Start: Phnom Penh, Cambodia Finish: Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Physical rating: Medium
Special diets catered: Vegetarians, Vegans
Tour code: SRT-CAT
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Siem Reaper Travel
Group size: 2 - 12
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Explore Cambodia between winding jungle paths and the wide-ranging waterways of the Mekong there is so much to discover by bike, kayak and on foot. Cambodia’s incredible beauty, fantastic food and unique culture are even better when combined with outdoor adventures. Explore Phnom Penh and visit impressive monuments of Cambodia’s tragic past, visit a host family on an island in the Mekong River, watch Irradiated dolphins and paddle a kayak tour through spectacularly flooded forests. We explore the ancient temple ruins of the incredible Angkor complex on foot and by mountain bike. An active trip for adventure seekers who want to experience Cambodia’s treasures intensively.
Location: Phnom Penh
Accommodation Name: Frangipani Palace Hotel
Suo Sdei! Welcome to Cambodia.
You will be met at the airport and taken to the hotel. Your time is at your own leisure until 5 pm when your guide will arrive in a tuk-tuk for a food-focused tour of the city. First stop of the evening is a lively bar on Sisowath Quay. Find a spot on the balcony and your guide will leave you to enjoy a cocktail with views across the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers as the sunsets.
Rejoin your guide for a rather different experience – head down to the river, where roadside stalls sell a variety of edible bugs, which you will have the opportunity to try. Your guide will be on hand to decipher the surprisingly tasty offerings. Continue by tuk-tuk to the Russian Market, where the food stalls draw local diners with typical Khmer food such as Banh Chheu, and beef skewers. Choose what you fancy, pull up a plastic stool alongside the locals, and soak up the atmosphere. Your final food stop for the evening will be freshly barbecued seafood, then you will return to your hotel.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Start your adventure on the mountain bike, crossing the river by local boat, and then riding through the villages on an island in the Mekong River. The island is famous for silk weaving, agriculture and aquaculture. Stop to see locals at work in the village and enjoy cycling on quiet roads through orchards and along rice paddies. Then return to Phnom Penh in the afternoon for lunch. Then, your guide will take you to explore Phnom Penh remains a living relic of the country’s past struggles. The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21) and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek tell the story of the tragic legacy of the Khmer Rouge. The former school of Tuol Sleng served as a Khmer Rouge torture center, and it’s estimated that more than 20,000 people were held and tortured here. The Killing Fields of Choeung Ek are home to a stupa made up of some 8,000 human skulls, marking the infamous site. This was the execution ground for the torture victims of Tuol Sleng, and standing in this peaceful setting it’s almost unthinkable to imagine that to date nearly 9,000 corpses have been exhumed from the area. Perhaps visit Wat Phnom, the temple that gave rise to the foundation of the city in the 15th century, or the Royal Palace complex’s Silver Pagoda, the most sacred temple in the country.
Location: Kratié Province
Accommodation Name: Homestay at Koh Trong
This morning, we leave early by private vehicle for Kratie (approximately 6 hours). En-route, pass through Skuon, a small town famous for its tasty spiders where it’s possible to sample an eight-legged snack. Kratie is a picturesque town on the banks of the Mekong and was until recently a strategic trading port between Phnom Penh and Stung Treng. Both the French and Khmer Rouge found the town useful and there are a number of French colonial buildings that remain. Board a local boat from Kratie waterfront to Koh Trong for your homestay – approximately 280 families call this 6 Km island home.
Depending on the season and the river height, you may need to walk up a stretch of beach and take a local bike to your destination. The island is famous for growing the citrus fruit pomelo (supposedly some of the best in Cambodia), rice and other agricultural products. Your homestay is a wonderful opportunity to witness everyday Cambodian life, and this evening you’ll enjoy a traditional Khmer style dinner. Facilities are basic and multi-share with mattresses, bedding and mosquito nets provided. With hammocks strung up beneath the house, this is a very scenic place to unwind.
A 9 km loop around the island’s perimeter is perfect for a leisurely cycle through traditional Khmer villages, fruit, orchards and rice fields, observing daily rituals and routines of traditional village life.
Location: Krong Stung Treng
Accommodation Name: Golden River Hotel
After breakfast, take a guided walk (1 hour) where you’ll get a chance to see how the locals live and learn more about local culture in this part of Cambodia. During the days of the Khmer Rouge, much of the island’s forested interior was cut down. Villagers have started a three-planting project at Wat Ty Pram Kbal Koh Trong in response. You’ll have the opportunity to contribute to the project by helping to plant a tree in the pagoda grounds. Afterwards, say goodbye to your island hosts and head back to the mainland. There’s time to wander down the river boulevard and explore the local market in Kratie before traveling 2.5 hours to Stung Treng. Stop at Wat Phnom Sambok, an 18th-century Buddhist monastery along the way. Sitting atop a hill, climb to the top for a view of the lush forested surrounds. Also enjoy an optional lunch at Kampi Creek, where it’s possible to spot dolphins, before arriving in Stung Treng. Once part of southern Laos, Stung Treng switched to Cambodian ownership during the French colonial era. However, many people here speak both Khmer and Laos. The town is situated on the banks of the Sekong River, which flows into the Mekong River a few kilometers out of town.
Today, we start early to make the most of a full day of activities. Travel by private vehicle to the village of Voeun Kham (approximately 2 hours). From there catch a local boat to cruise the Mekong River to the famous Sopheak Mitt Waterfall. Situated on the Cambodia-Laos border, the thundering falls crashing over limestone crags and boulders is a spectacular sight. Moor the boat at a local family’s home and hike through the jungle to a lunch spot overlooking the falls. The hike will take approximately 2 hours. Return to the boat and continue through a gorgeous stretch of the Mekong River, which is home to many bird species, to the village of Osvay (approximately 1 hour cruising). Pass through the Anlong Cheuteal Irrawaddy dolphin pool, where on rare occasions it’s possible to spot freshwater dolphins. Next, it’s into a kayak to paddle amongst this spectacular scenery of flooded forests to Vuen Sien village (approximately 2 hours). After a full day exploring this glorious stretch of nature, return to Stung Treng by vehicle for the night (approximately 1 hour).
Location: Krong Siem Reap
Accommodation Name: Central Corner d'Angkor
This morning, set out on your journey to Siem Reap, traveling by private vehicle through Cambodia’s countryside and small towns (approximately 4.5 hours). En-route in Siem Reap, this is the most popular destination for travelers in all of Cambodia, perhaps even in South East Asia. With its cafes, bars, restaurants, food and drink stands, Siem Reap caters for foodies of all persuasions. A visit to the old market is a must, even if you’re not looking for souvenirs; wandering through the stalls and surrounding shops, the silks, cottons, sarongs, silver and statues are a riot of color and a feast for the eyes. Upon arrival into Siem Reap your guide will take you on an orientation walk to help you get acquainted with this bustling town.
Location: Angkor Wat
After breakfast at the hotel, you start biking the morning temple exploration at the most illustrious temple with fewer crowds. First, you will visit Ta Prohm which is unique in that it has been left largely as it was found- overgrown by jungle trees and vines, with many parts of the temple crumbling to the ground. This makes the so-called Tomb Raider Temple, as it was used during the filming of the movie, one of the most picturesque and memorable temples of the Angkor complex.
You will then head out to the ancient city of Angkor Thom, enter the city through the ancient Gate, an impressive stone gate carved with elephants and four giant faces. From here, continue to Bayon Temple, found in the centre of the city famed as the enigmatic faces representing the 54 provinces of the Great Khmer Empire. The Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King are also must-visits as they are both known for their intricate bas-reliefs.
You will take a break at lunch and stop at the local restaurant to enjoy tasteful Cambodian dishes.
Lastly, you will bike to the gem of the Angkor complex, Angkor Wat. Following your tour leader, you will be mesmerised by the rich history and symbolism of this unique ancient temple. Afterwards, you will return to your hotel.
Location: Kampong Phluk
Today, discover the great landscape of the Tonle Sap lake by bike and boat. This is a unique experience offering a great outdoor adventure into Siem Reap’s countryside by exploring a floating village and enjoying a sunset cruise along the river.
This tour will take you on the charming backroads in order to explore the local ways of life in Siem Reap. You will be greeted by friendly locals and get a deeper understanding of their lives and traditions. The journey will end at the Tonle Sap lake, where you will experience the livelihoods of Cambodian people living in the floating villages, offering you the opportunity to see how families adapt their life to living on the water. At the end of the day, we will catch the sunset on the lake with some snacks and cold beverages. You will return back to the city by a private vehicle in the late evening.
Location: Siem Reap International Airport
As there are no activities planned for today, you can leave your accommodation at any time. If you have extra time you might like to schedule an Angkor zip-line and canopy walk adventure, a tasty Khmer cooking class, treat yourself with high tea at Raffles Hotel, or simply relax by the pool. We’ll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
Temple Pass 37USD/day
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