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Imagine a country full of ancient and modern history, saturated with beautiful religious monuments, teeming with wildlife, and lush with rice fields, grasslands, and rivers. This is probably not how most people think of Cambodia, but after travelling through the country on this 10-day tour, your opinion is likely to change. Get off the tourist trail and let the travel experts of Link Travel show you the real heart of Cambodia.
The tour starts in the capital of Phnom Penh, where the former granduer of French Indochina shines through in glimpses amongst the modern buildings of this rapidly growing city. Although the city was the epicentre of the tragic Khmer Rouge regime of the late 1970s, Phnom Penh's main sights remained relatively untouched. The splendour of the Royal Palace, graceful lines of the National Museum, and the tree lined river quay are just some of the highlights of the capital.
From Phnom Penh, you'll travel toward the country's second biggest city, Battambang. Full of semi-neglected, French colonial buildings and situated on the banks of the Sangker River, the town has a quiet charm about it. But the surrounding countryside is what really makes Battambang shine as it is filled with rice paddies as far as the eye can see, stilted wooden houses, fruit farms, and, of course, temples.
Spend 3 days in Siem Reap , the base town for exploring the Temples of Angkor. Built between the 9th and 13th century, hundreads of temples lie within the area that once served as the capital for the mighty Khmer empire. With your expert guide, your tour will not only expose you to the beauty of the temples, but also to the wonders of this ancient kingdom. As well as this you will have the unique experience of taking a hot air baloon ride over the temples.
As you continue your loop through rural Cambodia, head to the rural areas of Kampong Thom. Situated upon river banks, these two towns receive gloriously few tourists. Pre-Angkorian temples, rice fields, and dense grasslands dominate the scenery of these towns. From here you will make your way back to Phnom Penh and end your tour where it began.
See the best Cambodia has to offer as you travel from city to countryside on this tour. Visit ancient wonders and witness the everday life of the local people, whose giant smiles and friendly greetings will be a constant reminder just how special place Cambodia is.
Meet your local tour guide upon arrival at Phnom Penh International airport and start the city tour visiting Royal Place, built by King Norodom in 1866 on the site of the old town, and the Silver Pagoda, Raung Damrei Museum. The Palace building and Silver Pagoda are located with in the same walled ground. The Silver Pagoda is so named because of its floor, which is made up of 5000 silver tiles. The treasures include a solid gold Buddha encrusted and weighing 90 kilos and a small 17th century emerald and baccarat crystal Buddha. And then move to National Museum of Fine Arts, next to the Royal Palce was dedicated by king Sisowath in 1920. Over 5000 objects are on display including Angkorian era statues, lingas and other artifacts, most notabley the legentary statue of the “Leper King” Though the emphasis is on Angkorian artifacts, there is also a good collection of pieces from later periods, including a special exhibition pf post-Angkorian Buddha figures. Visit the Central Market, another landmark of the city of Phnom Penh. and then the Russian Market (Psah Tuol Thom Pong), a lively outdoor market where you will find antiquities, silver and gold jewelry, gems, silk, kramas, stone and wood carvings, as well as T-Shirts, CDs and other souvenirs. Lunch will be at a local restaurant. After lunch, continue to visit Toul Sleng Museum of Genocide and Cheung-Ek Killing Fields. Visit Wat Phnom, a small hill crowned by an active wat (pagoda) marks the legendary founding place of the Phnom Penh. Dinner will be at a local restaurant & overnight in Phnom Penh.
Breakfast at the hotel and drive to Udong, the ancient capital; visit the three large stupas where the ashes of the former kings are preserved and see the countryside from the top of the hill. Lunch at a local restaurant and continue to Battambang. Battambang is Cambodia's second-largest city which was founded in the 11th century. It is the former capital of Monton Khmer and lies in the heart of the Northwest of Cambodia. En route, stop at Ban Chkol village, famous for its pottery making. Arrive in Battambang and transfer to the hotel for check in. Dinner & overnight at hotel in Battambang.
Transfer by tuk tuk to the Bamboo Train station. The Bamboo train has been set up by the villagers to facilitate the transportation of goods and persons. The train is very basic, sitting on the platform you will travel 8 km to the next station through beautiful scenery and rice paddies. On arrival, visit the village and discover the daily life of the Cambodian people living in the countryside. Stop at a workshop specialized in wooden sculpture. Continue to the local NGO (non governmental organization) “La Maison de Coco” and to the city center with its beautiful houses dating from the colonial time. Lunch at local restaurant. Drive to Phnom Bannon Hill and climb the 337 steps to reach the Prasat Bannon temple dating 12th century and enjoy the breathtaking view over the surrounding plains. Overnight and dinner will be at the hotel.
Breakfast at hotel depart Battambong to SiemReap. En route, stop at Banteay Meanchey province to visit Banteay Chhmar temple also known as the "Narrow Forest", one of the most intriguing temple in the Khmer empire, both for its scale and its remote location. Never excavated, Banteay Chhmar fits the picture of a lost Khmer city with its ruined face-towers, carvings, forest surroundings and bird life flying through the temple. Banteay Chhmar dates from the late 12th to the early 13th century. It is thought to have been built by Jayarvarman II as a funerary temple for his sons and four generals who had been killed in a battle repelling a Cham invasion in 1177. Lunch will be at a local restaurant. Then continue to Siem Reap. Before arriving in Siem Reap, stop at National Silk Center in Puok. The farm is located on 8 hectares site. You will discover the various stages involved in Silk production, from mulberry tree orchards, to silkworm breeding, the spinning mill and the weaving process. Continue to Siemreap and drive straight to the hotel for check in and have time to freshen up before dinner at a local restaurant.
In the morning, visit to the ancient royal capital of Angkor Thom: Bayon Temple, where its giant stone faces have become one of the most recognizable images connected to classic Khmer art and architecture and the curious smiling faces has said to be the representation of King Jayavarman VII and continue to Baphuon temple, Phimeanakas temple, Terrace of Elephants and Leper king, Thommanon and Chausay Thevoda and drive to the local restaurant for lunch. In the afternoon, visit the 7th world heritage wonderful of Angkor Wat. a unique and stunning blend of spirituality and symmetry, an enduring example of man's devotion to his Gods. It is the largest and undoubtedly the most breath taking of the monuments of Angkor and it is widely believed that it is the largest religious structure in the world. In the late afternoon, you will walk to the top of Phnom Bakheng to view the amazing sunset over Angkor Wat and other surrounding ruins. Dinner will be at a local restaurant whilst watching a traditional Apsara dance show performance & overnight in Siem Reap.
In the morning, explore the small circuit: Prasat Kravan, east-facing brick towers containing unique bas-reliefs of Vishnu and Lakshmi rendered in brick – the only example of brick bas-reliefs in the Angkor area. Sras Srong, remodeled in the 12th century as part of Jayavarman VII’s massive building campaign. Banteay Kdei temple, sprawling, largely unrestored, monastic complex in much the same style as Ta Prohm. Itwas originally constructed over the site of an earlier temple, and functioned as a Buddhist monastery under Jayavarman VII. Then move to visit the fabulous Ta Prohm Temple which is embraced by the roots of enormous fig trees. Lunch at local restaurant
Afternoon, Grand circuit: Preah Khan temple, built by the King Jayavarman VII and, like Ta Prohm, a place of towered enclosures and shoulder-hugging corridors. Ta Som temple, East Me Bon , is a large temple-mountain-like ruin, rising three levels and crowned by five towers. Jayavarman IV, a usurper to the throne, moved the capital from Angkor to Kh Ke in 928AD. Sixteen years later Rajendravarman II returned the capital to Angkor and shortly thereafter constructed East Mebon on an island in the middle of the now dry Eastern Bary. The temple is dedicated to Shiva in honor of the king’s parents. And Pre Rup temple, built by Rajendravarman II in late 10th century. Architecturally and artistically superior temple-mountain. Beautiful carved false door on upper level, as well as an excellent view of the surrounding countryside. Richly detailed well-preserved carvings, particularly on the lintels. Traditionally believed to be a funerary temple, but in fact the state temple of Rajendravarman II. Dinner will be at a local restaurant & overnight in Siem Reap.
Drive to the secluded Beng Melea, one of the mysterious temples at Angkor. The sprawling jungle temple covering over one square kilometer is largely overrun by vegetation. Constructed in a distinctly Angkor Wat style, it preceded and may have served as a prototype for Angkor Wat. Picnic lunch on the site. On the way back, visit Banteay Srey, commonly known as the citadel of women. This petite temple possesses some of the most intricate carvings in the Angkor area. Although, this temple is small, the details and quality of its architecture make it an essential destination and continue to Banteay Samre temple. Dinner will be at a local restaurant & overnight in Siem Reap.
We drive to Kompong Thom Province. Along the way, you will enjoy the great view of the country side and you will cross an ancient bridge called “Spean Kompong Kdei ” it was built in the 13th century and it is 87 meters long. The balustrades are carved to look like the bodies of giant snakes. On each end it curves up like a giant multi headed cobra. And continue to the famous Sambor Prei Kuk, visit the ancient capital of Chenla with its 100 temples dating back to the Pre-Angkorian period. It is located 31 kilometer northeast of Kampong Thom. Lunch will be at a local restaurant. After lunch, drive to Kompong Cham and visit Phum Prasat, Wat Kohear Nokor (11th C.). You will also visit a local village and its pagoda where you can observe the daily life of the monks. Arrive in Kompong Cham province and transfer to the guest house for check in. Dinner will be served at Kampong Cham Hotel.
In the morning, visit to Wat Nokor Pagoda with its ancient temple and modern style pagoda (12th century). Then Phnom Pros Phnom Srey located at Kro La Commune, Kampong Siem District. It is Seven- kilometers away from the provincial town of Kampong Cham. The pagoda of Phnom Pros has official name called “What Sovan Kiri Rotanak Phnom Pros”; in 1000 Meters to the North, there is another mountain, which has pointed peak called “Phnom Srey”. North of the Phnom Srey, there are ranks of mountains such as mountains of Dang Rek, Ba Ley and Chhuk. In addition, at the top of Pros Mountain we can view the stunning scenery of Kampong Cham province. From 1975-1979, the mountain of Pros was used by the Khmer Rouge as a detention place for torturing Cambodian people living in Kampong Cham province. The mountain of Srey has pointed peak and can be climbed up by 308 Stair steps.
After lunch at a local restaurant, we drive to Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital with a short stop at Skun "Spider Village". Arrive Phnom Penh and transfer to hotel for check in and have time to freshen up before dinner at a local restaurant.
Breakfast at the hotel and free at leisure until time for transfer to airport for your onward flight.
Note: (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
TOUR DURATION: 10 Days / 9 Nights
TOUR OPERATES: Year Round / On Demand
TOUR PRICE: Available upon Request
Rates vary frequently. Please contact us to get the best possible price based upon your travel period and specific touring needs.
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