Cambodia Culture & History

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Availability : Daily, All Year

Cambodia Culture & History

Highlights Include:

  • Exploring the Angkor complex of temples
  • A visit to the floating village on Tonle Sap
  • The opportunity to learn about Cambodia’s more recent, tragic history
  • Encountering the warmth & generosity of the Cambodian people
Tour Details

From: $800 per person | Single supplement on request

6 days

Departures: Daily, All Year

Travel to Cambodia’s capital, Phnom Penh, which was founded in the 14th Century and is a sprawling city lying in the arms of the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers. The sumptuous Silver Pagoda in the Royal Palace, built by Prince Sihanouk in 1962, contains over 5,000 silver floor tiles and houses one of the most spectacular collections of Buddha statues in the world. One golden Buddha is lavishly decorated with 9,584 diamonds.

In Siem Reap, the Angkor complex constitutes one of humankind’s most magnificent architectural achievements.  From Angkor the kings of the mighty Khmer Empire ruled over a territory that extended from the tip of what is now southern Vietnam northwards to Yunnan in China and westward to the Bay of Bengal.  Angkor’s hundred or so temples constitute the sacred skeleton of a spectacular administrative and religious center which once covered an area the size of Manhattan.

This is a sample semi-independent itinerary. Travel will be independent with guided tours and activities along the way. Our Destination Specialists will work with you to create an itinerary to meet your preferences.

Day 1Arrive Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Upon arrival you are met and transferred to your hotel. The evening is at your leisure to settle into your accommodations. Overnight in Phnom Penh

Day 2The Khmer Rouge Regime & Phnom Penh City | Meals: B L

This morning, discover Cambodia’s royal past with a visit to the Silver Pagoda, the most sacred temple in the country. Also enjoy the Royal Palace of King Sihamoni and the National Museum before eating lunch at Friends the Restaurant – a nonprofit organization that works with former street children, teaching them skills in the hospitality industry and other vocations. In the afternoon, learn about the atrocities inflicted on the Cambodian people by the Khmer Rouge regime with a visit to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. In 1975, this former high school was taken over by Pol Pot’s security forces and turned into a prison known as Security Prison 21 (S-21). It was used by the Khmer Rouge as a detention and torture center. Next, visit the killing field of Choeung Ek. The killing fields contain mass graves, slightly sunken, for perhaps 20,000 Cambodians. A memorial building stands in the center of the killing fields. Transfer back to your hotel. Overnight in Phnom Penh

Day 3Siem Reap & Angkor Wat | Meals: B L

This morning you fly to Siem Reap. Upon arrival, you are met and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon, visit Ta Phrom and experience the beauty of Angkor Wat, an architectural masterpiece constructed in the 12th century. It has many galleries and columns, libraries, pavilions, courtyards, ponds, and fascinating carved pieces detailing the Ramayana story and day-to-day life at the time of Angkor’s construction. End the day with a sunset view of the Angkor temples before your transfer takes you back to the city. Overnight in Siem Reap

Day 4Explore Siem Reap | Meals: B L

From the 9th to 13th century, Angkor was the heart of a rich and sophisticated civilization. You will see massive stone monuments, wide majestic causeways, imposing gateways, and towers in a jungle setting. Start your exploration with a visit the great city of Angkor Thom; visit the famous Bayon Temple, Baphuon Temple, the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King. See the small and unique Neak Poan temple and Preah Khan Temple, one of the most significant buildings of the ancient Khmer. This afternoon you can choose one of two excursions.

After lunch at the Sala Bai Hotel School, where underprivileged local youths are trained, make your way to the Rolous Temples through the countryside, villages, and rice paddies. In an ox cart or by bicycle visit the temples. Continue to cycle or walk to visit a local market and Wat Thmey Pagoda before returning to your hotel. Instead of the temple excursion you might want to try your hand at a cooking class at Mahob organic farm, which specializes in a variety of heirloom, seasonal fruits and vegetables. Learn about Cambodian cuisine and culture with talented local chefs and enjoy the results of your labor. Overnight in Siem Reap

Day 5Angkor Temples & Tonle Sap | Meals: B L

This morning, head to the outlying Banteay Srei Temple, “The Citadel of Women,” with its rose-colored sandstone walls that many consider to be the best carvings of any temple at Angkor. The quality of the carving and the state of preservation makes Banteay Srei extraordinary. Continue to Banteay Samre. In the afternoon, transfer to Tonle Sap Lake, the largest permanent fresh-water lake in Southeast Asia. It flows into Tonle Sap River, joining the Mekong in Phnom Penh. Enjoy a boat ride to visit the Vietnamese “floating village,” a big village floating on the lake with floating schools, the “village” moving from place to place following water levels and current. If you’d like to kayak to the floating village, please inquire, and note that April and May are not ideal due to low water levels. Overnight in Siem Reap

Day 6Monk's Blessing & Depart Siem Reap | Meals: B

You will feel blessed and calm after receiving a monk’s blessing and some quiet conversation with a monk, discussing how one can learn to live a peaceful and happy life. After an hour foot massage, you will be ready to transfer to the airport and continue your journey.

  • Five nights’ accommodation
  • Transfers as indicated
  • Meals as indicated (B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner) 
  • English-speaking, private local guides
  • Excursion to the following places: Silver Pagoda, National Museum, Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, and Killing Fields of Choeung Ek in Phnom Penh
  • 3-day Angkor Temple Pass for visiting Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayoun, Terrace of the Elephants, Terrace of the Leper King, Neak Poan, Preah Khan, Banteay Srie, and Tonle Sap Lake
  • Visit to Rolous Temples or cooking class at Mohob organic farm
  • Boat ride on Tonle Sap River
Not Included
  • All flights and related taxes & surcharges
  • Travel insurance, recommended
  • Fees for passports, visas, or health vaccinations
  • Transfers, sightseeing, activities, meals, and beverages not specified
  • Luggage handling at airports and hotels
  • Gratuities
  • Items of a personal nature such as laundry, spa services, internet, phone, etc.
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