Step off the beaten path and explore ruins on an insider’s Angkor tour. Take flight, go to the circus, and discover “lost cities” with us

5 Days, 4 Nights     FROM US$ 823 PER PERSON

This five-day Angkor tour bases you in charming Siem Reap as you discover the ancient relics of the Angkorian Empire—but not in the conventional ways! Said to symbolize the soul of the Khmer people, the Angkor Temple Complex is a must-see world destination—made all the better with this fully customizable, insider’s itinerary.

First, explore the region by a privately guided Angkor tour by bicycle, investigating some of the most atmospheric temples such as Ta Phrom and Angkor Thom. Then, take flight in a tethered helium balloon and view Angkor Wat from 120 meters in the sky!

On a journey of cultural discovery, you’ll experience lesser-known moments as you learn about the history of the Khmer people through a cooking class with a local celebrity chef, relish a private tour of the Golden Silk Pheach Farm, and enjoy a private audience with the Phare Cambodian Circus Show.

Then, to wrap up this insider Angkor tour, you’ll step off the beaten path and uncover the region of Phnom Kulen, said to be the location of the “lost city” of Mahendraparvata and Beng Mealea. These enigmatic ruins remained undiscovered for centuries and are the well-kept secrets of archaeologists and the region’s locals.

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“See Angkor like nobody else. We’ll show you all the iconic sites, but through the lens of unique, local perspectives.”

Panharoth Chhun, Backyard Travel Cambodia Specialist


See Angkor Wat from a birds-eye view in a tethered helium balloon
Learn about Cambodian cuisine with a cooking class hosted by a famous chef
Enjoy a private audience with the Phrae Circus troupe and get a sneak peak as you watch them rehearse
Explore Ta Phrom Temple and Angkor Thom on a bike tour led by an expert local guide

Daily Itinerary


  • Daily Itinerary
  • Day 1: Siem Reap

    Welcome to your insider’s Angkor tour!

    Upon arrival at Siem Reap International Airport, you’ll be met and welcomed by your local guide who will bring you to your hotel for check-in.

    Siem Reap is the perfect gateway to discovering the ancient temples of Angkor. After check-in, your expert guide will escort you by bicycle to see some of the temple complex’s main highlights. Your first day of guided exploration will start at the ancient city of Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Khmer Empire.

    Established in the late 12th-century by King Jayavarman VII, Angkor Thom was built in the Bayon style and is surrounded by an 8-meter-high wall that creates a perfectly square barrier around the city. Welcoming you into the city is the imposing South Gate carved with elephants and four giant faces. The path of the main entrance is lined with 54 deities holding the Naga, a sacred snake.

    In the exact center of the city, you’ll explore Bayon Temple, a 12th-century masterpiece of Khmer craftsmanship famous for its 54 towers carved with enigmatic faces representing the 54 provinces of the Khmer Empire. Continue to the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King, renowned for their beautiful bas-reliefs.

    After exploring the ancient city by foot, take a guided tour of the former Royal Palace, discovering smaller, hidden temples that are rarely visited. Then, hop back in the saddle to visit Ta Phrom Temple. This unique temple was left largely as it was found: overgrown and choked by jungle, making it one of the most stunning and atmospheric ruins in the complex.

    In the late afternoon, ride your bike to the pick-up point for your helium balloon experience! You’ll board your balloon and see the majestic Angkor Wat from 120 meters in the air! This unique way to view the legendary structure will give you a better understanding of the layout of the vast complex.

    In the evening, visit a local street market and discover a selection of regional delicacies, including deep-fried insects! Your Backyard Travel guide will explain the techniques locals use to catch the bees, crickets and water beetles. Adventurous foodies are welcome to try anything on offer! But be careful not to eat too much, because tonight a delicious dinner will be served at the family-run Touich Restaurant.

    Open only for dinner, this welcoming venue is run by Sobey and his wife, Touich, who prepare BBQ and traditional Khmer recipes. The restaurant is a hidden secret 3 kilometers outside the town center. After dinner, your guide will transfer you to your hotel.

    Overnight in Siem Reap

    Meals included: Dinner

    Angkor Thom, Cambodia – A traveler goes by a tuk-tuk, visiting the ancient city of Angkor Thomphanom-penh-royal-palace roof-sunset-cambodia
  • Day 2: Siem Reap

    This morning, your Angkor tour reveals the secrets of authentic Khmer cuisine during a half-day cooking class with renowned chef Kathana Dunnet at her beautiful home in a village 35 kilometers from Siem Reap.

    Owner and founder of the Sugar Palm restaurant chain found in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, Chef Kathana was born and raised in Cambodia before moving to New Zealand to study. Her time in New Zealand allowed her insight into world cuisine and how to apply Western techniques to Cambodian cookery, especially how to replace essential ingredients of Khmer cuisine with easily available alternatives outside Southeast Asia.

    You’ll spend the morning cooking a variety of Khmer dishes, then you’ll sit down to eat your creations for lunch.

    Afterwards, you’ll be escorted to Golden Silk Pheach Farm, a private silk manufacturer run by Oum Sophea Pheach. An NGO, the farm (which allows tours by appointment with select groups only) employs more than 100 local staff and produces high-quality products made from the indigenous yellow silkworm.

    Finally, you’ll wrap up your day at the unique, red-sandstone temple of Banteay Srey, a 10th-century structure dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. This is one of the best-preserved temples in Cambodia and is renowned for its elaborate carvings.

    Overnight in Siem Reap

    Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

    Banteay Srei, Siem Reap to be explored in this Cambodia itineraryKethana Cooking Class2, Cambodia1000x600
  • Day 3: Siem Reap

    Get an early start this morning and depart from your hotel at 07:00am for Phnom Kulen, the most sacred mountain in Cambodia. Twelve hundred years ago, in AD 802, Jayavarman II declared himself a “god-king” here and founded the Khmer Empire.

    At Kulen Mountain, you’ll meet your motorbike driver. Hop aboard and ride along the bumpy country roads around the mountain. At times you’ll drive over volcanic rocks and little streams. You’ll stop at Poeng Tbal where you’ll find a riverbed holding a well-preserved stone with detailed carvings of Shiva and Vishnu, as well as rock carvings of Ganesh.

    Continue on to one of the most important historical sites in Cambodia: a small pedestal set atop the three-tiered temple of Prasat Rong Chen. Although little remains of the ruins, its significance is huge: it is here that Jayavarman II announced independence from Java and declared himself the absolute monarch of the Cambodian Kingdom. The pedestal’s linga has been stolen, but it’s still an incredible experience to stand at the very spot where the Khmer Empire originated. It has only recently been confirmed that Phnom Kulen was the location of Mahendraparvata, a huge service city for Angkor and a completely unrivalled pre-industrial urban landscape.

    Drive on to a modern temple with a lovely view and enjoy a packed lunch in the temple’s dining room.

    After lunch, continue to a cave that is a local pilgrimage site. With the help of torches you can walk in for a few hundred meters and visit the modern shrine inside. From here, it’s just a short distance to Srah Damrei (“Elephant Pond”). The life-size stone elephant you’ll see here was built as a guardian for the mountain. Continue to the stone carvings at Damrei Khrap (“Kneeling Elephant”), then conclude your motorcycle adventure at Preah Ang Thom.

    On the return journey to Siem Reap, you’ll stop at the River of a Thousand Lingas, where hundreds of linga carvings have been left on a stretch of the river. Then, stop at Kulen Waterfall for a refreshing dip.

    Return to Siem Reap.

    (Please note: There are still landmines in this area, so you should always be accompanied by a local expert. Please keep to the main paths. A waiver will need to be signed to partake in the motorbike tour. We also recommend wearing long trousers and using insect repellant for this excursion.)

    Overnight in Siem Reap

    Meals included: Breakfast and lunch

    SONY DSCCarvings-linggas-potent-symbols- power-into the riverbed in Cambodia thought to, Phnom Kulen, Siemreap, Cambodia
  • Day 4: Siem Reap

    This morning, your insider Angkor tour will bring you to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat. You’ll travel by remork (a local vehicle similar to the Thai tuk-tuk). Constructed in the early 12th century during the reign of King Suryavarman II, Angkor Wat was built to symbolize Mount Meru, the home of the gods. Once inside the temple, you’ll be surrounded by walls covered in stone carvings and bas-reliefs. The intricate images depict Hindu mythology and the epic wars of Suryavarman II. One of the highlights of Angkor Wat is the collection of 2,000-plus Apsara dancers that decorate the temple. Today, Angkor Wat is featured on the national flag of Cambodia—and it is the only national flag in the world that depicts a building.

    After enjoying a leisurely exploration, return to your hotel to escape the midday heat.

    Later this afternoon, we’ll venture out again for a special performance at Phare, the Cambodian Circus.

    Originally established by the Phare Ponleu Selpak (PPS Association), a non-profit organization started by Khmer ex-refugees from Battambang, the circus is now one of Siem Reap’s foremost art institutions. Over the last 20 years, PPS has helped many refugees and disadvantaged youth use art as a coping method for trauma and to promote Khmer culture.

    Sit down to a lovely dinner at the Phare Restaurant before enjoying an hour-long circus performance that is sure to delight people of all ages. Mixing modern and traditional theatre with dance, music, contortion and acrobatics, the performance tells stories of Cambodian history and modern daily life in Cambodia.

    After the show, you’ll have the rare chance to mingle with the performers and enjoy unique photo opportunities.

    Overnight in Siem Reap

    Meals included: Breakfast and dinner

    siemreap-angkor-wat-moss-covered-wall-cambodiaEclipse@JF Mousseau_01-13(1)monk-angkor -wat-siam-reap- cambodia1000x600
  • Day 5: Siem Reap

    On the last day of your insider Angkor tour, enjoy breakfast at your hotel before checking out. Then, depending on your departure time or onward travel plans, feel free to spend the rest of your time in Siem Reap at leisure. You might choose to shop for souvenirs or just soak up Cambodian culture. We’ll transfer you to Siem Reap International Airport in time to catch your flight.

    If you’d like to extend your time in Cambodia, just contact one of our expert Travel Specialists.

    Meals included: Breakfast

All of our Tours can be Tailored, Just Ask!

Local vietnamese woman

Tour Details

This Angkor tour can be tailored to your requirements, allowing us to create the perfect holiday just for you. Contact us with your holiday ideas, no matter how big or small, and we’ll start planning your unique personalized trip!

Tour prices are a guideline only, and are based on two persons travelling together, sharing a double or twin room. Each tour price and can be adjusted depending on budget, activities included and standard of accommodation desired.

Tour and airfare prices include all applicable taxes and are subject to change without prior notice until services are booked.

You, your holiday and booking direct: Backyard Travel are on the ground year-round in Asia, which means you are booking direct with a local travel company, allowing you to save on the cost of your holiday. Our tailor-made tours are designed by local Travel Specialists who investigate every aspect of the trip themselves, giving you a unique view of each destination.

icon Included in this Backyard Travel tour:

Accommodation with daily breakfast at selected hotels
Private tours, transfers and all services as mentioned in the itinerary
Services of a private driver and air-conditioned vehicles
Service of English speaking guides in every location
Entrance fees for all mentioned sights visited
Meals as mentioned in the itinerary

icon Not included in this Backyard Travel tour:

Domestic and international flights
Departure taxes if applicable
Meals other than those mentioned in the itinerary
Early check-in and late check-out at hotels
Personal expenses (such as laundry, telephone, drinks, etc.)
Tips for guides and drivers
Personal travel insurance
Visa fees (contact us for further information)

Talk to us about Your Holiday

Our advantage lies in having local expertise to create unique, bespoke tours. Whether you’re looking to cruise down Asia’s tranquil rivers, bike the peaceful rural roads, or eat at bustling night markets, Backyard Travel’s in-country Travel Specialists can plan your ideal trip. Send us a message about your ideas, and we'll send you our best suggestions.



Why Backyard Travel?

Our experienced travel specialists possess years of local insider knowledge, because they live here.

We have offices in all of our destinations in asia, fully staffed and open all year-round.

With backyard travel you are booking direct, allowing you to save and benefit local residents.

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Ask your obligation-free itinerary
  • Local travel specialists
  • Private tour guides
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  • Personalized itinerary
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Local travel specialists Private tour guides 24/7 on-ground assistance
Insider experiences Excellent value for money Personalized itinerary
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