Essential Cambodia

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Essential Cambodia

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Description

We’ve got temples and beaches a’plenty, homestays and markets galore. You want banh mi and boats? We’ve got ’em ready. Because we care, and you’re a big deal, we’ll give you more. Hit up Bangkok’s best, see Wat’s up in Angkor, cycle Kampong Cham, get your facts straight at the Killing Fields, and disco a la Ho Chi Minh.

Trip Name
Essential Cambodia
Last Updated
2019-07-25
Days
10
Capacity
16
Highlights
  • Is Angkor the most incredible thing in Southeast Asia? Decide for yourself as you temple-hop with an expert local guide
  • Enjoy a meal at the excellent Friends International restaurant dedicated to training vulnerable young people in hospitality
  • Get a sneak peek of Bangkok and all its charging tuk-tuks, enchanting canals and dee-lish street food
  • Learn more about Cambodia's confronting but important history, with optional visits to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and Choeung Ek Memorial
  • A homestay in rural Chambok puts you right in the heart of everyday village life in Cambodia
  • There's loads of free time to make your own fun (Flight of the Gibbon zip-line anyone?) and have your own experiences
  • Your trip ends in action-packed Ho Chi Minh City, the perfect place for a glimpse of Vietnam

Itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in country. The order and timing of included activities in each location may also vary seasonally to ensure our travellers have the best experience. Your tour leader will keep you up to date with any changes once on tour. OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES: A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

Day 1 - Bangkok
Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. Bangkok has so much going on if you've got time to explore. Why not hit the canals for a riverboat trip to Chinatown? Visit the Grand Palace and the Temple of the Emerald Buddha? Or indulge in some Thai massage?
Day 2 - Siem Reap
Brace yourself for a long day of travel as you board a private minivan to Siem Reap (approximately 10 hours, including border crossing and lunch). Say 'Laew phop gun' to Thailand as you exit at Aranyaprathet, and enter Cambodia at Poipet. When you arrive in Siem Reap (150 km or so past the border), the markets are a great place to start practicing those haggling skills. Better yet, try some cheap and tasty street food. Get some rest and relaxation tonight before your Angkor visit tomorrow.
Day 3 - Siem Reap – Angkor Wat
Time to visit the mighty Angkor complex with your guide. Get that camera ready, because it's going to be oh-so-pretty. Some of these temples are over a thousand years old, going back to the days when the Khmer Empire was top dog in South East Asia. These beauties were known to represent the cosmic world and were set in perfect balance, symmetry and composition. Let your mind be blown as you roam around the complex with your leader. Don't even think about missing the sunset. The ruins are scattered over an area of some 160-square-kilometres, but the main cluster of temples is close to Siem Reap, so you'll have plenty of time to get to grips with the larger-than-life Angkor Wat, the Bayon and the jungle-covered Ta Prohm.
Day 4 - Siem Reap
Today is a free day for you to experience Siem Reap in your own way. If you're all templed out, but still feel like something pretty out-there, you can opt for an Angkor zip-line course, which will have you soaring like an eagle over the rainforest (and perhaps getting that ticker started again, if Angkor Wat made it stop).
Day 5 - Kampong Cham
Jump on a bus and head to Kampong Cham (approximately 5 hours). It's a public bus, which means you'll reaaally travel like a local. When you arrive, you might notice how chilled out this town is. It used to be an important trading hub in the area. Mingle with the locals and enjoy the change of pace. It's a slice of small-town Cambodia with plenty to see and do. You can explore the 11th-century Wat Nokor (also very chill, some might say 'tranquil'). You can hire a bike to explore the rural island of Koh Paen, linked to Kampong Cham by a fancy bamboo bridge (in the wet season you'll have to take a ferry over). The locals here make their living fishing and growing tobacco and sesame, so it's an awesome place to go for a closer look at some of Cambodia's cottage industries. A little further afield are the twin 'mountain temples' of Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei.
Day 6 - Homestay
Travel by private vehicle (approx. 5 hours) into countryside Cambodia to the region of Kampong Speu and the village of Chambok. Chambok is right next to the beautiful Kirirom National Park, so you can imagine how serene it is here. A homestay tonight is your chance to really immerse yourself in everyday life. Weather permitting, you might be able to trek to the awesome 40-metre waterfall nearby today too (this is optional). Not to mention feast on a traditional Khmer dinner, prepared by the talented women of the community.
Day 7 - Phnom Penh
Catch a private bus to the capital city of Phnom Penh (approximately 3 hours). Cambodia's capital is set on a major junction of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers and boasts some mighty fine examples of French-inspired architecture. Top of the list of things to do: head out to the Choeung Ek Memorial, and the infamous Killing Fields where a stupa made of some 8000 human skulls lies. Confronting but important to see, these sites are places to learn about the dark legacy of the Khmer Rouge. Visit the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda to learn about brighter parts of Cambodian history. You can also explore Wat Phnom, check out the National Museum, take a cyclo tour of the city's key sites, or hit the pretty art-deco Psar Thmei aka Central Market (it's pretty AND pretty art-deco). Tonight, tuck in at the Friends International restaurant – not only will you get a serious taste of delicious local food, you'll also support an organisation that helps vulnerable local children.
Day 8 - Phnom Penh
The perfect way to cap off your time in Phnom Penh would be to take an optional traditional massage at the Seeing Hands Massage Centre. The visually impaired masseurs here are some of the best in town, and it's a great cause to support. Also, let's be honest, after a week on Asia's bumpy roads you could probably use a little limbering up. Tonight will be your last night in Cambodia before you move on to Vietnam.
Day 9 - Ho Chi Minh City
Travel by local bus from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City (approx. 10 hours including two border crossings and lunch). You'll exit Cambodia at Bavet and enter Vietnam at Moc Bai. Your leader knows the drill, so they'll assist you with border crossing procedures. Arrive in Ho Chi Minh City and get your first taste of this fast-paced, fun city. You'll see it's a combo of all kinds of flavours, old and new, East and West. Get a French baguette, best taken with a cup o' joe (the coffee is excellent here). Don't miss Reunification Palace. And there are some fascinating things to see at the War Remnants Museum.
Day 10 - Ho Chi Minh City
Your trip comes to an end today and you can leave your accommodation at any time. If you're staying longer, you might want to go on one of the Urban Adventures offered: Mekong Discovery, Cyclos & Markets, Cu Chi Experience, or Saigon Street Food by Night. Your leader can help you book the tour of your choice.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
10-09-201919-09-2019AUD $ 641-
17-09-201926-09-2019AUD $ 641-
01-10-201910-10-2019AUD $ 727-
05-11-201914-11-2019AUD $ 890-
12-11-201921-11-2019AUD $ 890-
26-11-201905-12-2019AUD $ 890-
10-12-201919-12-2019AUD $ 930-
22-12-201931-12-2019AUD $ 930-
31-12-201909-01-2020AUD $ 955-
05-01-202013-01-2020AUD $ 1,000-
08-01-202016-01-2020AUD $ 1,000-
12-01-202020-01-2020AUD $ 1,000-
15-01-202023-01-2020AUD $ 1,000-
05-02-202013-02-2020AUD $ 1,000-
12-02-202020-02-2020AUD $ 1,000-
19-02-202027-02-2020AUD $ 1,000-
26-02-202005-03-2020AUD $ 960-
04-03-202012-03-2020AUD $ 960-
18-03-202026-03-2020AUD $ 960-
07-04-202015-04-2020AUD $ 960-
13-04-202021-04-2020AUD $ 960-
06-05-202014-05-2020AUD $ 960-
20-05-202028-05-2020AUD $ 960-
10-06-202018-06-2020AUD $ 925-
17-06-202025-06-2020AUD $ 925-
01-07-202009-07-2020AUD $ 925-
08-07-202016-07-2020AUD $ 925-
15-07-202023-07-2020AUD $ 925-
05-08-202013-08-2020AUD $ 832-
12-08-202020-08-2020AUD $ 832-
16-09-202024-09-2020AUD $ 832-
30-09-202008-10-2020AUD $ 832-
07-10-202015-10-2020AUD $ 832-
14-10-202022-10-2020AUD $ 864-
21-10-202029-10-2020AUD $ 864-
28-10-202005-11-2020AUD $ 864-
04-11-202012-11-2020AUD $ 864-
11-11-202019-11-2020AUD $ 864-
18-11-202026-11-2020AUD $ 864-
25-11-202003-12-2020AUD $ 864-
07-12-202015-12-2020AUD $ 900-
09-12-202017-12-2020AUD $ 900-
14-12-202022-12-2020AUD $ 900-
16-12-202024-12-2020AUD $ 900-
21-12-202029-12-2020AUD $ 900-
28-12-202005-01-2021AUD $ 900-
30-12-202007-01-2021AUD $ 900-

Accommodation

Hotel (8 nights),Homestay (1 night)

Transport

Private vehicle,Local bus,Remork (tuk tuk)

Map