Best of Cambodia 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 : ITKSM
  • Trip length : 14 Days
  • Trip starts in : Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • Trip ends in : Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • Maximum group size : 16
  • Ages : Min 15
  • Meals : 8 breakfasts, 3 lunches, 1 dinner
  • Accommodation : Homestay (1 nt), Hotel (12 nts)
  • Transport: Boat, Bus, Private minibus, Van

daily-itinerary1

Day
1-2

Phnom Penh

Sua s'dei! Welcome to Cambodia.

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.

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.

For those with extra time in Phnom Penh, consider a visit to 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. To learn about a brighter period in Cambodian history make a visit to the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda. Alternatively checkout the National Museum - housed in a beautiful traditional building, it contains many outstanding examples of Khmer craftsmanship. And for a more relaxed experience simply stroll along the famous Sisowath Quay and enjoy a coffee or cocktail at one of the many cafes while observing the busy river traffic.

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.

Accommodation: Hotel (2 nts)

Day
3-4

Battambang

Travel by public bus to Battambang (approx 5-6 hrs).

Cambodia's second-largest city, Battambang, (pronounced Battambong) is an attractive riverside town with traces of French elegance, friendly Khmer people and well-preserved colonial architecture.

We take a half day bike trip through the beautiful surrounding countryside of Battambang. We stop along the way to discover the local rural way of life stopping off at small cottage industries producing sticky rice, noodles and fish paste making.

Join the locals for a ride on their famous bamboo train transferring goods such as rice - a great local interaction opportunity!

See students rehearsing in their circus and music school and young painters at work in visual arts (open on Mondays and Thursdays only)

Consider a mouth-watering cooking class and learn the secrets of local dishes such as: amok, Khmer curry & fried spicy chicken.

Accommodation: Hotel (2 nts)

Day
5-7

Siem Reap/Angkor Wat

Make a classic journey by private boat across the Tonle Sap Lake (approx 7 hrs), taking in the magnificent views, scattering of fishermen and local people living atop their floating villages. Note that between April and August when water levels are typically at their lowest we are unable to travel by boat and instead make this journey by mini bus. So that our Intrepid travellers at this time don't miss out on the Tonle Sap experience we instead include a boat tour of Tonle Sap from Siem Reap.

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.

Accommodation: Hotel (3 nts)

Day
8

Sambor Prei Kuk/Homestay

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.

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
9-10

Kampot

We take a private bus to Kampot (approx 7 hours)

Famous for its pepper, Kampot supplied most French restaurants with this vital spice for many years during colonial rule. Today, the region is more renowned for its plantations of durian, a spiky, pungent fruit that either incites adoration or sheer loathing. Try it if you dare!

Venture out on a countryside tour - giving you the opportunity to discover the jewels of the Kampot Province countryside, including local salt fields, rice fields, pepper plantations and the famous Phnom Chhnork caves. We also visit different villages along the way where you'll have the opportunity to talk to villagers and witness their daily lives.

Accommodation: Hotel (2 nts)

Day
11-12

Sihanoukville

Travel from Kampot to Sihanoukville (approx 2 hrs).

Named for the Cambodian royal family, Sihanoukville has miles of beaches and warm, welcoming people.

We visit one of our Intrepid Foundation projects for a tasty lunch. The Starfish Project supports local people with disabilities, along with disadvantaged family's so that they can ensure to send their children to school. It also provides a relaxing, attractive environment where travellers can enjoy fresh, delicious food, home-baked bread, coffee, fabulous brownies and cookies.

The next day, we take a boat to one of the nearby islands, where you're free to enjoy a barbecue lunch and relax among swaying palms, white sands and blue waters.There's also plenty of time to explore the town, the market, the pagodas and to take in the view from Sihanoukville's surrounding hills.

Accommodation: Hotel (2 nts)

Day
13-14

Phnom Penh

Take a local bus to Phnom Penh (approx 4 hrs).

The afternoon is free for further exploration or maybe some last-minute shopping.

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

  • Phnom Penh - Entrance to Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S21) and Choeung Ek Killing Filelds
  • Phnom Penh - Guided Tour Choeung Ek (Killing Fields)
  • Battambang - half day countryside tour
  • Siem Reap - Three Day Angkor Pass
  • Angkor Archaeological Site - Guided Tour
  • Lunch at Starfish Bakery
  • Sihanoukville - Island boat trip

optional-extras

  • Phnom Penh - Wat Phnom - USD2
  • Phnom Penh - Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda - USD7
  • Phnom Penh - National Museum - USD5
  • Phnom Penh - Cyclo tour - USD4
  • Battambang - Bamboo Train - USD10
  • Artistic Social Centre - USD6
  • Cooking Class, Battambang - USD12
  • Siem Reap - Landmine Museum - USD3
  • Siem Reap - Flight of the Gibbon ziplining - USD129
  • Traditional massage - USD5

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

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).

 

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