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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 famous 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 or perhaps check out the beautifully laid-out Angkor National Museum or even the unusual and fascinating Apopo, giant rat de-mining centre! 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, 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.)

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:Meals: B x 6, L x 2, D x 3

Also note that further info, details and photos can be found on the Highlights of Cambodia page of our travelblog.

Cambodia

Itinerary

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

Cambodia, Phnom Penh's old French Quarter, from Saigon to Angkor

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 on the riverfront.

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

Cambodia, Royal Palace

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, 

Cambodia, kompong Thom, ox cart

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, 

Cambodia, Bayon Temple

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 a 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 and 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, 

Cambodia, images of Cambodia, Angkor ruins

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, 

Cambodia, Beng Melea, overview of central enclosure

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 an afternoon free to relax by the pool or maybe visit the excellent National Museum.

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

Cambodia, Siem Reap old town

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) *From

  • 8 June 24 1,710 GBP
  • 7 July 24 1,710 GBP
  • 3 August 24 1,810 GBP
  • 1 September 24 1,710 GBP
  • 29 September 24 1,710 GBP
  • 27 October 24 1,750 GBP
  • 24 November 24 1,750 GBP
  • 22 December 24 1,850 GBP
  • 19 January 25 1,895 GBP
  • 16 February 25 1,895 GBP

Land Departures

  • 9 June 24 910 GBP
  • 8 July 24 910 GBP
  • 4 August 24 910 GBP
  • 2 September 24 910 GBP
  • 30 September 24 910 GBP
  • 28 October 24 950 GBP
  • 25 November 24 950 GBP
  • 23 December 24 950 GBP
  • 20 January 25 995 GBP
  • 17 February 25 995 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
Patio Hotel and Urban Resort

Patio Hotel and Urban Resort view

  • Convenient central location nearby shops, cafes, restaurants
  • Comfortable, well-appointed and well-decorated
  • Spectacular rooftop infinity pool
Pierre Hotel Siem Reap

Pierre Hotel Siem Reap view

  • Great riverside location close to the town centre
  • In-house pool, bar, coffee shop and restaurant
  • Low-key, friendly staff and atmosphere
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

*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 point for this tour is Pochentong International Airport, (Phnom Penh) and departure port is Siem Reap International Airport.

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 to 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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