Experience Cambodia in its entirety – witness the stark reminders of war in the Killing Fields near Phnom Penh to be astounded at the cruelty man is capable of perpetrating on man, stare wonderstruck at the capacity of human ingenuity in building those astounding monuments and temples in the Angkor complex, bask in enchanting natural beauty of the Tonle Sap, Kbal Spean and the countryside, party hard at the Pub Street with its eclectic mix of food joints and night clubs… while at it, immerse yourself in the Cambodian way of life with walking/cycling tours, boat trips, village visits, museums, etc…
(Per person for a group of 2 people on a twin sharing basis)
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Welcome to Cambodia! Upon arrival, your guide will greet you at the airport, escort you to your hotel and explain the activities over the next 10 days. Walk about town and get a feel of the place today.
Indians, Be on the lookout for similarities to the Ramayana – the Apsara dance dramas are based on the Reamker (the Cambodian version of the Ramayana).
Choeung Ek Killing field
Visit the Choeung Ek Killing field, once an extermination camp which gives you a glimpse of the horrors that had unfolded here less than three decades ago. This is certain to evoke extreme emotions of anger and disgust in your mind, however, meeting the warm and optimistic people here will teach you the meaning of life.
Trek up to Wat Phnom , set on top of a 27 meter-high tree-covered knoll, the only ‘hill’ in town, a temple which in its original avatar is estimated to be more than 600 years old. Experience the grandeur of Khmer Civilization at the Royal Palace and the National Museum.
Don’t miss the displays of pottery and bronzes dating from the pre-Angkorian periods at the Museum.
Experience nature and history together today. Set on the banks of the Bati River in a well-tended grove of coconut and mango trees, is Tonle Bati, which houses history dated back to 12th Century AD or may be a couple of hundred years before that. Trek up to Phnom Chisor and Phnom Da temples , which look similar to the Angkorian ruins.
Enjoy a relaxed lunch at the lake side and also relax with a refreshing swim.
Transfer to Siem Reap by road, experience the city in the evening , and definitely try the local cuisine.
Start the day with a drive upto the Kulen mountains – a place where Cambodia as we know it today was born in the year 804. Once referred to as the Mount Mahendraparvata – the Kulen Mountain is a cultural and historical resort that marked the origin of Khmer empire in the 9th century. Climb up to the top of the mountain to be welcomed by one of the largest Reclining Buddha of Cambodia. As you trek back, you will realise the river bed has intricate carvings of various Hindu deities…
After a long hectic day Enjoy the divine Apsara classical dance performance in the evening…
Don’t forget to walk around the Reclining Buddha statue – you will notice a lot of people leave money and small notes with wishes for their families and friends.
The highlight of the day will be the trek to Kbal Spean – the valley of the Thousand Lingas. A short moderate trek through a jungle on a hill, you arrive at the beginning of a river where someone in the 11th century has carved a thousand ‘Lingas’ (symbol of Shiva in Hinduism) on the river bed. From the foothills, a drive to the Banteay Srei and then the Preah Kahn temple and back to the town after a long hectic day and a surfeit of ruins and spectacular views.
Visit the Tonle Sap Lake that seems like an ocean really – it is supposed to spawn the fish that feeds all the countries along the Mekong river… Weather permitting, visit a fishing village where entire families live on boats and fish for food…
Walk down the banks of the river in Kbal Spean to discover more and more river bed rock carvings and see how many deities you recognize… and don’t forget to bathe in the spectacular secluded waterfall on the way…
Start the day with Angkor Thom, which was the last and most enduring capital city of the Khmer Empire. The stunning Ta Prohm made famous by Angeline Jolie in Tomb Raider is another item on the agenda. And then on to the amazing Pre Rup Pyramid complex to view the dramatic sunset…
A must-visit place in the hipper part of the town is an old pub called the “Angkor What?”… As the name suggests it is a superbly quirky place in terms of ambience, drinks and décor. It was the hub of the night life during the swinging 60s-70s…
A really early start to the morning will find you admiring the piece de resistance – the Angkor Wat. After viewing the sunrise behind the massive temple complex, take in a guided tour of the temple – prepare to be stunned!
Drive to the Roluos group of monuments from the 9th Century which showcase the “Classic period of Khmer Art” Roluos is the name of the village and the site of an ancient center of Khmer civilization known as Hariharalaya meaning the “abode of Hari (Visnu) and Hara (Siva)”.
Ask a lot of questions – the devil is in the details here. Indians will find lots of interesting similarities and differences in the depiction of tales from the Ramayana.
After a short, eventful trip that covered the essence of Cambodia that’s as different from the much visited big cities in Asia as chalk from cheese, you’ll transfer to the airport for your flight onward. We hope you will go with a promise of getting back for more to this wonderful region… We did…