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Highlights of Cambodia

Overland from vibrant Phnom Penh to Siem Reap and the fabulous ruined cities and jungle-clad temples of UNESCO World Heritage Angkor

1-week Cambodia tour; from Phnom Penh to Angkor Wat

This exciting 1-week Cambodia tour, Highlights of Cambodia, is an overland adventure through this fascinating and still little-known country. We begin in the hectic yet charming riverside capital of Phnom Penh, where we’ll take in some of the city’s iconic sites as well as its vibrant street-life, local markets and lesser-seen back streets. From here we travel up-country through picturesque landscapes, traditional villages, and timeless rural scenes to the atmospheric and dramatic jungle-clad temples of Angkor.

Our Angkor programme is spread over 3 days, allowing for a comprehensive but leisurely-paced visit to this spectacular World Heritage destination. Plenty of free time also provides opportunities to sample Siem Reap’s lively markets, cafes and restaurants as well as perhaps trying out some spa therapy or just chilling out by the pool with a cocktail! We’ll try, to the best of our abilities, to get you to the right temples at the right time and avoid as much as possible crowds and the midday heat. You’re probably only going to visit Angkor once in your life so you may as well do it properly!

An unforgettable tour: spectacular destinations, friendly people, informed (and fun) guides, comfortable boutique-style accommodation and plenty of great local food to discover. (And don’t worry, the deep-fried tarantulas are not compulsory!)

For those with more time, a slightly longer version of our Highlights of Cambodia tour – the 10-day Cambodia Overland – is available which also includes the fascinating boat journey up the scenic Sangkar River in western Cambodia to Battambang, a local livelihoods and cottage industries village tour by tuk-tuk followed by a return overland to Phnom Penh.

Note also that another option starts in Vietnam’s Saigon and takes you through the evocative Mekong Delta before continuing by boat up the Mekong River itself to Cambodia’s capital. (See our 12-day Saigon to Angkor tour.)

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 orientation walking tour

Arrival in Cambodia’s bustling capital and check-in to a small, boutique-style downtown hotel. Some relaxation time before a leisurely introductory walking tour, including the historic French Quarter, a local market and the lively waterfront area. Get a first-hand feel for the vibrant street-life before perhaps sundowners at the famous FCC (Foreign Correspondents Club)?

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

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Day 2 - Phnom Penh - day tour of the iconic sites

Tour of some of the sites of the fascinating capital, Phnom Penh including the infamous Killing Fields and S21, the highly moving Genocide Museum and the picturesque Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda for some photo opportunities. A mid-day visit to the Russian Market provides some ‘retail therapy’ and the opportunity for a local style lunch.

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

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Day 3 - Overland to Siem Reap

Journey up-country through Cambodia’s scenic countryside to the provincial town of Siem Reap in northwestern Cambodia – our base for the nearby temples of Angkor. Visits en route include the famous (or rather, infamous), ‘spider village’ of Skuon, (tasting not compulsory), a rarely visited 11th-century temple and lunch beside a picturesque lake. An atmospheric sunset visit to Prei Rup Temple completes our day.

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

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Day 4 - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat and Angkor Tom

Dawn at Angkor Wat, followed by a morning tour of the vast temple itself. Return to our hotel to escape the midday heat with siesta, spa, market or just relaxing by the pool time. In the afternoon we’ll visit the ruined city of Angkor Tom including, the Leper King & Elephant Terraces, Phimeanakas, Baphuon, and last but not least, the dramatic Bayon Temple with its famous faces.

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

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Day 5 - Angkor - jungle temples

Today’s Angkor visit begins with the spectacular hill-top Phnom Bakheng Temple followed by the jungle-clad ruins of Preah Khan. Giant roots, towering forest and screeching parakeets make this atmospheric temple one of everyone’s favourites.  After a break, we’ll take a short hike to Ta Keo via the remote and rarely visited Ta Nei Temple. Ta Prom – the famous ‘Tomb Raider’ temple  – continues the jungle theme and concludes the day’s visit.

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

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Day 6 - Siem Reap - A remote temple and afternoon at leisure

Early morning drive to spectacular Beng Melea, one of the remoter and less-visited sites. This huge, partially ruined temple complex, overgrown by jungle, is one of the most impressive Angkor monuments. Return to Siem Reap by way of an optional visit to the fascinating Apopo Centre with afternoon free to relax by the pool or maybe visit the excellent National Museum?

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

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Day 7 - Siem Reap - morning at leisure and departure

Morning at leisure; some last-minute shopping in the street markets or perhaps a final massage at the hotel’s spa and end of the tour.

 

Extra nights in Siem Reap after or Phnom Penh before 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: Walk,  Meals: B, 

Print Itinerary

Details

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

Cambodia, Terrace of the Leper King

Just a few of the many highlights

Jungle-clad ruined temples and mysterious carvings covered in creepers and giant roots populated by monkeys and screeching parakeets, is certainly one of the most evocative sights of Southeast Asia.

  • Consistently one of the best surprises on any of our tours; Phnom Penh maybe total chaos but it's certainly great fun
  • Experience dawn at Angkor Wat and watch the sunrise over the iconic silhouette of the world's largest religious building
  • Travel through the scenic and timeless Cambodia countryside: ox carts, stilt villages, emerald paddy-fields and bucolic landscapes
  • Explore the atmospheric, jungle clad ruined cities of Angkor - undoubtedly one of Asia's most evocative and exotic destinations
  • Remote Beng Melea, the ultimate Indiana Jones temple - with its creepers, jungle-clad walls and towers
  • Meet the exceptionally friendly and welcoming local people and sample the little-known but sumptuous and varied local cuisine

Air Departures (UK)

  • 28 November 20 1,670 GBP
  • 29 December 20 1,870 GBP
  • 31 January 21 1,670 GBP
  • 28 February 21 1,670 GBP
  • 27 March 21 1,620 GBP
  • 22 April 21 1,620 GBP
  • 22 May 21 1,570 GBP
  • 24 June 21 1,570 GBP
  • 24 July 21 1,670 GBP
  • 22 August 21 1,620 GBP
  • 23 September 21 1,570 GBP
  • 23 October 21 1,620 GBP
  • 19 November 21 1,670 GBP
  • 25 December 21 1,870 GBP

Land Departures

  • 29 November 20 895 GBP
  • 30 December 20 895 GBP
  • 1 February 21 895 GBP
  • 1 March 21 845 GBP
  • 28 March 21 845 GBP
  • 23 April 21 845 GBP
  • 23 May 21 795 GBP
  • 25 June 21 795 GBP
  • 25 July 21 795 GBP
  • 23 August 21 845 GBP
  • 24 September 21 795 GBP
  • 24 October 21 845 GBP
  • 20 November 21 895 GBP
  • 26 December 21 895 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 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

*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 though, a visa on arrival is issued at Phnom Penh International airport. Prices and conditions are subject to change but at the time of writing price is $30 payable in cash in USD. A passport photo is required. Tourist visas are issued for 30 days from date of entry into Cambodia.

E-visas (thus cutting down on queuing time at the airport) are now available for many nationalities at this link and cost $36 with a stated processing time of 3 working days. These are accepted at international airports and certain land crossings only.

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 $2-3 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 a smaller, ‘boutique-style’, 3* 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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Extensions

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