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adventure travel trip to Cambodia
Famous Ta Prohm ruins are unrestored
Dates
  • Oct 28-Nov 3, 2014
  • Dec 2-8, 2014
  • Privately on Request
  • View all trip dates
  • Duration 7 days
    Group Size 2-12
    Land Cost $1,650 Details
    Single Supplement $300
    Lodging 3 stars
    Grade I
    Best Time

    Captivating Cambodia

    History, culture, and pride in Phnom Penh and Angkor Wat

    Day 1      Phnom Penh

    Upon arrival in the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh, you will be met by a local guide and transferred to your hotel. Phnom Penh sits at the confluence of the Mekong, Bassac, and Tonle Sap rivers and is considered one of the loveliest of the French-built cities in this part of the world. It was founded as a small monastery in 1372 by a rich Khmer woman named Penh. She set up the monastery on a nearby hill, or “Phnom” in Cambodian, after she found four Buddha statues in a tree trunk on the banks of the Mekong. You will have the opportunity to visit this site, as well as Wat Ounalom, a very important wat (temple) built in 1443 to house a hair of the Buddha. You will also visit the Silver Pagoda, often called the Pagoda of the Emerald Buddha or Wat Preah Kaeo, after the statue housed there. King Norodom originally built the wooden temple in 1892, and its floor is comprised of more than 5000 silver blocks that together weigh nearly six tons. Continue with your tour to the National Museum, which was designed by French archeologist and painter George Groslier to exhibit works previously scattered about the country. Next, visit the Tuol Sleng Museum, home of the former high school that became the Khmer Rouge’s main torture and interrogation center known as Security Prison 21. Conclude with a visit to the Central Market, a covered market built in 1937 and distinguished by its central dome. It is filled with shops selling jewelry, fabrics, and all kinds of souvenirs, making it a great place for browsing.

    Meals: None
    Lodging: Sunway Phnom Penh or similar

    Visit Phnom Penh's market and its many colorful offerings
    Day 2      Mekong Island

    Today you enjoy an excursion to Mekong Island, located north of Phnom Penh, by local boat. Witness local culture, classical dancing, and production of handicraft items. Return to Phnom Penh in the late afternoon for your overnight.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Sunway Phnom Penh or similar

    Visit Mekong Island's weavers and other craftspeople
    Day 3      Siem Reap: First Glimpse of Angkor Wat

    Transfer to the airport for your flight to Siem Reap, where you begin your tour of the Angkor sites. Angkor Wat, the temple dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu by King Suryavarman II, was constructed over a period of 30 years and illustrates some of the most beautiful examples of Khmer and Hindu art. It also features the longest continuous bas-relief in the world, which runs along the outer gallery walls and narrates stories from Hindu mythology. Continue your visit with a stop at Angkor Thom, a fortified royal city with five monumental gates, that is encircled by a moat over 325 feet wide. In the center of Siem Reap are the city’s most important monuments, including Baphuon, Bayon, and the Terrace of Elephants. The Bayon is one of the most popular of Angkor’s monuments, and is filled with narrow corridors, steep flights of stairs, and an amazing collection of towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces. Overnight at a hotel in Siem Reap.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Tara Angkor or similar

    Visit iconic Angkor Wat and Siem Reap's many other treasures
    Day 4      Siem Reap: In-Depth Angkor

    Spend a full day on a guided tour of other Angkor sites. These include Banteay Srei, a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva; Banteay Samre, built in the 12th century and dedicated to the goddess Vishnu; Ta Keo, the first Angkorian monument built entirely of sandstone; Ta Prohm, surrounded by the jungle and looking very much like most of the Angkor monuments would have appeared when European explorers first discovered them; Pre Rup, a pyramid shaped temple; Ta Som, built by King Jayavarman VII for his teacher, Som; and Eastern Mebon, a temple erected by Rajendravarma where the base is guarded at its corners by stone figures of harnessed elephants. Return to your hotel for your overnight.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Tara Angkor or similar

    Spend time exploring the charming town of Siem Reap
    Day 5      Siem Reap: Temples

    The sites you visit today include the Chau Say Tevoda, built during the 12th century and dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu, and Thommanon, a temple that mirrors Chau Say Tevoda. You will also stop by Banteay Kdei, a massive Buddhist temple dating from the 12th century, and Neak Pean, a Buddhist temple consisting of a square pool with four smaller square pools arranged on each axis. In the center of the central pool is a circular island encircled by two nagas with intertwined tails. You will also visit Prasat Kravan, a temple built for Hindu worship and noted for the bas-reliefs cut into the bricks on the interior walls.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Angkor Miracle Hotel or similar

    Visit Pre Rup and other temples in Angkor Archaeological Park
    Day 6      Tonle Sap Lake & Floating Village

    Afterward, take a boat trip on Tonle Sap Lake. You will journey up the Tonle Sap River, which links the Tonle Sap Lake and the Mekong River, until you reach Tonle Sap Lake. This “Great Lake” takes up much of the center of Cambodia and changes in size depending on the season. During the dry season in February, it shrinks to a tenth of its original size becomes one of the richest fishing grounds in the world. Your boat trip will take you to interesting fishing villages such as Chong Kneas, a floating village where both Khmer and Vietnamese live, and to Phnom Krom, a hill with spectacular views over the lake. The three towers on the hill are dedicated to Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma. Return to Siem Reap where the rest of the day is free at your leisure.

    Optional tour to the Roluos group of temples - monuments that mark the beginning of the classical art period. Lolei is built on an islet with sandstone carvings in the niches of the temples. Preah Ko has inscriptions in Sanskrit on the doorsteps of each of its temples, and Bakong, the largest and most interesting of the Roluos group, still has an active Buddhist monastery.

     

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Tara Angkor or similar

    Explore village life around Tonle Sap Lake
    Day 7      Siem Reap / Onward

    Transfer to the airport for your onward flight or join the Vivid Vietnam departure http://www.journeys.travel/destinations/asia/vietnam/676/.

    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: None

    Bid farewell to friendly and vibrant Cambodia


     
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