Experience the wonders of Cambodia with our Temple and Capital Highlights Tour Package. Highlights include a visit to Kulen Mountain, the UNESCO World Heritage temples of Angkor, and the beautiful temple complex of Banteay Srei.
Treat yourself to a one-of-a-kind experience in Cambodia. Get a taste of the Cambodian countryside while exploring the temples of Angkor Wat, and experience the heart of the country by staying in Siem Reap. Your journey will take you from the forested mountain ranges of Kulen to the hidden temples and rural homes of Kampong Thom.
Highlights: – Champaign Break & Angkor Temple Tour – Siem Reap – Kampong Thom (Sambor Prei Kuk) Overnight – Kampong Thom – Phnom Penh (Royal Palace) – City Tour & Evening Cyclo Tour
Itinerary in Details
Upon arrival at Siem Reap International Airport, you will be welcomed by your driver and transferred to your hotel for check-in. At the hotel, you will be greeted by one of our management team and it is the opportunity to go through your itinerary again before it gets started.
In the afternoon, you will be picked up towards an unspoiled floating community called Kampong Phluk; known for its stilted-house villages and flooded forest. Along the way we will stop to have a look around the Rolous Market.
This is a great chance to glimpse the everyday life of locals selling indigenously grown vegetables, different fish species and other local produce. We will also see one of the bridges on the Rolous River, built during the period of French dominance in Cambodia.
We then board a boat and begin sailing down the river, eventually arriving at the floating community of Kampong Phluk where we will experience a truly unique way of life.
Within the village, you will pass schools and houses standing on 8 to 10m high stilts, fish farms, and an island pagoda.
As we venture beyond the villages we will head into the flooded forest; home to Cambodia’s water-bird species. The boat will then set off for the largest freshwater lake in SE Asia, Tonle Sap , where we will explore before heading back to the mainland and returning you back to your hotel.
After breakfast at 8 am, we venture off the beaten track as we drive to the place where it all began. Rich in history, Phnom Kulen is where the “Age of Angkor” began, and is one of only two places in Cambodia where Buddha is reputed to have set his foot. First we visit a scenic waterfall and the giant reclining Buddha. Then, we push on further, exploring kilometres of complex back trails, deep jungle tracks, and hidden temples, including the stunning and sought-after stone elephant and lion statues.
Lunch at the local restaurant near the waterfall (clients own account).
After the Kulen mountain tour, we will transfer you to Banteay Srei Temple, which arguably has some of the finest preserved and most intricate carvings of all the Angkorian Temples. Banteay Srey has also been known as the ‘citadel of women. This is one of the smaller temples but also one of the most delicate and beautifully carved. Constructed out of sandstone and ornately designed, you may notice a fairyland-like ambience as you walk around.
This red sandstone temple is one of Angkor’s most significant structures as its walls are decorated with elaborate carvings in an amazing state of preservation. Much of the Angkor civilisation can be learned here by studying the remarkable carvings. Your guide will spend time depicting Hindu tales from the various carvings as you explore your beautiful surroundings. After the tour, you will be transferred back to your hotel to have the rest of the day at leisure.
Early morning pick-up will be at 7:30 am and you’ll be driven to Srah Srang, the reservoir and famous for the royal bathtub, where your champaign and breakfast will be organized. Today, instead of eating breakfast at the hotel, you’ll enjoy it in a beautiful outdoor setting by nature and a mysterious temple while sipping champagne.
As a result, your breakfast will be a whole new experience for you.
After breakfast, you’ll head to the mysterious and beautiful Bayon temple. We’ll avoid the crowds and have a better view of the temple if we start our journey here. This temple, located in the heart of Angkor Thom, is a bizarre manifestation of Cambodia’s most famed king’s artistic talent and bloated ego. Avalokiteshvara (the Buddha of Compassion) is depicted on each of the structure’s 54 towers, and his four features bore striking similarities to those of the king. These enormous heads stare down from every angle, radiating authority and compassion in equal measure, just what the imperial court needs to maintain control over such a huge territory.
You begin your exploration in King Jayavarman VII’s masterpiece, the walled city of Angkor Thom. Fortress-building became a priority for the new monarch after the Chams took over Angkor from 1177 to 1181, during which time they occupied the city. As you walk over the causeway, you’ll see a beautiful bridge that represents the churning ocean of milk from Hindu mythology, in which the gods and demons compete to win the elixir of immortality by pulling on the naga (seven-headed snake).
The Terrace of the Leper King is the next site on our tour of Angkor Thom’s highlights. This ornately carved platform served as the royal crematorium, and the figure, which was once attributed to the leprosy king, is now attributed to Yama, the deity of mortality. Onward to the Terrace of Elephants, where the monarch could watch parades, performances, and traditional sports from a vantage point. The Baphuon Temple, built in the 11th century under the reign of Uditayavarman, is located at the southern end of the complex. It has recently undergone extensive renovations and is now available for public observation for the first time in years.
After that, you’ll see Angkor Wat, dubbed the “Mother of All Temples” because of its size. To all Khmers, this temple represents perfection in symbolism and symmetry, and it is a source of great pride. As a starting point, we examine the bas-reliefs, which depict Hindu mythology and Khmer history. These complex carvings, which stretch for almost a kilometer, are contenders for the title of world’s longest unbroken work of art. Following in the footsteps of others who have come before us—both the pious and the destructive—we then proceed to the top levels of the sanctuary’s inner chamber.
Pilgrims of old would stoop on their trip to meet the Gods to climb the hardest steps to the upper terrace of Angkor. Finally, we’ve made it to the holy center of Angkor Wat, a rare combination of spirituality and symmetry that will stand the test of time. On to the deserted temple of Ta Prohm, which has been left to the ravages of time. For all the rise and fall of civilization, the temple serves as a strong reminder that nature’s raucous force marches on, unconcerned with the tragedies of human history. There are still stones that man originally overcame nature to make here, but as Henri Mouhot’s expedition found them, their tentacle-like tree roots are slowly suffocating the remaining ones.
After that, we’ll take a break for a late lunch at a local restaurant (on the client’s dime) before making our way to Banteay Kdei, our final temple stop. With a name like “Citadel of Chambers,” the temple is easy to explore, with its many towers, hallways, and intricate carvings all on the same level. Unfortunately, the temple’s design had undergone numerous revisions since it was first conceived, therefore there was a noticeable lack of cohesion in its construction. As a result, the temple’s end result is fantastic. Banteay Kdei, the last stop on our journey, is a tranquil and quiet place compared to the other prominent attractions nearby. We’ll then return you to your hotel after the tour is over.
You will be picked up and transferred to Kampong Thom today at 8 a.m. You’ll be taken immediately to the exquisite 6th-century sandstone temple of Sambor Prei Kuk upon your arrival.
Following your excursion, you sit down to a picnic lunch prepared by locals before proceeding to the hotel for check-in.
This morning, you’ll be picked up and travel onward to Cambodia’s capital city – Phnom Penh. Along the way, you will stop briefly in Skuon (commonly known as ‘Spiderville’). There, if your stomach permits it, you will be able to try the local delicacy of deep-fried tarantula!
Upon your arrival in Phnom Penh, you will be transferred to your hotel for check-in.
The tour will then begin at The Royal Palace complex and connected ‘Silver Pagoda’ compound, which consists of many buildings, structures, and gardens all located inside 500×800 metre walled grounds overlooking a riverfront park. The high sculpted wall and golden spired Chanchhaya Pavilion, which mark the approach to the Palace, stand out against the riverfront skyline.
The towering walls of the Palace grounds muffle street noises, while the different Royal palaces rise like beautiful islands from the serene, maintained tropical gardens. The silver pagoda is also known as the Emerald Buddha Pagoda or Wat Preah Kaew.
After breakfast, you’ll get picked up to visit the infamous Tuol Sleng museum (S-21), where you will learn about the turbulent recent history of Cambodia.
Afterwards, you will move on to the Choeung Ek (Killing Fields), which is located about 17km southwest of Phnom Penh, and is the best known of the various Killing Field sites in Cambodia.
In the evening, you will enjoy a Cyclo tour around Phnom Penh’s key sites, such as Wat Phnom, the National Library, the Central Market, the National Museum, Independence Monument and, of course, the Royal Palace as well as the Silver Pagoda.
Today you are free until we pick you up from your hotel to the airport with plenty of time before your departing flight back home.