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Sights and sounds of Cambodia

1 Half Day Private Phnom Penh Tour
Half Day Private Phnom Penh Tour

VISITS WITH A SILVER LINING fr £59pp

You will be met at your hotel in the morning by an experienced guide to start this tour of Phnom Penh, first visiting the National Museum, home to some of the finest art treasures in Cambodia and the ideal place to gain an overview of the country's fascinating history. Then continue to the Royal Palace, which was built in 1866, and see the impressive Chan Chaya Pavilion, Royal Throne Hall and celebrated Silver Pagaoda.

This pagoda is so-called because the floor consists of around 5,000 silver tiles, each weighing 1kg. It also houses two priceless Buddha figures, the Emerald Buddha, which dates from the 17th century and is made of crystal, and another made of pure gold, encrusted with 9,584 diamonds. Finally you visit Wat Phnom, the city's most important temple and founding place, before returning to the hotel early in the afternoon..



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1 Half Day Private Phnom Penh Tour

Half Day Private Phnom Penh Tour

2 Siem Reap Countryside Cycle Tour
Siem Reap Countryside Cycle Tour

Pedal power fr £86pp

Cycle quiet back trails through the picturesque and friendly Cambodian countryside on this fun tour which is great for all the family. Beyond the temples, it’s an easy ride through the Siem Reap countryside on quiet trails through rice fields and small villages with lots of stops to learn about daily village life in Cambodia and to enjoy some delicious local snacks.

Along the way you will see palm wine and sugar production, possibly basket weaving, rice farming and all sorts of rural activities. This is a real back roads route with lots of unsealed and rough village roads that will show you a very different side of Siem Reap away from the glitz and glamous of the wonderful resort hotels.

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2 Siem Reap Countryside Cycle Tour

Siem Reap Countryside Cycle Tour

3 Private Angkor Tour
Private Angkor Tour

Day at the temples fr £109pp

Leave your hotel early and stop at the Angkor National Museum, then spend the day exploring the awesome temples of Angkor. Angkor Wat is the world’s largest sacred building and an architectural masterpiece. Built in the 12th century the temple represents Khmer civilisation at its grandest. You also visit the southern Gate of Angkor Thom, flanked by 54 stone figures and the fortified city of Angkor Thom.

At the Bayon you see its beautifully crafted central towers, covered in more than 200 enormous faces, then explore the famous Terrace of the Leper King, and the Terrace of Elephants. After lunch and a rest break set out for the recently restored Preah Khan temple, known as the Temple of the Sacred Sword. Then at the end of the day visit the jungle-enveloped atmospheric Ta Prohm temple.

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3 Private Angkor Tour

Private Angkor Tour

4 Angkor Walking Tour
Angkor Walking Tour

Walk into history

You are met at your hotel at 8.00 am by a guide and taken for a tuk-tuk (motorised trolley) trip to monumental Angkor Thom city. At the height of its greatness, Angkor Thom had a population of more than one million people and was larger than the city of London. Today, the massive city walls, 10 miles long and surrounded by a wide moat, are remarkably intact and form the basis of your day of walking.

You approach the city wall's western gate along a bumpy dirt track. From this rambling western entrance begin a gentle walk into a less-visited section of Angkor Thom city visiting Prasat Top, the ruins of the King's Palace, and the beautiful Baphuon. End the morning at the famous Bayon, then return to town for lunch. In the afternoon set out again to walk around the most southern part of Angkor Thom.

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4 Angkor Walking Tour

Angkor Walking Tour

5 Authentic Tonle Sap
Authentic Tonle Sap

LIFE ON THE LAKE

While staying at Siem Reap you can take a break from temple visiting to experience authentic rural lifestyles on this fun tour. You are driven to the outskirts of the town to board a private wooden vessel for a boat trip on Tonle Sap Lake. Cruise along the water toward Kampong Phluck village, an authentic village on Southeast Asia’s largest lake. Pass by the boats and nets used by the fishermen and see their floating houses.

Then gain a better understanding of local lifestyles by having lunch with a family in one of the stilt houses, watching the boats pass by. These fascinating houses move location with the annual ebb and flow of the lake's waters so no two trips are ever the same. Due to low water levels during the dry season, this tour is only possible from June to March, but an alternative floating village at Chong Kneas can be visited instead.

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5 Authentic Tonle Sap

Authentic Tonle Sap

6 Boeng Mealea Temple Tour
Boeng Mealea Temple Tour

Wat a contrast!

On this tour you visit the most interesting temple outside Angkor Thom city. Leave your hotel at 8.00 am and begin the two hour drive through scenic rural Cambodia to Boeng Mealea temple. En route stop at Dom Deak town for a wander through a typical village market before arriving at King Suryavarman II's eleventh century Boeng Mealea temple - a prototype for the more famous Angkor Wat.

This temple stands almost forgotten in jungle and getting to the site is quite an adventure in itself. Isolated during Cambodia's civil war, Boeng Mealea was under the control of the Khmer Rouge for decades but has since been 'de-mined' and it is now safe to visit. The atmosphere here is eerie but a welcome contrast to the more visited temples closer to Angkor Wat. End your stay at this special site with a picnic lunch.

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6 Boeng Mealea Temple Tour

Boeng Mealea Temple Tour

7 Silk Islands & Mekong Cruise
Silk Islands & Mekong Cruise

This morning you will be picked up and transfer to the port, viewing the back streets of Phnom Penh from the unique front-seat perspective of a traditional Cyclo ride (Cambodian pedal-powered tricycle taxi). After boarding a large traditional wooden boat, enjoy the leisurely cruise along the Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers to Koh Oknha Tei Island.

This small Island is known as one of the Silk Islands of the Mekong river, due to the many silk weaving workshops located on the Island. You will instantly feel taken away from the hustle and bustle of the city, as the Island is a true representation of village life in Cambodia.

Your island tuk-tuk will ride past houses on stilts, schools, small local markets and you can stop at stunning Pagodas to take a look at elaborate relief paintings depicting Buddhist stories. You will then make a stop to learn and watch the traditional art of silk weaving. Enjoy a traditional Khmer lunch here, in one of the local thatched-roof huts by the river.

After lunch, cross over to Koh Dach island, a much larger island, and enjoy riding past plantations of Taro, Ginger, Rice and Corn, as well as many tropical fruits including Banana, Papaya, Dragon Fruit, Jackfruit and Rambutan and visit the island’s old light house, complete with its original steel spiral staircase. This is one of only a handful of lighthouses in the world where you could actually spend the night, as it is now a guesthouse. Return to your boat and cruise back to Phnom Penh. Cyclo back to your hotel mid-afternoon. Lunch included.

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7 Silk Islands & Mekong Cruise

Silk Islands & Mekong Cruise

8 Islands of the Mekong - Cycle Tour
Islands of the Mekong - Cycle Tour

Ride back in time

It's good to get some exercise while holidaying in Cambodia and this 20 mile ride along flat roads and tracks is also a sightseeing trip to remember. Begin in the morning by cycling along quiet back roads, visiting local communities and passing through farmland where you will get a great insight into village life in the countryside.

Then, after crossing the river by boat, you take a relaxing journey through Cham Muslim communities on quiet back roads and short ferry rides to reach the Mekong Islands. Here you can cycle through orchards and market gardens and across the peaceful farmland and learn about the lives of the people who live and work here.

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8 Islands of the Mekong - Cycle Tour

Islands of the Mekong - Cycle Tour

9 Private Tour of Kampong Khleang & Roulos Temples
Private Tour of Kampong Khleang & Roulos Temples

Cruise Tonle and take in temples

Leave your hotel in Siem Reap for the one hour journey to the world's second largest freshwater lake, magnificent Tonle Sap. Here board a boat and head onto the lake, passing the village of Kampong Khleang and viewing daily life on the water. This village is a mix of high stilt houses, built above the highest water level, and floating houses. Cruise along and see the unique houses on stilts, and the daily life of the village.

Your boat will meander slowly through the village and grassland canals, allowing you to catch glimpses of flora and fauna and see a truly beautiful ecosystem, before emerging onto the Tonle Sap lake itself. Once back on dry land you drive back towards Siem Reap to the Roulos group of temples where you have time to explore before a picnic lunch. Then you are driven back to your hotel.

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9 Private Tour of Kampong Khleang & Roulos Temples

Private Tour of Kampong Khleang & Roulos Temples

10 Koh Ker Jungle Explorer Day Tour
Koh Ker Jungle Explorer Day Tour

Jungle's hidden secret

On this fascinating tour you visit Koh Ker, former 10th century capital of the Angkorian empire. Long abandoned to the forests of Cambodia, the ruins here were some of the most inaccessible and remote in the country until completion of a new road in 2004. After a journey of three hours through typical Cambodian countryside arrive at the Koh Ker city ruins.

Begin your discovery by passing through a 'gorupa' gateway, flanked by atmospheric sanctuaries and walk along a naga (serpent) lined causeway to Prasat Krahorm. The Koh Ker centrepiece is Prasat Thom, a huge seven-level sandstone pyramid. Climb to the top on a series of wooden ladders and take in the panoramic jungle views. After lunch and a rest break, discover outlying temples with your guide.

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10 Koh Ker Jungle Explorer Day Tour

Koh Ker Jungle Explorer Day Tour

11 Mekong River Cruise by Private Boat
Mekong River Cruise by Private Boat

See the skyline at sunset

You will meet your guide and driver at the hotel reception in the afternoon and head to Wat Phnom, which is located in the centre of Cambodia's capital city, Phnom Penh. Wat Phnom is home to a very large and impressive Pagoda where people visit daily to pray and receive blessings from Buddhist monks. Following your visit here you are taken to the riverfront to board your private small boat.

Then begins a memorable two-hour cruise along the Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers during which you take in stunning views of the Royal Palace and Phnom Penh skyline as the sun sets over this magnificent city. This is a wonderfully romantic and magical way to end the day and after the cruise you will be driven back to your hotel in the city.

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11 Mekong River Cruise by Private Boat

Mekong River Cruise by Private Boat

12 Pedals and Paddles, Cycling and Kayak Tour
Pedals and Paddles, Cycling and Kayak Tour

Bikes and boats

This is a great day's combination of cycling and kayaking. First pedal north to one of two great irrigation reservoirs from the Angkor period, the West Baray and ride along the wall of this impressive man-made lake. Then visit a village, typical of those surrounding Siem Reap, where life is still simple and based on agriculture. Walk around and meet the people before enjoying a tasty lunch and chilling out in a hammock.

Then take a kayak trip past the floating villages on Tonle Sap Lake. After exploring the area and some of the mangrove forest, you set out for the open lake where the sheer size of this body of water becomes apparent. As you float along and the sun begins to set your guide will explain why this lake is so vital to Cambodia's survival.

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12 Pedals and Paddles, Cycling and Kayak Tour

Pedals and Paddles, Cycling and Kayak Tour

13 Phnom Penh Day Tour
Phnom Penh Day Tour

City and Killing Fields

Phnom Penh, after years of violence and terror, is a city reinventing itself. Many parts are testament to its French colonial past while the recently developed riverfront area is proof of its future. On this tour you first visit the National Museum for an appreciation of the splendour of Khmer history and its amazing collection of Angkorian and pre-Angkorian artifacts.

Also spend time at the Royal Palace and the beautiful Silver Pagoda, with its 5,000 silver tiles on the floor. In the afternoon, visit the chilling Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocidal Crimes and the Killing Fields of Choeng Ek. Both sites are a testament to the insanity of the bloody Pol Pot era and while they can be challenging places to visit, these sites give an important insight into recent Cambodian history.

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13 Phnom Penh Day Tour

Phnom Penh Day Tour

14 Private Bird Watching Tour
Private Bird Watching Tour

Strictly for the birds

You are picked up from your hotel at 6am for the trip to Ang Trapaeng Thmor - a large Angkorian reservoir rebuilt by the Khmer Rouge and still used today to irrigate the rice paddy to the South. Breakfast will be provided and you may stop for some bird watching on the way. After two hours or more you arrive at the Forestry Administration Headquarters for a briefing by the guides before heading to the flooded fields.

This area is home to a great diversity of waterbirds and is one of the best places in Cambodia to go birdwatching, as you can always see something unexpected among the many waterbirds. In 2002 it was declared a reserve for the Sarus Crane and you can see up to 350 of these majestic birds as they forage in fields around the reservoir. Then visit a village to view traditional silk weaving before having a Khmer lunch.

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14 Private Bird Watching Tour

Private Bird Watching Tour

15 Siem Reap Cooking Class
Siem Reap Cooking Class

Reap benefits of a cooking class

You are picked up from your hotel and taken to the rural location of Treak Village, around a 10 minute drive from Siem Reap City. This is predominately a farming village where life revolves around the seasons and family. Life there is fairly simple and while Siem Reap City is rapidly changing, this visit gives you a chance to see the true Cambodian way of life.

The cooking class is in an outdoor bamboo pavilion, surrounded by banana trees, bamboo and a fish pond. Take a short walk in the village to visit a local family and garden to see the ingredients growing. Learn about food superstition and beliefs. The cooking classes are very hands on and interactive and each person has an individual cooking station. Meals are then eaten in a lovely pavilion perched over a fish pond.

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15 Siem Reap Cooking Class

Siem Reap Cooking Class