Itinerary in brief:
- 2 nights in Siem Reap
- 2 nights in Battambang
- 2 nights in Phnom Penh
- 2 nights in Sihanoukville
Day 1: Arrive Siem Reap
On arrival you will be met at the airport and taken to your hotel where you will check in for 2 nights. After freshening up at the hotel, you’ll be taken to Angkor Wat to experience the magnificent temples at sunset, when the ‘apsaras’ shine in the evening light.
Day 2: Siem Reap
On your first day exploring Cambodia you’ll head off to discover the main sites of Angkor on a leisurely bicycle ride of around 2.5 hours.
You’ll visit the famous stone faces of Bayon Temple and see the impressive city walls of Angkor Thom before returning to the hotel for a short break from the midday sun. After an (optional) snooze you’ll head off to browse one of Siem Reap’s colourful markets, full of local wood carvings and silk paintings. End your day with a trip to Ta Prohm - built over 700 years ago, this temple has slowly been taken over by the jungle and the vine covered ruins are an iconic image of Angkor.
Day 3: Siem Reap to Battambang
After an early breakfast, you’ll embark on a private boat that will glide across Tonle Sap Lake towards Battambang. You’ll slide past floating villages and flooded forest, glimpsing everyday life on the lake that forms the heart of Cambodia. On arrival in Battambang you’ll check into your hotel for 2 nights and have a short rest before spending the afternoon exploring the local villages around Battambang learning about the arts of rice paper making and tasting local Khmer treats.
In the evening you’ll enjoy a performance of a Cambodian circus show, produced by a school that provides arts education for poor communities – truly a highlight of any trip to Battambang.
Day 4: Battambang
Today you’ll spend the morning enjoying a tour that combines walking, a boat ride and cycling to experience local life in Battambang. This small town was passed between Thailand and Cambodia many times and has some of the best preserved French colonial architecture in the area. You’ll try local coffee in the market, visit Wat Povil temple and pray with the monks before cycling towards Wat Kor Village, known for its hundred-year-old Khmer heritage houses.
In the afternoon you will visit Phnom Sampeau, one of the few hills in Battambang, which reveals fantastic views of the surrounding paddy fields and sugar palms. As the day draws to a close, millions of bats emerge from caves close by and create fluttering shadows across the sunset – a spectacular experience to end the day!
Day 5: Battambang to Phnom Penh
Today you will be driven to the capital city of Phnom Penh, around a 6-hour drive. Along the way you’ll stop at the village of Kampong Chhnang where you can see traditional pottery being made and Oudong, where you’ll enjoy a Khmer style lunch. You’ll reach Phnom Penh in the later afternoon after which you’ll check into your hotel for 2 nights and spend the evening at leisure.
Day 6: Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh has lots to offer any traveller so you’ll spend today exploring the highlights of the city. Beginning with a visit to Wat Phnom, you’ll learn about Khmer architecture before moving on to the Royal Palace where the Silver Pagoda sits, named for the 5,000 shimmering tiles that cover the floor. A trip to the National Museum will reveal even more insight into Cambodian history before continuing on to pay your respects at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, housed in the former school which was once used as a torture centre by the Khmer Rouge regime. A grim but important visit; nowhere else will give you such an understanding of what Cambodia has been through and simultaneously make you appreciate the people’s determination to create a happier future for their country.
Day 7: Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville
After breakfast, you will be driven to the beach resort of Sihanoukville, around a 4-hour drive to the coast. On arrival you will check into your hotel for 3 nights.
Day 8: Sihanoukville
You’ll have free day to enjoy the golden beaches and just relax after a busy trip through the country but, if you’re still up for exploring we can book a day trip for you. One of our favourite options is a visit to Ream National Park, a thick mangrove forest full of colourful birds and monkeys with many beautiful isolated beaches like Koh Sampouch. Another idea is to take a snorkelling tour, visiting several islands and looking out for clownfish, parrotfish and even lionfish amongst the reefs.
Day 9: Depart Sihanoukville
Your time in Cambodia has come to an end so after breakfast you’ll be driven back toward Phnom Penh and dropped off at the airport with enough time to catch your onwards flight.