Discovering Cambodia (9n/10d)

Temple Carvings, Bayon

Temple Carvings, Bayon

Day 1: Phnom Penh / Arrival at Pochentong International (L,D)
Arrival at the airport and transfer to your hotel. City tour to visit the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda and the National Museum. Lunch at hotel. Visit the Central and Russian Markets and the Wat Phnom, the oldest monument in the city from which Phnom Penh derived its name. Dinner at hotel and overnight at the hotel.

Day 2: Phnom Penh / Tonle Bati / Phnom Penh (B,L,D)
After breakfast in Phnom Penh depart for Phnom Chisor and Tonle Bati which are about 60 km to the south. At Phnom Chisor we will visit an Ankorian Era temple dating from the 10th  century. From the top of the hill (Phnom) where the temple is situated you will have breathtaking views of the beautiful countryside below. The temple was erected by King Suryavarman  I. For centuries it has been a sacred pilgrimage destination for Buddhists. The main edifice gives shelter to “Neang Khmao – The Black Lady”, a venerated 300 year old Buddhist statue. Lunch at local restaurant. At Tonle Bati, we will visit the Ta Phrom of  Bati, a temple of graceful sculptures which was constructed by  jayavarman VII (1181- 1201). Return to Phnom Penh. Dinner at hotel and  overnight at the hotel.

Day 3: Phnom Penh / Kampong Cham (B,L,D)
After breakfast in Phnom Penh depart for Kampong Cham, also called “The Garden City” and the main town in the province of  that name. After check-in at your hotel we will  visit a rubber plantation and a rubber factory. Return to Kampong Cham for lunch at local restaurant. Visit Phnom Pros (the hill of men) and Phnom Srei (the hill of women) from which you can  admire the landscape. We will then visit some very interesting temples in the area. These temples date from the 12th and 13th  centuries. Return for dinner at local restaurant and overnight at the hotel.

Day 4: Kampong Cham / Kampong Thom (B,L,D)
After breakfast in Kampong Cham depart for Kampong Thom. Upon arrival in Kampong check in at the hotel and then leave for Sambor Prei Kuk, the capital of the once powerful empire of  Chenla which pr-dates the Khmer Angkor period. Enroute we  will stop at points of interest and intermingle with the local  people. Lunch at local restaurant. According to inscriptions found in the area, Sambor Prei Kuk was the capital of Icanavarman (616 AD – 635 AD) and residence of the King who had conquered the Empire of Funan. Afterwards we will return to Kampong Thom where we will have free time to explore the city. You will notice the small horse-drawn carts in Kampong Thom. The horses are descended from those the French Army brought to Indo-China in the 19th century. Dinner at hotel and overnight at the hotel.

Day 5: Kampong Thom / Phnom Penh (B,L,D)
After breakfast we will return to Phnom Penh. Enroute we will visit a monastery where you will learn some of the important aspects of current day religious practices in Cambodia. Lunch  will be taken in Phnom Penh and the afternoon will be free for  you to explore the capital city.

Day 6: Phnom Penh / Siem Reap (B,L,D).
After breakfast, immediate transfer to the boat harbour to catch the express motor craft from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap up  the Tonle Sap River and across the Tonle Sap Lake. Before  arriving in Siem Reap we will pass by a floating village where the people move their houses depending on the dry or rainy  season, low or high water. They have everything needed to make a good living by fishing and they have grocery shops as well as a school. Welcome and transfer to Siem Reap for check-in at the hotel  and for lunch at hotel . In the afternoon, visit the ancient city of  Angkor Thom: the Bayon temple, the Baphuan, the Elephant  Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King. View the sunset at Angkor Wat. Dinner dance at local restaurant and overnight at the hotel.

Day 7: Siem Reap (B,L,D)
After breakfast, visit the Ta Prohm temple which is a  wonderful combination of human genius and natural beauty. Giant trees have grown there for centuries. Ta keo “Jewel of Crystal” is dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva and was erected at the end of the 10th century. The Ta keo is one of the rare temples where there are almost no statues or bas-reliefs. Continue to visit the Thommanon, the Chau Say temples and the natural lake of Sras Srang. Lunch at hotel. Visit Angkor Wat: The founder was Suryavarman II who reigned Cambodia from 1113 to 1152 and built the five towers in the 12th century and dedicated them to the Hindu God Vishnu. The plan of the pyramidal conception of the temple combined with spaces, alleys, ditches—an ancient masterpiece of architectural design and construction. Dinner at hotel and overnight  at the hotel.

Day 8: Siem Reap / Preak Toal / Siem Reap (B,L,D)
After breakfast, enjoy an excursion by a boat, an outboard  motor powered sampan, to Preak Toal. There we will explore a wild bird sanctuary, the flooded forest and the floating  villages. During the boat trip we have the opportunity to observe the different fishing methods on the river and see how local people live and earn their livelihood on the river. Lunch at local  restaurant. Return to Siem Reap for dinner at hotel and overnight at the hotel.

Day 9: Siem Reap / Banteay Srey / Siem Reap (B,L,D).
After breakfast, spend the entire morning in one of the jewels of Angkor, the Banteay Srey Temple which means “Citadel of Women”. This temple is built of pink sandstone and presents  the most graceful carvings in stone you might ever see in  your life. The temple is dedicated to the god Shiva. After lunch at local restaurant, continue to Kbal Spean, the river of thousand Lingas, the phallic symbol of the God Shiva.  Arrival near the site, walk for an hour through the forest to arrive at Kbal Spean. Return to Siem Reap for dinner at hotel and your  last night there.

Day 10: Siem Reap / Departure or flight to Phnom Penh .
After breakfast, the time before departure is on your own,  transfer to the airport for your flight either to Phnom Penh  or international destination (see option below). Assistance for formalities.

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