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, 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.)
Please note; since airfares are fluctuating wildly at present, as well as varying considerably from period to period, our ‘with flight’ prices, below, are approximate only.
Here's an idea of what you can expect to do and see day-to-day.
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,
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,
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,
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,
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,
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,
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,
The nitty-gritty, the things you need to know, the answers to your burning questions.
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
- 28 January 23 1,610 GBP
- 25 February 23 1,610 GBP
- 27 March 23 1,610 GBP
- 29 May 23 1,610 GBP
- 26 June 23 1,610 GBP
- 31 July 23 1,610 GBP
- 28 August 23 1,610 GBP
- 2 October 23 1,610 GBP
- 30 October 23 1,650 GBP
- 27 November 23 1,650 GBP
- 29 January 23 910 GBP
- 26 February 23 870 GBP
- 28 March 23 870 GBP
- 30 May 23 910 GBP
- 27 June 23 910 GBP
- 1 August 23 910 GBP
- 29 August 23 910 GBP
- 3 October 23 910 GBP
- 31 October 23 950 GBP
- 28 November 23 950 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
Current Covid regulations:As of January 2022 Cambodia was experiencing extremely low rates of Covid cases domestically, (albeit with relatively limited testing), ad boasts exceptional vaccination rates.
The country is open for fully vaccinated international travellers on presentation of a negative PCR test, (undertaken within 72 hours of arrival), at either Phnom Penh or Siem Reap international airports. A lateral flow test will be carried out upon arrival. *Details valid as of Jan 2022.)
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, the price is $30 payable in cash in USD. A passport photo is required. Tourist visas are issued for 30 days from the 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.
Here is what out guest have to say about their experience on this tour...
" I travelled in low season and although it was hot and humid, I'm so glad I chose April as I got to see everything without the crowds.
This was a really lovely holiday. A perfect pace with lots of sightseeing but also lots of free time to relax. Guides were fab, very knowledgeable,
friendly and not in your face! "
" All the arrangements worked impeccably and we always had confidence in your people, right from initial enquiry through to the driver and guides in Cambodia. The hotels were both great, though obviously very different from each other, which we liked a lot.
Both guides were fine...and our driver was skilled, careful and unflappable, and helped us to be so too. A great experience, and we’d gladly recommend you. Thank you all. "
" All Points East seems to have designed their itinerary very cleverly. The pacing was just right all the way through. We saw and did a lot without feeling rushed. In particular, we seemed to see everything at the right time, maximising the relative cool of early mornings and late afternoons and yet avoiding many of the crowds and queues.
Frank and Sue
" So pleased we opted for the rainy (or green) season - lush landscapes, few visitors and the occasional shower provided welcome refreshment breaks.
Excellent guides, fine accommodation and the local food was an excellent and unexpected bonus. (Just a shame we can't find a Khmer restaurant in Manchester!
Thansk very much to all concerned. "