QUINTESSENTIAL CAMBODIA

This tailor-made tour takes you into the heart of China’s remote utopia to discover the modern-day Shangri-La of the Yunnan Province.

TOUR INTRODUCTION

13 Days, 12 Nights     FROM US$ 2179 PER PERSON

See the quintessential Cambodia on this classic tour. Stay in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap and learn their histories with knowledgeable guides. Explore unseen temples and visit villages to learn about local life. Take part in sustainable tourism projects and help to support communities.

Take a sunset cruise of Phnom Penh, and then dine at a restaurant which gives former street children the chance to support themselves. Hop in a cyclo to explore the city in this local, fun mode of transport. Visit the infamous ’S-21’; a school which was turned into a detention and torture centre by the Khmer Rouge; a harrowing but important reminder of Cambodia’s recent history. Take a boat ride and stay on Koh Trong Island. Take part in a very special experience as you see a traditional puppet show with a whole village. Take a boat out to spot the rare freshwater Irrawaddy Dolphin. Tour Koh Trong Island by horse cart or bicycle. Help to cultivate the forest by planting your own tree. Head into the forest and the little-known pre-Angkorian temples of Sambor Prey Kuk. Discover its amazing views of the jungle and vast, ancient reminders of a once-glorious civilization. Start early to see sunrise at Angkor Wat, a truly memorable experience. Explore the countryside further with a trip to the Western Baray (reservoir) area. See Ta Phrom, an iconic temple twined with incredible tree-roots. Visit the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire; the ancient city of Angkor Thom. Go to the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. Discover the temple of Beng Mealea, undiscovered for centuries. Next, see the ’gem’ of Angkor, Banteay Srey. On the way back, stop at local communities and learn about their way of life. Take a stunning boat trip which offers marvellous views of the Cambodian countryside. Visit a village to see the process of pottery making and also the production of the local rice wine. Ride an ox-cart through the Cambodian countryside. Make a stop at ’Silver Village’, where the people make ornate silver items. Enjoy an authentic Khmer farewell dinner at the delightful Le Wok Restaurant

 

Each of our itineraries 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 our destination based teams will start planning a unique and personalized trip.

The Backyard Travel Team,

THE BACKYARD TRAVEL DIFFERENCE

Dine at a restaurant which gives former street children the chance to support themselves
See a traditional puppet show at a village on the banks of the Mekong River
Help to cultivate the forest by planting your own tree
Contribute to a sustainable tourism project and enjoy traditional lunch prepared by villagers



Daily Itinerary

Daily Itinerary

  • Start
  • Day 1: Phnom Penh

    Upon arrival you will be greeted by your guide and transferred to your hotel in the heart of the city.

    Despite its turbulent recent history, the bustling capital of Cambodia retains its colonial-era charm; with wide tree-lined boulevards and parks, and a mixture of eastern and western architectural styles.

    Head to the lively riverfront area for a sunset cruise. See the area come to life whilst sipping fresh coconut juice on your boat.

    This evening you’ll dine at Romdeng; a restaurant located in a restored colonial building which teaches former street children the principles of hospitality; giving them a chance to support themselves.Distances and journey time:
    Phnom Penh Airport Phnom Penh (11 km): 20 mins

    Overnight in Phnom Penh.

    Meals included on this day: Dinner

    Cargo of woven baskets on a motorbike in Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • Day 2: Phnom Penh

    Hop in a cyclo today and explore the city in this local, fun mode of transport. First you’ll go to Wat Phnom, named after the city’s father. It contains examples of ancient Khmer statues and architecture.

    Next is the 19th century Royal Palace, which houses a collection of Buddha images; as well as the Silver Pagoda, the floor of which is covered entirely in heavy silver tiles.

    This afternoon visit the infamous ‘S-21’; a school which was turned into a detention and torture centre by the Khmer Rouge. Now housing the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, it’s a harrowing yet important reminder of Cambodia’s recent history. The Russian market is on the way back. If you like; stop off here to see its large selection of handicraft goods.

    Overnight in Phnom Penh

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    A tuk tuk driver carrying his customer and her shopping in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.SONY DSCphanom-penh-royal-palace roof-sunset-cambodia
  • Day 3: Phnom Penh-Kampong Cham-Kratie

    Today travel to Kratie Province by car. En route, see the town centre of Kampong Cham, a former French trading post. Visit Wat Nokor, an 11th century Buddhist temple. Once in Kratie, take a short boat ride to Koh Trong Island and check in to your hotel. Your afternoon is free to explore the quiet, rural island at leisure.

    Option: This evening, take part in a very special experience as you go to Wat Rokkandal on the banks of the Mekong to see a traditional puppet show. Arranging this on request means that the performers can continue to perform. The whole village will be entertained too, as no one wants to miss a puppet-show!Distances and journey time:
    Phnom Penh - Kampong Cham (124 km): 2 hrs & 40 mins
    Kampong Cham - Kratie (81 Km): 1 hrs & 30 mins

    Overnight on Koh Trong Island

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    entrance-to-the temple of-wat nokoCambodian fisherman-boat-Mekong-River-Kampong-Cham-cambodia
  • Day 4: Kratie

    After breakfast, drive along the banks of the Mekong River to the village of Kampi. This area is famous for being home to the rare freshwater Irrawaddy Dolphins; and you’ll board a local boat to go out to see them. Once you’ve spotted the first one, your driver will turn the engine off and you’ll follow these beautiful creatures silently.

    Afterwards, get back in the car as we head to the ‘100 Pillar Pagoda’ of Wat Sorsor Mouy Roy, famous for the legend of ‘The Crocodile and the Princess’. Lunch will be prepared for you on the pagoda grounds.

    After lunch, cross the river again to Koh Trong island. Once back here take a tour of the island. Local horse cart or bicycle, it’s up to you!Head to the island’s Wat (temple) and help to cultivate the forest by planting your own tree. The tree will have your name tag on it, so if you come back in the future you can pay a visit to see how your tree is doing. Continue your tour, visiting a Vietnamese floating village and trying out the local fruits for which the island is famous.

    Overnight on Koh Trong Island

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast and Lunch

    lotus-flower-cambodia1000x600
  • Day 5: Kampong Thom, Cambodia

    Leave Kratie now for the 5 hour drive to Kampong Thom Province. Get some fresh air and exercise on the way with a stop at Phnom Santuk Mountain.

    The 980 steps here lead to a pagoda at the top and excellent views of the countryside.

    Once you get to Kampong Thom, check in at your hotel where the rest of your day is free at leisure. Take a cycling tour along the river or relax by the hotel pool.Distances and journey time:
    Kratie - Kampong Thom (220 km): 4 hrs & 30 mins

    Overnight in Kampong Thom

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    friendly-woman-kampong-cham-cambodia1000x600
  • Day 6: Kampong Thom- Siem Reap

    Head into the forest now and the little-known pre-Angkorian temples of Sambor Prey Kuk.

    There are over 100 well-preserved temples here, built between the 6th and 7th centuries.

    Explore the area walking along shaded forest paths and discover the amazing views of the jungle and the vast, ancient reminders of a once-glorious civilization.

    Contribute to a sustainable tourism project in this area by enjoying a traditional lunch prepared for you by the local villagers.

    Afterwards, we’ll drive on to Siem Reap. Check in to your hotel, where the rest of your day is free at leisureDistances and journey time:
    Kampong Thom - Siem Reap (201 km): 3 hrs & 10 mins

    Overnight in Siem Reap

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast and Lunch

    -tree-temple-ruin-sambor-prei-kuk-cambodia
  • Day 7: Siem Reap

    Siem Reap is the perfect base from which to explore the temples of Angkor. A town with plenty of charm and facilities only a short drive away from the temple sites.

    Start early in order to see sunrise at Angkor Wat, a truly memorable experience.

    Enjoy breakfast at the nearby Angkor Café, then head back to the temple for further exploration. Said to symbolise the soul of the Khmer people,Angkor Wat was built in the early 12th century during the reign of King Suryavaman II; and some of the wars he fought are depicted in the bas-reliefs and stone carvings which cover the walls.

    Hindu mythology also features heavily in the designs, along with the beautiful forms of nearly 2,000 Apsara dancers; representations of feminine grace and beauty. You have a chance to further explore the countryside this afternoon with a trip to the Western Baray (reservoir) area.

    Here you’ll see everyday Cambodian life; from water buffaloes bathing and oxen pulling carts to farmers working in their fields and children cycling to school. Visit the Angkor Silk Farm where you can see the whole process of silk creation, from the rearing of silkworm right though to finished silk items.

    After heading back to Siem Reap for a break and some lunch, look around the ‘Small Circuit’ of temples.

    Start with Ta Phrom. This iconic temple is twined with incredible tree-roots as nature has slowly reclaimed it over the centuries. Originally constructed as a Mahayana Buddhist temple in the late 12th century by Jayavarman VII, it apparently took 80,000 people to look after it, and has been left as it was found in the 19th century.

    Though well-known, it can still make the visitor feel like an explorer of old; the crumbling masonry and overgrowth of vines, trees and roots conveying the romance of discovering a true lost civilization. Also near here are the 12th century Buddhist monastery of Banteay Kdei, and the old bathing pond of Sra Srang; a tranquil area where Khmer Royalty used to bathe.

    Overnight in Siem Reap

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    siemreap-angkor-wat-cambodiamonks-in-siem-reap-cambodiaSchool girls ride their bikes in front of Angkor Wat Temple after school.siemreap-ta-prohm-cambodia1000x600
  • Day 8: Siem Reap

    This morning, visit the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire; the ancient city of Angkor Thom. Enter through the South Gate, carved with four giant faces; and look around this perfectly-square ancient walled-city.

    Bayon temple sits exactly in the centre of the city, a magnificent masterpiece of 12th century Khmer craftsmanship. Its 54 towers represent the 54 provinces of the Khmer empire, and the temple also has amazing, detailed bas-reliefs at The Terrace of The Leper King and The Terrace of The Elephants.

    Now go to the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. A marvel of nature; Tonle Sap Lake swells to almost five times its normal size during the rainy season and supports many communities all-year round.

    Take a boat out to the lake village of Kampong Phluck to see its stilt-houses. You’ll pass flooded forests and floating houses along the way, witnessing how people adapt to life on this immense, fertile body of water that is Cambodia’s lifeline.

    Note: Due to low water levels during the dry season, the boat trip is only possible from June to March, but we can arrange an overland visit to Kamphong Phluck that is an equally interesting experience, as you can walk among the stilted houses.Distances and journey time:
    Siem Reap - Temples (06 km): 10 mins
    Siem Reap - Tonle Sap (20 km): 30 mins

    Overnight in Siem Reap

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    Bas-Reliefs at the Outer Walls of The Bayon, Angkor Thom, CambodiaHead Statues of ancient Prasat, Siem Reap, Cambodiabuddha-statue-at-bayon-temple-ankor-wat-cambodiaFloating-House- Houseboat-the-Tonle-Sap-lake-Battambang-Siem-reap-Cambodia
  • Day 9: Siem Reap

    Discover the temple of Beng Mealea today. The temple lay undiscovered for centuries and its ancient stones have been all but covered by roots, vines and creepers. The temple can be explored on foot, and its creaky boardwalks and creeping jungle transport you back in time to an age of intrepid adventure. Enjoy a picnic lunch after your adventure.

    Next, see the ‘gem’ of Angkor, Banteay Srei. This ‘Citadel of the Women’ as it is known, is made of pink sandstone and is the most well-preserved temple in Cambodia. Excellent examples of classical Khmer art are to be found in its magnificent bas-reliefs.

    On the way back, we’ll stop at local communities along the way and learn about their way of life.Distances and journey time:
    S
    iem Reap - Temples (06 km): 10 mins

    Overnight in Siem Reap

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast and Lunch

    Beng MealeaBanteay Srei, Siem Reap, Cambodia
  • Day 10: Siem Reap-Battambang

    Today travel by private boat from Siem Reap to Battambang. This is a stunning boat trip which offers marvelous views of the Cambodian countryside. A packed lunch will be provided on board.

    Once in Battambang, check in at your hotel. Your afternoon is free to relax by the pool or explore this charming, friendly city.Distances and journey time:
    Siem Reap - Battambang (174 km): 03 hours

    Overnight in Battambang

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast and Lunch

    Battumbong1000x600
  • Day 11: Phnom Sampeau

    Today, head for Phnom Sampeau. So-called because of its distinctive shape, ‘Ship Hill’ has a small temple on its top, with a great view looking out onto a landscape of lush rice fields and sugar palm trees.

    Enjoy a picnic lunch on this hilltop. This area is also a reminder of the country’s turbulent history, as it is home to the notorious ‘Killing Caves’ of Khmer Rouge times.

    Let your guide lead the way through local farms and villages to a mountain top on which is situated the 11th century temple of Wat Banan.

    Enjoy wandering around the temple and its scented flowering trees and take in the view of the surrounding countryside.

    Learn more about local life as you visit some of the villages of Battambang. See how rice-paper is produced, along with Cambodian specialty foods including prahoc, the fermented fish paste which lends its unique flavor to much Cambodian cuisine.

    You’ll also visit a weaving and handicraft centre to learn about various traditional textile production processes.

    Overnight in Battambang

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    A village in a rural area of Cambodia near Battambang
  • Day 12: Battambang-Kampong Chhnang-Oudong-Phnom Penh

    Leave this morning for the famous pottery area of Kampong Chhnang.

    Visit a village here to see the process of pottery making, and also the production of the local rice wine. Continue past pagodas and quiet farming villages to the former royal capital, Oudong. Take a picnic lunch when you arrive, after which an ox-cart will take you on a local-style ride through the Cambodian countryside.

    Your ox-cart journey will end at the foot of Mount Oudong, from where you’ll climb the stairs to the top and enjoy the magnificent views of the plains below. Your guide will explain more about Cambodian religion and the history and significance of the buildings you see.

    On the way to Phnom Penh, make a stop at ‘Silver Village’, where the people make ornate silver items; including the delicately engraved tropical fruits which are used in traditional ceremonies.

    Check in to your hotel once you arrive in Phnom Penh.

    Enjoy an authentic Khmer farewell dinner at the delightful Le Wok Restaurant.Distances and journey time:
    Battambang - Kampong Chhnang (247 km): 4 hrs
    Kampong Chhnang - Oudong (57 km): 1 hr & 15 mins

    Oudong - Phnom Penh (39 km): 50 mins

    Overnight in Phnom Penh

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    fisher-men-working
  • Day 13: Phnom Penh - Departure

    Your day is free at leisure until your transfer to the airport for your onward flight. Distances and journey time:
    Phnom Penh Airport - Phnom Penh (11 km): 20 mins
    Phnom Penh - Phnom Penh Airport (11 km): 20 mins

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    Bike on a Porch

All of our Tours can be Tailored, Just Ask!

Local vietnamese woman

Tour Details

All of our itineraries 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 in luxury accommodation. 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)

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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