Cambodia Discovery 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 : PACC
Trip length : 6
Trip starts in : Phnom Penh , Cambodia
Trip ends in : Siem Reap
Maximum group size : maximum 16
- Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Phnom Penh
- Tuol Sleng Prison Museum
Cambodia's Angkor Wat is one of the most prominent attractions in all of South East Asia. Long considered 'lost', the ruins of Angkor were never really lost to the Khmers, who have used the monuments as religious sites throughout their history. The site includes the ancient city area of Angkor Thom, with its many carved-stone faces standing as silent witnesses to former days of glory, and Ta Prohm, a temple complex slowly being reclaimed by the jungle. We fly to vibrant Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, and visit the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, a sombre reminder of the reign of Pol Pot. The revitalised city is also home to Wat Phnom, as well as the Silver Pagoda, located in the Royal Palace. Its waterfront, located near the confluence of the Tonle Sap and the mighty Mekong River, is a picture of tranquility and a great place to relax.
- Sua s'dei! Welcome to Cambodia.
- When you arrive in Phnom Pehn you will be transferred to a comfortable and centrally located hotel
- A pre-trip briefing will be held in the evening, to meet the other members of your group and discuss the trip itinerary. Please check for a welcome notice on the Peregrine notice board located near the hotel lifts. This will provide you with your tour leader's name and the exact time and location of your Welcome Meeting.
- Keep in mind that you will need to bring your travel insurance details with you to the meeting.
- There is nothing planned until this meeting, so we recommend you take to the streets of Phnom Penh and explore the city.
- For those with extra time, a visit to the National Museum with its collection of classic Khmer craftsmanship is worth a visit.
- After a pre-trip briefing, you will adjourn for dinner in the restaurant run by the Friends organisation (closed on public and school holidays when you will dine at an alternative restaurant).
- During your free time after dinner, you might even choose to have a relaxing drink at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club, a great way to spend your evening.
- Cambodia has a rich and diverse history, which is especially evident in its bustling capital. From the winding Mekong River, French-inspired colonial architecture, and proud Khmer pre-industrial empire, to the more recent devastation of the Khmer Rouge – Phnom Penh remains a living relic of the country’s past struggles and successes.
- A full city tour will introduce you to the sights of Phnom Penh, a city that lies near the confluence of the Mekong and the Tonle Sap Rivers.
- The private quarters of the Royal Palace are home to King Sihamoni and are therefore closed to the public; however, you will be able to visit the Silver Pagoda that lies in the palace complex, which is the most sacred temple in the country and was previously spared from destruction by the Khmer Rouge.
- You can make an optional visit to Wat Phnom, the temple that gave rise to the foundation of the city in the 15th century.
- The bloody rule of the Khmer Rouge is a painful, but unavoidable, part of Cambodia's recent history and visits to the Tuol Sleng Prison Museum and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek tell the story of this tragic legacy.
- (Note: These sites are a major part of sightseeing in Phnom Penh; however, if you do not wish to visit either of them, please inform your tour leader.)
- An ideal way to spend your second evening to relax in a cafe by the riverfront.
- You will catch a flight north to Siem Reap today, home of the great temples of Angkor. You'll notice a change of pace here, and wandering the streets you will find an abundance of local eateries and colourful markets.
- On Day 4 you will spend a full day visiting the amazing temples of Angkor on a guided tour. Angkor Thom, the 'Great Royal City', is famous for its series of colossal human faces carved in stone.
- The impressive Bayon temple is the centrepiece. Angkor Wat is the largest and most complete structure. It is the only one of Angkor's temples with its entrance facing to the west (the others face east), the reason being that it was constructed as a funerary temple for King Suryavarman II and a westerly countenance was seen to represent a sunset.
- Ta Prohm temple is an incredible sight, with large trees embedding themselves in the stone foundations of the structure. This demonstrates the true feebleness of man’s creations when confronted with the powerful force of nature.
- It is an early morning start as you travel out to Banteay Srei, famous for its detailed and intricate stone carvings. It is not a big temple, but has been sometimes referred to as ‘the jewel in the crown of Angkorian art’.
- Back at the main temple complex, Preah Khan contains a maze of vaulted corridors and is another complex that has been largely reclaimed by the jungle.
- You have the opportunity to visit the Sala Bai Hotel School where underprivileged local youths learn skills that enable them to find gainful employment in the hospitality industry. You enjoy a lunch prepared by students at the school (please note that this is closed on public holidays and school holidays and an alternative restaurant will be used).
- You will end the day with a sunset view of the temples.
- Your ticket for the Angkor ruins enables you to spend more time exploring this memorable archaeological area.
- Indulge with a traditional Khmer massage.
- Visit the Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB), a place that rehabilitates animals that have fallen victim to wildlife trafficking and provides a breeding facility for highly endangered animal species. It is also a centre of education and information for the local population.
- Learn to prepare Khmer food in a local cooking class (optional).
- Enjoy a final Khmer dinner on your last night in Siem Reap.
While the information presented here details our planned itinerary, including routes taken, activities included, accommodation and meeting times, please accept that unforseen changes may occur. We are constantly on the lookout to improve our program and further enhance your experience. Naturally, we will keep you up to date with any last minute amendments to your tour.
Our Plus tours allow you to immerse yourself within a destination or culture whilst travelling and sleeping in comfort. They are packed with highlights to ensure you get the most out of your valuable time away yet are also slower paced allowing you time to savour the culture, traditions and sights of your destination – the perfect balance.
On some trips we’ll push you out of your comfort zone to ensure an authentic experience, on other trips you will stay in amazing places where there is no ‘roughing it’ involved. There is plenty of choice so you can select a trip with as much activity or as little as you wish. Our small groups ensure a more intimate experience and that the impact on the local environment and community is kept to a minimum. Extra Comfort tours offer rich and rewarding adventures and are stress-free, safe and, most importantly, fun!
- Innovative itineraries offering authentic travel encounters
- A mix of active adventure, culture, wildlife, sightseeing and relaxation
- Well appointed, quality hotels in central locations
- Arrival transfers, transport (mostly private) and accommodation included
- Many meals and adventure activities also included
- Fully trained and experienced local leaders
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.
- The services of an expert English-speaking local tour leader throughout the tour.
- Visit to the Angkor complex: Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm, Preah Khan, Banteay Srei and a sunset moment near Angkor Wat.
- Sightseeing tour of Phnom Penh (including entrance fees where relevant): Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Choeung Ek (the Killing Fields), Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, 3 day Angkor pass (including 2 days with a local guide).
- Lunch at Sala Bai Hotel School prepared by underprivileged local youths learning skills to find employment in the hospitality industry.
- Internal flight between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.- Arrival transfer.
International flights, international and domestic departure taxes, departure transfer, visas, insurance, other meals, any optional tours and activities during free time, tips and items of a personal nature.
5 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners
Most of our travellers like the thought of travelling with a few like-minded souls. There are NO compulsory single supplements on most tours as we simply arrange twin shared accommodation for you and another tour member of the same sex. But don't worry if that doesn't appeal. We do understand there are times when you just want a bit of privacy and 'me' time so we are more than happy to arrange a private room upon request when you book.