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Cambodia stands atop amongs the tourist destinations for luxury travel in Asia. Our 10-day Cambodia Luxury Travel tour is designed for you not only to explore Phnom Penh and Siem Reap; be immersed in the rich history and colorful culture but also dine in the best restaurants of Cambodia which are highly recommended on Lonely Planet and Tripadvisor. The highlights of this fascinating trip is the 03 day beach relaxation on the tropical Song Saa Private Island.
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Day 01: Phnom Penh Arrival
Welcome to Phnom Penh, the bustling capital of Cambodia! Upon your arrival, our local guide and driver will be awaiting to provide you with a short transfer to your hotel for check in.
Phnom Penh is located at the confluence of three rivers, the mighty Mekong River, Bassac River and Tonle Sap River. For a long time, it has been a vital trading hub for whole Cambodia and region. It was once considered as the “Gem” of Indochina with a nice riverside promenade and numerous beautiful Cambodian Buddhist wats, palaces and many colonial-era buildings where Asian and Western architecture meet in a fascinating way.
Depend on your actual arrival time, some soft sightseeing for an orientation tour is suggested.
In the evening, enjoy our welcomed dinner at Malis Restaurant which is one of top recommended restaurants on Tripadvisor and Lonely Planet in Phnom Penh.
This day, we will enjoy a full day sightseeing tour of Phnom Penh by cyclo (pedicab or bicycle rickshaw) which is a special way of experiencing the bustling streets in Phnom Penh.
Start your sightseeing today with a visit to the magnificent Royal Palace, a popular tourist destination in Phnom Penh. It was built by King Norodom I (ruled 1860-1904) in 1886. Then we move to the Silver Pagoda (also known as Wat Preah Keo or Temple of the Emerald Buddha) which is located on the south side of the Royal Palace complex. Inside the pagoda, you can see the collection of Buddhas in gold, silver, crystal, and bronze.
Afterwards, we visit the legendary temple of Wat Phnom, one of the most sacred shrines in Phnom Penh. According to legend, the first pagoda was built in 1373 to house four Buddha statues which are discovered by a wealthy widow called Penh, inside a large koki tree floating down on Mekong river.
The next stop of our trip will be the National Museum which is house of the world’s finest collection of Khmer sculpture. Here, you will have a glimpse into Cambodian history dating back to the 4th century to modern time.
After lunch, pay a visit to the notorious Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum which is a former high school, used as the torture, interrogation and execution center named “S-21” by the Khmer Rouge from 1975 to its fall in 1979. Learn about the Khmer Rouge and Cambodia’s dark past.
Continue to the Central Market and Tuol Tom Poung Market (Russian Market) to see the bustling daily life of the local people.
To conclude the day, relax on a sunset river cruise along the Mekong river, observe daily life of local, and enjoy the sunset view on the river while tasting a delicious dinner. Then return to your hotel for relaxation.
After breakfast at your hotel, transfer to Phnom Penh Airport for a domestic flight to Siem Reap, gateway for the temples of Angkor. Upon arrival at Siem Reap Airport, you will be welcome by our local guide then transferred to your hotel for check in.
After refreshment at the hotel, take a 20-minute drive from Siem Reap to Tonle Sap Lake. Embark on a two-hour boat tour on the giant lake of Tonle Sap where you will have the opportunity to learn about local life. Visit the floating village of Kampong Phluk, then see floating houses, schools, police stations, etc. Depend on water levels and current, this floating village moves from place to place. During your visit, your boat will take you through mangrove forests, a unique ecosystem that survives on flooded soil for months. Your guide is very pleased to answer any question about flora and fauna and kind of birds in this forest.
In the evening, enjoy a delicious dinner while watching the delightful traditional Khmer dance show at Angkor Village Apsara Theater.
This morning, begin the exploration by visiting the ancient city ofAngkor Thom, the last capital and most enduring of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII. Pass through the imposing South Gate, an impressive stone gate carved with elephants and four giant faces.
Our first destination is the inspirational Bayon Temple which locates at the heart of Angkor Thom. This 12th century is well known for its impressive giant faces carvings and wonderful wall carvings telling the story of historical battles.
Then we continue visiting the Elephant Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King. It would be great experience to keep walking through the maze and observing their wonderful, fabulous, intricate sculptures. From here, we proceed to jungle-entwined temple of Ta Prohm, built about late 12th century to early 13th century by the King Jayavarman VII. After that, we head back to the town for lunch and refreshment.
In the afternoon, you will visit the most famous of all the temples on the plain of Angkor: Angkor Wat which was built in the early 12th century by the Khmer King Suryavarman II and was originally constructed as a Hindu temple to dedicate to god Vishnu. It was constructed following the model of the temple mountain symbolizing the Mount Meru, home of the gods. At the end of the 12th century, it was transformed into a Buddhist temple. Inside the temple, discover the walls are covered with stone carvings and bas-reliefs depicting Hindu mythology, the wars Suryavarman II fought during his reign and more than 2000 images of Apsaras and Devatas decorating the temple.
To highlight the day, take a 30 minute scenic helicopter flight around Angkor Wat. This flight will show you the enormous scale of the World Heritage site of Angkor. Return to your hotel to freshen up before the dinner.
We continue to discover other attractions in the Angkor Complex today. Following the breakfast, our guide will pick you up and take you to Banteay Kdei, one of the prettiest temples in Angkor Wat area. Banteay Kdei means "A Citadel of Chambers” and was built in middle of the 12th century to the beginning of the 13th century by king Jayavarman II.
Then move to the Ta Som which was built at the end of the 12th century during the reign of the powerful Buddhist King Jayavarman VII to dedicate to his father.
Stop at the Neak Pean, a Buddhist temple on artificial island in Jayatataka Baray. From here, pass by the Preah Khan Temple which is situated at the northern edge of the Angkor Archaeological Park. It is one of the largest complexes at Angkor, a maze of vaulted corridors, fine carvings and lichen-clad stonework.
Drive back to the hotel for refreshments and lunch. The rest of the day is at your own leisure.
Optional: In the evening, you will have an option to enjoy the remarkable Phare, the Cambodian circus show. It is a NGO project which teaches disadvantaged children and teenagers living on the streets how to become circus artists. Enjoy music, acting, acrobatics and high-energy music in this show.
Today, we will drive through the rice paddies and small, peaceful villages to outskirt of Siem Reap then discover the lost city at Phnom Kulen Mountain. The Mountain is considered as the birthplace of the Khmer Empire. Archaeologists had long suspected that the ancient capital of Mahendraparvata (the mountain of the great Indra, king of the gods) was located on Phnom Kulen Mountain.
We also drive up mountain for a visit to the River of a Thousand Lingas, the giant reclining Buddha in Preah Ang Thom Pagoda and beautiful waterfalls. Have your picnic lunch near the waterfalls.
On the way back to Siem Reap, stop to visit the beautiful temple of Banteay Srei located 25 km north-east of the Angkor temples. Banteay Srei means “Citadel of the Women”, and is the finest examples of classical Khmer art with wonderfully well preserved wall carvings and towers which are decorated with male and female divinities and beautiful filigree relief work.
If your energy allows, there is a chance to visit an exotic butterfly sanctuary and Preak Dak Village to interact with the villagers and learn about their way of life. This village also famous for its handmade souvenirs which are made of bamboo and rattan.
Day 07: Siem Reap – Sihanoukville – Song Saa Private Island
Free at leisure until your driver provides you with a short transfer (without guide) to Siem Reap Airport for your domestic flight to Sihanoukville.
On arrival in Sihanoukville, you will be welcomed by hotel’s staff and be transferred to Sihanoukville port to take a 35 minute boat trip to Song Saa Private Island. Check in then spend the rest of day at own leisure.
Enjoy your days at leisure. The Song Saa Private Island is a remote private island resort in in the Koh Rong Islands, located in southern coast of Cambodia. It is well known for its pristine environment, untouched stretches of golden sands circled above by colourful hornbills, crystal sea water with tropical fish. Here, you absorb various activities available at the resort including: snorkelling around the resort, sunrise yoga, kayak mangrove tour, diving, plus a wide choice of spa treatments ect...