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Cambodia and Thailand Family tour

Combines hectic but fun Phnom Penh with the spectacular temples of Angkor and unique Sangkar River boat journey, finishing with a sta on an unspoilt, tropical Thai island

Ruined Cities, Tropical Islands

Ruined Cities, Tropical Islands; a wonderful 2-week Cambodia and Thailand family tour. Exploring mysterious ruined cities enveloped by steamy jungle; travelling by wooden boat up a remote and picturesque river past unique 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 tour of some of Southeast Asia’s famous and lesser-known sites.

Beginning 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 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 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, boutique-style downtown hotel. Time to relax before an introductory walking and tuk-tuk tour, taking in the historic French Quarter and the lively waterfront area as well as giving you a feel for the bustling street-life before perhaps sundowners at the famous Foreign Correspondents Club and a local-style welcome dinner.

Airport transfers are included if you purchase the 'with flights' package.

Overnight: Phnom Penh Transport: Walk, Tuk Tuk,  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 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 provide plenty of photo opp’s whilst the Russian Market offers some ‘retail therapy’.

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

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Day 3 - Phnom Penh to Siem Reap - up country

Upcountry 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 sunset visit to the atmospheric ruins of Prei Rip completes our day.

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

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Day 4 - Siem Reap - Angkor tour

Angkor – an unforgettable 2-day tour of this fabulous site with its vast jungle-clad temples and mysterious stone carvings. We’ll begin with dawn at Angkor Wat followed by a morning tour of the temple itself. A return to Siem Reap to escape the midday heat and lunch, siesta or relaxation time is followed by 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

A forest hike up Bakheng Hill to visit the spectacular hilltop temple before moving on to the ruins 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 continues with a short 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 - Beng Melea - a remote, jungle-clad temple

Morning trip to one of the remoter 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 up the Sangkar River with 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.

Overnight: Battambang Transport: Boat,  Meals: B, 

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Day 8 - Battambang - cottage industries and village tour

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. The afternoon is at leisure allows you to explore the friendly provincial town, just chill-out in one of the many coffee shops or perhaps check-out the famous ‘bamboo train’?

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

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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.

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

The day at leisure on the island.

Note that during the ‘low’ season May to Oct we move our island stay to the larger, neighbouring island of Koh Chang.

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’! Our regular tour ends late afternoon although 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 at any time of the year
  • Explore the jungle clad ruined cities of Angkor - certainly one of Asia's most evocative and exotic destinations
  • Overland through the scenic and timeless Cambodia countryside: ox carts, stilt villages, emerald paddy-fields and serene landscapes
  • Stay at a well-appointed beach-side resort on the unspoilt Thai tropical island of Koh Mak
  • Journey 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

Air Departures (UK)

Land Departures

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

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

Delux Villa Battambang view

  • Small and friendly, low-key resort in Battambang
  • Swimming pool and lush, garden setting
  • Quiet but convenient central location

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 30-day visa for Thailand is issued on day 9 at the border, upon presentation of a passport photo and photocopy of the main page of your passport. (UK, US, Canada, Australia and Western Europe only – any other nationalities pleased check visa requirements with your Thai embassy.

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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