This “Once-in-a-Lifetime River Cruise” on a slow boat to Angkor will enable you to gradually take a trip back to the ancient times – from the present bustling capital City Phnom Penh to the remote temples and carved river beds of the ancient lost-in-the-jungle Angkorian cities. Be amazed by the testimonies of the ancient Khmer kings and Angkorian people that were left to the young and modern Khmer people for the world to wonder at!
This itinerary has been crafted by our Local Agency with one idea in mind: to inspire you. Every element can be adapted to your needs and your interests, from duration to accommodation and activities.
Upon your arrival at Phnom Penh International Airport, you will be greeted by your guide who will accompany you in a private car to your hotel for installation. You have a free day at leisure to relax. Lunch at hotel. After, indulge yourself in a one hour session of Khmer massage to relax and reset your body. After, why not taking a brief orientation tour of the capital city Phnom Penh to the Independence Monument and the French colonial quarter? Dinner at hotel and accommodation at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel. In the morning, introduction of the crew; you will then start the day with a visit to the Royal Palace where you will discover the Silver Pagoda, located within the walls of the Royal Palace, and where all the treasures of the Crown are kept; admire its floor paved with tiles in pure silver and the Emerald Buddha. You will afterwards continue to the National Museum where a collection of some of the most beautiful pre-Angkorian and Angkorian sculptures is exhibited.
Lunch at local restaurant, then after lunch, we advice you to delve into the recent history of Cambodia. This is the regime of the Khmer Rouge (1975-1979) where the Khmer people lived an inhumane tragedy that somehow still takes its toll on today’s generation. Your visit to Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a former high school that served as a prison during these "Dark Years" and also known under the codename S-21, will help you witness the “suffering” of the Cambodian people, and also to understand the very “resilience” and spirit of survival of the Khmer people and the young generations. Meals will be served on board at dinner time. In the evening, you can enjoy the sunset by having your aperitif cocktail before dining on the boat. Accommodation on the boat.
Starting before dawn from Phnom Penh with a stop at Chong Koh, a silk weaving village: you will have the opportunity to discover the various steps in sericulture. We will then return to the ship to continue our journey in contemplating the landscape along the Mekong and its fishing villages. We will then visit Angkor Ban village where you can enjoy the habitats in this village that have been 100% handmade and without concrete.
Continuation of your cruise to Kampong Cham. Meals will be served on board and accommodation on the boat.
Today, we offer a tour of the pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey. You will take either the motorcycle or walk up the 291 steps to the top level where the magnificent views complement the beauty of the temple itself dating back to the 8th century, focusing on the beautiful architecture of the Chenla Empire. If the time permits, we have also planned a session of swimming in the river of the Mekong for the brave ones! The boat then continues towards Kampong Cham to visit Wat Nokor, a pagoda built within the ruins of an ancient temple which has a timeless story. On the way back the boat, we will visit an orphanage and the bamboo bridge. Meals will be served on board and accommodation on the boat.
Before the smooth arrival at the end of the day, we approach Kampong Chhnang, one of the provinces located around the Great Tonle Sap lake. On the water you will witness an impressive show of life of the inhabitants of this province and their particular stilt houses. You will land in this province by taking a small boat, followed by a short bus ride to explore the work and production of clay pottery in the village Aundaung Russey. Also note that the name of the province derives from this activity. We will then return on board for lunch and sailing quietly along the Tonle Sap shores. Then get ready for a dance party on the boat in the late evening! Meals will be served on board and accommodation on the boat.
Breakfast on board, after “Crossing the Big Lake”, we will disembark at Siem Reap Pier around 9:00 in the morning. If you are an early bird, you can wake up early to discover the landscape along the vast expanse of the largest freshwater lake in Asia, the Great Tonle Sap Lake, while contemplating the sunrise of this new day! An experience not-to-be missed! Your cruise reaches its end here and you will be transferred to the hotel for your installation prior to your discovery of the heritage of this historic Temple City of Cambodia. Lunch at hotel. When you're ready, we offer a hiking discovery and experience tour of the city of Siem Reap, thus allowing you to better understand the 'Cradle' of the Angkor Civilization.
In the evening, attend the breathtaking show of "Phare - The Cambodian Circus" in Siem Reap, Angkor. Reach to new heights with the energetic and talented young professional artists of the Battambang-based Phare Ponleu Selpak Association! Dinner at local restaurant and accommodation at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel, your exploration starts in the morning with the visit of Angkor Thom (the Great Angkor/City) and get started with the monumental Southern Gate lined on both sides with the Gods and the Giants; it is one of the five gates leading to the Bayon Temple and Centre of the Khmer Empire, so you may understand the strategic structure of the first Angkorian King from the XIIth century who embraced Mahayana Buddhism as the State religion. Carry on your discovery to the recently restored Baphuon and its huge Reclining Buddha, then stroll within the compound of Phimean Akas, the ancient Royal Palace to finally reach the Elephant Terrace and then end up to the Leper King Terrace. Lunch at local restaurant.
After lunch, your afternoon will be devoted to an in-depth tour of Angkor Wat, THE masterpiece of Khmer Arts at its peak glory. It is the most famous temple and largest religious structure in the world as well as the most impressive of all the Angkor monuments, whose five towers, with a golden rosé color, became the emblem of all the successive regimes of Cambodia. At dusk, the temple will briefly take an orange colour depending on the angle of the rays of the setting sun. Dinner at local restaurant with an “Apsara Dance” performance. Accommodation at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel. On this third day in Siem Reap/Angkor, early in the morning, we will take you to visit of Kbal Spean and the site of the One-Thousand Linga River that has its source at Phnom Kulen (the Litchi Mountain). Take an approximately 45-minutes trek (about 1.5 km) through the forest up to the top and be rewarded by your effort! Assimilated to the Ganges River in India, the very bed of the river is carved on over 200 metres long with 1.054 lingas and sculptures representing the Hindu Gods in the 9th century. The water feeding the Steung Siem Reap River in the lower part is thus being “sanctified” after rolling and passing over the thousand carved lingas, thus, fertilizing the lower valley and Angkor Plain.
Lunch at local restaurant, then visit Banteay Srey Temple, considered as the jewel of the classic Khmer arts. Cleared from the creeper plants and trees that invaded it, Banteay Srei - which means “the Citadel of Women” - is indeed of an absolute and rare beauty and fineness. Every single detail of this sculpted pink sandstone temple is a real enchantment to the human eyes. On the way back, we will take you to visit the Ta Prohm Temple and you will be amazed by the “temple in the jungle”! Your end of the afternoon will be devoted to admire this unique work. One of the most extraordinary works of nature is concentrated here in this temple where huge cheese makers extend their roots through stones lifting them, and gradually disrupting the original configuration of this temple. This work, built under the reign of the great "Angkorian Builder King", is also dedicated to the Mother of the Builder King, Jayavarman VII. Dinner at local restaurant and accommodation at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel. In the morning a road journey to Koh Ker takes you through the Cambodian countryside and further to the northeast of the Kulen National Park. A further 85 km from the small village of Seong, passing through some remote villages and a beautiful forest populated by deer, be amazed by the imposing pyramid temple that dates back to the 9th to 12th century, and which is also known by its ancient former name Chok Gargyar. The ensemble consists of five successive brick towers aligned in a single row – a not so common style indeed – with the massive pyramid in the background. The site of this former capital city – and contemporary to Angkor itself – is covered with an impressive 80 known temples!
Lunch at local restaurant on the spot.
On your way back to Siem Reap, the little temple of Boeung Mealea (11th century) is indeed worth a visit! The vast expanse of this “Jungle Temple” covers an approximate 1.20 square kilometres and is being invaded by the forest. Built in the Angkor Wat style, Boeung Mealea must have served later on as a sort of prototype of for Angkor Wat, and is located at about 60 km from Siem Reap (about a 2h30 road journey time). Its solemn beauty is certainly due to its peaceful and out-of-time atmosphere and to the constant fight between Mother Nature and the Mineral Stones! Dinner at local restaurant and accommodation at hotel.
Breakfast at hotel. Depending on your flight departure time, you will be transferred to Siem Reap International Airport for your flight to your next destination.
The price reflects this specific itinerary and is designed to give you an idea of the budget required for this destination. Throughout the trip-planning process, our local agency will tailor your itinerary around your budget.
|2 pax||4 pax|
|Price per person high season||$3,040||$2,930|
|Price per person low season||$2,210||$2,100|