Angkor & The Lake (12 days)

Welcome to Cambodia, a country like no other, home to the ancient and great Khmer Empire which left behind a kingdom full of architectural marvels, rich in history and cultures. The scar of the terrible Khmer Rouge regime from the 20th century are now slowly healing, allowing this magnificent land to once again showcase its magic to an inquisitive world.  Indeed, for all of its natural and architectural wonders, it is Cambodia’s Khmer people who truly embody the essence and charm of the country. The Kingdom, opens its homes and hearts, minds to every visitor without exception. This 12 days truly authentic tour ensures that you will have enough time to explore the heart of the Kingdom. Traveling from Phnom Penh cultural and historical capital city to Kampong Cham, Battambang, you will be experience the real Khmer tradition, culture, religion, history, food and unspoiled remote lifestyle where locals are really contented with whatever they have, enough to live, to be fun, in happiness and peace. 

Day 1

 

  • Welcome to Phnom Penh, the capital city of 2 million people. Morning arrival is preferred as afternoon actvities are planned.
  • Welcome dinner at Mr. Ran’s family house whare you will try Cambodia's specialty “Spider Wines”, the local rice wine spirit infused with spiders and left for fermentation several months before drinking.

Day 2

 

  • Guided tour of the Genocidal Museum and Killing Fields. An emotional morning that will help you understand the tragedy that happened and scarred Cambodia
  • Explore at will Phnom Penh’ cultural attractions including the Russian Market, Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda
  • Learn how to cook traditional Cambodian food with your host. After savoring the dinner you have prepared, try yourself at Khmer Folk dancing. Have a few glasses of rice wines, it may improve your dancing.

Day 3

 

  • Travel through Skuon town’s spider village to Kampong Cham province, the largest French Colonial city in Cambodia that sits quietly along the Mekong River
  • Cycle all afternoon with your local tour guide, and venture through the ruins of Wat Nokor temple followed by a ride along the river where locals practice their Tai Chi or Folk dances
  • Return home after exploring Koh Pen Island, and snacking on the local fruits, for a bit of relaxation time before dinner with your Mr Thol’s family, your host 

Day 4

 

  • Off to Samrong Village for a quick check-in before a visit to Beng Melea’s Jungle temple where you will learn to meditate where the great Khmer King Suryavarman II, who built Angkor, came to find his peace and guidance. The temple has fewer visitors than the grand attraction that is Angkor, yet has a powerful effect on its adventures who have to climb up and down the fallen structure to reach its serene beauty.

  • Return to our homestay for a succulent dinner prepared by our host family where you will try their local specialties

Day 5

 

  • Journey to Siem Reap to explore the stunning ancient capital city of the Khmer empire including the magnificent temple of Angkor Wat, the enigmatic Bayon temple decorated by 54 sculpted smiling faces. After arriving at Mr.Bun's Sweet Home, walk through the streets of the poorer neigborhoods where you will see the tragic reality of the poorest people in Cambodia, who still have a smile on their face. 
  • After a rest,  try some home-made rice wines, "Sra Thnam", produced by your devouted guide and enjoy home-cooked meal prepared by his family. After dinner, hit the town and explore the Siem Reap night market and Pub Street. 

Day 6

 

  • Over the course of two days, we will explore some of the highlights of this stunning ancient capital city of the Khmer empire including; the magnificent temple of Angkor Wat, the enigmatic Bayon temple decorated by 54 sculpted smiling faces.The Bayon became certainly the most impressive for early French explorers and curators in 1916 who stated” We stand before it stunned. There is nothing else in the world that compares”. 
  • After a rest, learn to cook your newly favourite Khmer specialties with your hosts. After the effort comes the comfort. Enjoy and a well-deserved meal and the fruit of your labour. You will also be familiarized with delicate local rice wines, "Sra Thnam", produced by your devouted guide. Share your first impressions before an early night's sleep to prepare for the early adventure that awaits.

Day 7

 

  • Rise before dawn to watch the sunrise at Angkor Wat and then continue on exploring the jungle temple called Taprohm where Tomb Raider was shot in 2001 starring Angelina Jolie. This early visit is a special opportunity to enjoy the peaceful and undisturbed atmosphere making you feel like the first explorers in the 1860s, where French naturalist described the site as "grander than anything of Greece or Rome"
  • Return to accommodation for an authentic breakfast. You can have a little rest or explore the Siem Reap downtown and daytime market.
  • At noon visit the Great Lake Tonle Sap, Fishing – floating community. Enjoy the delicious lunch cooked by Mei Chrey and his local family. Explore this untouched community of wooden houses and canal streets by boat and kayak. The village’s 500 families are among the thousands who have settled on the surface of the freshwater Tonlé Sap, Cambodia’s ‘Great Lake’, where, not surprisingly, life revolves around the water.

Day 8

 

  • Say goodbye to Bun's family and drive one hour to Kralanh where we will meet our new family before heading to a Buddhist Monastery, "Wat Thmey", to learn the ways of the Monks and practice meditation. Our lunch will be prepared be Buddhist nuns.

  • Visit Killing Fields which were discovered on the 21st March 2012 by a bulldozer driver as he was digging up land.We also visit Wat Phnom Monastery where we can climb up to the top of the Phnom Trong Batt hill to view the most stunning landscape of rice paddies.  We will also spend some time to teach English to local children eager to learn and improve their listening and writing skills.

  • Entertaining evening full of jokes and laughter with our local family who will serve you their specialties and locally produced herbal wines.

Day 9

 

  • Drive 3 hours to colonial Battambang, where urban life has been filtering its way into this charming town surrounded by mountainous backdrops and endless rice paddies. Even though it is one of the country’s largest towns Battambang still has a very few tourists and maintains a provincial atmosphere. Nearby countryside harbors several picturesque, old Buddhist Pagodas, Angkorian era ruins, caves, waterfalls and even Khmer Rouge killing Fields.

  • Visit the secret caves of Phnom Sampov, where millions of bats fly off in the sunset to seek for supper, just like us. 

Day 10

 

  • Tour the countryside and discover the peculiarities of the Bamboo train also known as “Norry” which was originally built to transport goods from one village to another.  This wooden platform on wheel runs along the 7 km of abandoned train tracks with the ricky ride reaching speeds of up to 30km/hour.

  • Continue on to discover the unspoiled NatGeo picturesque rural countryside just outside of Battambang where  small villages with stilted houses and wonderful rice paddies stretch into the horizon. Today, we will be having lunch at the Street Family Center run by less fortunate people and their teachers for the benefit of their children before heading back to our home stay for relaxing and bathing. 

  • In the evening, enjoy a comprehensive cooking class at local restaurant. Go to the market with the chef Vannak  who will introduce you to the wide variety of ingredients used in Khmer cuisine

Day 11

 

  • Return to Phnom Penh through Pursat and Kampong Chnang provinces and stopovers. Explore the Demanak Luang fishing community on a boat trip, your local guide will point out the difference between the Khmer and Vietnamese floating households, the floating markets, clinics, Schools and other boatloads of locals and fishermen. 

  • Farewell dinner on Mekong River Boat Cruise.

Included Activities:

 

  • Phnom Penh City tour, Killing Fields & Genocide Museum

  • Cycling Tour & Wat Nokor Guided visit

  • 3 days guided tour of Angkor & Beng Melea temples

  • Tonle Sap Lake and Mei Chrey fishing – floating community

  •  Guided tour to Kiling Fields & Wat Phnom

  • 2 days Guided tour to Caves & Phnom Sampov and Countryside tour & Bamboo Train

  • Mekong Boat Trip

  • 10 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 9 dinners and 2 cooking classes 

 

Optional Activities:

 

  • National Museum, Royal Palace & Silver Pagoda

  • Boat Trip on Mekong River

  • Weaving Village

  • Elephant Ride in Angkor

  • Hot air balloon over Angkor Thom

  • Angkor National Museum

  • Circus

Day 12

 

  • Departure day. We will help you organize transfer to Phnom Penh Airport or any other destination.