Day 1: Arrival in Phnom Penh (D)
Upon arriving at the airport, you will be picked up and transported to your hotel.
The rest of the time will be dedicated to interesting 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 a good time in the narrow alleys of this market, 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 travelling 125 km further away to Kampong Cham. Nicknamed “the Garden City”, Kampong Cham is also the main town of the province. After check-in, you will visit rubber tree 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 of the surrounding landscapes and temples edified in the 12th and 13th centuries.
Later, you will have dinner and 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 consisting of hundreds of temples made of bricks. While on your visit, you will stop to take pictures and meet 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 – Siem Reap – Tonlé Sap (B, L, D)
After breakfast, you will be driven to Siem Reap. Check-in at the hotel upon arrival.
In the afternoon, you will discover the Tonlé Sap Lake – the largest freshwater lake in all South-East Asia – and go in the direction of Chong Khneas floating village. Nestled under the Phnom Krom hill, this floating community changes location depending on the water level of the lake. During the rainy season, when the Tonlé Sap’s surface is five times greater than usual, the village is located at the foot of the hill, while during the dry season, the village is 4 km away from the hill. Everything is in floating mode in this village where fishing is the main source of income: schools, shops, gas stations, and even karaoke clubs. Many houses act as floating farms, with large enclosures containing hundreds of fish. You will cruise by boat on the Tonlé Sap and go through the floating homes and shops. Then, you will visit the local market before returning to Siem Reap.
Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Day 5: Siem Reap – Angkor Thom – Preah Khan – Neak Prean – Pre Rup (B, L, D)
Early in the morning, you will be taken to Angkor Wat to admire the sunrise, before returning to the hotel for breakfast. After that, you will go to the southern gate of Angkor Thom: the Bayon temple – famous for its towers with faces of Avalokitesvaras – before heading towards the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King.
In the afternoon, you will visit Preah Khan, Neak Prean, and Pre Rup temples. Then, you will go to the top of Phnom Bakheng hill and enjoy the view of the sunset.
Later, you will have a fabulous dinner while admiring the Aspara show.
Overnight at the hotel.
Day 6: Siem Reap – Ta Prohm – Ta Keo – Angkor Wat (B, L, D)
After 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 is 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 – Banteay Srei – Siem Reap (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.
While on the return to Siem Reap, you will stop at Banteay Samré, a temple edified in the 12th century. Built by King Suryavarman II, to whom we also owe the phenomenal Angkor Wat, this temple was later renovated almost entirely. Pediments above the interior doors contain engravings considered to be among the most beautiful of all the similar sculptures dating from the Angkorian period. You will also visit other interesting monuments such as the Kbal Spean archeological site, River of 1,000 Lingas, and phallic symbol of Hindu god Shiva.
Dinner at a local restaurant in Siem Reap. You will enjoy your last night in Siem Reap and overnight at the hotel.
Day 8: Siem Reap – Departure (B)
Wake up and have a nice breakfast before enjoying your free time in Siem Reap, until being picked up by car and driven to the airport for your departure flight.