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Beyond Angkor

There's plenty more to see in Cambodia besides the spectacular temples of Angkor as you'll soon discover on this fantastic off the beaten track tour of the farthest reaches of the kingdom

A 12-day, off the beaten track Cambodia Tour

If you’ve visited the Killing Fields and Angkor Wat, taken a selfie in front of Ta Prohm’s giant roots and then looked at a map of Cambodia and wondered what the rest of the country was like, then this is your chance to find out! This 12-day, off-the-beaten-track Cambodia tour, Beyond Angkor, will push back the regular tourist boundaries with visits to a wide and highly varied array of fantastic, and often rarely-visited, sites as well, of course, as its iconic, well-known ones.

Hike along the ‘Pilgrim’s Way’ and across the ‘River of a Thousand Lingas’ on the sacred mountain, now Phnom Kulen National Park, visit an elephant sanctuary and discover the country’s ancient and modern history as we explore the enigmatic 7th-century forest temples of the ruined early capital, Sambor Prei Kuk. recently added to UNESCO’s World Heritage List, and pay an unusual visit to the former Khmer Rouge stronghold of Anlong Veng on the Thai border. From here we travel overland along the foot of the Dandrek Escarpment to another UNESCO-listed site, the awe-inspiring, spectacularly situated, cliff-top temple of Preah Vihear.

Heading to the south of the country our destinations include the excellent wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre of Phnom Tamao well as more ancient temples with Takeo Province’s Ta Prom and Phnom Chisor. Reaching the coast we’ll discover the French colonial architecture of charming Kampot Town as well as visiting one of its world-famous pepper plantations and take a boat trip to nearby, unspoilt Rabbit Island while staying in the picturesque coastal town and former French seaside resort of Kep-sur-Mer.

This Cambodia tour offers an exploration of the kingdom’s varied sites for first-time visitors – looking for something a bit different – as well as a more in-depth look for repeat visitors keen to discover more of this fascinating country. The tour includes all three of Cambodia’s World Heritage Sites as well as three more currently on UNESCO’s tentative list.

Stop press: as of September 2023, Koh Ker has been inscribed as Cambodia’s 4th UNESCO World Heritage site!

Since airfares are fluctuating wildly at present, as well as varying considerably from period to period, our ‘with flight’ prices, below, are approximate only.

Includes: Flights: Siem Reap-Phnom Penh. Meals: B x 10, L x 6, D x 4

Cambodia

Itinerary

Here's an idea of what you can expect to do and see day-to-day.

Cambodia, Beyond Angkor, FCC

Day 1 - Phnom Penh - an introductory walking tour

Morning start with a check-in to a small, comfortable, boutique-style, Phnom Penh hotel. Time to relax before a leisurely afternoon orientation walk, taking in the vibrant street life and local markets of the old French Quarter and riverside district.

Overnight: Phnom Penh Transport: Walk,  Meals: D, 

Cambodia, chopping firewood with granny, Koh Dach

Day 2 - Phnom Penh - city tour or Silk Island

For first time visitors, a day tour of some of the sites of Cambodia’s capital city includes the Royal Palace,  infamous Killing Fields, the highly moving Khmer Rouge Genocide Museum at Tuol Sleng and the Russian Market. Or……

Explore scenic Koh Dach. This tranquil island lies in the Mekong River just a few kms, but a world away, from the hectic capital. Wander the island’s quiet lanes and check out the traditional silk weaving methods.

Overnight: Phnom Penh Transport: Walk, Tuk Tuk,  Meals: B, L, 

Cambodia, Sambor Prei Kuk

Day 3 - Sambor Prei Kuk - former 7th-century capital, now UNESCO site

Departure overland, via the famous ‘spider village’ of Skuon, to the 7th-century jungle ruins of Sambor Prei Kuk, the former capital of the Chenla civilization. This little-known, but stunning site is, since 2017, Cambodia’s most recent World Heritage site.  Lunch by a scenic lake before completing our journey to Siem Reap.

Overnight: Siem Reap Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, L, D, 

Cambodia, Angkor Tom

Day 4 - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat and Angkor Tom

A day at Angkor. For first-time visitors a tour of some of the principal sites such as Angkor Wat, Bayon and Ta Prom can be arranged, otherwise, we propose a scenic hike along the ancient city ramparts and jungle of Angkor Tom.

Overnight: Siem Reap Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, 

Cambodia, waterfall on Kulen

Day 5 - Phnom Kulen - along the Pilgrim's Way

On to the sacred mountain of Phnom Kulen, lying some 50 kms north of the main Angkor temples, where we’ll begin our morning hike with an ascent by the ancient ‘Pilgrim’s Way’ path and continue through well-preserved forest to Kulen Waterfall and unusual River of a Thousand Lingas. In the afternoon we’ll visit a nearby sanctuary created for the elephants that used to provide tourist rides at Angkor, with an overnight stay by the ancient ruined capital of Koh Ker.

Overnight: Banteay Srei Village Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, L, 

Cambodia World Heritage sites

Day 6 - Preah Vihear - a spectacular World Heritage temple

Morning visit to some of Koh Ker’s spectacular jungle temples before continuing our route north to Preah Vihear on the Thai border. This UNESCO site has the most dramatic setting of any Khmer temple, rising from Thailand’s Khorat Plateau to culminate in a sheer 400-meter drop-off overlooking the plains and forests of Northern Cambodia.

Overnight: Sra Em Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, L, D, 

Cambodia, Apopo rat demining centre

Day 7 - Koh Ker - return drive to Siem Reap

Complete our return loop to Siem Reap with a stop at Anlong Veng – the last stronghold of the Khmer Rouge – only liberated in 1998 Some afternoon time at leisure in Siem Reap could include checking out the town’s markets and handicrafts or the very smart, giant African rats at the Apopo de-mining visitor’s centre.

Overnight: Siem Reap Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, 

Cambodia, the Flooded Forest

Day 8 - Siem Reap - Tonle Sap tour and return to Phnom Penh

Boat tour to the ‘flooded forest’ – a highly unusual and picturesque area on the edge of the Tonle Sap Lake and on to the photogenic Kompong Phleuk stilt village. Return to Siem Reap and transfer to the airport for the short afternoon flight to Phnom Penh.

Overnight: Phnom Penh Transport: Plane, Boat,  Meals: B, 

Cambodia, Phnom Tamao

Day 9 - Phnom Tamao - Wildlife Rescue Centre and on to Kep

Morning visit to the fascinating animal refuge and rehabilitation centre at Phnom Tamao. An extremely interesting and worthwhile visit! In the afternoon we’ll continue south to the delightful, scenic coastal town of Kep with perhaps a stroll along the waterfront for sundowners at the famous Crab Market.

Overnight: Kep Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, L, 

Kep Kampot and Takeo tour,Cambodia, Kep, Crab Market sunset

Day 10 - Kampot - historic Kampot

A tour to the nearby, charming old colonial port of Kampot with the opportunity to wander the waterfront, check out the handicraft shops, cafes and well-preserved French architecture plus a visit to one of the region’s world-famous pepper plantations.

Overnight: Kep Transport: Walk, Tuk Tuk,  Meals: B, L, 

Cambodia, Rabbit island, Koh Tonsai

Day 11 - Kep - morning on Rabbit Island and afternoon at leisure

Boat trip to nearby unspoilt Rabbit Island for some beach and swimming time or a hike around the island for the energetic. Afternoon at leisure in Kep; relax by the pool, take a hike in the national park or hone your photographic skills on the fishing boats or abandoned French villas.

Overnight: Kep Transport: Boat, Walk,  Meals: B, D, 

Cambodia, Tonle Bati

Day 12 - Kep - morning at leisure and return to Phnom Penh

Time at leisure before a return drive to Phnom Penh via the well-preserved, 12th-century temple of Ta Prom Tonle Bati. Afternoon arrival in the capital and departure at your leisure.

Extra nights in Phnom Penh before or after your tour are available on request.

Airport transfers are included if you purchase the 'with flights' package. If you purchase your own flights, airport transfers can be arranged.

Overnight: Departure Transport: Minibus,  Meals: B, L, 

Print Itinerary

Details

The nitty-gritty, the things you need to know, the answers to your burning questions.

Cambodia, local specialities

Just a few of the many highlights

World Heritage sites of Angkor, Sambor Prei Kuk and Preah Vihear, plus lesser-known Phnom Kulen, Kep and Kampot are just a few of the highlights along with, of course, the Angkor temples and Phnom Penh street-life

  • Includes all 3 of Cambodia's UNESCO World Heritage sites; Angkor, Preah Vihear and Sambor Prei Kuk
  • Explore the atmospheric and mysterious jungle-clad ruined cities and temples of Angkor
  • Stay at the charming old coastal resort of Kep; visit scenic Rabbit Island and take sundowners at the famous Crab Market
  • Go trekking on the 'Pilgrim's Way' to reach the sacred mountain of Phnom Kulen
  • Visit Phnom Tamao; a fascinating and highly worthwhile visit to one of Southeast Asia's best wildlife rescue projects
  • Meet the exceptionally friendly and welcoming local people...and sample the sumptuous and varied local cuisine

Air Departures (UK) *From

  • 3 May 24 2,350 GBP
  • 1 June 24 2,350 GBP
  • 6 July 24 2,350 GBP
  • 27 July 24 2,350 GBP
  • 12 October 24 2,350 GBP
  • 9 November 24 2,380 GBP
  • 7 December 24 2,380 GBP
  • 4 January 25 2,420 GBP

Land Departures

  • 4 May 24 1,550 GBP
  • 2 June 24 1,550 GBP
  • 7 July 24 1,550 GBP
  • 28 July 24 1,550 GBP
  • 13 October 24 1,550 GBP
  • 10 November 24 1,580 GBP
  • 8 December 24 1,580 GBP
  • 5 January 25 1,620 GBP

Guaranteed Places Left Special Price Solo Traveller Closed

*Air departures are from the UK. Land departures start from Phnom Penh

*Land departure dates correspond to the FIRST day of the itinerary.

We choose our hotels based on a combination of location, comfort and convenience. Here is a *selection of the types of hotel/rooms you can expect to stay at on this tour...

Hotel 252 Phnom Penh

Hotel 252 Phnom Penh view

  • Small, boutique-style and low-key
  • Quiet but central location near cafes and restaurants
  • Garden setting with pool and cafe
Cambodia, City River Hotel, Siem Reap

City River Hotel Siem Reap view

  • City River is out first choice in Cambodia's Siem Reap.
  • Rooftop pool; spa, riverside location, super friendly staff
  • Only a 5 minute walk from the bustling Old Market district
Koh Ker Temple Garden Hotel

Koh Ker Temple Garden Hotel view

  • Great location, halfway between Siem Reap and Preah Vihear
  • Some welcome comfort in the 'middle-of-nowhere'!
  • Chalet-style rooms and pool in a lush tropical garden
Cambodia, Preah Vihear Jaya Hotel

Preah Vihear Jaya Hotel Sra Em view

  • Comfy accommodation in rather remote Sra Em Town
  • In-house swimming pool, bar and restaurant
  • Convenient short drive to UNESCO site Preah Vihear
Sabbay Kep

Sabbay Kep

  • Great location; ocean views and a short walk to Crab Market
  • Lush tropical garden and swimming pool
  • Comfortable, well-appointed bungalow-style rooms

*This list should be considered a guide only, hotels/rooms may change (without notice) depending on availability.

Visa Info & Notes

Visas: For the majority of nationalities, a tourist visa on arrival is issued at airports and all land borders used on our tours.  Visa fees and conditions are subject to change but are usually $30 payable in cash in US dollars. A passport photo is required.

E-visas are available at this link for $36 and speed up arrival procedures as well as economising a page in your passport. When entering Cambodia make sure you get an entry stamp in your passport and keep your departure card.

Standard entry and exit point for this tour is Pochentong International Airport, (Phnom Penh).

Passport: Your passport should be valid for a minimum period of 6 months from the date of entry into Cambodia. You may be refused entry if your passport is damaged, in poor condition or does not have at least 2 blank pages remaining.

Tipping: we recommend a kitty system for the smaller, daily tips such as hotel/restaurant staff and local drivers. Amounts inevitably vary with group size but would generally be in the region of $3-4 per person per day. With regards guides accompanying you for longer periods we’d recommend a separate tip of approximately $5 per person, per day though of course, this is always discretionary and performance-related. (Local currency or USD are fine.)

Meals: breakfasts are either buffets or a la carte in smaller hotels with lunch and dinners based on local food. Lunches on the road are typically simpler dishes such as variations on noodles or fried rice while your tour-leader will generally order more elaborate-style dinners consisting of a selection of local fare. The excellent cuisine shows both Thai and Vietnamese influences though with plenty of unique dishes too.

Dishes are only mildly spicy and both vegetarians and vegans are very easily catered for. For any other likes and dislikes please remind your tour-leader at the start of the tour.  A number of meals are not included, which allows you to ‘do your own thing’ or take a break if you’re feeling ‘riced out’. 

Accommodation: all choices fall into the comfortable 3* range, with an emphasis where possible on the smaller, ‘boutique-style’, and are en-suite and air-conditioned with pools. We have posted a selection of sample accommodation on the lefthand hotel tab but please note that as we try and avoid the larger hotels, availability, in high season particularly, means we use several options in each destination.

Activities: note that no activities are compulsory and that any offered can be tailored for various fitness levels or alternatives suggested.

Further info: detailed descriptions and photos can be found on the corresponding page of our travel blog.

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