Day 1: Arrival in Phnom Penh – City Tour (-)
Upon arriving at the airport, you will be picked up and transported to your hotel. The rest of the time will be dedicated to remarkable visits: Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, Museum of Fine Arts, and Wat Phnom – the oldest monument in the city.
After that, you will discover the Russian Market, one of the best places to shop in the capital. Known as Tuol Tom Pong Psar, it is also called "Russian Market" since the 1980s, when the Russians were the only tourists in Cambodia. This place is a giant bazaar where everybody bargains and where you can find almost everything you can imagine: local crafts, sculptures, silk, and other textiles, clothing, footwear, computer software, music CDs, and DVDs.
After strolling for a good time in the narrow alleys of this bazaar, you will head to the impressive Central Market, one of the most famous monuments in Phnom Penh. Built and opened by the French in 1937, this imposing Art-Deco-styled structure is known by the inhabitants as Psar Thmei (or "New Market"). The huge central dome allows the market to be naturally ventilated. There, you will also find an incredible diversity of items. However, don’t shy away from bargaining and try to negotiate good prices, because the merchants in this market have a reputation of giving higher prices to tourists.
Overnight at the hotel in Phnom Penh.
Day 2: Phnom Penh – Kampong Cham (B, L, D)
Have a nice breakfast before leaving the capital and traveling 125 km further away to Kampong Cham. Nicknamed “the Garden City”, Kampong Cham is also the main town of the province.
After your check-in at the hotel, you will visit rubber trees plantations and a workshop processing rubber. You will return to Kampong Cham for lunch before visiting Phnom Pros (“Man Hill”) and Phnom Srei (“Woman Hill”). From the top of those hills, you will enjoy panoramic views on the surrounding landscapes and on temples edified in the 12th and 13th centuries.
Later, you will have dinner and you will spend your night at the hotel.
Day 3: Kampong Cham – Kampong Thom (B, L, D)
This morning, you will go to Kampong Thom.
Upon arrival, you will check-in at a hotel before starting your visit with the great Sambor Prei Kuk archeological site. Dating from the 7th century, it is largely recognized as the most important site from the pre-Angkorian era. In this former capital of Chenla, you will find remains scattered across the forest and consisting of hundreds of temples made of bricks.
While on your visit, you will stop to take pictures and meet the locals, before returning to Kampong Thom. You will have the rest of the day to visit the city on your own.
Overnight in Kampong Thom.
Day 4: Kampong Thom – Phnom Penh (B, L, D)
Today, you will return to Phnom Penh. You will stop along the way visiting a monastery, where you will learn more about the most important aspects of religious practice in Cambodia.
In the afternoon, you will be free to visit the capital on your own.
Overnight in Phnom Penh.
Day 5: Phnom Penh – Siem Reap – Angkor Thom (B, L, D)
After having breakfast, you will board the express boat to Siem Reap early in the morning. You will see scenic landscapes while going on Tonlé Sap Lake. You will pass through floating fishing villages. In this area, people are used to moving their homes depending on the water level of the lake, which varies between the rainy season and the dry season.
Disembark, then head to your hotel. Check-in and lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, you will visit Angkor Thom: this vast complex is accessible by five huge gates and houses the Bayon temple – famous for its towers with Avalokitesvara faces – at its center. You will then stroll in the old Royal Palace where the Phimeanakas sanctuary is located. You will also visit the monumental Baphuon, before leaving for Angkor Wat to admire the sunset from the top of Phnom Bakheng hill.
Upon returning to Siem Reap, you will have a nice dinner while attending a traditional Aspara dance show.
Overnight at your hotel in Siem Reap.
Day 6: Siem Reap – Ta Prohm – Ta Keo – Angkor Wat (B, L, D)
After having a good breakfast, you will head to Ta Phrom temple and then to Ta Keo, a Hindu temple dating from the end of the 10th century and dedicated to Shiva. You will continue with visits to Thommanon and Chau Say temples, before taking part in a delightful excursion to Sras Srang Lake.
You will have lunch in a local restaurant before driving to Angkor Wat. Considered the largest religious edification ever built, this gigantic temple is a model of symbolism and symmetry, and the pride of an entire population. Erected in the 12th century under King Suryavarman II’s reign, it is widely recognized by experts as the eighth wonder of the world, and is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992.
Return to Siem Reap to have dinner at a local restaurant.
Overnight at the hotel.
Day 7: Siem Reap – Preak Toal (B, L, D)
Wake up and have a good breakfast before boarding a small motorized sampan boat to go to Preak Toal. There, you will explore a wild bird sanctuary, a flooded forest, and several floating villages.
While cruising on the river, you will be able to catch a glimpse of the daily life of locals while learning more about the different fishing techniques used by the inhabitants of these floating villages.
Later, you will go back to Siem Reap.
Dinner at a local restaurant and overnight at the hotel.
Day 8: Siem Reap – Banteay Srei (B, L, D)
After breakfast at the hotel, you will go to Banteay Srei, a jewel of Khmer art. This small pink sandstone temple is the expression of refinement of the sculptural Angkorian art. The delicacy of its sculptures makes it one of the most remarkable site in all Angkor. Its name, which means “Citadel of Women”, derives from its delicate engravings, considered too subtle to have been made by men.
Originally believed to be dating from the latest period of the Angkorian era, the inscriptions found on this site suggest that this temple was built by a Brahman in 967. However, architects and historians agree that these inscriptions may actually date from a former structure that already existed on this same location during the construction of Banteay Srei.
After a picnic lunch near Banteay Srei, you will walk in the forest until reaching Kbal Spean archeological site. You will also see the River of 1,000 Lingas and the phallic symbol of Hindu god Shiva.
Return to Siem Reap for dinner at a local restaurant.
You will spend your last night in Siem Reap.
Day 9: Siem Reap – Departure (B)
Have a good breakfast at your hotel before enjoying your free time. Later, you will be picked up and driven to the airport for your departure flight.