Angkor Trails Trip Notes

At Imaginative Traveller we always aim to provide accurate information for our travellers. Unfortunately information such as the price of optional activities is occasionally subject to change, and this means that we are constantly revising our trip notes. In order to ensure that you have the most up to date information for your trip we suggest that you check the trip notes for your tour around one month before departure.

  • Trip code : ITKSD
  • Trip length : 9 Days
  • Trip starts in : Bangkok, Thailand
  • Trip ends in : Bangkok, Thailand
  • Maximum group size : 16
  • Ages : Min 15
  • Meals :6 breakfasts, 1 dinner
  • Accommodation : Homestay (1 nt), Hotel (7 nts)
  • Transport: Bus, Private minibus, Van

daily-itinerary1

 Day
1

Bangkok

Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand.

Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1.

Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.

Bangkok has so much to offer those with time to explore - why not take a riverboat to Chinatown and explore the crowded streets, uncover the magnificent Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, wander down the tourist mecca of Khao San Road, or indulge in some Thai massage?

Pay a visit to Wat Pho, home to the country's largest reclining Buddha and keeper of the magic behind Thai massage.

Explore the magnificent Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 nt)

Day
2-4

Siem Reap/Angkor Wat

It's a long drive from Bangkok to Siem Reap (approx. 8-9 hours by private bus, including border crossing and lunch)

The small but expanding town of Siem Reap is the gateway to Angkor. It's markets are a great place to shop or to try some cheap, delicious street food.

Temple-hop with our local guide to make the most of our visit to the world-famous Angkor complex. These temples were built between the 9th and 13th centuries when the Khmer empire was the pre-eminent influence in South-East Asia. The temples were believed to represent the cosmic world and were set in perfect balance, symmetry and composition. The intricately carved bas-reliefs and architectural designs are mind-blowing and there are spectacular photographic opportunities at any time of day - watching a sunrise or sunset is a must. The ruins are scattered over an area of some 160 sq km, but the main cluster of temples is close to Siem Reap so we'll have plenty of time to fully appreciate the great archaeological sites of Angkor Wat, the Bayon and the jungle-covered Ta Prohm.

Depending on the season there may be a chance to visit Tonle Sap Lake for a look at local life.

If you feel like some adventure you could do the optional flight of the Gibbon which is a ziplining course which gives you a birds eye view of the rainforest with an adrenalin rush thrown in.

Accommodation: Hotel (3 nts)

Day
5

Homestay

Get a taste of real Cambodian life on a homestay with a local family in one of the traditional villages near the impressive Sambor Prei Kuk temple complex.

Jump on a private bus heading towards Sambor Prei Kuk and our Homestay (approx. 3.5hours). We reach our homestay, drop our bags and meet the local family with who we'll be staying with tonight.

Tour the village with your local guide. The guide will introduce you to the way of life of the local people, your homestay facilities and your hosts for tonight.

Facilities are very basic at our homestay, but this is an opportunity to experience the everyday life of rural Cambodians.

Sambor Prei Kuk is Cambodia's oldest temple site dating back to the 6th century. You have free time to visit this fascinating temple complex.

In the evening, we enjoy a traditional Khmer dinner with our host family.

Accommodation: Homestay (1 nt)

Day
6-7

Phnom Penh

Travel by private bus to Cambodia's capital, Phnom Penh (approx 4 hrs). A great opportunity to look at the real Cambodia, we'll make several stops at points of interest along the way. It may be possible to see the cottage industry at Santuk Silk Farm and sample the local cuisine of deep-fried spiders at Skun.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital, is set on a major junction of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers and boasts some fine examples of French-inspired architecture.

Confront Cambodia's tragic past on a guided tour of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a former school which served as a Khmer Rouge torture centre. It's estimated that more than 20,000 people were held and tortured here.

Head out to the Choeung Ek Memorial, where a stupa made up of some 8,000 human skulls marks the site of the infamous Killing Fields. 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 9000 corpses have been exhumed from the area.

Learn about a brighter period in Cambodian history with a visit to the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda.

Explore Wat Phnom, a peaceful temple situated on a hill for which the city is named. According to legend, a 14th-century woman named Penh found sacred Buddhist objects in the nearby river and placed them here on the small hill.

Check out the National Museum. Housed in a beautiful traditional building, it contains many outstanding examples of Khmer craftsmanship.

Take in the sites by cyclo! Tours generally take in the following: central market, US Embassy, Wat Phnom, Mekong river front, independence monument, finishing at the Royal Palace.

Stroll along the famous Sisowath Quay and enjoy a coffee or cocktail at one of the many cafes while observing the busy river traffic.

Accommodation: Hotel (2 nts)

Day
8-9

Ho Chi Minh City

Travel by public bus through Cambodia and rural Vietnam to Ho Chi Minh City (approx 6-7 hrs).

Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is characterised by a vast array of sights and sounds, and is a fascinating blend of old and new, East and West. The huge number of people rushing about their daily lives in Vietnam's largest city gives it a dynamic atmosphere and the French influence is evident in the excellent baguettes and coffee on offer. Much of city life takes place on the busy streets lined with shops, stalls and vendors, who have their wares spread out on the footpath and sell everything from soup to sophisticated electronics.

We have a few hours in the afternoon to explore the frenetic heart of the city or to bargain for final purchases at the historic Ben Thanh Market before an optional final dinner.

There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time.

Accommodation: Hotel (1 nt)

included1

  • Siem Reap - Three Day Angkor Pass
  • Angkor Archaeological Site - Guided Tour
  • Village Tour with local guide
  • Sambo Prey Kuk Temple - entrance fee
  • Phnom Penh - Entrance to Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21) and Choeung Ek Killing Filelds
  • Phnom Penh - Guided Tour Choeung Ek (Killing Fields)

optional-extras

  • Bangkok - Wat Pho temple - THB200
  • Bangkok - Grand Palace - THB500
  • Bangkok - Thai massage - THB250
  • Bangkok - Urban Adventures - Bangkok by Bike - THB1500
  • Bangkok - Urban Adventures - Bangkok Chinatown Food Discovery - THB1870
  • Bangkok - Jim Thompson's House - THB100
  • Bangkok - Urban Adventures - Temple & River of Kings - THB2200
  • Bangkok - Urban Adventures - Tuk Tuk city tour - THB1400
  • Siem Reap - Landmine Museum - USD3
  • Siem Reap - Village tour - USD12
  • Siem Reap - Tonle Sap boat trip - USD15
  • Siem Reap - Remork transport to Tonle Sap Lake - USD10
  • Siem Reap - Flight of the Gibbon ziplining - USD129
  • Phnom Penh - Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda - USD7
  • Phnom Penh - Wat Phnom - USD2
  • Phnom Penh - National Museum - USD5
  • Phnom Penh - Cyclo tour - USD4
  • Ho Chi Minh City - Reunification Palace - VND30000

 

not-included1International flights, arrival and departure transfers, departure and airport taxes, visas, all other meals, all optional tours or activities during free time, transfers outside of the tour program, travel insurance, tips and items of a personal nature.

tripgrade1

Standard

For those of you who dream of experiencing a location in depth and comfort but are mindful of budget. Ideal for those that enjoy the quirkier side of a destination without roughing it. Join inquisitive travellers of all ages for an fun, informative experience.

Style Facts

  • Comfortable tourist class hotels
  • Family Homestays
  • Private and local transport
  • More inclusions than Basic tours
  • Fully trained and experienced leaders

Discovery

Discovery tours are all about exploring & experiencing the world with like-minded people, dipping your toe beneath the usual tourist surface & discovering the real essence of a region. They are genuinely innovative, exciting & imaginative tours that offer that little bit more to travellers.

This tour is operated by our partners Intrepid

visa1

A necessary bugbear of adventure travel, visas can appear complicated, costly and confusing to apply for. Imaginative Traveller recommend applying for visas with a professional visa service who can guide you though the process and take care of lodging and collecting your passport with multiple embassies, so we have teamed up with The Visa Machine.

The Visa Machine ‘live and breathe’ visas and have the expertise to provide current and accurate information and arrange the correct visas for your trip, quickly and at a good price.

Please click here for more information.

medical-preparation1

We strongly recommend you visit your doctor to discuss health requirements for your trip. They will advise you regarding the appropriate inoculations. In some places anti-malaria medication may also be required. Some vaccines need to be administered a few weeks before departure so allow yourself plenty of time. Obtain a certificate of vaccination and carry this with you on this trip. A dental check up is also highly recommended.

Money1

Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
 
You will need to take cash to cover all additional expenses not included in your tour cost. These include food, drinks, optional sightseeing, tips, laundry, souvenirs and possible delays. If in doubt, bring more than you think you will need. It is always useful to carry an additional amount for emergencies. If there is a medical emergency you are sometimes required to pay at the time; providing your claim falls within the scope of your policy, your insurance company will make reimbursement later.

travel-insuranceYou must have extensive travel insurance as a condition of booking with us, and without evidence of a valid policy you won’t be allowed to start your trip. Please click here for more information.

responsible-travel1

Responsible tourism is at the heart of Imaginative Traveller. For 20 years we have taken customers to places around the world in social and environmentally responsible manner, ensuring everyone involved respects and maintains the natural and often delicate balance of the destination.

As travellers ourselves we are well aware of the impact that tourism can have and whilst economic gain from tourism is often fundamental to a country, it should never be at the expense of its culture or the environment. It is our aim to provide journeys that have minimal negative and maximum positive impact on the places we visit. We do not believe that, as visitors, we should impose our own cultures on others; rather that we should experience foreign cultures and appreciate them for what they are.

We believe giving something back is essential. We therefore work with our customers and the people we visit to ensure the benefits go directly to contribute to local cultures and environmental conservation. This is not only good the communities we visit but it also gives our travellers more enriched adventures.

For further information about responsible travel please click here.

other-important-information

TET:
Tet is Vietnam's New Year festival, held annually in late January or early February based on the lunar calendar. While this can be a fascinating time to travel and experience this event, expect some shop closures and busier than usual local transport. Opening hours at some tourist sites may also be affected or closed. Although we make all reasonable efforts to avoid disruption, a flexible approach from the traveller is appreciated.

CAMBODIAN FESTIVALS & HOLIDAYS:
During public holidays and festival periods in Cambodia many businesses may close, transport may be extremely busy and travel times may increase. During these times please be patient and consider these moments as an opportunity to interact with the locals. Particularly worth noting are Khmer New Year (3 days in mid-April), Pchum Ben (3 days in early October) and Water Festival (3 days in late November).

WET SEASON:
During the rainy months (approx. June to October), our mode of transport may occasionally be changed due to inclement weather.

FLOODING:
The Cambodia/Thailand land border is occasionally closed due to flooding. If this is the case, we may need to alter the itinerary and fly. In such cases the traveller would cover this expense - refer to emergency funds section of trip notes.

 

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