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Our Cruising Phnom Penh Siem Reap Tour leads you deep into the watery world of the Mekong Delta from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. Along the way, your cruise package is designed to pass through exotic remoted towns such as Kampong Tralach, Kampong Chhnang, the Great Tonle Sap Lake before the disembarkation in Siem Reap. You will have chance to truly experience colorful local markets, river life of the local, as well as immerse into spectacular Angkorian temples.
***NOTE: The cruise package from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap is not working well during the dry season period of March to June. The alternative option to transfer the passengers by vehicles to Siem Reap by land (approx. 5-6 hour) may apply.
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Day 01: Phnom Penh Arrival
Upon arrival in Phnom Penh International Airport, you will be welcomed by our Cambodia travel guide, then be transferred to your hotel for check in. Depend on your actual arrival time, some soft sightseeing for an orientation tour is suggested.
Playing the role as the international and domestic transport hub for whole Cambodia and region, the bustling capital of Phnom Penh is located at the junction of the mighty Mekong River, Bassac River and Tonlé Sap River. 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.
After a short rest, our guide will take you on a sunset river cruise along the Mekong river, observe daily life of local, enjoy the sunset view on the river while tasting a delicious fruit juice or soft drink.
In the evening, have your welcomed dinner at Romdeng Restaurant which is recommended on Lonely Planet and Tripadvisor as the top choice for Cambodian cuisine in Phnom Penh. The restaurant is located in a gorgeous colonial villa with a small pool with a beautiful garden.
Today, we will explore the most remarkable sights of the beautiful city of Phnom Penh. Begin our Phnom Penh sightseeing tour with a visit to Wat Phnom (a Buddhist temple) which is the oldest religious structure 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.
After that, we visit the Royal Palace which is 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) located on the south side of the Royal Palace complex. Inside the pagoda, it is possible to see the collection of Buddhas in gold, silver, crystal, and bronze.
In the afternoon, we will take a visit to the remarkable 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.
Then we will drive out of town to visit Choeung EK, also known as the “killing fields” where thousands of Cambodian were killed and buried in mass graves. A grim, but important visit that will allow you to dig below the surface and understand Cambodia better.
Overnight at hotel in Phnom Penh.
Day 03: Phnom Penh – Koh Chen/Oudong
Free at leisure until your driver transfers you to Phnom Penh Port for your cruise from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. After the embarkation on the cruise, the staff will help you with check in procedures.
After a short break, enjoy a delicious lunch as the cruise heads to Koh Chen (Chinese Island), a riverside village which is renown for its silver products. Here, you will witness the silver making process and observe daily life of the inhabitants in this village. From the village, you will be able to catch a glimpse of the distant hills of Cambodia's ancient capital – Oudong, and its royal stupas when you are a few kilometers away from the ferry.
Then depart Koh Chen for Kampong Tralach, was once the capital of Cambodia. This ancient city was one of the most important till 1618 as it was chosen by King Ang Chan as a place to build his palace. Our cruise will drop anchor close to village.
Overnight on board.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight on Toum Tiou II Cruise
Day 04: Kampong Tralach – Kampong Chhnang
After a hearty breakfast, we depart for Kampong Tralach to visit its wonderful Wat Kampong Leu Vihara. To reach this magnificent edifice, we take a ride through emerald rice paddy, charming streets by ox-cart. Upon arrival at this pagoda, you can see the beautiful paintings and scenic frescoes.
Afterwards, return to our cruise for a delicious lunch. Enjoy the beautiful scenes along river’s banks while our cruise boards at Kampong Chhnang, one of the largest fishing ports on the Tonle Sap Lake. Kampong Chhnang is also famous pottery ware.
During our journey, make a stop at a village near the river’s bank, see the making process of ceramic products and experience products of the palm tree: palm sugar, palm candy and palm wine made by local villagers.
After that, continue to cruise gently towards the Tonle Sap Lake. Our cruise will drop anchor overnight at Chnok Tru, a beautiful lakeside village at the entrance of the grand Lake Tonle Sap.
Have dinner and overnight on board.
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight on Toum Tiou II Cruise
Day 05: Chnok Tru Village – Siem Reap
This morning, pay a visit to Chnok Tru Village via local boats. Visit local attractions such as: school, ice factory, churches, pagodas, pigsty, repair shops and police station which are floating on water.
Return to the cruise and have a delectable lunch as the ship cruises past the Tonle Sap Lake. On arrival at the Phnom Krom pier (approx. 5 miles from Siem Reap), our local guide and driver will be waiting to provide you with a transfer to your hotel in Siem Reap.
Note: At the end of dry season, (around late March to June) the water level may not be suitable for speedboats to cross the lake. In this case, passengers will be transferred by vehicles to Siem Reap by land (approx. 5-6 hour).
Wake up early in this morning for one of the highlights of our Cambodia tour: watching Angkor Wat Complex at sunrise. Our guide and driver pick you up at your hotel then take you to Angkor Wat Complex around 5:30 AM. It is worthy to watch the first sunlight shines over the largest archaeological site in the world. Have your breakfast at a local restaurant near the complex.
After breakfast, begin our exploration with a visit to 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, we will see 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.
From the Angkor Wat, move to the countryside around the Western Baray, the largest artificial reservoir of the ancient Khmer civilization. Here, you can spot water buffalos in swampy ponds, local people working on their plantations and other daily activities of Cambodian.
Visit Angkor Silk Farm located 17 km far from the Angkor Wat. Witness the process from the mulberry bushes cultivation to the production of silk fabrics and life cycle of the silkworm. After the visit, drive back to your hotel for a short break to avoid the midday heat.
In late afternoon, continue to Archeological Park to explore the Ta Prohm Temple, built about late 12th century to early 13th century by the King Jayavarman VII. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Ta Prohm has been left untouched by archaeologists since it was found: overgrown by jungle trees and vines, walls locked in the slow muscular embrace of vast root systems, with many parts of the temple crumbling to the ground.
After that, we head to the pyramidal temple of Pre Rup, enjoy the panoramic view of surrounding countryside and the beautiful sunset over the forest.
This morning, we will explore the ancient city of Angkor Thom, was the last capital and most enduring of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII.
From the South Gate, an impressive stone gate carved with elephants and four giant faces, we head to 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.
After that, pay avisit to the Terrace of the Elephants 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. Then we come to the hotel for refreshment.
After lunch, head to the “jewel of Khmer art” the beautiful temple of Banteay Srei which is 25 km north-east of the Angkor main group temples. Banteay Srei means “Citadel of the Women”, it 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. The temple was built in AD 967 and was a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva.
After the visit, drive back to Siem Reap town. On the way, we will stop at a local community to learn about the process of making Cambodia traditional rice paper and taste palm wine and palm sugar, which are specialty produces in Siem Reap.