Explore the depths of Cambodia on a nine-day journey to the country’s highlights. Along the way visit famed sites like the Angkor Complex in Siem Reap and the capital, Phnom Penh. These locations epitomise Cambodian heritage through their architecture and history. However, through meeting with locals, cooking classes, and philanthropy tours you will be able to gain an understanding of the diverse culture that goes beyond the tourist facade.
Embark on a luxury voyage along the Tonle Sap River, the flowing heart of Cambodia, to get a glimpse of the rustic and peaceful life along the river banks. This exciting and educational itinerary will leave travellers with an appreciation for Cambodia.
DESTINATIONS: Siem Reap – Mekong River Cruise – Phnom Penh
ACCOMMODATION: Shinta Mani Angkor, Heritage Line Jayavarman, La Rose Suites
Terms & Conditions: Price quoted in USD. Promoted price includes savings. Price based on two (2) persons in twin share accommodation. Valid for departures on 7 Feb 2018, 7 Mar 2018, 21 Mar 2018, 17 Oct 2018, 26 Dec 2018. Reference code “MK17-SO07” prior to booking. Additional terms and conditions may apply.
Travel Dates: 7 Feb 2018 – 15 Feb 2018 7 Mar 2018 – 15 Mar 2018 21 Mar 2018 – 29 Mar 2018 17 Oct 2018 – 25 Oct 2018 26 Dec 2018 – 3 Jan 2019
Destinations: Cambodia Dates Destinations Accommodation Day 1 – Day 4 Siem Reap Shinta Mani Angkor Day 4 – Day 7 Siem Reap – Phnom Penh Jayavarman Day 7 – Day 9 Phnom Penh La Rose Suites Day 9 Phnom Penh Depart DISCLAIMER: ? Tour quotation is based on the suggested hotel/room categories. Price is subject to change due to availability and fluctuation in airfares. ? We will only proceed with making a booking upon receiving your written confirmation. We recommend your early confirmation to avoid disappointment of unavailability and varying prices.
Day 1 – Siem Reap: Arrival Upon arrival Siem Reap International Airport, after clearing all customs procedures, walk to the main exit gate, you will be met by Trails of Indochina representative carrying Trails of Indochina signboard with your name on it. Your guide will escort you to the hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure to relax after the flight(s). Meal: None Accommodation: Shinta Mani Angkor/ Superior
Day 2 – Siem Reap: Banteay Srei – Avoiding The Crowds, Cookery & Philanthropy Start the day early with a transfer to Banteay Srei. This red sand-stone temple is one of Angkor’s most significant structures as its walls are decorated with elaborate carvings which have been preserved remarkably well. They provide an excellent insight into the Angkor civilization and their beliefs. It was built in the 10th century and was dedicated to the Hindu god – Shiva. After your visit, enjoy a Khmer or western breakfast at Srei Kulen Restaurant, located in the temple complex. After, visit Banteay Samre, a structure often compared to a mini Angkor Wat. Built in the 12th century, the temple served as a Hindu temple. All across Asia, food is at the very heart of every single person’s day. As the average Cambodian makes $3 per day, the means and ways of eating fresh healthy & seasonal food are at the forefront of every meal time. Today you will be part of a culinary experience, creating some of Cambodia’s most fashionable & iconic dishes, while engaging with the day to day lives of its people. Starting out from the private farm, with your Chef, you will view the range of different vegetables, available in the season growing fresh & organically. Your Chef will explain to you the key ways in which they filtrate water, tend to their crops and create the perfect harvest! A small journey onwards, will take you to a very local and completely tourist free village, where you will be the highlight of the villagers day! Walking with the chef to explore local traditions, weave past market traders & view the range of produce, selecting key ingredients to use in your class. Furthermore, the experience will engage with the locals in need, through a generous donation. Together with your chef, you will select a basket of harvest & dried goods for you to present to the Head Villager, as a kind offering in their day to day lives; giving back in the purest & simplest way! Taking tea, or sugar cane juice in the Village in a simple cafe, you will get a real feel of the true lives of the Khmer. CLASSIC CAMBODIA & CRUISE | 4 Returning back to the farm, your Chef will then lead you through the remarkable ingredients used to make your 3 course lunch. Preparing at your own station, while he talks you through the methods used to create each dish. Have fun with learning about the new vegetables, creating the sauces & tasting as you go, the experience can be as advanced, or as Chef led as you wish! Afterwards you will eat your lunch, at the Farm House and enjoy the fruits of your labor in a truly philanthropic, engaging experience in Cambodia. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch Accommodation: Shinta Mani Angkor/ Superior
Day 3 – Siem Reap: Well Off the Beaten Track Including Angkor Wat with Khmer Scholar, Personal Stories from a Pol Pot Survivor Wake up early and transfer by private vehicle to the West Gate of Angkor Wat from where the sunrise can be best observed. Enter the temple complex. Angkor Wat (early 12th century) is surrounded by a 190 metre wide moat 1.5 kilometres by 1.3 kilometres and is claimed to be the largest religious building in the world. It is certainly one of the wonders of the ancient world. You will be amazed by the sheer size of the temple, which took 30 years to construct and used the labours of upto 300,000 workers. Angkor Wat was built as the earthly representation of the universe with its’ central tower symbolising Mt Meru which, Hindus believe, is at the centre of the Universe. Return to your hotel for breakfast. 09:00 as part of your Temple visits, you will be transported towards a private, local house situated close to Angkor Wat where you will have the incredible opportunity to meet with a local family, and hear their account of survival and overcoming life before and after the Pol Pot Regime, in an exceptional once-in-alifetime experience. Khean Prang was born in 1950s Cambodia, when the country was undergoing an exceptional strive for modernity. The city was alive with the sound of music, as famous artists and royalty were adorned on the silver screen. The French colonialism era was over, but the legacy of a modern Cambodia remained and the towns were ones of hope and bright futures. As a Temple conservationist, Prang worked with the French as the forefathers within UNESCO set about developing the Temples for their glorious return to the spotlight. His parents tended to the farm they lived on, and life was one of stability and prosperity. Tragically, that was all to change in a matter of years as Lon Nol and his troops began to take power and the uprising of the Khmer Rouge began. Prang was drafted into the war to fight against invasion, but soon the Temples were taken hostage as the HQ of the Khmer Rouge as the city fell under siege. His incredibly powerful story is one of adversity, a fight for survival, of tragedy for his friends and family and the fight for the peace and happiness he now encounters today with his extended family. During this experience, you will take tea and local cake with Prang and his family, and while the story is moving and at times hard to ever imagine, the overall message is of the joy and love he has for his life in Siem Reap. From Temples to the Khmer Rouge, through to a father of 8 and now happily a grandfather, this story will become the fabric of your time spent in Cambodia. Lunch at Chanrey Tree restaurant. This afternoon, continue to Ta Prohm, this beautiful temple, built in 1186 as a Buddhist temple dedicated to the mother of Jayavarman VII, is one of Angkor’s jewels and is overgrown with fig trees, giving a haunting yet exotic atmosphere. The magnificent roots of the trees have merged over the centuries with the temple’s huge stone blocks, creating a ‘forgotten city’ feeling. End The day with explore Angkor Thom, not a temple, but an entire walled city of 9 sq km and served as the ancient royal Capital of the Khmer Empire from approx. 1181. With a probable population of 1 million, it was far bigger and grander than any city in Europe at the time. Your guide will take you to the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King. The CLASSIC CAMBODIA & CRUISE | 5 centre piece of Jayavarman VII’s Capital is the Bayon temple and, as you approach, you will notice the 216 giant, enigmatic, smiling faces looking into every direction. Return to the South gate where you will board a small, private boat out to Prasat Chrung Temple to watch the amazing sunset. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch Accommodation: Shinta Mani Angkor/ Superior
Day 4 – Siem Reap – Ton Le River: Jayavarman Cruise Embarkation Your guide will escort you to Victoria Angkor Hotel & Spa for cruise check-in and later transfer to the pier for embarkation by local boat. Lunch on board while the vessel gently glides over Tonle Lake. Let your soul float and your eyes wander while the boat makes its way across. In the afternoon, there will be a high tea at the bar. Enjoy your cruising day on board, relax on your balcony or relish a spa treatment before dinner. An expert guide will also offer a presentation about the “Geography of the Mekong and Ton Le Sap”. The boat moors at the Ton Le River. You can join the evening cinema session (offered every night) featuring selected classic movies. Meal: Breakfast, Lunch Accommodation: Jayavarman Cruise/ Superior 4D3N “Serenity Cruise” REP-PNH
Day 5 – Kampong Chhnang – Kampong Tralach – Kampong Cham: Jayavarman Cruise Wake up early to witness the spectacular scenery at the break of down. The morning Tai Chi class has the perfect backdrop today. Breakfast buffet is served in the dining hall. You are at Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia’s “water world”, where everything is on sticks balanced on water rich soil. Perhaps this is the most fascinating cruise locale in Cambodia. Take a local boat to the shore. With mini buses head to a rural village nearby and go on a walking tour. Your guides introduce the village specialties – Khmer style pottery and the making of palm sugar. Definitely you should bring some home. Before returning to the boat, explore the local floating villages and wetlands of the region. Back on board lunch is served while the cruise continues with a languid meander along the Ton Le River towards Kampong Tralach. A Monks’ blessing ceremony on board delivers spirits and wishes for health and prosperity for all. Gliding through leafy swaths of this jungle-like landscape we arrive in Kampong Tralach. Cacophonous children wave enthusiastically while bringing their livestock for a bath in the meandering river. Stop at the “Green School” which is supported in part by Heritage Line. Travel to see all this life – which is so much different than ours – by a local ox cart ride. CLASSIC CAMBODIA & CRUISE | 6 Back on board to sail downstream, passing the confluence of the Ton Le and Mekong Rivers. The boat cruises overnight and you can enjoy a fine dinner in the dining hall. Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Accommodation: Jayavarman Cruise/ Superior 4D3N “Serenity Cruise” REP-PNH
Day 6 – Kampong Cham – Okhna Tey – Phnom Penh: Jayavarman Cruise After a sumptuous breakfast, stay on board to understand more about the education of the young Cambodian generation (NGO project). The children join us on board, always excited to show their skills in music and art. Be sure to be bathed in smiles upon your applause. Leave the boat around 09:30am to arrive at the enchanting pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey (7th century). This small complex sits on a hill top right on the shore with breath-taking views on the Mekong. After some refreshment back on the ship for lunch. During the afternoon the staff will show you the variety of traditional Khmer fashion. Watch the riverbank life along the Mekong during the high tea as the ship proceeds to its next stop. Arrive at the Island of Koh Oknha Tey. This spot in the middle of the Mekong owns its fame for the manufacturing of high class silk products. Explore the island with its workshops by tuk tuk and learn how silk is processed from its source, provided by little silkworms, to a final top quality product made of original Cambodian silk. After some additional cruising time the boat arrives and docks at the pier of Phnom Penh. Feel free to have your first exploration by yourself after dinner. Stroll along the river promenade and watch the locals chitchatting, selling odds and ends or have a drink in one of the numerous bars. Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner Accommodation: Jayavarman Cruise/ Superior 4D3N “Serenity Cruise” REP-PNH
Day 7 – Phnom Penh: Jayavarman Cruise Disembarkation and Phnom Penh Urban Exploration by Cyclo After breakfast it’s time to bid farewell from your luxurious floating home. Home to about 1.5 million people, Phnom Penh has been Cambodia’s capital since French colonisation of the country. Located on the banks of the Tonle Sap and Mekong River, Phnom Penh was once known as the “Pearl of Asia”, one of the loveliest French-built cities in Indochina. Enjoy a 3hr tour by cyclo, a bicycle-powered carriage, exploring this charming city which boasts a rich blend of Khmer and French colonial architecture. Hear the history underlying the abandoned facades as well as discover churches and Chinese temples hidden down narrow alleys. The rest of the day is at your own leisure.
CLASSIC CAMBODIA & CRUISE | 7 Meals: Breakfast Accommodation: La Rose Suites/ Junior Suite Day 8 – Phnom Penh: Ancient, Royal And Recent History Of Phnom Penh In the morning, explore Wat Phnom and discover the legend of Lady Penh, the founder of the city, the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, two of the most striking buildings in the capital and considered as some of the finest examples of Khmer architecture. Also visit the National Museum, designed in Khmer style by a French archaeologist and painter in 1917. The museum houses Khmer art and sculptures from different periods of Cambodian history. Enjoy lunch at Friends Restaurant, a leading social enterprise and training restaurant serving up tasty, creative Khmer cuisine. In the afternoon, learn more about the turbulent Khmer Rouge years with visits to Tuol Sleng, a high school turned interrogation prison known as S-21 during the Khmer Rouge era and now a genocide museum; and Cheung Ek, a large memorial commemorating the 17,000 victims who died there under the reign of Khmer Rouge leader, Pol Pot, made famous by the movie “The Killing Fields”. While sombre reminders of the cruelty of the Khmer Rouge regime, these visits will also provide an appreciation of the struggle that Cambodian people have faced and their tremendous courage to move on and rebuild their nation. Return to your hotel. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch Accommodation: La Rose Suites/ Junior Suite Day 9 – Phnom Penh: Departure This morning, your guide will escort you to the airport for your departure flight. Meals: Breakfast END OF SERVICES!