Culture - History
Siem Reap, Battambang, Phare Circus Show, Tonle Sap Lake, Angkor Temples, Koh Dach Island
The fanciful 10 day vacation in Cambodia suggesting both highlighted and exotic places in Cambodia including Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Battambang for you to explore country's culture and history. Beside main tourist attractions of Cambodia like stunning Angkor Temples and Tonle Sap Lake in Siem Reap, Royal Palace and National Museum in Phnom Penh, you shall take thrilling bamboo train in Battambang, have cycling trip to Silk Island and visit the orginiated place of the renown show Phare Circus. Phnom Penh witnessing the vivid up and down of Cambodia is a nice city to hear about Cambodia history. Due to its location where meeting Mekong River and country’s gigantic lake Tonle Sap, Phnom Penh was chosen as the capital where nowadays reamaining many royal buildings and palaces. Siem Reap province, is less modern but pretty vibrant and a must-see place when traveling in Cambodia because its ancient Angkor Temples in the jungles will draw your high attention. The last province is Battambang which is just roughly 3.5-hour drive from Siem Reap featuring a breathtaking countryside and wonderful opportunities to interact with the local people and gain authentic experiences. This province is also the hometown of extraordinary Phare Circus Show.
The first destination in your Cambodia history and culture tour program is Phnom Penh – Cambodia’s capital located in the center of the country where finding the confluence of Tonle Sap and MeKong rivers. This city was the “Pearl of Asia” during French colonial time; then suffered from the fierce killing by Khmer Rouge since 1975. Phnom Penh is characterized by the combination of Khmer and French-colonial cultures and architectures.
Upon your arrival at Phnom Penh Airport, your driver and local tour guide will welcome you; then travel to hotel for check-in. Rest of the day is at your leisure to get off jet lag.
Take a full day sightseeing Phnom Penh today and delve into Cambodia's history and culture. Begin with the visit to Royal Palace which was constructed over 150 years ago. Stroll inside this graceful place, you can admire Khmer's architecture with the layered roofs, gilded ornation and detect some national treasures. There displaying the valuable relics 90-kilo gold Buddha encrusted with 9,584 diamonds and the emerald baccarat crystal Buddha since 17th century. Nearby are the Silver Pagoda or Wat Preah Keo whose floor is covered by 5 tons of glistening silver; and the Temple of Emerald Buddha which is a significant place for Royal ceremonies. Next, admire the Khmer fine-arts at National Museum in Phnom Penh. Displaying 14,000 relics of variant sculptures, bronze and sandstone statures, ceramic artifacts, etc. the dedicate National Museum is staggering to find indepth of Cambodia culture and history.
This afternoon, you will see the other aspect of Cambodia history with a stroll in Toul Sleng which used to be the secondary school but lately turned into the notorious prision S21 by the Khmer Rouge. The prison reveal a dark and fierce time of the period from 1975 - 1979. There upon, drive to the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek which is a site of execution and burry for victims of Khmer Rouge Regime. Lastly, take a pleasant hike to Wat Phnom Temple located on peaceful hill at 27m (88.5 feet) and cast the nice view of Phnom Penh.
Leave behind the modern city, you shall escape to Silk Island in Phnom Penh today with an exciting cycling trip. Heading to Diamond Island, you then take local ferry to cross the river and kick off the biking to rural villages with stops to see the local houses, their luxuriant gardens and enjoy the peaceful scenes. The next ferry shall bring you to Koh Oknha Tei Island for further observations of local lifestyle in countryside of Phnom Penh. On this island, you will find some of Buddhist pagoda, farming plantations, off-the-beaten paths and so on. The cycling journey then will take you to Koh Dach or Silk Island where local villagers earn their livings by traditional handicraft of silk weaving. You shall behold how they manually make silk products and get some as souvernirs. Afterward, you will cycle to get back to the pier. Have chilling time on your own in Phnom Penh on your own till rest of the day.
This morning, you will take a 50 minute flight from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap which is a stunning Cambodia destination to explore thousand years Angkor Temples and the bucolic landscape. Upon arriving, you will be welcomed by your local guide; then travel to hotel in Siem Reap for check in.
In this afternoon, you shall have a journey to an exotic place in Siem Reap to see the floating life style in Kompong Khleang Village on Tonle Sap Lake. Traversing around 50km (31 miles) passing by the rural regions in Siem Reap, you will board local cruise for an incredible views of the giant lake and gain authentic experiences in the village of stills houses and houses on water. The landscape indeed varied differently accordingly to seasonal water levels that you can find floodplains or dried plains. After the excursion, you shall return to Siem Reap and pay a visit to Mr. Theam's house which is privately owned studio displayings collective historical and cultural artifacts at high aesthetics of Cambodia.
After breakfast, travel through the road of hundred years old tree for the majestic Angkor Temples. Walking through the southern gate, you will enter Angkor Thom meaning “big city”. Have a pleasant short walk, you then will find the Bayon Temple in unique architecture with 54 towers of each adorned with 4 faces. There are assumptions that those faces depict both faces of Buddha and the King Jayavarman VII. The stroll then will lead to Baphuon temple, a three-tiered temple mountain date back to 11th century. This temple restoration has just finished by French architects not so long ago. Meandering along the path, you will find an outdoor place where the Royal family hold public events with Terrace of Elephants and Terrace of the Leper King.
In the afternoon, visit Angkor Wat, the most renown and the largest one in the Angkor Complex. Angkor Wat iconic temple is also the masterpiece of Khmer architecture with finest carvings of reliefs and religious sculptures. Last but not least is the Ta Prohm Temple the one modestly nestles in the tropical jungle. The huge trees’ roots embrace the walls and roofs of temple making this the bespeak most atmospheric ruin Angkor Temple.
This morning, you will travel 40km (25 miles) passing by the peaceful countryside with sugar palm gardens and rice fields to the north of Siem Reap for Banteay Srei Temple. By its elaborative sculptures and carvings, Banteay Srei Temple is also called the citadel of women, Bantey Srei is another unique architecture of Angkor Temples in Siem Reap as it’s the only one built in red sandstone. Thereupon, you will call at Bong Thom Village to meet up with local people and know more about their daily lives. Begin with the processes of making Cambodian traditional noodles and prepare a local breakfast bowl yourself. Move on to the other villages and observe their works on making bamboo sticky rice, harvesting coconuts. You also visit palm sugar palm stalls to learn more about making palm sugar and handicrafts from palm leaf. Afterward, return to your your hotel in Siem Reap for free and easy relaxation.
Travel 3 – 3.5 hours by land from Siem Reap, you will visit one of impressive exotic places in Cambodia - Battambang presenting bucolic countryside, disrepair colonial architecture and riverside setting. In the afternoon, board the tuk tuk to explore the second largest city of Cambodia Battambang town and its neighboring. Start off with a stop at the Wat Ek Phnom, an ancient temple from 11th century. The expedition then will have your up-close observation of the region typical houses, small streams, local people and their daily works of preparing sticky rice, making knife and the traditional fish paste prahok.
Today, you will take a pleasant cycling journey with visit to a local market with regional goods on offer. You also find the old French colonial architectures with riverfront buildings and then Wat Tahm-rai-saw. Visit the Governor’s House in Battambang and get to know more about city’s history; and then the Provincial Museum of Battambang. Have a traditional lunch at a local family of 3 generations, you will have a more insightful understand on local culinary as well as their cultures.
Move to the Phare Poneak school afterwards, a school founded since 1994 who support and train the poor, young Cambodian with artistic skills as well as formal education. The trainees there have performed extraordinary circus and dancing in both Battambang and Siem Reap. You will spend 1 hour here to learn more about this school their mission and stories. In the evening, enjoy the Phare Circus Show in the place where it was born. The show begins at 7pm and will last for 1 hour.
Experience the local bamboo train in Battambang this morning, you will see further of the rural landscape and the countryside along Banon hills. Then back to main town and have free time for chilling out at a riverside café or relax at hotel. At good time, check-out hotel, you will travel by land back to Siem Reap. Rest of the day is on your own leisure. You might enjoy yourself at the pub street, have some spas or buying for Cambodia souvernirs at Siem Reap night market.
The last day of your 10 day trip in Cambodia will be on your own leisure. At good time, you will see your tour guide and have transfer from Siem Reap City to airport for your flight to next destination.
Accommodation in double/twin sharing basic
Daily breakfast at hotel and meals as indicated in the program
Private air-conditioned transfer
Excellent English-speaking guide (other language on request)
Entrance fee, boat trip, cycling for sightseeing as mentioned
Phare Circus school visit and show in Battambang
2 bottles of water per person per day
International and domestic flights
Tips and gratuities for guide, driver, etc.
Personal expenses and services not mentioned
Remark: Tour price is applied for group of 4 guests staying in 3 star hotels. Contact us for quotation if you have different group size and other hotel categories.
11 days 10 nights
22 days 21 nights
16 days 15 nights
8 days 7 nights
13 days 12 nights