Cambodia’s Ancient Temples & Pristine Beach

Handcrafted Travel
Daily Departure
  • Beach Escapes
  • Culture & Heritage

Overview

  • Day 1: Arrival in Siem Reap
  • Day 2: Siem Reap – Full-Day Temple Exploration
  • Day 3: Siem Reap – Further Temple Exploration
  • Day 4: Siem Reap – Flight to Sihanouk Ville – Koh Rong
  • Day 5: Koh Rong – Day At leisure
  • Day 6: Koh Rong – Day At leisure
  • Day 7: Koh Rong –Sihanouk Ville – Phnom Penh
  • Day 8: Phnom Penh - Full-day Heritage Tour
  • Day 9: Phnom Penh – Departure

Customizable itinerary

This 8-day journey will take you to the most memorable Cambodia ancient temples and pristine beaches of this kingdom. In Siem Reap, explore the breathtaking temples of Ta Prohm, Banteay Srey and Angkor Wat, together with the sprawling capital city of Angkor Thom. Relax on the charming tropical island Koh Rong with unspoiled soft white sand and clear blue seas. Venture to Phnom Penh – the bustling capital of Cambodia. You will learn more about the country’s rich heritage when visiting the Royal Palace, the Independence Monument, the National Museum, and Wat Phom, the birthplace of this beautiful city.

Susadei! Welcome to Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Upon arrival at Siem Reap Airport, your private guide and driver are waiting to meet you, holding up a welcome signboard with your names on it and take you directly to your hotel.

After checking-in, you will have time to relax and adjust to the pace of Siem Reap. If time permits, head out to visit the excellent Angkor National Museum. The visit serves as an excellent primer to the gems of Angkor before visiting the temples. The museum provides a potentially large collection of relics, texts and audiovisual presentations relating to the Angkorian era. With even a basic knowledge of the history and symbolism of the architecture, you will have a much richer and engaging experience visiting the temples.

There will be a short tour briefing this evening with your guide followed by a welcome dinner at Friends Restaurant, Marum. It’s a social enterprise based restaurant that empowers disadvantaged youth with vocational training amongst other support.

Please note: You must have both a passport and a visa to enter Cambodia. And your passport must also have at least six months’ validity remaining beyond the date that you enter Cambodia. You can get a visa on arrival in Cambodia. Make sure you have two passport-sizes photographs.

Overnight in Siem Reap
Meals: (_/_/D)



Today with the help of your private and driver you will embark on a full day’s sightseeing around the Angkor Archaeological Park which stretches over some 400 square kilometres, including forested area. The park contains the magnificent remains of several capitals of the great Khmer Empire of the 9th to the 15th centuries.

Morning
Begin your day with an early visit (avoid the crowds) to the 13th-century Ta Prohm, a hauntingly beautiful temple where the roots of giant banyans and strangler figs enfold much of the stonework, creating scenes little changed since the French Adventurer Henri Mouhot re-discovered Angkor in the 1850s.  This temple makes the ‘Tomb Raider Temple’ one of the most picturesque and memorable of the Angkor temples.

Continue your explorations by visiting the ancient capital city of Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire that once ruled much of Southeast Asia. This city is surrounded by an 8 m high wall drawing a perfect square. You will enter the city from the ancient South Gate, an impressive stone gate carved with Elephants and four giant faces. On each side of the entrance path, a row of 54 gods or demons is holding the sacred Naga snake.

Return to the hotel for a relaxing break during the midday heat.

Afternoon
Your exploits will continue as you visit Banteay Kdei (“Citadel of Chambers”), a Buddhist monastery from the late 12th Century, and Sra Srang, also known as the “pool of ablutions”. From here, move onto the Bayon Temple in the exact centre of the ancient city. This 12th-century masterpiece is a study in grandeur and is well-known for its 54 towers with enigmatic faces representing the 54 provinces of the Great Khmer Empire.

You will also visit the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King as they are both known for their intricate bas-reliefs. Stroll through the grounds of the former Royal Palace to discover some small hidden temples that are rarely visited.

Finish your day sightseeing with a leisurely gondola ride through the moats of Angkor Thom to see the vast ruins of the Khmer Empire at its peak. Close your eyes and smell the sweet perfume of the romdoul flowers growing wild on the shore mixed with the scent of lotus flowers bobbing in the water. As the sun approaches the horizon, you’ll enjoy the amazing sunset from the top of the pyramid-shaped temple of Pre Rup.

Evening
Your tour guide and driver will transfer you to the Angkor Village Restaurant in Wat Bo Village where you enjoy a scrumptious Khmer Dinner as the traditional Khmer dance performances are presented on stage. The Khmer performance art inspired by the water and cloud spirit of Hindu and Buddhist mythology. The Apsaras are a common feature of bas-reliefs on the walls of the Angkor temples near Siem Reap. Dancers wear tight-fitting traditional dresses, ornate headdresses, and gilded jewelry.

Overnight in Siem Reap
Meals: (B/_/D)

Today, you’ll continue to experience the temple relics but in a way that will really let you feel like you’ve escaped the 20th century and traveled a thousand years back to a time when life was simple and nature was surreal.

Morning
As first light dawns, you will be at the most important religious monument in the country, admiring the extraordinary Temple of Angkor Wat across a reflecting moat.

When the sun rises behind the triple towers, the crowds will thin out as most people return to bed or a hotel breakfast. We will make use of the cool temperatures and soft morning light to explore Angkor Wat in a more peaceful atmosphere.

After enjoying your takeaway breakfast (prepared by your guide) near the temple, you will start exploring one of the Seven Wonders of the World: Angkor Wat. At this point, you most probably have gotten glimpses of the towers over treetops and the gates in front of passing. But now you’ll finally get to satiate that curiosity that’s grown in the last few days.

Enter Angkor Wat and learn about the stories and amazing architecture that has stunned archeologists leaving more questions than answers. Angkor Wat possesses some of the most intricate and longest stone carvings in the world. This complex is four times the size of the Vatican City making it the largest religious site in the world. Spend the rest of the morning adventuring through the many passages, levels, and exploring chambers that once housed one of many treasures of the ancient world. It will be an experience you will never forget.

Leaving Angkor Wat behind you will travel to the countryside to see the “gem” of the Angkor area, the pretty temple of Banteay Srey. The so-called “Citadel of the Women” remains the best-preserved temple in Cambodia. It displays some of the finest examples of classical Khmer art as this small temple is noted for its truly remarkable fine bas-reliefs. Banteay Srey is unique in that it is constructed of pink sandstone, which is seen nowhere else in Angkor.

Continue your day by driving up north to Kbal Spean, one of the earliest Hindu pilgrimage sites in Cambodia. Upon arrival, you will take a short trek up the hill through dense jungle with excellent views over the plains and the Kulen hills. At the top, be surprised about the “River of 1000 Lingas” with some remarkable stone carvings of Hindu gods, animals, and other symbols in the river bed.

Afternoon
After enjoying a picnic lunch you can take a refreshing bath in the nearby waterfall, which is extremely popular with the local families.

On the way back to Siem Reap, stop at the Land Mine Museum which promotes mine awareness. Mr. Aki Ra, the museum founder, was trained as a child soldier during the Khmer Rouge regime and is working today as a de-miner. The museum serves also as a rescue centre for a number of land mine amputee children that Aki Ra has brought off Phnom Penh’s streets or from impoverished rural communities.

Evening
Your guide and driver will take you out to watch Phare – the Cambodian Circus, an amazing blend of traditional and modern theater, music, dance, acrobatic, juggling and contortion beautifully choreographed and performed in a story about Cambodian lives and society.

Overnight in Siem Reap
Meals: (B/L/_)



Morning
After breakfast, your private tour guide will pick you up and take you to Siem Reap airport for a short flight to the coastal town of Sihanoukville.

Upon arrival at Sihanouk Ville Harbor, take a 40-minute ferry ride to Koh Rong, a group of islands just off the Cambodian coast, near Sihanoukville, which offers 23 amazing white-sand beaches bordering azure seas. It is still very much an unspoiled paradise, with 5 tiny islands in the area, 3 of which are uninhabited.

Afternoon
After checking into your resort, spend the rest of the day at your leisure. Relax on the white sandy beaches, swim in the beautiful, still, and turquoise waters.

Overnight in Koh Rong Island
Meals: (B/_/_)

 


Spend your full day for relaxing in the tropical paradise of Koh Rong. The island is all largely undeveloped means that the beaches are mostly unspoiled, with soft white sand, clear blue seas, and shade provided by nearby trees.

If you want to be active, we can arrange a trip with a local fisherman and try your hand at fishing. Meanwhile, other activities here available include kayaking, paddleboarding, blob jump, and mountain biking.

Overnight in Sihanoukville 
Meals: (B/_/_)

Enjoy your last day in Koh Rong without any planned activities. You are free to sunbath at the beach.

Overnight in Koh Rong
Meals: (B/_/_)


Morning
After breakfast and late check out of your resort in Koh Rong, take a speed boat back to Sihanoukville where your private driver is waiting for you to transfer you to Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia.

Afternoon
Arrive Phnom Penh and check into your hotel. Then spend the balance of the day at your leisure. Phnom Penh is the vibrant bustling capital of Cambodia. Situated at the confluence of three rivers, the mighty Mekong, the Bassac, and the great Tonle Sap, what was once considered the ‘Gem’ of Indochina. The capital city still maintains considerable charm with plenty to see. It exudes a sort of provincial charm and tranquillity with French colonial mansions and tree-lined boulevards amidst monumental Angkorian architecture.

Overnight in Phnom Penh
Meals: (B/_/_)



Morning
After breakfast, meet your guide and head out to visit the most remarkable sights of Phnom Penh in a Cyclo (a three-wheeled bicycle taxi), an original Phnom Penh means of transportation and a fun way to explore this lively city.

Begin with a visit to the Royal Palace Compound built-in 1866 by the Predecessors of King Norodom, the most conspicuous feature and also one of the most impressive colorful Khmer-style Palaces. Nearside the Royal Palace is Silver Pagoda (The Emerald Buddha temple), which display plenty of Buddha Statues that were decorated and made by diamond, emerald, gold, and silver.

Next, proceed to visit Independence Monument which was constructed in 1954 after Cambodian took their country back from the French colony. Continue to visit the National Museum, the distinctive red building with a beautiful Khmer architecture was built since 1917 containing more than 5000 art objects made of sandstone, bronze, silver, copper, wood, and others. Pass through the River Front Park whose scenery is much worth shooting.

For lunch, you will be treated to a delicious Khmer meal at Le Lotus Blanc, a lovely charity restaurant where former street children are taught the principles of hospitality.

Afternoon
Gain insight into Cambodia’s recent dark history on a visit to the infamous Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (also known as Prison S21) and listen to English commentary en route. The prison comprises 4 buildings with exhibitions in several rooms. During your visit, you will barely meet a single person who didn’t lose a member of their family during these years, yet they are all willing to talk openly about it with you. They wish you to hear about it and see these places, to ensure that it never happens again.

After an hour and 15 minutes at the museum, take a 40-minute drive to the Killing Fields, see a documentary on the Khmer Rouge regime. Under the leadership of Pol Pot, his government caused the deaths of more than two millions people. There will be around 1 hour and 15 minutes to explore the site. An audio guide is available in 15 languages along with a map of the fields.

Continue to visit the fascinating Russian Market, where you will have ample opportunity to shop for some souvenirs. End your day at Wat Phnom, the birthplace of the city, located on a small hilltop that forms the highest elevation of Phnom Penh.

Overnight in Phnom Penh
Meals: (B/L/_)


After breakfast and a leisurely morning on your own, you will check out by midday and your private driver will pick you up and take you to Phnom Penh International airport for your departure flight home or travel on to more adventures, we will help you with the planning.

Meals: (B/_/_)

Useful Information

This tour is built upon our firsthand knowledge & experience, offering you the best choices available. The price of this trip varies depending on the number of people in your party, dates of departure, and the availability of ground services. Please click on REQUEST A FREE QUOTE (above) and supply the required information, enabling us to send you your personalized quote within 24 hours!

Note: Amendments CAN be made to this tour to suite your requirements.

 

Sightseeing Highlights

  • Enjoy two days of fully guided Angkor complex tours in Siem Reap, with in-depth insights into the history of these extraordinary structures and plenty of time to see the spectacular Angkor Wat
  • Relax in the tropical paradise of Koh Rong with soft white sand, clear blue seas
  • Delve into the dramatic Khmer legacy in Phnom Penh on a full-day guided tour around the Cambodian capital, passing by the sobering Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21) and Killing Fields of Choeung Ek.

Dining Experience

  • 7 hotel buffet breakfasts.
  • 2 dinners and 2 lunches at well-selected restaurants

Travel Highlights

  • Your own private guide and driver for in-depth cultural touring based on your interests
  • Firsthand, sophisticated destination knowledge and recommendations from our locally born travel specialists
  • Itineraries that are customized according to your interests and preferences
  • A seamless travel experience, including all logistics, hand-picked hotels and restaurants, private airport transfers, internal transportation, and entry visa assistance…etc
  • Around-the-clock support from your travel designer and concierge before, during and after your trip

What’s Included?

Private English speaking guide, accommodation, private tours and transfer, domestic flights, A/C vehicles, some main meals, all entrance fees, tax and service charge.

What’s Not Included?

Your international flights from and to Cambodia, the entry visa to Cambodia, personal expense, tips to guide and driver.

                           

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Epic 30 days North to South Vietnam

Chlie hit it out of the park on our 30 days Nieth to South Vietnam. Went with my daughter and friend. Being born during the war and half Vietnamese, I wanted my daughter to see the land where it all started. 25 different locations with 14, five star hotels along with private boat tours and 3 days on Enperor Cruises Halong Bay. You cant get more upscale than that. The guides in each region/ location were awesome and knew their stuff. All were consummate professionals ensuring we were comfortable. Tony, Sy, Mr. One, Vinh, Thuy, Tom and Joe exceeded our expectations in knowledge, friendliness and went beyond to see that we were happy with everything. Two of the guides hold our hearts, Vinh and Tom, if I could have, I would have smuggled them home in my suitcase. My daughter and I met family we never knew we had in Ben Tre and Buen Hoa, I got to see the school I went to and the home I grew up in before coming to the States when my dad ended his last tour. Thank you to Chloe and her team. I will be back, next time with my husband.

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Apr 10, 2024

Thailand , Cambodia and Vietnam

We had a wonderful time on the 3 weeks spent in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand . Chloe was our travel specialist. She did amazing job planning so that we experienced the many flavors of each country. All our guides were wonderful and the street food tours were amazing . We really recommend the Vespa evening foodie tour in Saigon, it was as advertised, one of the best ever lifetime experiences !!! The food was endless and we experienced all the street food with no issues. The accommodations were great and we loved ending the trip to relax in Krabi . Thank you Asian Pioneer Travel and Chloe , you made us a memory and experience we will not forget .

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Apr 6, 2024

Fabulous spring break vacation

After speaking with two other family friends, we booked our vacation through Chloe and it was one of the best trips we have been on. We spent 10 days traveling from Siem Reap, Cambodia to Hoi An, Halong Bay and Hanoi, Vietnam. As a family of 5 (Kids ages 8,5, &3) it is hard to find accommodations and activities that meet the needs of all family members. However everyone came back happy campers. We loved every activity and all the food was wonderful. We saw temples, rode bikes, explored downtowns and went kayaking. Hands down worth every penny.

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