Amazing as they are, there is a lot more to the Kingdom of Cambodia than the temples of Angkor as you'll soon discover on this fantastic off the beaten track tour of Cambodia
A 12-day, off the beaten track Cambodia Tour
If you’ve visited the Foreign Correspondents Club and Angkor Wat and then looked on a map of Cambodia and wondered what the rest of the country was like, then this is your chance to find out! This comprehensive 2-week, off the beaten track Cambodia tour, will push back the regular tourist boundaries with visits to a wide and highly varied array of fantastic, and often rarely-visited, sites.
Hike along the ‘Pilgrim’s Way’ and across the ‘River of a Thousand Lingas’ to the sacred mountain of Phnom Kulen. Explore the enigmatic forest temples of the 7th-century ruined capital – now UNESCO World Heritage Site – Sambor Prei Kuk.
Visit the former Khmer Rouge stronghold of Anlong Veng on the Thai border en-route to the atmospheric, cliff-top temple – also World Heritage Site – Preah Vihear.
Discover the French colonial architecture of charming Kampot Town as well as, of course, one of its world-famous pepper plantations. Stay in the picturesque coastal town and former French seaside resort of Kep-sur-mer from where we’ll also take a boat trip to nearby Rabbit Island.
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 anyone keen to discover more of this fascinating country beyond Angkor and the infamous Killing Fields,
Here's an idea of what you can expect to do and see day-to-day.
Day 1 - Phnom Penh - an introductory walking tour
Morning arrival in Phnom Penh and check-in to a small, comfortable, boutique-style hotel. Time to relax before a leisurely afternoon walk taking in the vibrant street-life and local markets of the old French quarter and riverside district.
Extra nights in Phnom Penh prior to your tour are available on request.
Overnight: Phnom Penh Transport: Walk, Meals: D,
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 site, the highly moving Khmer Rouge Genocide Museum at Tuol Sleng & 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 weaving methods still employed by the local villagers.
Overnight: Phnom Penh Transport: Walk, Tuk Tuk, Meals: B, L, D,
Day 3 - Sambor Prei Kuk - former 7th century capital, now UNESCO site
Departure overland, via the famous ‘spider village’ of Skuon to the 7th/8th-century jungle ruins of Sambor Prei Kuk, former capital of the Chenla civilization – a little known, but stunning site and 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,
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 day’s hiking along the ancient city ramparts and amongst the jungle of Angkor Tom.
Overnight: Siem Reap Transport: Minibus, Walk, Meals: B,
Day 5 - Phnom Kulen - along the Pilgrim's Way
Off to the sacred mountain of Phnom Kulen, lying some 50-kms north of the main Angkor temples where we’ll begin our hike with an ascent by the ancient ‘Pilgrim’s Way’ path and continue through well-preserved forest to Kulen Waterfall and famous River of a Thousand Lingas, Overnight in a family-run villa at the foot of the mountain.
Overnight: Banteay Srei Transport: Minibus, Walk, Meals: B, L, D,
Day 6 - Preah Vihear - a spectacular World Heritage temple
Departure north towards the Thai border with a stop at Anlong Veng – last stronghold of the Khmer Rouge and only liberated in 1998 – before continuing eastwards along the foot of the Dandrek Escarpment to Preah Vihear. 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,
Day 7 - Koh Ker - return drive to Siem Reap
Complete our return loop to Siem Reap by way of the fantastic 10th-century, forest ruins of Koh Ker. Some afternoon time at leisure 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, L,
Day 8 - Siem Reap - Tonle Sap tour and return to Phnom Penh
Morning 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: Minibus, Plane, Boat, Meals: B,
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,
Day 10 - Kampot - historic Kampot
Morning 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,
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 or hone your photographic skills on the fishing boats or abandoned French villas.
Overnight: Kep Transport: Boat, Walk, Meals: B, D,
Day 12 - Kep - morning at leisure and return to Phnom Penh
Morning 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 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,
The nitty-gritty, the things you need to know, the answers to your burning questions.
Just a few of the many highlights
World Heritage sites of Sambor Prei Kuk and Preah Vihear; Phnom Kulen, Kep and Kampot are just a few of the lesser-known highlights plus of course the Angkor temples & Phnom Penh street-life
- Visit the spectacular cliff-top UNESCO World Heritage site of Preah Vihear
- Travel through the scenic and timeless Cambodia countryside; ox carts, stilt villages, emerald paddy-fields and serene landscapes
- 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 premier wildlife rescue projects
- Meet the exceptionally friendly and welcoming local people...and sample the sumptuous and varied local cuisine
Air Departures (UK)
- 1 June 19 2,350 GBP
- 27 July 19 2,450 GBP
- 19 October 19 2,350 GBP
- 23 November 19 2,350 GBP
- 28 December 19 2,550 GBP
- 2 June 19 1,550 GBP
- 28 July 19 1,550 GBP
- 20 October 19 1,550 GBP
- 24 November 19 1,550 GBP
- 29 December 19 1,550 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...
The 252, Phnom Penh view
- Small, boutique-style and low-key
- Quiet but central location near cafes and restaurants
- Garden setting with pool and cafe
Villa Langka, Phnom Penh view
- Lush garden setting with pool
- Very convenient central but quiet location
- Helpful, friendly and efficient staff
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
The Beach House, Kep view
- Perect location overlooking the bay and coastal town of Kep
- Comfortable, tasefully decorated rooms with sea views
- Pool, bar, Wi-Fi and restaurant
*This list should be considered a guide only, hotels/rooms may change (without notice) depending on availability.
Visa Info & Notes
Visas; For most nationalities, a 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. Tourist visas are issued for 30 days from entry into Cambodia.
E-visas (so cutting down on queuing time at the airport) are now available for many nationalities https://www.evisa.gov.kh/
When entering Cambodia make sure you get an entry stamp in your passport and keep your departure card.
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 $20-25 total per person for the 12-day tour. 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 generally hotel buffets 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 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 and are en-suite and air-conditioned with pools except at Banteay Srei where we stay in a small family-run villa with air-con but no pool. 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.
Holidays should never end, stay a little longer. These extensions go well with this tour...
Here is what out guest have to say about their experience on this tour...
" An absolutely fantastic holiday with something to look forward to every day & the knowledge of a comfortable, clean & friendly hotel to return to at the end of it. We came with an open mind and the aim to enjoy ourselves - our expectations were met way beyond what we could have imagined. Basically - just loved it - from beginning to end! "January 2012
" Just a short email to say thanks for a wonderful trip to Cambodia, I enjoyed every minute of it. Mark was a great guide and his insight and knowledge was really helpful in understanding all we saw. Thanks again. I will not hesitate to recommend All Points East to anyone.
Mick and Helen Hall
" This was our first time in Cambodia. We found it a fascinating country and thoroughly enjoyed our holiday. There was an awful lot to take in and see and we were pleased to have visited parts of the country that are not on most tour itineraries. "November 2016