The Very Best Of Cambodia
- Beach Escapes
- Culture & Heritage
Day 1 – 5: Siem Reap
- Arrive in Siem Reap. Discover Angkor Complex and other historic sites. Visit a local silk farm. Embark on a food tour by tuk-tuk.
Day 6 – 8: Battambang
- Cruise to Battambang. Explore the cultural villages. Ride on a traditional bamboo train.
Day 9 – 13: Phnom Penh – Silk islands – Koh Rong
- Drive to Phnom Penh. Full-day heritage tour. Sail across Mekong River to see ‘Silk Islands’.
- Transfer to Koh Rong. Relax on the pristine beaches.
- Take the departure flight from Phnom Penh.
Let’s discover the very best that Cambodia has to offer travellers in 13 days! Start your adventure in Siem Reap and visit the city’s most incredible historic sites – the world-famous Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and other gorgeous temples. Learn about the local arts and embark on a street food tour on a tuk-tuk. Admire the tranquil life and peaceful scenery of Battambang – a pretty riverside town with French elegance. Travel from Phnom Penh to Oudong, where you’ll go on an easy hike up to Oudong Mountain to catch the magnificent views of the plains below. Explore the important landmarks in Phnom Penh to gain an insight into the country’s heritage and history. Afterwards, pamper yourself with days on the stunning beaches of Koh Rong island.
Sua s’dei! Welcome to Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Upon arrival at Siem Reap Airport, your private guide and driver are waiting to meet you with a beaming smile, 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
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.
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.
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 boat ride through the moats of Angkor Thom. In the tranquil solitude, visualize the royal city when it ruled over two million people nearly 800 years ago. As the sun approaches the horizon, make your way to Prasat Chrung, a small temple built in the style of Bayon, and climb an iron staircase to a quiet spot for excellent sunset views over the ruins.
Your tour guide and driver will transfer you to a local village on the outskirt of Siem Reap where you will enjoy a home-hosted dinner. Experience the simple Khmer village life, relaxing in a swaying hammock, or helping the local family to prepare dinner, picking fresh produce from their organic gardens. In this amiable and informal setting, feel free to ask the village elders about Khmer traditions and daily life in this community.
Overnight in Siem Reap
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.
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.
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, make a quick 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.
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
After breakfast, you will be picked up and transferred to the Artisans d’Angkor, established in 1992 in order to support Cambodian arts and crafts and to help young people find work in their local villages by continuing the practice of traditional arts.
Upon arrival, you will be introduced to the students and see their work who are learning the art of stone carving, wood ornamental sculpture, the making of small furniture, and the art of lacquer and polychromy. You will observe the various training methods and completed projects. Next, head to the district of Puok, to the Silk Farm, where you’ll learn the intricate stages in the production of handmade silk, from growing the mulberry trees and silkworm breeding to the ancient craft of silk dyeing and weaving.
Enjoy your free time and the comfort of the hotel before taking the foodie tour in the evening.
Meet your guide again and embark on a street food tour by tuk-tuk. The 3-hour tour takes you to the very heart of Khmer culture and to hidden places beyond any guidebook. Begin at an evening local market where you gain an insight into fresh Cambodian ingredients. Then you will cruise through the busy streets of this ancient heritage town and you will be introduced to all aspects of Khmer cuisine so get your senses prepared! The tour is filled with exceptional Khmer cuisine which is fresh, adventurous, tasty, and organic with wonderful flavors and textures.
Overnight in Siem Reap
After breakfast and check out of the hotel, meet your guide again and embark on a private boat that will take you on a fascinating journey across Tonlé Sap Lake to Battambang, a pretty riverside town of French elegance, friendly Khmer people and beautifully preserved colonial architecture. The city is famous for its many statues of animals and divinities that decorate the streets and buildings.
Along the way you will pass floating villages and flooded forests, portraying life on this body of water that forms Cambodia’s heart. The boat trip is around 6 hours and you will enjoy a take-away lunch.
Note: This boat trip is only possible in the high water period from July to December as water levels are too low during the dry season (January to June). Therefore the alternative transfer is by road.
Arrive Battambang and set out to explore some of the many cultural villages around Battambang, where you will learn how the locals produce rice paper, prahoc (typical Cambodian fish paste), grolan (sticky rice stuffed in bamboo), and other Khmer treats.
Transfer to visit Phare Ponleu Selpak, a School of Music, Visual & Performing Arts – Phare Ponleu Selpak combines the arts to provide education, support, and entertainment to the poor communities. This project is a success story of how humanitarian aid work can turn into a display of zest for life, genuine warmth and creativity, against all odds. A visit to one of their circus shows will leave you with a lasting memory of the wonderful Cambodian people and should not be missed when in Battambang!
Enjoy a scrumptious dinner Pomme d’Amour with its inventive menu mixing French and Khmer cuisine.
Overnight in Battambang
After breakfast, meet your guide, a short bicycle competency test will be given and you will get fitted for your bicycle (either a mountain bike or sturdy basket bike).
Start with the tour of the main market, Psar Nath includes trying a local coffee. Then paddle to the river and cross a couple of minutes on a local boat to the other side of the Sangke River. Here you will visit Wat Povil Remple and take the opportunity to pray with the monks. It is usually possible to accompany the boats back across the river as they begin their morning alms collection.
Once back on the other side, visit the historic 2.5 Street along with a Thai temple before you arrive at a smaller market. Again time for a coffee or a sugar cane juice.
Continue a short distance to Wat Kor Village, known for its many old Khmer heritage houses built around a century ago. Visit one of the best-preserved homes. Cycle along the river and cross a suspension bridge where only motorbikes and bicycles can pass. On the way back into town there is another short drink stop before return to town for lunch at the local restaurant.
Head to the train station to take an 1-hour unique ride on the traditional Bamboo Train, a bamboo platform laid over 2 sets of wheels on a single track. In the old days, this was used to transport goods between Battambang and Phnom Penh and was a typical mode of transport for farmers and villagers. Today, it takes you through the beautiful countryside to a little village you can explore on foot before returning to your starting point. From there, head towards Phnom Sampeau, meaning “Ship Hill” in Khmer, due to its distinctive shape, and one of the few hills standing out in this otherwise pancake-flat plain. From the small temple on the top, you will have a fantastic view of the typical landscape of paddy fields and sugar palm trees below.
Finish the tour and get back to the hotel in the late afternoon where the remainder of the day at your leisure.
Overnight in Battambang
After breakfast, you will be picked up and driven 5 hours to Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia. You will firsts travel first to Kampong Chhnang, known for its traditional pottery, with many kilns at work in this province. In a village near Kampong Chhnang, you will see the different aspects of pottery making and also experience the production of traditional rice wine.
Continue onto Oudong, the former royal capital of Cambodia. The drive passes through many rural villages and pagodas, and you will see the temple mountain with its dozens of stupas from afar. Upon arrival at Oudong, enjoy a traditional Khmer picnic lunch at a hut at the foot of the hill.
After lunch and a short rest, climb the stairs to the top of Oudong Mountain to enjoy magnificent views over the plains below. Your guide will explain the history of the area and its buildings as well as the religious culture of the Cambodian people.
Keep driving south to Phnom Penh. Pause to take a look at the spectacular Vipassana Dhura Buddhist Meditation Centre. Your guide can explain more about the school of Vipassana (Insight Meditation) as you tour the centre. Don’t forget to see the impressive jade Buddha, the mummified monk, and the brightly painted walls telling the story of the Ramayana, the epic Sanskrit poem that decorates many pagodas seen around the country.
Arrive Phnom Penh in the late afternoon 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
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 displays 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.
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 million 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
You can sleep in and enjoy late breakfast. After that, spend the rest of the morning at your leisure relaxing at the hotel’s swimming pool.
Get picked up by a moto-remork (tuk-tuk) and venture out of Phnom Penh by crossing the historic Japanese Friendship Bridge before sailing across the Mekong River to Koh Oknha Tey – a beautiful Silk island by ferry.
Along the way, you will visit the majestic Bakhaeng temple with stunning architecture, statues, carvings, and artwork.
Upon arrival, you will set out to explore these islands commonly known as the “silk islands” due to their longstanding tradition of silk weaving. Visit one of these villages where the weavers allow us to wander among their looms, admiring their skills at this knotty art form.
You will have a chance to witness the entire silk weaving process, learning how silk starts with the silkworms, see silk thread being looped and dyed, then admire and purchase the beautiful Cambodian silk fabrics, the final shimmering Khmer silk accessories.
Afterward, enjoy Khmer snacks at a local family’s house while admiring the surrounding scenery. Aboard a boat back to Phnom Penh. Marvel at the unique architectural wonders around the area such as the Wat Ounalom, Royal Palace, and the Silver Pagoda as the sun sinks into the horizon.
Meet your food expert guide and zoom past the streets of Phnom Penh aboard a tuk tuk again and see the city’s famous landmarks by night. Spice up the ride with unlimited beer and drinks you can enjoy as you go from one destination to another.
You will first fill yourself up with the best noodles in town, delight in the rich taste of roasted chicken and ribs, and wrap your own lettuce and rice noodle rolls. Continue to discover the taste of Cambodian cuisine by visiting family-run restaurants that serve authentic Khmer dishes.
Head to a local rooftop bar and enjoy the stunning views of the city as you sip on delicious craft beer or cocktails. Sit among the locals and see how they spend their night with family and friends.
Overnight in Phnom Penh
End your Cambodia trip of a lifetime with a relaxing stay on 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.
After breakfast and check out of your hotel you will be picked up and driven 4 hours to the coastal town of Sihanoukville.
Upon arrival at Sihanouk Ville Harbor, take a 40-minute ferry ride to the idyllic Koh Rong Samloem, the most untouched island, and check into your resort for your three lovely nights.
At your leisure. Relax on the white sandy beaches, swim in the beautiful, still, and turquoise waters.
Overnight in Koh Rong Samloem
Spend your full day for relaxing in the tropical paradise of Koh Rong Samloem. 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 Koh Rong Samloem
The whole day is free to do as you please. Enjoy the resort facilities, wander, or laze on the beach, or take on one of the many water sports. You may also head into the tropical hinterland of the island. For those looking for adventure, there is even zip-lining available. Take in the majestic island sunset, and feel yourself relax.
Overnight in Koh Rong Samloem
After breakfast and check out of your resort in Koh Rong Samloem, take a speed boat back to Sihanoukville where your private driver is waiting for you to take you back to Phnom Penh International airport for your departure flight home or travel on to more adventures, we will help you with the planning.
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 suit your requirements.
- 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
- Spend a day to visit Artisans d’Angkor and a Silk Farm in the district of Puok, finish the day with foodie tour in the evening by tuk-tuk
- Join a fascinating journey across Tonlé Sap Lake to Battambang, admire a pretty riverside town of French elegance, friendly Khmer people and beautifully preserved colonial architecture
- Travel to Kampong Chhnang, known for its traditional pottery, with many kilns at work in this province and visit Oudong, the former royal capital of Cambodia
- 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
- End your Cambodia trip of a lifetime with a relaxing stay on Koh Rong Samloem, 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.
- 12 hotel buffet breakfasts.
- 4 dinners and 5 lunches at well-selected restaurants
- 2 street food tours
- 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
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.
Free service. No credit card required
Reviews on Our Service
We are committed to giving our customers unforgettable experiences in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and beyond, not just something staged for tourists. Read reviews written by our customers about their experiences in Indochina after they have returned home. These include the ratings and comments on attractions, guides, activities, hotels and food.
Vietnam Luxury Vacation Review: Sightseeing, Culture, 12-Day Travel
Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Sightseeing, Rice Fields, Boat Rides, 18-Day Trip
We started searching for our tour for Vietnam / Cambodia back in October 2022 to start the tour in the first week of January 2023. We selected this travel agency, and contact name provided to us was Elly. She was extraordinary with her communication with us. Excellent English speaking language capability & excellent in communication on Whats app and email communication. We went back & forth few times to arrange the tour we wanted. She was very accommodating in arranging our schedule. We requested automobile tour for both countries, just for two of us.
We requested SUV FOR OUR COMFORT AND WE GOT IT!
We requested to get the high end hotel in each city and she gave us choices and not only that but send videos of each hotel for each City and then waited for us to decide which hotel we select. All the Hotels turned out to be one of the best we would expect to be. M/s Elly, personally came to visit with us on the evening of our first day tour. Very respectful and asked if she could do anything for us.I had requested before in our communication, if she would arrange for power converter for us, since my camera chargers are all in 110. So brought two power converters for us! Something, not everyone will do this kind of service. So all the kiddos to her!
as to the drivers in each city were very courteous, very professional and very careful in how and where they have to do driving.
our Guides in each city were so friendly, courteous and knowledgeable in where ever we visited. How ever wish two guides in Hue An and Ho Chi Minh City spoke English more clearly.
We only wish we had one extra day in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, , however, there is so much to see in the world! Perhaps next time will visit Vietnam.
As to Cambodia, same thing to express about site seeing and our Guide and drivers. Guides and drivers really made our travel thro’ the countries where we do not speak that language, made it so comfortable and enjoyable.
Hi Lam…hope you don’t mind me contacting you directly. My wife Barb & I (Paul) have just arrived home after completing a great tour of Vietnam which was organised through your company Asia Pioneer Travel.
We want to tell you personally how impressed were were with the level of service that we received…it was amazing and the best that we have experienced anywhere. After we made initial contact with you, you handed us over to Chloe to arrange the trip which she did in very quick time and the amount of detail that she went to was fantastic. From the moment that we walked out of Hanoi airport on arrival to see our guide waiting, we knew that we were in for a great trip. The drivers & guides were fantastic and Chloe was in contact by email constantly making sure that everything was going to plan & that we were happy. At one stage we need to vary the itinerary by extending accommodation & changing air tickets and Chloe did that without any fuss or bother.
We also met some wonderful Vietnamese people along the way and Ive got to say that they are our kind of people, very generous & friendly.
Enough of my ramblings, thanks for a great visit to Vietnam, and a special thank you to Chloe for looking after us in such a terrific manner…she is a very special caring lady.
Kind regards & I hope that we have the opportunity to use Asia Pioneer Travel again….Paul & Barb Little from Newcastle Australia
Superbly organised and very flexible
We travelled to Vietnam for two weeks, booking the whole trip through Lizzie at Asia Pioneer, including hotels, excursions, trips, guides and internal flights. Lizzie was so helpful and flexible, accommodating changes to our schedule until the last minute, especially as we missed our connecting flight in Dubai and arrived a day later than planned (our fault). Nothing was too much trouble, including getting my wallet back to me after I left it in the car taking us to the airport.
We started in Hanoi in the North and worked our way south to Ho Chi Minh city (Saigon), taking in Ha Long with its amazing sea stacks and sleeping on a boat, then to Sa Pa on the overnight sleeper train from Hanoi, with its wonderful countryside and rice terraces. Afterwards, we went to Hoi An for three days of relaxation. Hoi An probably my favourite place and three days are enough to cover it. Then onto Hue, the original capital, my least favourite place and then finally on to HMC, which was a real contrast to the North.
The 3-star hotels that Lizzie picked were very good and comfortable, and the guides were very knowledgeable. I would definitely use Asia Pioneer again for future Asia trips.