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Ruined Cities and Tropical Islands

Combines bustling and fun Phnom Penh with the spectacular temples of Angkor plus an unspoilt, tropical island stay

Cambodia and Thailand Family Tour

A wonderful Cambodia and Thailand family tour. Exploring mysterious ruined cities enveloped by steamy jungle; travelling by wooden boat up a remote and picturesque river past incredible floating villages; lazing on the beautiful, unspoilt beaches of a tropical island and  snorkelling on vibrant coral reefs ought to keep the whole family amazed, certainly entertained and we reckon engrossed, during this 2 week tour through Southeast Asian.

Starting in the bustling, fascinating, present day Khmer capital of Phnom Penh we’ll discover local markets, historical sites and the vibrant street-life before  travelling overland through Cambodia’s  timeless landscapes to Siem Reap and the ancient cities of fabulous Angkor. A 3 day Angkor programme provides ample time to explore the exotic jungle-clad ruins at a leisurely pace, as well as opportunities to check-out local markets and handicrafts and of course ‘R and R’ time by the pool or even a rooftop, sunset cocktail bar?

From Angkor we head by private boat up the spectacular Sangkar River past its unique floating villages and bustling river scenes to Battambang Town for a fascinating bicycle tour of the traditional livelihoods and cottage industries of surrounding villages. From here a short hop takes us to the Thai border and on to the unspoilt tropical island of Koh Mak. Exploring the island, boat trips to the neighbouring coral reefs and lazing on a beautiful unspoilt beach are some of the activities on offer.

Some amazing sights and exotic scenes – culture shock and great fun guaranteed –  with plenty of friendly locals and tasty local food to get to know, (not forgetting the deep fried tarantulas of course),  plus masses of culture, history and geography to inspire all members of the family.

 

Cambodia

Itinerary

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

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Day 1 - Phnom Penh - arrival and an introductory walking tour

Arrival in Phnom Penh and check-in to a small, comfortable, downtown hotel close to the historic riverbank quarter. Time to relax before stretching your legs with an introductory walking tour, taking in the historic French Quarter, Wat Phnom and the lively waterfront area as well as giving you a feel for the bustling street-life before finishing perhaps, with sundowners at the famous Foreign Correspondents Club?

Extra nights in Phnom Penh prior to your tour are available on request.
Airport transfers are included if you purchase the 'with flights' package. If you purchased your own flights, airport transfers can be arranged.

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

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Day 2 - Phnom Penh - city tour

Comprehensive day tour of some of the sites of Cambodia’s fascinating capital city: the infamous Killing Fields site and the highly moving Khmer Rouge Genocide Museum at Tuol Sleng help to explain the country’s recent tragic history, the picturesque Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda will provide plenty of photo opp’s whilst the Russian Market offers some ‘retail therapy’ and a chance for a local style lunch.

Overnight: Phnom Penh Transport: Minibus, Walk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 3 - Phnom Penh to Siem Reap - up country

Up country through Cambodia’s scenic countryside to the small provincial town of Siem Reap – our base for the next few days and jumping off point for the nearby Angkor Temple complex. Stops on the way at the famous ‘spider village’ of Skuon, (tasting not compulsory), a rarely visited, but well preserved, 11th century temple and lunch by a scenic lake. A dusk visit to the atmospheric ruins of Banteay Kdei completes our day.

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

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Day 4 - Siem Reap - Angkor tour

Angkor – an unforgettable two-day tour of this fabulous site – its vast jungle clad temples and mysterious stone carvings. Our programme begins with dawn at Angkor Wat followed by a morning tour of the temple itself. Then return to Siem Reap to escape the midday heat and lunch, siesta or relaxation time before an afternoon walking tour of Angkor Tom: Leper King Terrace, Phimeanakas, Elephant Terrace, Baphuon and last but not least, (we’ll wait until the crowds have gone!), the dramatic Bayon Temple with its famous carved faces.

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

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Day 5 - Angkor - jungle temples

We’ll begin with a forest hike up Bahkeng Hill to visit the spectacular Phnom Bahkeng Temple before moving on to the huge jungle-clad ruin of Preah Khan. Dense jungle, enormous roots and screeching parakeets make this atmospheric temple one of everyone’s favourites. After a break in Siem Reap Town the afternoon programme continues with a short jungle walk to Ta Keo via the remote and rarely visited Ta Nei Temple. A visit to famous Ta Prom – the famous ‘Tomb Raider’ Temple – continues our jungle theme and concludes our day’s visit.

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

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Day 6 - Siem Reap - a remote, jungle-clad temple

Morning trip to one of the remoter, less visited temple sites, the truly spectacular Beng Melea. A huge, partially ruined temple complex, overgrown by jungle, lying to the west of Siem Reap this is one of the most impressive Angkor monuments. Return to Siem Reap with an afternoon at leisure to relax by the pool, visit the National Museum explore the markets or even take a Khmer cookery lesson?

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

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Day 7 - Siem Reap to Battambang - a spectacular river journey

Spectacular boat journey across the Tonle Sap Lake, past the ‘flooded forest’ and Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary and on down the Sangkar River and its floating and stilt-house fishing villages to the town of Battambang. Stop off on the way to visit the Prek Toal community water hyacinth weaving project and floating villages. Time of arrival will depend upon water levels.

Overnight: Battambang Transport: Boat,  Meals: B, 

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Day 8 - Battambang - cottage industries and village tour

Morning ride through the paddy-fields on Battambang’s famous ‘bamboo train’, (we’ll explain later!), followed by some leisure time to explore the friendly provincial town or just chill-out in one of the many coffee shops. After lunch we’ll head out to the surrounding villages to check out the area’s traditional cottage industries and handicrafts either by bicycle or tuk-tuk for the less energetic.

Overnight: Battambang Transport: Taxi, Walk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 9 - Battambang to Koh Mak - overland to Thailand

Continue through this little visited region of Cambodia to the Thai border at Pailin – famed for its gemstones and as the Khmer Rouge’s last stronghold from where we’ll head south to the nearby Gulf of Thailand coast for a boat ride to the tropical island of Koh Mak and our accommodation in comfortable beach-side chalets.

During the 'low' season May to Oct we move our island stay to neighbouring Koh Chang

Overnight: Koh Mak Transport: Minibus, Boat,  Meals: B, 

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Day 10 - Koh Mak - at leisure on the island

Day at leisure on the island; make the most of the turquoise waters and coconut-palm lined beaches, try out a beach massage, explore the island or try a boat tour through the surrounding archipelago of Koh Chang National Marine Park including swimming and snorkelling on some of the area’s vibrant coral reefs?

This tour is fully escorted with the exception of the beach stay on days 10 to 12

Overnight: Koh Mak Transport: Walk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 11 - Koh Mak - at leisure on the island

Day at leisure on the island.

Overnight: Koh Mak Transport: Boat, Walk,  Meals: B, 

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Day 12 - Koh Mak - morning at leisure and return to Bangkok

Return drive to Bangkok, with a stop on the way to visit Chantaburi’s truly amazing ‘Buddha Park’! Tour ends late afternoon.

Extra nights in Bangkok after your tour are available on request.

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

Overnight: Departure Transport: Minibus,  Meals: B, 

Print Itinerary

Details

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

Thailand, Koh Chang, relaxing

Just a few of the many highlights

Bustling, hectic but great fun Phnom Penh; jungle-clad ruined temples and mysterious carvings, remote floating villages on the Sangkar River and a stay on an unspoilt tropical island

  • High and low season itinerary versions to optimise weather conditions
  • Explore the jungle clad ruined cities of Angkor - certainly one of Asia's most evocative and exotic destinations
  • Travel through the scenic and timeless Cambodia countryside: ox carts, stilt villages, emerald paddy-fields and serene landscapes
  • Stay at a comfortable beach resort on the unspoilt Thai tropical island of Koh Mak
  • Travel by boat up the Sangkar River - floating villages, bird-life, unique scenery; 'like being on a Nat Geo programme'!
  • Meet the exceptionally friendly and welcoming local people...and sample the sumptuous and varied local cuisine

The map is currently being updated...

Air Departures (UK)

Land Departures

Guaranteed Limited Places 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...

Hilary’s Boutique Hotel, Phnom Penh view

  • Central but peaceful location in bustling Phnom Penh
  • Small, family run hotel
  • Garden setting, pool and in-house cafe/bar/restaurant

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

King Fy Hotel, Battambang view

  • Central riverside location in Battambang Town
  • Great roof-top 'Sky Bar' for sundowners
  • Suoer friendly staff, comfortable rooms, cracking breakfast

Koh Mak Resort, Trat view

  • The superb Koh Mak Resort situated right by the beach
  • Set on a quiet, unspoilt bay on picturesque Koh Mak Island
  • Pool, in-house restaurant and great beachside cocktail bar

KB Resort, Koh Chang view

  • Charming, low-key and beachside resort
  • Chalet style rooms set in a lush garden
  • Friendly staff and fabulous sunset terrace

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

Visa Info & Notes

Cambodia: No visa in advance is required. A 30 day visa is issued on arrival at Phnom Penh airport ($30 plus passport photo). E-visa is available at this link.

Thailand: No visa in advance is required. A 15 day visa for Thailand is issued on day 9 at the border, upon presentation of a passport photo and photocopy of main page of your passport. (UK, US, Canada, Australia and Western Europe only – any other nationalities pleased check visa requirements with your Thai embassy. Otherwise no visa will be issued.
VISA INFORMATION FOR UK & US CITIZENS ONLY – ALL other nationalities will need to consult the relevant embassies in their countries. Any visa/immigration costs are not included in the price of the tours – you will need to pay for these in addition, as indicated.)

Further info: more details and photos of our ‘Ruined Cities and Tropical Islands’ tour here and suggested reading and viewing on Cambodia at this link

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