A TASTE OF CAMBODIA

Explore and discover the wonderful world of Cambodian cuisine on a guided adventure taking in the best gastronomic experiences the colorful nation has to offer.

TOUR INTRODUCTION

9 Days, 8 Nights     CONTACT US FOR PRICING

Join us for a gastronomic adventure to discover the captivating cuisine of Cambodia on our Taste of Cambodia culinary tour. Journey through Siem Reap, Kampot, Kep and of course the dynamic capital Phnom Penh and experience all the flavors and textures that make the nation so special.

Renowned for spectacular temples, friendly locals and natural beauty, Cambodia is a country that’s filled with myriad treasures to explore. Along with your local Backyard Travel guide you’ll discover decadent temples, enjoy atmospheric attractions and sample rare and exotic foods.

Beginning in Siem Reap, you’ll head to the impressive temple complexes (Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm and Angkor Thom) to absorb their majesty. Then, when your cultural needs are sated we’ll take you to investigate markets to discover exotic wonders and satisfy your appetite with visits to hard-to-find restaurants.

You’ll learn the sectrets to creating a variety of the delicious dishes you sample with a unique ’Cooks in Tuk Tuks’ cooking class.

Once in Phnom Penh you’ll again visit the most iconic sites and make stops at the Royal Place, Wat Prakeo (The Silver Pagoda) and the National Museum amongst others while combining the culture stops with explorations for your intrepid tastebuds.

Your gastronomic adventure continues in Kampot and climaxes at the elegant seaside resort of Kep where you’ll take the time to relax, unwind and enjoy a banquet of delectable seafood.

 

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

See the majestic temples and captivating cultural sites of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap such as Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm
Explore the textured layers of Cambodian cuisine and awaken your senses to the exotic delights of the region
Take a beach break in Kep and unwind while enjoying some sublime seafood to the sounds of the ocean
Enjoy the best local restaurants and hidden-away eateries guided by an expert Backyard Travel guide



Daily Itinerary

Daily Itinerary

  • Start
  • Day 1: Siem Reap

    Upon arrival in Siem Reap you’ll be met by your local Backyard Travel guide who will escort you to your next hotel for check in. This charming Cambodian city is the perfect gateway to discovering the ancient temples of Angkor, the countries spiritual home and the most significant site of Khmer architecture in the world.

    After settling in to your comfortable new accommodation, you’ll begin your afternoon exploration of Angkor Wat by local moto dop (similar to a ‘tuk tuk’).

    Built in the 12th century during the reign of King Suryavarman II, the temple was constructed to symbolize Mount Meru, a sacred mountain in Buddhism considered to be the center of all physical, metaphysical and spiritual universes. The temple itself is covered with stone carvings and has more than 2,000 Apsara dancers decorating the temple. Angkor Wat is so revered by the nation that Cambodia is the only flag in the world with a building on it - and that building is Angkor Wat.

    Suitably inspired your local Backyard Travel guide will then take you to enjoy dinner at Touich Restaurant, a popular family-owned restaurant. Open only for dinner, the friendly, welcoming restaurant is run by Sobey and his wife Touich who prepares an authentic selection of dishes from resipes passed down from her mother. The small, hard-to-find restaurant serves Khmer and BBQ meals though few know it’s hidden location.

    Overnight in Siem Reap

    Meals included on this day: Dinner

    Angkor Thom, Cambodia – A traveler goes by a tuk-tuk, visiting the ancient city of Angkor Thomapsara-carvings-at-angkor-wat-wall-cambodia
  • Day 2: Siem Reap

    Once you’ve enjoyed breakfast at your hotel, you’ll visit Ta Prohm and some of the other temples on a mini-tour by moto dop.

    You’ll set off with your Backyard Travel guide to explore Ta Prohm Temple, which you may recognize from the movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider starring Angelina Jolie, which was set and filmed here.

    Ta Prohm is unique in that it has been left largely as it was discovered: overgrown and engulfed by trees and vines, with many parts of the temple in a state of disrepair. This character makes the temple one of the most memorable and unique of the Angkor temples.

    Next you’ll visit the ancient city of Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Khmer Empire and learn the history of the ancient temples.

    The city was established in the late 12th century by King Jayavarman VII. Built in the Bayon style, the city is surrounded by an 8-meter-high wall, which creates a perfectly square barrier around the 9-kilometer-square city.

    You’ll enter the city through the ancient South Gate, an impressive stone archway with carvings of elephants and four giant faces sculpted into the surface. After passing through the gate you’ll continue to Bayon Temple in the exact center of the city.

    This 12th century masterpiece is majestic to see up close and is famous for its 54 towers with enigmatic faces representing the 54 provinces of the Khmer Empire. The Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King are also must-see sites and are both known for their intricate stone sculptures.

    The afternoon is free for you to spend at your own leisure, though if you’d like to make the most of the time your Backyard Travel guide can suggest options of things to do.

    Your guide will collect you from your hotel in the evening and take you on an a tour of the night markets where a range of local delicacies are for sale. At the street stalls you’ll discover a wide range of deep-fried insects and your local Backyard Travel guide will explain how the Khmer find and collect the deep-fried bees, crickets and water beatles.

    Of course, it’s totally up to you if you’d like to try the snacks or not - in fact many taste not too dissimilar to crisps or fries, but if you never try, you never know! Try not to over-indulge however, as you’ll next go to enjoy dinner at Marum, a restaurant named after the ‘tree of life’ run by Kaliyan Mith which means ‘good friends’ in Khmer language. Kaliyan Mith is an NGO that helps street kids and disadvantaged children through offering hospitality training and is part of the TREE Alliance (Training Restaurants for Employment and Entrepreneurship). The food at Marum is mostly tapas style, though main courses are also available.

    Please note: Marum is closed on Sundays. If Day 2 of your tour falls on a Sunday, your guide will offer alternative dining destinations.

    Overnight in Siem Reap

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast and Dinner

    siemreap-ta-prohm-cambodia1000x600Bas-Reliefs at the Outer Walls of The Bayon, Angkor Thom, Cambodia
  • Day 3: Siem Reap

    After breakfast this morning you’ll have the chance to experience the novel cooking class ‘Cooks in Tuk Tuks’.

    You’ll begin your cookery class by going together with your teacher and guide the local Psar Leu food market by tuk tuk. On a guided tour of the market, your teacher will introduce you to the local produce and explain some of the culinary and local medicinal uses of some of the unusual items and ingredients.

    Your Backyard Travel guide and teacher will then escort you and your selection of fresh ingredients to a kitchen where you’ll discover the art of cooking Khmer cuisine through a detailed demonstration then practical session overseen by a knowledgable chef.

    Following the three-hour session you’ll have the chance to devour the fruits of your labor, taking your place at lunch with a traditional Khmer-style seating arrangement.

    The afternoon is once again free to enjoy at your leisure, giving you the chance to relax and digest your homemade feast.

    As this is your last evening in Siem Reap, you Backyard Travel guide will take you to enjoy dinner at the renowned restaurant ‘Cuisine Wat Damnak’. The concept of the restaurant is to only use only local, fresh seasonal produce to create exquisite Cambodian food.

    Head Chef and restaurant owner Joannès Rivière has a reputation as one of the top chefs in Cambodia and is the author of the book, ‘Cambodian Cooking’, one of the most comprehensive cookbooks on Khmer cuisine. Please note: Cuisine Wat Damnak is closed from mid-August to mid-October and every Sunday and Monday. Special requirements and reservations are required in advance.

    Overnight in Siem Reap.

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    A tuk tuk driver carrying his customer and her shopping in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.typical-food-cambodiafriendly-woman-kampong-cham-cambodia1000x600
  • Day 4: Siem Reap - Phnom Penh

    Once you’ve had breakfast at the hotel, your private vehicle will collect you at the hotel and transfer you to Siem Reap. You’ll make a quick stop on the 5-6 hour journey at Skoun, a quaint town where you can discover the Cambodian delicacy of deep-fried tarantula! The eight-legged arachnids are a favorite of locals and many buses and cars make a quick stop at this small town on their way across country to stock up - which is also an option for you, should you wish to try!Phnom Penh was once considered one of the most beautiful cities in Asia, and still retains much of its colonial charm. The bustling city is situated at the confluence of the mighty Mekong and Tonlé Sap rivers and boasts tree-lined boulevards and an abundance of original architecture.

    Your Backyard Travel guide will be waiting at your hotel to welcome and assist you with check-in. Your afternoon is free to enjoy at your leisure so take the time to refresh and unwind after your journey and perhaps even take a stroll around the hotel.

    Tonight you’ll enjoy dinner at Romdeng, a restaurant that’s also part of the TREE Alliance (Training Restaurants for Employment and Entrepreneurship) and just like Marun restaurant you visited earlier in Sieam Reap the restaurant also provides a learning experience to disadvantaged youth.

    Romdeng serves a wide variety of Cambodian food, ranging from near-forgotten recipes from the provinces to contemporary local cuisine.

    Overnight in Phnom Penh

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast and Dinner

    Asian town’s street with tuk tuk. Siem Reap. CambodiaMarket in Phnom Penh, Cambodia 1000×600Boys-selling-postcards-at-Bayon-Temple-Siem-Reap-Cambodiaboats-on-the-lake-cambodia
  • Day 5: Phnom Penh

    Today you’ll spend the morning exploring one of the local markets in Phnom Penh to learn more about Khmer cuisine. Perhaps not as well-known for it’s cuisine as other Southeast Asian countries, Cambodia has a wide variety of national dishes that have the potential to surprise and delight you.

    After breakfast, your culinary tour will start from your hotel as you’re collected by cyclo (an iconic rickshaw bike) to make a trip to the market. You’ll brose the aisles of the market as your Backyard Travel guide explains the nuances of Khmer cuisine and the variation of herbs, fruits and vegetables required to make it.

    You’ll spend two hours on the walking tour before continuing to a local restaurant which uses many of the ingredients you’ll have already seen at the market. There’s a variety of ready-made dishes on offer here including French-style baguettes (known as ‘num pang’ locally) while the tasty nom banh chok Khmer noodle dish is a speciality here also.

    In the afternoon, your local Backyard Travel guide will take you on a tour of the most remarkable sights of Phnom Penh. Your guided exploration will start at the Royal Palace which was built in 1866 and has been home to Cambodian monarchs ever since (with the exception of the Khmer Rouge reign).

    The palace complex also houses the ‘Silver Pagoda’, known to locals as Wat Prakeo. The Silver Pagoda, which contains many effigies of Buddha made from gold, silver, bronze and crystal, was rebuilt in the 1960s at the behest of Queen Kossamak and is made up of over 5,000 silver tiles that blanket the floor.

    Next you’ll move to the National Museum of Cambodia which lies conveniently next to the Royal Palace. The museum is the largest in Cambodia and tells the story of the nation’s history and archaeology. The building houses one of the world’s largest collections of Khmer art made during the 4th - 13th centuries. The roof of the museum is also home to one of Cambodia’s largest bat colonies!This evening your guide will take you to a popular local Khmer BBQ venue. The vegatables, meat, and/or seafood is brought to your table which is equipped with a grill upon which you’ll prepare your own food - a novel Cambodian cooking experience.

    Overnight in Phnom Penh

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

    dragon-fruits-cambodia-siem-reapNational Museum in Phnom Penh1000x600phanom-penh-royal-palace roof-sunset-cambodiaowobv deck at night jpeg
  • Day 6: Phnom Penh - Kampot

    After breakfast this morning you’ll be transferred 3-hours by private vehicle to the riverside town of Kampot. This charming, relaxing town with is dominated by French architecture and the countryside in this Kampot Province is particularly beautiful

    Upon arrival you’ll have the chance to explore the picturesque town on a walking tour with your local Backyard Travel guide to absorb the pleasant laid-back atmosphere of a place where no one has rushed, ever.

    As well as being a riverside town, Kampot is also located close to the ocean, and in the late afternoon local fishermen head out to sea. You’ll be able to get a close up view of the boats drifting out onto the vast expanse of water on a 90-minute scenic sunset cruise past fishing villages, decadent pagodas and mangrove forests.

    Later in the evening you’ll have the chance to visit one of the many authentic local restaurants and then if you wish, take a drink in one of the charming riverside bars at your own leisure before returning to your hotel.

    Overnight in Kampot

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    Cambodian Fishing Village Housesunrise-rice-field-kampot-cambodia1000x600
  • Day 7: Kampot - Kep

    We recommend you wake up early this morning, to visit the local fish market to see the boats arriving at around 6am just 10mins walk from your hotel. The boats that come to dock are the same you saw leaving the harbor and you can watch as the freshly caught fish and seafood is sorted and quickly sold off to middlemen to take to the markets.

    You’ll then have time to return to your hotel for breakfast before leaving Kampot to make your way to Kep. Kampot is well known for its premium pepper produced as an essential ingredient for French chefs in the 1960s and along the way to Kep you’ll stop to visit one of the most popular pepper farms in the region

    Upon arrival in Kep (around lunchtime) you’ll check in to your resort.

    Kep is the smallest province in Cambodia and is home to the Kep National Park. This region used to be the country’s most prestigious beach town for the French and Cambodian elite.

    The day will be yours to spends as you please. Relax and enjoy your hotel’s picturesque views of the Gulf of Thailand, or if you’re feeling energetic, the waters that lap the beaches are thoroughly inviting and offer a variety of fun watersports to enjoy.

    In the evening your Backyard Travel guide will take you to enjoy a meal at the Crab Market and enjoy a traditional seafood dinner at one of the many old wooden shacks hug the water’s edge.

    Overnight in Kep

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast and Dinner

    fisher-men-workingcrab-Kep-cambodia
  • Day 8: Kep

    You’ll have today to enjoy entirely at your leisure, enjoying the beach and basking in the sunshine or perhaps strolling the town and paying visit to the Crab Market.

    Our locally based Travel Specialists can arrange a variety of optional extras for you, should you want to make the most of the day. For example, you could take a scenic 25-minute boat trip out to Koh Tonsai, also known as Rabbit Island. Once there you can explore the (apparently) rabbit-shaped island which remains largely unspoiled save some basic bamboo huts.

    You’ll enjoy a lovely packed lunch on the relaxing island before returning to the mainland in the mid-afternoon. Be sure to consult your Travel Specialist if you would like to add this extra experience to your tour.

    Overnight in Kep

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    bridge-kep-beach-cambodia 1000×600
  • Day 9: Kep - Phnom Penh

    After breakfast your morning will be free to spend at your leisure before you make the three hour transfer back to Phnom Penh in time for your onward flight.

    Meals included on this day: Breakfast

    Asian Girl Greets in temple traditional way with both hands

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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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.


 

 

 

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Ask a Travel Specialist
Our local travel specialists are eager to discuss your tour ideas in their destinations. Just drop us a line.
Ask a Travel Specialist
Our local travel specialists are eager to discuss your tour ideas in their destinations. Just drop us a line.
Ask a Travel Specialist
Our local travel specialists are eager to discuss your tour ideas in their destinations. Just drop us a line.