Capitals then and now

Destination Siem Reap Kampong Thom Phnom Penh
Category Cambodia
Duration 8 days 7 nights
Dates & Prices
Departure date
Day 1 : Arrival in Siem Reap
Day 1 : Arrival in Siem Reap

At your arrival at the Siem Reap International airport, your dedicated driver will be waiting for you in the arrival hall and welcome you to Cambodia. He will escort you to your car and take you to your hotel for check-in. Then we will brief you about the rest of the tour and answer the questions you may have. According to your arrival time, your driver will make suggestions to start exploring the city of Siem Reap, such as visiting the old market, wlaking along the Siem Reap river or visitng the night market. Overnight in Siem Reap.

Day 2: Angkor sightseeing - small circle
Day 2: Angkor sightseeing - small circle

In the morning you will enjoy a relaxing breakfast before exploring one of the most stunning world-heritage site on the planet: the temples of Angkor. Your driver will meet you at your hotel and then take you for a day tour of what is called the small circle. The city that used to be the capital of Khmer Empire, was the biggest metropolis of its time with more then 800,000 people, and recent NASA studies have found that it spread over nearly 3000 km2. This resulted in a vast variety in architectural styles that can be explored in several days. Your first stop will take you to the biggest and most famous temple of all: Angkor Wat. Built in the 12th century, the temple (‘Wat’ means temple in Khmer) is dedicated to the Hindu God Vishnu. Then you will continue your journey towards Angkor Thom (literally “Big Angkor”, or “Big City”). The area is surrounded by a protecting wall and you will access through one of its gates, made of 4 giants stone heads. Then you will reach one of the most mysterious sites of the Angkor area: Bayon - 148 giant Buddha faces made of stone, starring at the four cardinal directions. Next you will visit the temple of Baphuon, which used to be one of the biggest temples of the Angkor site. Built as pyramid in the 11th century, Baphuon’s main attraction is the giant lying Buddha (60m long) that can be discovered on the south side. Just next to the temple, you will discover Phimeanakas, which is inside what used to be the Royal Palace. The temple of Phimeanakas (literally “celestial palace”), built in the 10th century, was allegedly covered by a golden roof. Exiting the the Royal Palace, you will also discover the Elephants terrace. Then you will finish the tour by discovering one of the most iconic temple of Angkor: Ta Phrom. The Hollywood blockbuster ‘Tomb Raider’ (featuring Angelina Jolie) gave the temple its fame, but as soon as you entire the site you will be stunned by the unique atmosphere created by the angkorian temples half covered by giant trees and vegetation. Then return to you Siem Reap and your hotel to relax from this fantastic day of sightseeing. Overnight in Siem Reap.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 3: Angkor sightseeing - big circle
Day 3: Angkor sightseeing - big circle

Today you will continue the exploration of the ancient capital city of the Khmer empire, that ruled over a very wide area that included the current Cambodia, Thailand, Laos and vast part of Vietnam during the 13th century. Your driver will pick you up at your hotel and take you for the ‘Big Circle’. First you will explore the lost city of Preah Khan. You will explore the ruins that used to host a monastery and a Buddhist university, and admire the beautiful carvings decorating the ancient walls. Then you will continue your journey through time and discover the site of Neak Pean. Built in 12th century, Neak Pean features a sanctuary set in the middle of a small lake. The lake was made to be a replica of sacred lake of Anavatapta, located in the Tibetan Himalayas. You will pass along Ta Som (a temple literally swallowed by the nature), before reaching East Mebon (a former city, from which only the main temple remains, surrounded by a water tank). As you continue your tour, you will explore the site of Banteay Kdei whose gate will welcome you with 4 giant stone faces of Buddha. The architectural journey will end with the discovery of Srah Srang (a pool built in 10th century) and Prasat Kravan (a temple dedicated to Lord Vishnu). Your driver will then take you back to your hotel for a little rest. In the evening you can explore the night market of Siem Reap, which is located right across the river in the city center. The center of Siem Reap is a lively area, that you can explore by foot. Overnight in Siem Reap.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 4: Angkor sightseeing - outer sites
Day 4: Angkor sightseeing - outer sites

Enjoy your breakfast in the relaxing atmosphere of your hotel, before your driver meets you to take you on tour. Today you will explore sites of the greater Angkor area. This will take you through the Cambodian countryside and give you an insight into the daily life of Khmer farmers. Your first stop will be Banteay Samre. This temple from the 12th century is also called ‘mini Angkor Wat’, and as it is off the beaten track, you might enjoy the visit all for yourself. Then your driver will take you to the famous site of Banteay Srei. You will notice how different this site is from the others that you have visited so far. Banteay Srei is made of pink sandstones, that give the buildings a unique different color. Another stunning difference is that the carvings are extremely precise and well made. Which created the popular belief that it must had been done by women (“Srei” meaning “woman” in Cambodian). Then your journey will take you to Roluos, crossing typical villages of the Cambodian countryside. The Roluos include the sites of Lolei, Preah Ko and Bakong. All were built before the Angkorian area, back in the 9th century. In the afternoon, your driver will take you back to Siem Reap. You can then decide to relax at your hotel or to explore the city center by foot. You can visit the Old Market, along the river and walk along the notorious Pub Street. Overnight in Siem Reap.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 5: From Siem Reap to Kampong Thom
Day 5: From Siem Reap to Kampong Thom

Today you will leave Siem Reap to reach the city of Kampong Thom. You will drive through the Cambodian countryside crossing the provinces of Siem Reap and Kampong Thom. In Kampong Kdei, you will discover the Naga bridge, built in the 8th century. The province of Kampong Thom also hosts wide forests that sadly also used to be filled with landmines that the Khmer Rouges buried during the war. Then you will reach Kampong Thom where you will stop for lunch. The city is located along the Stueng Saen river, which directly connects to the Tonle Sap lake (the beating heart of Cambodia) and used to be a very powerful capital in Southeast Asia during the Funan period. It has now become a peaceful and typical Cambodian location. In the afternoon your driver will take you to the temples of Sambor Prey Kuk (30 minutes’ drive from the city). This UNESCO site is from the pre-Angkorian period and was established as a capital by king Isanavarman I in the 7th century. The site also suffered from war, as the US secret bombing in 1970’s left craters near the temples and the Khmer Rouge left many landmines in the area (the site is cleared since 2008). Then come back to Kampong Thom. Overnight in Kampong Thom.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 6: From Kampong Thom to Phnom Penh
Day 6: From Kampong Thom to Phnom Penh

Today your driver will meet you at your hotel, after you had breakfast, to continue your tour towards Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia. On the way you will stop at Skun, and discover a typical Cambodian snack: fried spiders. This is one of the locals’ favorites, but if you’d rather taste some of the fried insects (or not), your driver will be glad to help you choose. Continue your travel until you reach Chroy Changvar and cross the Tonle Sap river to arrive in Phnom Penh. After your check-in, you can have lunch at restaurant near the riverside or at your hotel. In the afternoon your driver will take you to the south of the city, to Choeung Ek. This place hosts another part of recent Cambodian history, as it is the Genocide center of the Killing Fields. Here is where the mass killings and burials took place, part of Pol Pot’s ideological plans, that killed 2 million Cambodians between 1975 and 1979. The Audio-guides will provide insights to a better understanding of Cambodian history. If you prefer to visit the National Museum, near the Royal Palace, your drive will be glad to take you there. The museum focusses on Angkorian history. The rest of the evening will be free. Overnight in Phnom Penh.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 7: Phnom Penh sightseeing
Day 7: Phnom Penh sightseeing

In the morning you will enjoy the breakfast at your hotel, before your driver picks you up to start the exploration of the capital city of Cambodia. First you will discover the Royal Palace, near the Phnom Penh riverside. The Palace was built in the 1860’s by then monarch King Norodom, when Phnom Penh became the capital city of the Kingdom under the French protectorate. The Royal Palace is still inhabited by the current King (Norodom Sihamoni). Therefore, only half of the buildings can be visited and you will admire the fine details and decoration of the Silver Pagoda and the Throne Hall. After your visit go for a walk on the riverside walk, along the Tonle Sap river that crosses path with the Mekong river just on front of the Royal Palace. Your driver will then take you to the Central Market. You will explore the vibrant colonial building that hosts the most famous market in Phnom Penh. For your lunch break, your driver will be happy to recommend a safe restaurant (such as the Lotus Blanc, managed by one of the many NGOs in Phnom Penh), unless you want to be adventurous and try the delicious street food. In the early afternoon, your driver will take you to the S21 museum in Tuol Sleng. This former school building is now dedicated to a darker period of the country, when the Khmer Rouge regime used it as one of their prisons and pre-extermination units. Waking through the museum will give you a better understanding of one of the darkest episodes in human history, which happened in the second half of the 1970s, and where Cambodia is coming from in today’s world. Your driver will then take you to the Olympic Stadium for a truly local experience. Around 5pm, hundreds of locals gather on the step of the stadium to practice their daily aerobic. Join the crowd if you feel like, as everybody is welcome (simply give a very small tip to the dancing teacher). Your driver will then take you to the night market along the river (if the market is open) to discover the many street foods offered by Cambodian markets (such as fried tarantulas…) - or to the nearby FCC (the Foreign Correspondents' Club) where you can enjoy a drink watching the sunset over the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers. Overnight in Phnom Penh.

Meals : Breakfast
Day 8: Phnom Penh and departure
Day 8: Phnom Penh and departure

Today enjoy the breakfast at your hotel. According to your flight time, your driver will suggest visits to do (or will be happy to take you to your place of choice). You may want to do some shopping before you leave (such as Kampot Pepper, artefacts or other souvenirs). The Russian Market will be your choice if you look for souvenirs from Cambodia, while a tour Orussey Market will take you off the touristic path. Your driver will then take you to Phnom Penh International airport for your flight.

Meals : Breakfast
SUMMARY: 8 Days - 7 nights Capitals then and now
With this tour of 8 days and 7 nights tour, you will discover the main essential highlights of Cambodia, from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh. You will explore the mythical temples of Angkor that have made the ancient capital city of the Khmer empire, one of the biggest metropolis of its time. Then you will discover Cambodia's current capital city Phnom Penh, trying to rebuilt from its recent dark history. During this private trip, you will be escorted by your driver who will guide you through Cambodia to take you to the most beautiful sites of the region, and also introduce you to the Cambodian culture and its gastronomy (and much more...).
 
Highlights of your trip to Cambodia  Highlights of your trip: 
private tour to Cambodia Explore the stunning Angkor temples in Siem Reap
private tour to Cambodia Discover the peaceful buddhist culture of Cambodia 
private tour to Cambodia Visit the many markets of Phnom Penh and taste some of local delicacies
private tour to Cambodia Get off the beaten track by visiting the ruin of Sambor Prei Kuk
private tour to Cambodia Explore the bustling and royal city of Phnom Penh, along the Mekong river

 

At your arrival in Phnom Penh, your dedicated driver will welcome you at the airport and take care of you from that moment. We will take you by private car (air-conditioned) to your hotel in Phnom Penh. After you checked-in, we will brief you on the continuation of your trip. Your driver (English speaking) will be your guide for the duration of the trip. He will make you discover the best places of Cambodia and adapt your visits to your desire. He will also take you off the beaten tracks, for an unforgettable journey through Cambodia. Whatever your requests, your driver will adapt to your expectations.

 

We pay a special attention to carefully choosing our range of hotels. We give priority to small and exquisite properties that offer high standards in term of service.

 

  Hotels:

 

City Comfort Hotels Deluxe hotels Nights
Phnom Penh TeaHouse Hotel
www.maads.asia/teahouse
The Plantation
www.theplantation.asia
2
Siem Reap Advaya Residence
www.advayaresidence.com
Golden Temple Retreat
www.retreat.goldentempleretreat.com
4
Kampong Thom Sambor village hotel
www.samborvillage.asia
Glorious Hotel & Spa
www.glorioushotel.asia
1

 (hotels indicated above depend on room availability at the time of your booking. In case a hotel is fully booked, we will offer a hotel of similar or better category)
 

This tour includes: 
- All arrival, departure, tours as per above itinerary by air conditioned car with English speaking driver including his living expenses
- All applicable hotel & transport taxes (tolls, road taxes, state taxes, fuel)
- 7 nights accommodation in a single/double/triple room
- Breakfast buffet at your hotel
- Courtesy of fresh bottled water at all times in the car
- Your driver's accommodation and meals
- Car and passenger insurance
- All parking fees
 
This tour does not include: 
- Any meals or drinks (except as specified above). Your driver can recommend safe food restaurants on the way or in the cities
- Expenses of personal nature such as tips, telephone calls, laundry, liquor...
- Entrance fees during sightseeing
- Any domestic or international airfare
- Any other item not specified