Cambodia Culture & Beach Holiday
14 Days, from £1,549pp (based on 2 people sharing) excl. flights Unique and enchanting holiday to Cambodia visiting the famous temples of Angkor, experiencing authentic local life and relaxing on idyllic beaches.
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Enjoy this wonderful 13 night holiday to Cambodia which takes in the famous temples of Angkor, including the South Gate, Bayon Temple and the most famous temple of the whole complex, Angkor Wat.
Travel onwards to Phnom Penh to witness the sad heritage of this fascinating country with visits to Choeung Ek (the Killing Fields) and the Toul Sleng Museum (S-21). Finally end this active holiday with some rest and relaxation time on the beautiful beaches of Kep. This is a lovely tour which takes in all that the country has to offer.
Day 1: Departure
Depart London Heathrow on an overnight flight. Please let us know if flight prices are required.
Day 2: Arrive Siem Reap
On arrival at Siem Reap your private driver will transfer you to your hotel. Relax and unwind after your flight and make use of the hotel’s excellent facilities.
Day 3: Angkor Wat & Monastery Experience (B, L)
After breakfast you will explore the magnificent ruins of Angkor Wat. This ambitious complex of temples was built between the 9th to the 15th centuries and Angkor is the largest temple on the site.
You will have a couple of hours to explore this iconic area. Your next stop is the Bayon, known for the hundreds of smiling faces that grace the towers. The bas reliefs tell stories of daily life and the great battles that were fought between the Khmer and ancient Thais.
After an early lunch, visit a local monastery to meet a group of monks who will give you a hands-on introduction to the basics of Buddhist philosophy and monastic life. You will then stay alongside them in their monastery overnight. Please note that monks typically eat their last meal of the day at 11am.
Therefore, no dinner is planned for the evening, although snacks and fruits will be available. Accommodation is simple with basic bathroom facilities. Modesty is expected so please wear clothing that covers your shoulders and knees.
Day 4: Monastery (B, L)
At 4am the monastery drums announce the beginning of the monks’ day. Rise and join them at their prayers if you wish. After breakfast, you’ll be given a short introduction to meditation, followed by a half-day practice in the monastery. This is a spiritual experience you’ll never forget.
In the afternoon you will transfer back to your hotel and the afternoon is at your leisure.
Day 5: Temple cycle ride (B, L)
After breakfast, enjoy a bike ride to the delightful temple of Banteay Srey, home to exquisite stone carvings. The ride passes through small villages and vivid green rice paddies to reach the site.
Children run out of houses to greet you along the way, water buffalos wallow in muddy ponds, and cows, pigs, chickens and ducks wander the roadsides. After a delicious lunch, you will have plenty of time to explore on your own before you end the day watching the sun set over Pre Rup temple.
Day 6: Tonle Sap (B)
Tonle Sap Lake is the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia and the lifeblood of Cambodia. You will embark on a cruise to Kompong Phluk, an isolated Khmer community of three villages built on wooden stilts, rising up to eight metres above the ground. The community has about 3,000 inhabitants who farm fish and vegetables on floating platforms.
During your visit, your boat will take you through mangrove forests, a unique ecosystem that survives on flooded soil for months. Mangroves are also hosts for a variety of wildlife - keep an eye out for birds and especially crab-eating macaques!
Day 7: Battambang – Wat Kor (B, L)
This morning you will drive to Battambang, famous for its French colonial architecture, fertile soil, and the rubies and garnets mined from the area. After lunch, you have a packed afternoon visiting Phnom Banan, enjoy a walking tour of Battambang which will include visits to some of the old French Colonial buildings along the river and a visit to the former Governor’s residence.
Just 2km away from Battambang on the Sangker River is the village of Wat Kor. Here you will gain a fascinating insight into the Cambodian way of life in the province.
Many of the structures in the town were constructed in the early 20th century. Locals will give you a short tour of the village and explain some of the history and show them around a traditional Khmer home.
Day 8: Battambang – Wat Phnom Banan – Phnom Sampeau (B, L)
Visit the 11th century temple built by King Jarvarman VII, Wat Phnom Banan. Located on top of a 400 metre high hill, the views from the temple are simply breathtaking.
Along the way, you will stop at a winery, a mushroom farm and a fish paste market. The next destination is Phnom Sampeau, which is a natural rock formation which contains a series of caves. The area was a former stronghold of the Khmer Rouge and some of the caves were used as “killing caves”. Your guide will be able to give you a history of the area.
In the evening enjoy a trip on the bamboo train.
Day 9: Phnom Penh (B, L)
Spend the morning exploring the Ek Phnom Temple, an 11th century Hindu temple built by Suryavarman I, which holds some beautiful carvings that have remained in remarkably good condition.
After lunch transfer to Phnom Penh by car. The rest of the day you are free to explore or relax at the hotel.
Day 10: Phnom Penh City Tour (B, L)
Today, take a tour of the charming capital with a visit to the city's namesake, Wat Phnom. This pagoda was built to house Buddhist relics washed ashore by the river. See the Royal Palace built in 1866 by King Norodom and visit the Silver Pagoda, so named because of its floor that is comprised of 5,000 silver tiles.
You’ll visit the National Museum, an exceptional example of traditional architecture, and devoted to preserving and displaying Khmer art and sculptures.
After lunch, drive to the killing fields of Choeung Ek. Visit the notorious S-21 Tuol Sleng Museum. In 1975 Tuol Svay Prey High School was taken over by Pol Pot's security forces and turned into a prison known as Security Prison 21 (S-21).
Day 11: Kep (B)
Today you will be driven (3.5 hours) to the charming coastal resort of Kep. Once you have checked into your boutique hotel, The Beachouse, the rest of the day is free at leisure to explore. Famed for its seafood and relaxed pace of life, Kep is home to an extensive national park and wonderful French architecture.
Day 12-13: Kep (B)
Enjoy two days at leisure to explore the area.
Optional Tour: A day on an Island By fisherman boat you will reach Koh Tonsay (Rabbit Island), located 4.5 km from Kep. You will enjoy beautiful nature, white sandy beaches and excellent swimming conditions.
Unwind yourself fully, have a lazy day or for those who want to be more active, hike up to the top of the hill where you will discover the remnants of the American artillery, dating from the Vietnam War. Included: One Knai Bang Chatt staff, seafood BBQ lunch on the beach, towels, beverages and snorkelling equipment.
Day 14: Departure (B)
Enjoy the morning at leisure until you are transferred to the airport for your onward flight back to the UK.
- Accommodation as specified
- Private or shared transfers throughout
- Meals and touring as specified in the itinerary
B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner
Flights, Stopover packages & additional nights available on request. Prices vary according to season and are per person based on two people sharing travelling together. Please ask us for more details and exclusions.