CAMBODIA DISCOVERY TOUR 14DAYS / 13NIGHTS (DTA/CDT)

DAY 1      PHNOM PENH
After arrival at the airport, welcome by our guide and transfer in. Proceed for a visits of Phnom Penh. Overnight in Phnom Penh.

DAY 2    PHNOM PENH (Breakfast, Lunch)
Breakfast.  This morning, we take a boat trip to visit weaving villages to Koh Dach (Silk Island).The boat trip will take approx 3-4 hours. On the way back, we stop at Mekong Island for LUNCH and cultural show, performed by the local young girls without the dancing costume, you therefore will enjoy the ways of living on the island.

Arrive Phnom Penh around 1530 Pm, we walk to the Royal Palace, situated on the site of the former citadel, it was built by king Norodom in 1966, in front of the Mekong. Inside its walls are the Throne Hall, the Chan Chaya Pavilion, used for performances of classical dance, the Napoleon III Pavilion, and the King and Queen[chr:39]s residential quarters. Next stop will be Silver Pagoda, home to a glittering array of Buddhist statuary. Silver Pagoda is also called the Pagoda of the Emerald Buddha, it is located in the walls of the Royal Palace. Inside, its floor is made up of 5,000 silver blocks. In the center of the pagoda, there is a magnificent 17th century emerald Buddha statue made of baccarat crystal. The walls enclosing the pagoda are covered with frescoes depicting episodes from the Khmer version of the Ramayana. Accommodation at Hotel, Phnom Penh.

DAY 3    PHNOM PENH-RATTANAKIRI (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Breakfast. Transfer to airport for flight to Rattanakiri by. Arrival at Rattanakiri

Meet the Tompuon around Yeak Loam (1/2 day, 5km)

In the afternoon, working in close partnership with community-based ecotourism project DRIVE, we learn about the life of the Tompuon people on a walk with a local tribal guide. We walk around the shores of stunning Yeak Loam Lake before walking through forest to visit a Tompuon farms and their nearby village. This is a great introduction to minority life in Ratanakiri and we encourage all visitors to experience it. Return to hotel. Dinner and accommodation at hotel.

DAY 4     RATTANAKIRI (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Breakfast   Exploring the Jarai Villages of Andong Meas (1 day, 6km)

We travel by jeep to the remote district of Andong Meas, about 80km from Banlung. From Andong Meas, we continue on foot to nearby Jarai villages where we learn about their lifestyle. We walk to the banks of the San River where we find a Jarai cemetery in the forest complete with many ancestral tombs. From here, we take a boat across the river to a small, isolated Jarai community before continuing downstream back to Andong Meas. We return to Banlung by boat. Dinner and accommodation at hotel, Rattanakiri.

DAY 5       RATTANAKIRI (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Breakfast.  Exploring the Chinese and Lao Communities of Voen Sai (1/2 day, 3km)

We journey by road to the small town of Voen Sai on the banks of the San River. We take a ferry across the river to a Lao village on the other side. We follow the riverbank to a unique Chinese village that has been located here for more than one hundred years. Chinese is still the language of choice among residents and in places it looks like a slice of rural . From here we continue on foot to another Lao village with a wooden pagoda. We make our way back to Voen Sai by boat and return to Banlung by road. Packed Lunch will be provided.

Visiting the Waterfall of Kaa Tien by Elephant (1/2 day, 4km)

On the way back, we stop at a small Kreung village that still breeds working elephants. We saddle up and take a leisurely ride through the rubber plantations of Ratanakiri.  We follow the course of a small river which our elephants eventually wade across and we descend near the waterfall at Kaa Tien. A superb waterfall set in the jungle, it is possible to clamber behind the falls and swim in the huge splash pool below. Some of the jungle vines hanging down from the gorge are strong enough for a swing and this is a great way to relax. We walk back to the Kreung village and return to Banlung by vehicle.  Dinner and accommodation at Yaklom Hill Lodge, Rattanakiri.

DAY 6      RATTANAKIRI (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)
Breakfast.  Exploring Kreung Communities in Ta Veng District (1 day, 10km)

We take the Ta Veng road to a small Kreung village where we begin a walk along a river valley. Descending into a valley of bamboo thickets, we wade across the river in places before climbing up the other side of the valley. We criss-cross remote Kreung farms where we stop for a picnic before arriving at the large Kreung village of O La-or. We then return to town by vehicle. Dinner and accommodation at Yaklom Hill Lodge, Rattanakiri.

DAY 7     RATTANAKIRI-PHNOM PENH- SIHANOUKVILLE (Breakfast, Lunch)
Breakfast. Transfer to airport for flight to Phnom Penh by RL342 at 1140 hours. Arrival at Phnom Penh at 1330 hours and transfer to local restaurant for lunch. We then continue to Sihanoukville. Arrival at Sihanoukville and transfer to Sokha Beach Resort.

DAY 8           SIHANOUKVILLE (Breakfast, Lunch)
Breakfast. Today we take a boat to the island of Koh Rong to comb the island[chr:39]s deserted beaches. Barbecue lunch on island. Return to Sihanoukville. Accommodation at hotel, Sihanoukville.

DAY 9         SIHANOUKVILLE (Breakfast)
Breakfast. Day at leisure on the beach. Accommodation at hotel, Sihanoukville.

DAY 10       SIHANOUKVILLE- PHNOM PENH – SIEM REAP (Breakfast, Lunch)
Breakfast. Drive to Phnom Penh. You will be in Phnom Penh and have late lunch. Last flight to Siem Reap and transfer to your hotel. Accommodation at hotel.

DAY 11       SIEM REAP (WALKING TOUR IN AM) (Breakfast, Lunch)
Breakfast. Exploring Angkor Thom (1/2 day, about 6km) This walk is a fantastic way to experience the best of Angkor Thom and offers a real insight into the size and scale of this ancient city. We begin our walk at the impressive South Gate of the walled city of Angkor Thom.

We walk on the immense ancient walls towards the south-west corner where there is a small temple. We also discover the irrigation and drainage system that enabled the waters of the Siem Reap river to flow through the city from the north-east to south-west. We continue walking around to the West Gate, where the causeway has collapsed leaving a muddle of stone bodies looking victims of some terrible historic accident. From the West Gate we weave our way towards the principal temples, exploring the Baphuon, the Royal Palace complex and Phimean Akas before arriving at atmospheric Preah Palilay. We then emerge on the central square of Angkor Thom, winding our way along the Terrace of the Leper King and Terrace of Elephants on the way to the enigmatic Bayon.  This walk works particularly well in the afternoon with an hour or more at the Bayon to enjoy the late afternoon light. Lunch at Café D’Angkor – opposite of Angkor Wat.

Afternoon, we visit Preak Khan, Neak Poan and magnificent Angkor Wat to view its architecture and bas reliefs. This temple is the largest religious buildings ever constructed and is truly one of the wonders of the world. Believed to have been undertaken as a temple and mausoleum for King Suryavarman II at the peak of the Khmer empire in the first half of the 12th century, Angkor Wat is the best-preserved of the Angkorian temples.  Accommodation at hotel, Siem Reap.

DAY 12    SIEM REAP   (Breakfast)
Breakfast. We take an early trip to Angkor Wat to watch sunrise, before continuing north to visit the elegant temple of Banteay Srei built by a Brahman in the 10th Century, this temple was dedicated to Shiva. The famous pink sandstone structure bears a series of beautiful sculptures, lintels, pediments and friezes. These it is said must have been carved by women as the detail is too fine for the hands of a man. This gives us the origin of the Khmer name, Fortress of the Women. Continue to Kbal Spien commonly known as the River of a Thousand Lingers, this is an area of riverbed carvings and lush jungle. There are several carvings of Hindu deities in the sandstone here, as well as thousands of lingers in the riverbed itself. This site was only ‘rediscovered’ in 1969 and is a tranquil place with an attractive waterfall. It is 50km north of Siem Reap.  Return to hotel.  Accommodation at hotel, Siem Reap.

DAY 13   SIEM REAP (Breakfast, Lunch)
(Cycling Tour followed by supporting vehicle)

Breakfast. We depart Siem Reap by BICYCLE, following small back roads through rural landscapes and picturesque villages. Our first stop is the temple of Bakong in the Roluos group, the first of the great pyramid mountains which later kings were to copy. From Bakong, we continue into Roluos town to visit a very local market, untouched by tourism. After some refreshments here, we follow the course of the Roluos river to the nearest navigable point where we board small wooden boats for the trip to Kompong Phluk. Cruising down a narrow waterway, we enter this medieval floating village, where the houses stand atop stilts as much as 10 meters above the water. Everything lives on the water, pigs, dogs, crocodiles and people, all jockeying for space in this incredible floating town. We explore the local wat here, before boarding a bigger boat to take us through the flooded forest and across the Great Lake to Chong Kneas and the holy mountain of Phnom Krom. Picnic lunch will be provided onboard. Accommodation at hotel, Siem Reap.

DAY 14      SIEM REAP   Another Walking Tour Through the Temple (Breakfast)
Breakfast. This walk is a great way to experience the impressive temples of the Small Circuit, including everyone’s favourite, Ta Prohm. We start our day at the old French dam and take a short walk through the forest to Ta Nei, Ta Prohm without the tourists as we like to think of it. After exploring this charming temple, we continue to walk through the forest to emerge on the imposing temple of Ta Keo. After enjoying the views from on high, we wind our way around the old dikes of the Eastern Baray to the romantic northern entrance to Ta Prohm. Free of other visitors the four faces of the Bodhisattva are smothered by a large tree. Taking our time to soak up the atmosphere in Ta Prohm, we emerge from the East Gate and enter Banteay Kdei through the West Gate. We leave Banteay Kdei from the South Gate and make our way to the royal bathing pond of Sra Srang where we enjoy a well-earned drink. Return to your hotel. Afternoon is free at leisure. In the late afternoon, we transfer to airport for flight to Bangkok to connect your onward flight.