Day 1: Oversea/Home – Siem Reap
This morning you will fly to Siem Reap via Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, via Bangkok, Thailand, via Laung Prabang, Lao. Your guide and driver will meets you at the airport as you arrive in Cambodia early or late this evening and helps you transfer to your hotel.
Dinner is at the hotel this evening.
Day 2: Siem Reap, Visit Tonle Sap village, Angkor National Museum
This morning we’ll venture out into the Cambodian countryside to experience the country’s everyday life and recent history. We’ll enjoy stop and visit basket weaving village of Krabei Riel, you'll experience the water buffalo cart ride through rice field and then depart for a boat ride to the Floating Village on Tonle Sap Lake. This gives us a chance to glimpse a bit of the life of Cambodia’s river people. Floating fishing villages sprawl across the lakefront and everything is gliding by on the water, thatched-roof houses on wooden poles. Commerce goes on all across the water, women selling fruits and vegetables from a sampan, a skiff full of firewood, and fishermen selling their catch. The people who live on the water have tied their lives to the lake’s cycles, and are constantly on the move as the water level rises or recedes throughout the year.
Tonle Sap means fresh water sea, and indeed this is one of the world’s geographical wonders as well as the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. When the rains begin here in June and July, the Mekong River begins to rise, but instead of flooding its own banks it begins to push the waters of the Tonle Sap at Phnom Penh northward, reversing the river’s flow. The waters of the Tonle Sap River then flood the lake, increasing its size tenfold and flooding the surrounding forests and fields, leaving behind fertile silt for rice cultivation. In October, after the monsoon season has passed, the lake drains and the river returns to its southern flow. If you are a birder, this is a world-renowned habitat for shorebirds.
After lunch at a local restaurant, this afternoon we'll visit the Angkor National Museum, where the exhibits and interactive media explain the golden age of Khmer culture, when the temples of Angkor were built.
Tonight is dinner on own and overnight at your hotel
Day 3: Siem Reap, Explore Angkor, Watch sunset from Angkor
Today your local guide takes you into the heart of ancient Angkor, a holy city that took centuries to build and whose scale is still breathtaking today—it sprawls across an area of roughly six by sixteen miles. The Khmer aristocrats who built the temples and monuments here between AD 800-1200 were motivated by their Hindu and Buddhist beliefs.
You’ll begin at the South Gate of Angkor Thom, the capital city of Khmer rulers. You’ll see both Bayon and Ta Prohm, and make brief stops at Baphoun and the Elephants Terrace, where amazing bas-reliefs depict the huge beasts almost life-size. At the nearby Terrace of the Leper King, equally intricate wall carvings depict rank after rank of court attendants to mystical rulers. You conclude your explorations of Angkor’s most notable features with a tour of the Ta Prohm Temple.
Afterward, you will return to the hotel and lunch own
Later, you’ll visit Angkor Wat (whose name means simply “City of temple”) and wait for the sunset, the most opportune moment for seeing this masterpiece of Khmer architecture. Angkor Wat is a large pyramid temple, built between AD 1113 and 1150, surrounded by a great moat 570 feet wide. Note the bas-relief carving throughout the temple. Who knows what you might feel as you stand in the courtyard of this temple whose towers represent Mount Meru, the center of the universe.
Tonight you enjoy dinner and a cultural show at a local restaurant.
Day 4: Siem Reap, Visit Banteay Srei, Explore Siem Reap city
This morning, you’ll visit to Banteay Srei, one of the oldest and most beautifully preserved temple sites in Cambodia. Built in 967 AD, Banteay Srei means “Citadel of Women,” and it is recognized as a tribute to the beauty of women. The structures here have been carved in painstaking detail out of pink sandstone. Amazingly, the detail is as intricate as a woven tapestry, a testament to the craft of the original artisans and to the devoted conservation of generations of Cambodians to this site, set like a gem in a seemingly enchanted forest, about 20 miles from Angkor, it is famous for its delicate carvings, wonderful state of preservation and small size in relation to the other Angkor temples. This tour also includes a visit to a village that produces palm sugar, an ingredient used widely in Southeast Asian cooking. We’ll meet the farmers who harvest this natural sweetener and have the chance to participate in part of the process of making it. Then we continue to Pre Rup Temple and lunch at the local restaurant.
This afternoon you’ll visit Siem Reap’s War Museum, stop at a local shrine where Cambodian newlyweds often pray for good fortune, then visit Artisan workshop or old market. Enjoy your dinner at Pup Street compound.
Day 5: Siem Reap – Oversea/Home via Bangkok, Saigon/Hanoi
After breakfast, the first part of your morning is at leisure. If you wish, you can pay a visit to the Killing Fields Memorial Temple. It is almost inconceivable to confront the nature of true evil here in this gentle land, but this memorial, built near Siem Reap, commemorates the 1.7 million victims of the 1975-79 Pol Pot genocide. This execution site is one of many throughout Cambodia.
Later in the morning, you check out of your hotel and depart to Siem Reap airport. You fly to Home via Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam or Via Bangkok, Thailand.
Please note: This itinerary can be re-adjusted base on your Arrival or Departure Flight schedule or your request.