Day 1: Depart on a choice of flights to Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Day 2: On arrival private transfer to your choice of hotel for 3 nts in Siem Reap
Day 3: Full day private guided tour of Angkor Archaeological Park with lunch
Day 4: Morning pricate guided tour to Tonle Sap Lake and stilted villages with boat ride.
Day 5: Private overland tour to Kampong Cham (1 nt), steeped in myth & legend on Mekong River
Day 6: Continue on to Kratie. Take boat across Mekong to Koh Trong Island for 2 nts
Day 7: Cycle ride exploring island's farming villages. Afternoon River Dolphin boat tour
Day 8: Leave island and drive to Phnom Penh for 2 nights.
Day 9: Full day private guided Phnom Penh City Tour with Killing Fields. Lunch included.
Day 10: Transfer to Cardamom Tented Camp for 2 nights. Introductory walk through reserve
Day 11: Hike with Ranger to see Wildlife Alliance work & returning wildlife. Return by kayak
Day 12: Transfer to Kep, Sihanoukville or Koh Rong Island for 3 nights on beach
Days 13-15: 3 days to relax and enjoy your seaside setting.
Day 16: Private transfer back up to Phnom Penh in time for your flight home.
Day 17: Arrive home.
Day 1: UK Airport / Siem Reap
Depart on a choice of overnight flights to Siem Reap. As there are no direct flights this is a chance to add on an extra destination such as Bangkok, Hong Kong or Singapore or just book a through flight.
Day 2: Arrive Siem Reap
On arrival you’ll be met by your private guide and transferred to the city centre where you check in to your choice of hotel for 3 nights. This evening you might like to visit the circus (no animals) that performs nightly in the centre of town and is organised by the NGO Phare to help poor and handicapped children gain education and livelihoods. The evening is a mix of traditional and modern theatre, music, dance, acrobatics, juggling and tight rope walking. More than a show, it's a joyful celebration of Cambodia culture.
Day 3: Siem Reap - Private Angkor Temples Tour (B / L)
This morning your private guide will pick you up for a private guided tour of the iconic Angkor Archaeological Park. Start off at Angkor Thom, the last great capital of the Khmer Empire. Highlights include the magnificent Bayon, one of the most recognisable sites because of the 54 towers adorned with 216 enigmatically smiling stone faces, the Terrace of Elephants, a giant viewing stand for public ceremonies and the Terrace of Leper Kings, whose walls boast beautifully carved nagas, demons and other mythological beings. In the low morning sun the carvings really stand out and as you stand on the Terrace of Elephants you get a great view across a parkland scene interspersed with giant trees protected in the National Park.
Then move onto the temple of Ta Phrom, jungle covered and pretty much left as originally found by European explorers to create a mystical atmosphere.
Back to Siem Reap (15 minutes away) for lunch and a rest in the hot midday. This afternoon return to explore Angkor Wat, the most famous and best preserved of all the Angkor temples. You’ll have time for a thorough exploration before climbing to the top of Pre Rup temple to watch the sunsetover the jungle. Back to the hotel by early evening.
Extra…The great thing about having your own specialist guide is that the itinerary can be tailored to you and be adapted on the ground to take advantage of local knowledge and keep ahead of the crowds. Angkor represents the universe in miniature and you could spend weeks touring round the thousand or so temples, so on this tour we focus on the highlights, but we can easily extend your stay.
Day 4: Siem Reap (B) - Private guided morning Tonle Sap Lake Tour
This morning you’ll be collected by your guide and transferred 45 minutes through the Cambodia countryside to Tonle Sap Lake where you board a longtail boat to explore the lake and visit Kompong Phluk, an isolated community of three villages built on stilts. These scenic villages are flooded for around half the year and you will board a local boat, rowed by a villager, to explore the local community. You will also be taken through the flooded mangrove forests that are the main building block of this valuable ecosystem that supports a variety of wildlife. Back in Siem Reap in time for a late lunch.
Day 5: Siem Reap - Overland Tour to Kompong Cham (B / L)
This morning your guide will collect you for an overland private tour around Tonle Sap Lake to Kampong Cham (4.5 hours), a town that’s steeped in myth and legends. On arrival check in to the Monorom II VIP Hotel and enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. Then re-join your guide for a tour of the town and surrounding area. See the 12th century Wat Nokor and take a short trip to the twin hills of Phnom Pros and Phnom Srey, meaning man and woman hills, for striking views of the area. See what your destiny holds and visit one of the many fortune tellers and watch out for the roaming monkeys! Back at the hotel late afternoon. This evening you might like to wonder down to the Mekong where you’ll find a small choice is restaurants.
Day 6: Kompong Cham to Kratie - Cross Mekong River to Koh Trong Island (B / L)
This morning drive east following the Mekong to Kratie approximately 3 hours, offering a great chance to enjoy the rural heart of this beautiful country. Lunch in a local restaurant in Kratie and then you transfer by local boat across the Mekong to Koh Trong Island and 2 nights at the Rajabori Villas. The hotel offers guests access to bikes and Koh Trong is a flat completely unspoilt rural working island with no cars and is a world away from UK life. After dinner if it’s a clear night take a short walk and enjoy the star studded sky.
Day 7: Koh Trong - Island Tour - Cycle Ride and River Dolphin Boat Tour (B / L)
This morning your guide will take you for a cycle ride around the island. Shaded by the trees you have the Mekong on one side and villages on the other as you follow the flat sandy paths that skirt the island and offer access to the people, farms and orchards that make up this rural idyll. Your guide will explain what life’s like here, but be prepared to shout a welcome to every child you see!
The Mekong around Kratie is one of the best places to see the rare freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins and so after a relaxing lunch head further up the Mekong River to search for these beautiful mammals aboard a local boat for about one hour before heading back to to Koh Trong for the night.
Day 8: Koh Trong to Phnom Penh (B / L)
This morning transfer back by boat to the mainland and you’ll be driven to Phnom Penh which will take about 6 hours, with breaks along the way. On arrival check-in to your choice of hotel for 2 nights.
Phnom Penh is a traditional Far East city, full of energy and still tatty around the edges. A great place to start in the early evening is to take a tuk tuk to the riverside promenade. As you walk along the Mekong look across to the French colonial buildings that are interspersed with the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and National Museum. Evening is the time everyone congregates along the wide promenade with impromptu aerobics, football matches and time to catch up with friends. There are plenty of restaurants and bars along the way.
Day 9: Phnom Penh - Private City Tour with Killing Field (B / L)
After breakfast your guide will pick you up for a half day city tour of the fascinating Khmer Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda. After lunch in a local restaurant you visit the sobering and poignant Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a testament to Cambodia’s bloody past. Then you can explore the colourful stalls of the vast Central Market. The tour ends at the Choeung Ek Killing Fields just outside the city. This is now a Buddhist memorial park that has been constructed around the mass graves of the thousands of victims. Dozens of mass graves are visible above ground, several which have not yet been excavated. The field is marked by a Buddhist stupa that has glass walls and is filled with over 5,000 skulls. You’ll be back at the hotel by the late afternoon.
Day 10: Phnom Penh - Cardamom Hills (B / D)
This morning you’ll be picked up for the private 4 hour transfer south to Trapeang. On arrival you can enjoy a light lunch (own expense) before jumping aboard the camp’s boat for an hour’s journey up the Preak Tachan River to Cardamom Tented Camp. Arrive at approximately 3pm and you have the rest of the afternoon to settle into your comfortable safari-style tent and enjoy an exploratory hike in the jungle around the camp. Dinner and overnight Cardamom Tented Camp
This is a luxurious but authentic eco-resort that is working hard to help restore this naturally rich bio-diverse region back to its pristine best by protecting the animals, encouraging their return and nurturing the land. During your stay you will introduced to the conservation and protection work of the Wildlife Alliance. The mornings and early evenings are filled with birdsong and if you’re lucky gibbon calls. You may be lucky enough to see them during your excursions, but this shouldn’t be thought of as an African safari, nature is just starting to fight back after years of destruction.
Day 11: Cardamom Hills - Escorted Walking and Kayaking Day (B / L / D)
This morning join the Wildlife Alliance Rangers and English-speaking guide on a walk that patrols the network of abandoned poaching and logging trails through the dense forest. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife and the guide will explain what makes the Cardamom Hills so important. The half-day hike will stop by the Ranger Station, where confiscated snares, traps and improvised hunting rifles are on display. From here the most popular way to return is by kayak or you can return on foot with the rangers and guide. The rest of the afternoon’s free to perhaps swim, kayak or just relax and enjoy the beautiful setting. Dinner and overnight Cardamom Tented Camp.
Day 12: Cardamom Hills (B) - Beach - Kep, Sihanoukville or Koh Rong Island
This morning you'll be tansferred to the coast for 4 nights at your choice of beach resort. Kep is famed as a Khmer retreat whose offers an atmospheric stay by the sea, with authentically renovated hotels lining the shore and nestling in the hills to create a special feel. Except for a crab market and some simple restaurants there is little else here, but this is what adds to its allure. Developments will come soon, but for now it offers a rare backwater in this busy world. This is reflected by the people you meet in the hotels and town as there is a genuine warmth and openness that will make the most cynical smile. The town does not boast a classic beach but has off shore islands that are easily reached. If you would rather have great beaches on your doorstep we can include Sihanoukville just down the coast or Koh Rong Island.
Days 13-15: Beach (B) - Kep, Sihanoukville or Koh Rong Island
If you're staying in Sihanoukville or on Koh Rong Island 3 days to relax and enjoy your beachside setting. From Kep, for the best beach and a special place don’t miss a day out on Rabbit Island. Just 20 minutes away it boasts the traditional palm fringed beaches and is a great place to escape to for a day. For those who really want to get away from it we can arrange a romantic overnight stay in a simple bungalow by the beach. Don’t expect a pure white beach with azure sea and coral reef; what makes it special is that all the bungalows and restaurants are owned by an extended family that refuses to sell out to the big resorts. This creates a mini Shangri-la where the families live their life amongst you and are happy for you to become involved in perhaps a game of boules, fishing or Sey (Khmer keep-it-up game with adapted shuttlecock). If a shoal of fish is spotted then the boats are launched and the games forgotten. A beach resort that still revolves around real life not the tourist.
Day 16: Beach (B) / Home
Morning free then afternoon airport transfer back to Phnom Penh in time for your overnight flight home.
Day 17: Arrive home
Each featured itinerary is really a starting point from which to create your ideal holiday.
We can include as much or as little as you like, mix and match hotels, excursions and experiences, add extra nights and change the destinations you'd like to visit.
The common thread is that each is a privately guided holiday, allowing you to travel where and when you want, with your own private transport and dedicated guide.
- Return scheduled international flights (optional if you would like to arrange your own)
- English speaking, local guide & driver
- Choice of hotel accommodation
- Transport in private air-conditioned vehicles
- Domestic flights detailed in itinerary
- Admission fees to all attractions, temples and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
- All meals as detailed (B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner)
- Entry visas International airport departure taxes if payable locally
- Optional Tours / Excursions
- Any meals not listed in the itinerary
- Personal expenses
- Tips for Guides / Drivers (discretionary)
- Travel insurance
- Any camera or video fees charged at sites
The hotels below are there as examples, designed to act as a starting point from which to create your holiday. There are plenty of alternatives to choose from and when we quote we will include other suggestions so we get to understand your likes and dislikes. Quite often clients mix and match hotel categories throughout their holiday.
Hotels in Siem Reap (Angkor Temples)
Gateway to the magnificent Angkor Temples, there are a range of hotel options here.
Hotels in Kratie
A sleepy town on the Mekong River boasting River Dolphins and idyllic island stays
Hotels in Phnom Penh
Authentic and cultured Phnom Penh, the modern heart of the country
Hotels in the Cardamom Hills
Be part of a dedicated conservation and monitoring project in comfortable tented camp
Hotels in Sihanoukville
Beautiful beaches, perfect for relaxation, watersports and island hopping
Hotels in Kep
famed as a Khmer retreat and the country’s premier seaside town