Phnom Penh sunset river cruise Kep salt farm
Cambodia

The very best of Cambodia 14-day tour with Viland Travel

Duration
14D13N
Tour Code
VIC.01
Tour Style
Beaches, Culture, Private

Overview

location_on Siem Reap - Battambang - Phnom Penh - Kep/Kampot - Koh Rong

Cambodia is famous for its ancient Angkor Wat, peaceful countryside, paradise islands, and pristine sandy beaches. Viland travel experts have designed The best of Cambodia -14 Days for people who are looking for an answer to “What is Cambodia famous for?” It would be a beautiful drive from Siem Reap – gateway to the Angkor Complex; through the peaceful countryside of Battambang – Cambodia’s second largest city and experience the most unique transportation ever; a quick stop in Phnom Penh for the Royal Palace and the Killing Fields; and further along the southern coast to Kep town and Sihanouk Ville, before riding a speedboat to Koh Rong Island to enjoy beautiful beaches like heaven on earth. Book your trip right now and ready to discover Cambodia in two weeks.

Trip highlights

  • Learn about the glorious period of the Khmer Dynasty through Angkor’s architecture.
  • Get a new experience by riding an oxcart, tuk-tuk, quad-bike, or bamboo train.
  • Have a beautiful drive from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh to see the differences in the countryside.
  • Search for a reason and history behind each beautiful attraction in Phnom Penh.
  • Back to nature with tours to Kulen Waterfalls, a Pepper plantation, and Kep National Park.
  • Get a happy ending with a few days to relax in Sihanouk Ville and Koh Rong beach.

Use this itinerary to inspire your bespoke journey

Upon arrival at Siem Reap International Airport, process the immigration procedure (visa on arrival is available or obtained in advance via http://www.evisa.gov.kh ), then get your luggage and walk straight to the Exit Gate where our representative is waiting. After being self-introduced, you will transfer around 30 minutes to the hotel for check-in.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

Meals: none.


Siem Reap tuktuk to Angkor Thom

We hop on a Tuk Tuk and ride to Angkor Thom, which was the masterpiece of King Jayavarman VII. Following the occupation of Angkor by the Chams from 1177 to 1181, the new king decided to build an impregnable fortress at the heart of his empire. We begin to visit Bayon Temple. At the exact center of Angkor Thom, this is an eccentric expression of the creative genius and inflated ego of Cambodia’s most celebrated king. From there, we walk to Baphuon, one of the most beautiful temples at Angkor, dating from the reign of Udit Jayavarman 1 in the 11th century. We continue to visit the Terrace of the Leper King along with the Terrace of Elephants, which was originally used as a viewing gallery for the king to preside over parades, performances, and traditional sports. We continue to Ta Prohm’s “Tomb Raider” fame. Ta Prohm has been abandoned to the elements, a reminder that while empires rise and fall, the riotous power of nature marches on, oblivious to the dramas of human history. We journey out to the mother of all temples, Angkor Wat. Believed to be the world’s largest religious building, this temple is the perfect fusion of symbolism and symmetry and a source of pride and strength for all Khmers.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.


Siem Reap Angkor Wat

After breakfast, continue your journey to the local Village. With a warm welcome from the village guide, you will be given an introduction to the geography of the community while riding on an oxcart along the way. You see an organic vegetable farm, local activities, typical stilt houses, and an authentic Cambodian living style, while learning about Khmer culture, customs, and tradition. The Oxcart tour will end at a nearby local pagoda. You will go to the local pagoda, where you should change into clothes you can get wet in, as here you will experience the ceremony “SrouchTeok” which roughly translates into “Water blessing”. A monk will chant in ancient Pali as he splashes water over you, washing away your sins and bad luck so you can start fresh, and being a good person can increase your good luck.

Depart for the Tonlé Sap. You will enjoy a boat ride on the Tonle Sap Lake. This is the largest permanent freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and flows into the Tonle Sap River, which joins the Mekong in Phnom Penh. You will see a fishermen’s “floating village” with floating schools, a floating police station, etc. It is like a big village floating on the lake, and the “village” moves from place to place following water levels and currents.

5 pm: we go beyond the temple area to explore the real countryside for sunset on a quad bike for one hour. A fun way to admire the places, the sounds, and the smells of the countryside, watching the villages, the rice fields, and the wet area.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.


Siem Reap floating villages Tonle Sap

We’ll escape the heat of the city by driving 48km North of Siem Reap to visit the holy Kulen Mountains, also referred to as Phnom Kulen (“Mountain of the Lychees“) by locals. The sandstone from this mountain was the main supplier of construction materials for the Angkor Kingdom. We’ll stop at the sacred site of The River of a Thousand Lingas, which features hundreds of lingas carved in the sandstone bed of the river, which dates back to the 9th century. Further downstream, large blocks of stone, also underwater, are carved with Apsara dancers and Vishnu figures. Next on the agenda is a wander around the mountain-top pagoda, which is home to relics, statues, and a large reclining Buddha. The last mountain stop will be Kulen Waterfall, featuring a natural pool, which is the perfect place to cool off on a hot day and a great picnic spot too, so that’s what we’ll do. We return to Siem Reap in the afternoon.

In the evening, prepare for a special treat and visit Phare Ponleu Selpak. Phare is a social center and an arts school that started in Battambang. The organization offers Cambodian youth a way out of poverty through the arts. One of these projects is the Circus.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.


Siem Reap Kulen mountain

After a leisurely breakfast, travel through the Cambodian countryside to the colonial city of Battambang (Cambodia’s second largest city). Despite being (not too long ago) a stronghold of the erstwhile Khmer Rouge, the city still boasts beautiful countryside and some striking French Colonial architecture. The former rice bowl of Cambodia, Battambang today still holds a thriving agriculture industry with large orange and jute plantations. Check in to the hotel and enjoy the afternoon at leisure, relaxing by the hotel pool or strolling through the charming town center.

Late afternoon, departure to Phnom Sampeu Mountain to catch the bats! As darkness falls, we will begin to see thousands of nocturnal bats taking flight from the surrounding caves in a massive formation of dark, black clouds. Be sure to photograph this amazing and staggering sight!

Overnight in Battambang.

Meals: Breakfast.


A tour of the main market, Psar Nath includes trying local coffee. Then walk a few meters to the river and cross it in a couple of minutes on a local boat to the other side of the Sangke River. Visit Wat Povil temple and take the opportunity to pray with the monks. It is usually possible to accompany the boats back across the river as they begin their morning alms collection.

The historic 2.5 Street is visited along with a Thai temple before you arrive at a smaller market. Again, time for coffee or sugar cane juice. Continue a short distance to Wat Kor Village, known for its many old Khmer heritage houses built around a century ago. Visit one of the best-preserved homes. Cycle along the river and cross a suspension bridge where only motorbikes and bicycles can pass. On the way back into town, there is another short drink stop before arriving back in the town at approximately 12:45 p.m.

We drive to the Bamboo Railway Station. The Bamboo Train has been set up by the villagers to facilitate the transportation of goods and people. The train in itself is very basic – one platform on four wheels, activated by a small motor. While sitting on the platform, we travel the 8km to the next station through beautiful landscape and rice paddies.

We travel further to the well-preserved 11th-century mountaintop Angkorian temple of Phnom Banan. After climbing the 350+ steps, you are treated to a wonderfully peaceful setting with superb views across the surrounding countryside, with small villages dotting the endless rice paddies, punctuated with the characteristic sugar palm trees, making for a wonderful sunset location.

Overnight in Battambang.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.


Battambang bamboo railway station

Depart Battambang for the overland transfer to Phnom Penh (duration: 5 hours not including stops).

Starting early, travel first to Kampong Chhnang, known for its traditional pottery, with many kilns at work in this province. In a village near Kampong Chhnang, to see the different aspects of pottery making and also experience the production of traditional rice wine. Continue to Oudong, the former royal capital of Cambodia. The drive passes through many rural villages and pagodas, and you will see the temple mountain with its dozens of stupas from afar.

Before heading to Phnom Penh stop at the spectacular Vipassana Dhura Buddhist Meditation Center. Your guide can explain more about the school of Vipassana (Insight Meditation) as you tour the center, before taking part in a meditation class with one of the teachers.

From here, it is not far to Phnom Penh which you will reach in the late afternoon. Check into your hotel. Phnom Penh was once considered one of the most beautiful cities in the Orient, and despite its turbulent history and recent development, it still retains a colonial charm. Cambodia’s capital is a bustling city, majestically located at the confluence of the mighty rivers of the Mekong and Tonlé Sap. The evening is at your leisure.

Overnight in Phnom Penh.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.


Phnom Penh at night

After breakfast, we meet our guide and hop on Cyclo, an original means of transport from Phnom Penh and a fun way to explore this vibrant city. First, visit Wat Phnom a Buddhist temple located in the center of Phnom Penh City. It was built in 1373 and stands 27 meters above the ground. Next, we visit the Royal Palace compound, built in 1866 by the Predecessors of King Norodom, which is the most conspicuous feature and also one of the impressive colorful Khmer-style palaces. Near the Royal Palace is the Silver Pagoda (The Emerald Buddha temple), which displays plenty of Buddha Statues that were decorated and made with diamonds, emeralds, gold, and silver. Continuing a visit to the National Museum, the distinctive red building with beautiful Khmer architecture was built in 1917 and contains more than 5,000 art objects made of sandstone, bronze, silver, copper, wood, and others. Travelers will proceed to visit the Independence Monument, which was constructed in 1954 after Cambodians took their country back from the French colony. We will learn about the dark side of Cambodia – its more recent, turbulent, and harrowing history. Initially, you visit the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum (also known as S21), which is ironically a former school, located in a quiet Phnom Penh suburb. This was the infamous Khmer Rouge prison/torture center. We will stop at Central Market, which is located in the heart of Phnom Penh. The Khmer name of the market is Phsar Thmei, which translates to “new market.” The Central Market was built in 1937 during the French colonial period, in the Art Deco style, and is painted bright ochre.

We will enjoy a cruise to view the sunset on the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers (1 hour). Situated at the “Four Arms” where the Mekong meets the Tonle Sap River before splitting into two branches, Phnom Penh offers the ideal location to discover the mighty Mekong.

Overnight in Phnom Penh.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.


Phnom Penh cyclo tour

This morning, we leave Phnom Penh and head south, initially visiting Tonle Bati, where you can explore the small yet picturesque Angkorian temple of Ta Prohm. On the banks of the nearby river is a line of bamboo shacks with hammocks, a great place for a relaxing drink. We get in our car and drive to the quiet town of Takeo before continuing to Angkor Borei town, located just a few kilometers from the Vietnam border. There is a small museum, which displays several reproductions of sculptures from the nearby ruins and a few artifacts dating as far back as the 4th century. After seeing this pleasant place, visit the pre-Angkorian style temple of Phnom Da and the nearby temple of Asram Maharosei. The steep path over some big rocks makes Asram Maharosei different from other temples in Cambodia.

We then continue south, following the picturesque drive to Kep/Kamppot. The southern coast of Cambodia, edging the border with Vietnam, once served as a glamorous seaside resort for the French in the early 1900s. Evocative of the French Riviera towns along the Mediterranean coast, the towns of Kep, Sihanoukville, and Kampot have tree-lined, wide roads fringing the ocean; large statues; luxury villas; casinos; and even a palace overlooking the Gulf of Thailand.

Overnight in Kampot.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.


Kampot durian statue

After breakfast, we begin a trip to the Crab Market to sample some of the delicious fresh crabs that Kep is famous for. It is also a must. We continue on to Pepper farm and salt farm.

Visit Kep National Park and do the Sunset Rock hike to observe the sun setting over the Gulf of Thailand (walking shoes, a map, and a flashlight are necessary). Alternatively, a short walk or cycle around the tiny town will take you past crumbling colonial villas, an assortment of statues (including one of a giant crab), and the lovely little beach.

Overnight in Kampot.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch.


Kep crab market

We then travel along the southern coast towards Sihanouk Ville (without a guide), which has long been a place of relaxation for Cambodians. Arriving in Sihanouk Ville, we take the fast boat to Koh Rong “Paradise Island”.

Overnight at Koh Rong.

Meals: Breakfast.


Sihanoukville beaches

Enjoy two full days of sun or swim in the warm coastal waters. This is the moment when the dream of going on vacation to an exotic land becomes reality.

Overnight in Koh Rong.

Meals: Breakfast.


Sihanoukville beaches

Enjoy two full days of sun or swim in the warm coastal waters. This is the moment when the dream of going on vacation to an exotic land becomes reality.

Overnight in Koh Rong.

Meals: Breakfast.


Sihanoukville boat

We say farewell to the island and take an express boat back to Sihanouk Ville. Upon arrival at Sihanouk Ville port, meet your driver (without a guide) and drive back to Phnom Penh. Arrive in Phnom Penh and transfer to the airport for departure to the next destination. It’s time to say goodbye. We thank you for traveling with us and warmly welcome you to come again.

*** Note: To have enough time, please book a departure flight from Phnom Penh no earlier than 4 pm.

Meals: Breakfast.


Sihanoukville boat

Useful Information

This sample itinerary was created by our travel experts as inspiration for your next trip. Ready for your customization. You pick to suit your budget, desires, and cultural experiences. The price of this trip will vary, depending on the number of people in your party, dates of departure, and the availability of ground services. Please click on Inquire Now (above) and give us the necessary information to enable us to send you a FREE personalized quote within 48 hours if not sooner!

Our Service Include:

  • Accommodation in a shared twin or shared double room.
  • Meals as mentioned.
  • English or French speaking guide (for other languages and a national guide supplements apply).
  • Tours and transfers as mentioned by private air-conditioned vehicle.
  • Entrance fees for mentioned visits.
  • Boat trip as mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Drinking water while touring.
  • All flights within Cambodia.
  • Tax & service charge.

Our Service exclude:

  • Other non-mentioned meals.
  • Other non-mentioned services.
  • International Flights to Siem Reap, and from Phnom Penh.
  • Laundry, telephone calls, and personal expenditures.

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