Day 1: Welcome in Cambodia. We will pick you up at the airport and take you to your hotel, called King Grand Boutique, where you will be offered a welcome drink and will be given information about Cambodia and the fantastic trip you are about to embark on. Because we are very aware of the fact that travelling can be exhausting, we will give you the opportunity to take it easy today. Perhaps you would like to freshen up in your room or relax on one of the deck chairs by the swimming pool. Add a cup of coffee or a refreshing cocktail and your holiday can begin. At the end of the afternoon, your tour leader will take you to a pagoda where you can learn more about Buddhism en where you will be blessed by a monk; a very unique situation.
Day 2: In the morning, you will be taken by cyclo to the Royal Palace, a complex of buildings, that functions as the Royal Residence of the king of Cambodia. Here, we can enjoy pure Khmer architecture. Next, we will visit Wat Phnom, from which Phnom Penh derives its name. Wat Phnom is a pagoda built on a hill of 35 meters high, surrounded by trees where you can see monkeys jumping around. In the afternoon, we’ll use a different means of transportation and travel to the genocide museum, called S21 Tuol Sleng, by tuk-tuk. This place used to be a high school and was used as the most notorious prison S21 of the Red Khmer-regime that lasted from 1975 until 1979. We will continue our day tour by leaving the city and visiting the horrible place called Choeung Ek, better known as the Killing Fields, where thousands of people were tortured and buried in mass graves. On the way back to the hotel we’ll stop at one of the local markets.
Day 3: A cycling tour of half a day. Away from the tuk tuks, the motorbikes, the massages, the pizza and the bars, is a truly unique experience. It’s as simple as going on a pedal through the Mekong Islands that lie just north of Phnom Penh. Return to the city with a new view of Phnom Penh and of Cambodia. In the afternoon, you are free to explore the city yourself.
Day 4: We will take the local bus to Battambang. This ride takes approximately 6 hours and the bus will make a few stops. Battambang is known for its tasty oranges and delicious rice. You can see the rice fields stretch out for miles. Upon arrival in Battambang, you’ll be picked up and brought to Battambang resort. This resort is also situated in between the rice fields and all the fruit is plucked in its own garden.
Day 5: After breakfast, we first visit a 12th century Wat Banan mountain temple. Here, we can enjoy the beautiful Lotus pond at the foot of the mountain. The lotus flowers are most beautiful in the morning. Today, the ride with the famous bamboo train is part of the itinerary. This train is probably the smallest train in the world and is a unique local invention. The train consists of a bamboo platform on the 2 pairs of train wheels and it is driven by a small petrol engine. Since there is only 1 train track, the train has to be taken off the track regularly to allow passers-by to pass. Or perhaps the opposing trains will have to make way.
Day 6: You will have the opportunity to spend this day as you like. Whether you would like to make an interesting cycling trip with an English speaking guide or simply stroll through the old French colonial city, it’s up to you. Perhaps you’ll opt for a day by the pool with a good book and choose to pamper yourself with a wonderful massage?
Day 7: Today, we’ll leave Siem Reap and travel to Battambang. In the rainy season, we can choose to make a boat trip. Depending on the water level of the river, the trip will last for 5 to 8 hours. However, if we take the boat, we will have to get up early, because we should depart from the hotel at 6 o’clock. Having to rise early is rewarded with a beautiful boat trip that allows you to intensely enjoy life on the riverbanks. We’ll see people bathing, children fetching water and animals wading through this important source of life. If the water level is too low, the boat trip is unfortunately not possible and we’ll have to travel by taxi. This drive will take approximately 3 hours. Naturally, the taxi is always available should you prefer not to travel by boat. If you choose to take the taxi, we can leave later in the morning.
Day 8: After breakfast, you will be picked up by a tuk-tuk (the famous Asian tricycle consisting of a motorcycle and a cabin) to explore one of the largest and most beautiful temple complexes of the world, Angkor Wat, together with a guide. The world heritage temple originates from the 12th century and is an experience of mystique and beautiful sculptures. First, we will visit Angkor Wat itself and we will walk between one of the most important temple of the no less than 110 temples. Before we continue we will quench our thirst with a soda or perhaps a fresh coconut? A short drive takes us to Angkor Thom, which consists of, among others, the 12th century Bayon. The 54 four-headed Buddha statues are one of the most impressive sights of the temple complex. Later that day, we will visit the Ta Phrom temple. This is one of the few temples that has been kept in its original state. It has become famous because of the movie Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie. The temple is partly overgrown with trees with gigantic roots, that have ‘nestled’ themselves on and in the stone blocks.
Day 9: We will pick you up in the morning for one of the absolute highlights of your adventurous trip. First, you’ll visit Bantey Srei temple, one of the most beautiful temples. The sculptures are extremely detailed and have been well preserved; there is plenty to see. Next, we will drive with the jeep to the Phnom Koulen National Park and you can enjoy breathtaking landscapes along the way. From wooden huts on poles to green rice fields with long wavy palm trees on the horizon. The adventurous feeling in the jeep gives another view of the authentic Cambodian countryside. Phnom Koulen is one of the most beautiful and historically important locations in the area. The mountain is considered to be very holy and is a place of pilgrimage with an important religious meaning for Hindus and Buddhists. Numerous consider the lying Buddha to be the highlight of the day. Many Hindu-lingas can be seen on the bottom of the river. Additionally, two of the most spectacular waterfalls of Cambodia are located here. At the foot of the waterfall, a large ‘swimming pool’ has been realized where we can take a refreshing swim.
Day 10: A day full of adventure! With the quads (4wheel drive) you will find out how much more there is to see in Siem Reap. The American made Polaris Trail quads are well maintained and are a safe and fun way to see the surrounding countryside. The 41 km trip through the countryside is a perfect way to explore the area. After this tour full of adventure, we will drop you off at Skyventury. With a microlight plane you will see Angkor from the sky. A great opportunity to see the temples from a bird’s-eye-view. To end the day, you will see the Smile of Angkor Show. Prior to this show, you can enjoy a buffet dinner with a wide selection of Asian dishes. The show is of top quality. A combination of sound, light, lasers and dance make this interpretation of the birth of Angkor into a breathtaking show.
Day 11: Today, we’ll take a long bus trip to Kratie. Upon arrival, we will take you to your hotel which is situated along the boulevard. A popular end-of-the-day activity in Kratie is to relax by the riverfront to watch the sunset.
Day 12: According to most of our guests, a visit to the Irrawaddy dolphins is one of the highlights of this trip. Only approximately 100 of these fresh water dolphins still live in the Mekong river. Worldwide, merely 7.000 of these protected species are left. We’ll take a boat trip and then we can watch them swim from a safe distance. On the way back, we’ll have time to visit Phnom Sambok. After walking up hundreds of steps, you have an extraordinary view of the Mekong. In the afternoon, we will cross the Mekong river by ferry-boat to cycle on Koh Trong island. The guide will tell you all about this island and how people live here.
Day 13: We will continue our trip on land to the hills. We’ll reach Tree Top lodge in Banlung after approximately 4 hours. The bungalows with porch/balcony have a hammock from which you have a magnificent view of the jungle. The bungalows are equipped with mosquito nets. A great starting point for our trek.
Day 14: The three-day trek starts today. We’ll go into the jungle under the guidance of our travel guide and indigenous ranger. With a backpack, which we will provide, we’ll hike through the jungle of Banlung. The guides will cook for you and hang up your ‘bed’. This ‘bed’ consists of a hammock with a mosquito net. We’ll sleep beneath the stars. If it rains, we will sleep underneath a self-build plastic shelter.
Day 15: The nature of this 3 day trek is anything but boring. Remote views contrast the enclosed jungle. Bamboo forests, rocky hills, mountains, small streams. The huge trees of the primary forest make mankind feel very small. The three step waterfall measures at least 40 meters and the pool at the bottom beckons to you, waiting to rinse the sweat off your body.
Day 16: The trek through the primary forest is really off the beaten track. In some areas, wildlife tracks are the only paths available. Your footprints mix with the footprints of the giant Gaur, a wild buffalo. In the evening, you’ll be back in the Tree top lodge.
Day 17: Since the trek might be quite exhausting, we have scheduled a rest day for today. We will have the opportunity to visit Yaklom Lake and the waterfall and sunbathe, swim or read a book.
Day 18: Today is once again a long day full of travel. We will depart early from Banlung by bus and will arrive in Phnom Penh in the evening.
Day 19: For the last part of the trip, we treat you to private transportation. With the taxi, you will drive from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville. That is to say, approximately 25 kilometers before Sihanoukville, because the taxi will turn left there. Via small roads, you arrive at a village with a boat to Koh Thmey island. It is a boat ride of nearly an hour to Koh Thmey. Here, you’ll find a number of bamboo houses and a restaurant, and then nothing but beaches. You will not be troubled by salesmen who try to palm off their products, nor by loud bars. You can imagine yourself on a desert island.
Day 20: Many endangered species, such as the Sambar and fishing cats, have made their home here. Schools of dolphins swim alongside the coast and you will have the opportunity to observe sea-eagles hunting. Directly outside our door, you will find a beautiful reef with lot of young fish living between the corals.
Day 21: Today, we will first sail back to the mainland and continue per taxi to the international airport of Phnom Penh. We hope that you will often think back to this great experience in Cambodia and perhaps we’ll see you again so we can show you the other regions of Cambodia as well. Because once you’ve been to Cambodia you will definitely want to come back a second time.
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