka Baray. The temple features some decorative carvings including the sky-god Indra mounted on the elephant, Airavata along with makaras (serpent-like monsters), and multi-headed nagas. Your final Roluos temple visit takes you to Preah Ko and Prasat Prei Monti. Preah Ko was the first temple built in ancient Hariharalaya in 879 to honor members of King Indravarman I's family. Its name, Sacred Bull, comes from the three statues of sandstone in from of the temples central towers representing Nandi, a white bull that serves as the mount of Shiva. This temple is known for its beautiful intricate carvings. Prasat Prei Monti is a hidden ruin among the Roluos group thought to have been the state temple of Jayavarman II or his successor Indravarman I during the mid to late 9th century. Though perhaps not as architecturally interesting as some of the other temple ruins, it has historic significance.

    Next, visit the Grand Circuit, which include Preah Khan, Neak Pean, Ta Som, East Mebon and Pre Rup. The Preah Khan Temple was built in 1191 by Jayavarman VII in honor of his father. This temple, once a place for Buddhism studies, has been left largely unrestored, with trees and other vegetation growing among the ruins. Another interesting 12th century temple is Neak Pean, the only island temple of the Angkor temples known as "Entwined Nagas". The large central basin is linked with four smaller basins that represent the four great rivers flowing from the earth’s four cardinal points. One of the most interesting features of this site is the superb statute of Balaha, representing the legendary saviour of shipwrecked boats. Ta Som is a small, 12th century temple that has also been large left unrestored. Next up is the East Mebon, a 10th century temple built on an artificial island in the center of the now dry East Baray reservoir. Dedicated to the Hindu god, Shiva, this temple was built of durable Khmer construction materials including sandstone, brick, laterite, and stucco. There is a central tower on a square platform at the top from where you can look out and imagine the vast expanse of water that once surrounded the temple. Close to the East Baray is Pre Rup, another 10th century Hindu temple built as the state temple of Khmer king Rajendravarman. It is thought that funerals were conducted here with the ashes of the body ritually rotated in different directions. Includes lunch.

    If you like, attend another show of your choice tonight (not included in land cost).

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    Shinta Mani Shack or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: tonle sap lake & floating village
    Explore village life around Tonle Sap LakeExplore village life around Tonle Sap Lake

    Today you'll make your way about 25 miles (1 hr drive) outside of Siem Reap to the village of Kompong Khleang. All the houses are built on stilts amid a natural environment with breathtaking views. Depending on the season and the level of water, you will enjoy floodplains, rice fields, and water as far as the eye can see, or impressive stilted houses. Travel by boat over the canals to a large lake where people live on the water, their houses moving with the rhythm of the seasons. Enjoy a picnic lunch in the village.

    Return to your hotel where you have the rest of the afternoon free to relax.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Picnic Lunch
    Lodging
    Shinta Mani Shack or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: depart siem reap
    Bid farewell to friendly and vibrant CambodiaBid farewell to friendly and vibrant Cambodia

    Transfer to the airport for your onward flight, or extend a few days to relax at Sihanouk Beach, located on the southern Cambodian coast. Or, consider extending to Vietnam, Laos, or Thailand to discover other cultures and sites.

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Lodging
    None
    Show on a map

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
From
$2,200
Phnom Penh to Siem Reap flight add $150 (estimated)
Single Supplement:
$650
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.
Custom & private on your dates

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:
●●●●○
(see full descriptions)
1st class hotels (4-5 star)
Activity Level:
●○○○○
(see full descriptions)
Group Size:
Most custom trips can accommodate groups of any size, from one person to as large of a group as you'd like. Some exceptions apply; ask your Adventure Specialist for details.
Terms & Conditions: 

Southeast Asia

Please note that this trip operates under different payment and cancellation policies than those described in our complete Terms & Conditions as noted on our website and elsewhere. Please review the complete Terms & Conditions prior to submitting a deposit. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

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 $1000 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. All payments are subject to cancellation if payments are not received by the due dates. All payments may be made by Visa, Master Card, American Express, Discover or check, and the Reservation Form may be submitted via our website. Full payment schedule and cancellation penalties are described in our Terms and Conditions as noted on our website, and elsewhere. Please request these if you do not have them before advancing a deposit.

*HOLIDAY departures may require an additional deposit. 

Additional cancellation fees
Cancellations that occur between 61-90 days prior to departure will be subject to a cancellation fee that is 50% of the land cost, and cancellations 31-60 days prior will be subject to a 75% cancellation fee. Cancellations between 0-30 days are 100% NON-REFUNDABLE. All payments are subject to cancellation if payments are not received by the due dates.

Airfare
We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your reservation, 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

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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× comfort level
Choose accommodations and amenities that fit your personal style
●○○○○ Simple
Our most natural accommodations. Bath facilities often shared, sometimes rustic.
●●○○○ Delightful
Comfortable and especially personal. Small to mid-sized lodges, typically with private bath.
●●●○○ Superior
Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined artistry, or extra-special settings.
●●●●○ Deluxe
Exclusive or luxury lodges, hotels, or safari camps with fine dining options.
●●●●● Uncommon
The most indulgent accommodations arranged specially for private trips.
× activity level
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
●○○○○ Gentle
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
●●○○○ Active
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
●●●○○ Vigorous
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
●●●●○ Challenging
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
●●●●● Demanding
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.
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