Best Essence of Beautiful Cambodia Tour 12 Days

Meaningfully explore Cambodia in various ways to witness the natural beauty, wonderful Angkor temples, rural villages, the impressive Great Lake, beautiful Kulen waterfalls, have fun on oxcart ride, special time with Kulen elephants as well as sampling Cambodia street food and get blessed by traditional water blessing from Buddhist monk. Visit the vibes of Phnom Penh Capital followed by sunset cocktail on boat cruise, enjoy the city highlights from your cyclo and go for guided tours to killing field, historical places and the important Royal Palace. Followed the great day experience at Wildlife Rescue Center (Behind the Scenes), embark a local boat navigating through the mighty Mekong River to the urban Silk Island where we observe interesting silk processing and daily life of local people.

Briefing Program

  • Day 1: Siem Reap – Arrival
  • Day 2: Fully Guided Angkor Discovery
  • Day 3: Tonle Sap Lake, City Tour & Apsara Cultural Show
  • Day 4: Phnom Kulen Waterfalls & 1000 Lingas
  • Day 5: Unique Village Experience & Phare Cambodian Circus
  • Day 6: Kulen Elephant Forest (share-tour)
  • Day 7: Morning Street Food & Traditional Water Blessing
  • Day 9: Private Car/Minivan to Phnom Penh & Sunset Cruise
  • Day 9: Phnom Penh Tour by Cyclo & Historical Sites
  • Day 10: Wildlife Rescue Center (Behind the Scenes)
  • Day 11: Mekong Boat Cruise to Silk Island
  • Day 12: Phnom Penh – Departure

Program Detail

Day 1 | Siem Reap – Arrival

Meal: None
Upon your arrival at Siem Reap Angkor International Airport, you will be greeted by our friendly driver then transfers directly to a booked hotel for check in and have your own free time.

Overnight in Siem Reap

Day 2 | Fully Guided Angkor Discovery

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch
Breakfast is at hotel.
*Sunrise is available upon request (surcharge) and starting time is at 4.30am.

We’re journeying out by tuk tuk (or car/minivan) at 8.00am to the South Gate of Angkor Thom atop 4 giant faces that religiously represents compassion, sympathy, equanimity and charity. Stroll around Bayon temple consisting of more than 200 smiling faces in stone, admired by interesting temples including Baphuon, Phimeanakas, terrace of leper king and terrace of elephant. Resume the journey to visit Ta Prohm temple adorned with the stunning, amazing tree roots where Lara Croft Tomb Raider was filmed.

Enjoy Khmer set lunch at a selected local restaurant near temple.

Afternoon, continue to witness the marvelous Angkor Wat – the world’s heritage listed by UNESCO in 1992 and the largest unrivaled monument in the world. Built by Suryavarman II in 12th Century, Angkor Wat is considered as one of the top destinations in Asia and is a must-see in your lifetime. Learning from your tour guide the amazing history, its ancestral incredible, architectural masterpieces and the finest carvings dates back to the Khmer Empire when it dominated the largest parts of Southeast Asia.

Note: Visiting beautiful sunset is available at Phnom Bakheng, please speak to our tour guide to manage this for you. This is a hiking up (Approx. 30 minutes/way) to the hill and it’s always touristy or skip it if you feel tired.

Overnight in Siem Reap

Day 3 | Tonle Sap Lake, City Tour & Apsara Cultural Show

Meal: Breakfast, Dinner
Breakfast is at hotel.
We set off hotel at 8.30am for countryside sightseeing along with a visit at local market to see interesting trades before resuming our journey to Kompong Phluk village of Tonle Sap Lake. We process to take a boat trip along canal toward the centre of Kompong Phluk then the boat slows down to let you enjoy the surrounding admired by amazing houses atop high poles, come across the highlight of fishing activities as well as see people selling fruits/vegetable/meats on their boats, you sometimes see kids in their student uniforms coming back from their classes. Witness how life works on the water and how people make the lake as home then we embark on a canoe to explore the pleasant mangroves, enjoy the serenity while taking picturesque photos and you may see a few waterbirds. Continue by our main boat to see the great lake of Tonle Sap, learn from your tour guide about Tonle Sap ecosystem and its rich biosphere reserve.

Afternoon, we go for guided orientation at the finest Artisan Angkor wood/stone carving center which displays various defined handicrafts and silk products, continue to stroll around old market to see interesting daily trade as well as bargaining for local handmade products, paintings, lacquers, carvings, clothes, traditional crafts and so on, and you can also go to Royal Residence Garden for walking and breathtaking.

Evening around 6.15pm, we leave to enjoy delicate Khmer set dinner followed by traditional Apsara dance performance at a selected local restaurant.

Overnight in Siem Reap

Day 4 | Phnom Kulen Waterfalls & 1000 Lingas

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch
Breakfast is at hotel.
We leave hotel at 8.30am, heading out of the hassle Siem Reap city to visit one of Cambodia’s national parks – popularly known as “Phnom Kulen” where you meet famous, beautiful waterfalls. Phnom Kulen (Mountain of Lychee) situates about 57km with approx. 1 hour drive, Phnom Kulen is regarded as the holy mountain for religious significance to Hindus and Buddhists and was the significant home of the ancient Khmer Empire when King Jayavarma II proclaimed independence from Java in 804 CE. The journey provides nice views of rice paddies, countryside dotting with palm trees and cattle. We will stroll at Preah Dak village to observe local people making the famous steaming-rice cake which hides coconut milk inside that you have a chance to grab a few bites before continuing to Phnom Kulen.

Enjoy the walking tour to see the giant reclining Buddha statue on the hilltop along with breathtaking, spectacular views and learn from your tour guide about historical site. Resume walking within the jungle to witness religious Hindu of the riverbed of 1000 linga carvings, next we move to observe the sacred ground-pool before we head to relax near the waterfall. From then, it is your own free time for cooling down, swimming and enjoying local lunch followed by fresh coconut juice. Late afternoon, we drive back to Siem Reap and on the way, we stop for a visit at palm sugar village and other various local handicraft souvenirs.

Overnight in Siem Reap

Day 5 | Unique Village Experience & Phare Cambodian Circus

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Breakfast is at hotel.
The tour begins at 8.00am then we head of out the bustling Siem Reap city to a remote countryside village, the journey passes interesting city highlight and huge beautiful rice paddies dotting with palm trees and cattle in the fields. We observe bamboo sticky rice and rice noodle making then we dare sample some deep fried crispy insects before arriving in the village. Next have some fun on the oxcart ride through the village to get interaction along with “Hello” from friendly kids. Disembark the ox cart, you’ll be greeted by a host family then we get involved with village activity of palm roof making (or/and planting vegetables depends) which it is probably the most unique, memorable experience in your trip to Cambodia. Return to the family’s house, stroll round to see the surrounding which admired by routine, lifestyle, culture, customs and superstitions, enjoy tropical fruits and get refreshed by coconut juice before local lunch is served.

Afternoon, we say goodbye to the host then we make our way back to the hotel. On the way, we will observe rattan basket weaving in another village. The rest of the afternoon is free at your own leisure.

Evening, transfer to have delicious Khmer set dinner at famous Chanrey Tree, a beautiful setting with garden by the riverside before we’re going to watch unique Phare Circus performance (Seat B/A) which is unlike any other circus in the world: theater, story, dance, high-energy music and circus arts.

Overnight in Siem Reap

Day 6 | Kulen Elephant Forest (share-tour)

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch
Breakfast is at hotel.
Our driver (no guide) will pick you up at 7.40am from hotel’s lobby then transfers to Kulen elephant forest’s office in Siem Reap town. Next, the shuttle minivan will leave at 8.00am with an hour drive to the Kulen Elephant forest which locates at the base of Kulen Mountain range.

Once at the reserve, you will spend time to learn from the local tour guide to get understanding the way of elephants live, play and roam as well as knowing how they are being well taken care mostly through their natural habitat, observing their relationships and behaviors. At noon, retire to base camp and enjoy a traditional meal before heading back to Siem Reap (approx. 2.00pm).

You will then get picked up by our driver from Kulen elephant forest’s office to hotel.

Overnight in Siem Reap

Day 7 | Morning Street Food & Traditional Water Blessing

Meal: Breakfast
Breakfast is at hotel.
Our experienced local guide and Tukt Tuk driver will pick you up at 7.30am (or 8.00am) from your hotel’s lobby then we’re heading for guided walking tour through the interesting array of the biggest local market to observe local trade exchanges from fresh harvested vegetables, fish buckets, meat stalls, and greengrocery to grocery. From there, choose from a local breakfast you love to eat (Lort Chha, Pork noodle soup, Vermicelli curry, chicken porridge or rice grilled pork) before continuing to see the bustling market activities while our guide introduces you to sample deep-fried snacks or try a small dish of delicate Cambodian dessert.

Interestingly, we’re zigzagging at the second-hand cloth hall – a place you can find a lot of second-hand clothes from various casuals to jeans, along with your wonder seeing many locals spending much time sitting to choose their favorite ones or you may purchase one too. Next, we walk to catch the highlights at jewelry and cloth stores which probably attract your sight to bargain for a lovely one as souvenir for your friend or family.

We take our awaiting Tuk Tuk to visit a family house rice wine, learn the process of brewing Cambodian rice wine, it’s a good chance for you to have a sip and we then resume visit the workshop of deep-fried banana/sweet potato chips. Our final stop will be at a small blacksmith workshop to observe how they invent different types of knives, sickles, hoes, rakes etc. and enjoy a cup of sugarcane juice before returning hotel for refreshment.

Late afternoon, we leave by Tuk Tuk again at 3.00pm to a Buddhist Pagoda where the tour guide escort you to see the pagoda, explain you more about daily life of Buddhist monks, culture, Cambodian religion and how monks leave in the early morning to search for alms giving. We respectfully invite a Buddhist monk and provide an offer-gift to him to get prepared ritual water blessing. Once you changed clothes ready, let’s get started.

A longer ritual that involves vessels of blessed water being poured over your head by monks. Saffron monks prosperously chant to wish you good luck, safe travel, healthy harmony and longevity. It is a way to cleanse yourself, peaceful mind and receive a sacred Buddhist blessing at an ancient pagoda. This traditional water blessing is fully accomplished by a wishing red tie at the end.

Overnight in Siem Reap

Day 8 | Private Car/Minivan to Phnom Penh & Sunset Cruise

Meal: Breakfast, Dinner
Breakfast is at hotel.
Our team picks you up at 7.30am (5-6 hours) to Phnom Penh Capital. The journey passes beautiful rice paddies dotting with palm trees. On the way, we stop at Skun village to sample deep-fried crispy insects (crickets, grasshopper or water bugs etc.) and have lunch break at local restaurant (at your own expense). Arrived and check in at a booked hotel in Phnom Penh.

*Domestic flight (surcharge) and public bus (save cost) are available upon request.

Note: Our Siem Reap driver will say goodbye to you and the rest of your trip will be taken care by our Phnom Penh team.

Evening at 3.30pm, we leave to visit Wat Phnom with interesting legendary of founding place of Phnom Penh Capital. Next, go to Phnom Penh’s Riverside and get on board to enjoy a welcome cocktail while the boat is slowly cruising along Mekong & Tonle Sap, watch the sunset fading at horizon.

Disembark the boat cruise then we walk to along Phnom Penh Riverside to enjoy delicate Khmer set dinner at Bopha Titanic restaurant which offers breathtaking view of the riverside

Overnight in Phnom Penh

Day 9 | Phnom Penh Tour by Cyclo & Historical Sites

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch
Breakfast is at hotel.
We leave hotel at 8.00am to challenge of cyclo ride (rickshaw) along riverfront for fantastic morning highlight of Phnom Penh Capital toward Independent Monument where we stop to capture some beautiful photos before resuming the ride to stroll around central market to see bustling local trades. Finished the cyclo ride at Royal Palace, we walk to visit The Royal Palace – a complex of buildings which are served as the royal residence for the King of Cambodia, admired by impressive Silver Pagoda with over 5000 solid silver tiles and other Royal Stupas, shrines, monuments etc. Next, stroll for guided tour at the National Museum, the world’s most important collection of Cambodian antique sculptures and carvings.

Enjoy yummy Khmer set lunch at a selected local restaurant.

Afternoon, we drive to witness the tragic site of Choeung Ek – the killing field that proceeded more than 20 thousands of civilians and the site is connecting with Tuol Sleng Museum – was the former school that was transformed to Tortured Prison S21. Stroll around Russian market for shopping.

Overnight in Phnom Penh

Day 10 | Wildlife Rescue Center (Behind the Scenes)

Meal: Breakfast, Lunch
Breakfast is at hotel.
Our driver will transfer you to the meeting point where you will get picked up at 8.00am by wildlife rescue Center’s team then heading to a local market to purchase fruits for lovely animals and friendly elephants, learn the story of those rescued wild animals and observe how we train them using gentle reward-based positive reinforcement, when we change Chhouk prosthetic foot. Enjoy a delicious Cambodian style lunch followed by fresh coconut juice while escape the heat of the day in our relaxing hammocks.

Get up close with clouded leopards, gibbons, otters and the other endangered animals that Wildlife Alliance has helped rescue and care for at the sanctuary. Continue to visit our nursery in the rehabilitation area – a section closed to the public and see the beautiful baby animals that we care for up close while interact with rescued baby macaque monkeys in their enclosure as you feed them (at the guide’s discretion).

Late afternoon, get drop-off in Phnom Penh between 4:30 – 5:30 PM then transfer back to hotel.

Overnight in Phnom Penh

Day 11 | Mekong Boat Cruise to Silk Island

Meal: Breakfast
Breakfast is at hotel.
We’re heading out at 8.30am to boat pier where we process to embark a local boat then the boat excursion cruises along the Mekong River towards Silk Island (Koh Dach) which provides nice Mekong river view and a pleasant breathtaking on the way. Arrived and we disembark then take a tuk tuk to the silk village to observe traditional silk weaving by hand looms and see various colorful silk products that you probably want to grab a few silk items as souvenirs for friends and families. The fantastic sightseeing tour takes you through the local community overlooking Mekong, passing fruit orchards, vibrant vegetable gardens and stilt houses while learn from your tour guide about daily life of local people on this beautiful island. Continue to visit a small historical Pagoda and local school before catching the boat back to the mainland and return hotel around 11.30am or 12.00pm.

Overnight in Phnom Penh

Day 12 | Phnom Penh – Departure

Meal: Breakfast
Breakfast is at hotel.
Simply enjoy the rest of free time in Phnom Penh before our team picks you up from hotel’s lobby and transfers to Phnom Penh International Airport for your flight to the next destination.

*Thank You and Goodbye to Beautiful Cambodia

Request Quotation

  • Stay, City/Region
    • 7 nights in Siem Reap
    • 4 nights in Phnom Penh
  • Recommended Hotels in Siem Reap
    • Ladear Angkor Boutique Hotel 3* Plus
    • Sokkhak Boutique Resort 4*
    • Angkor Village Hotel 4*
    • FCC Angkor by Avani 4*
    • The Embassy Angkor Resort 5*
    • Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra 5*
    • Anantara Angkor Resort 5*
  • Recommended Hotels in Phnom Penh
    • Home Chic Hotel 3*
    • Ohana Phnom Penh Palace Hotel 3*
    • Sun and Moon Urban Hotel 4*
    • Baitong Hotel & Resort 4*
    • The Pavilion Hotel 4*
    • Palace Gate Hotel & Resort 5*
    • Hyatt Regency Phnom Penh 5*
    • Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra 5*
  • Package Included

    › Stay in double or twin room share
    › Breakfast is provided by hotel
    › Lunch and dinner are mentioned
    › Experienced local English speaking tour guide
    › Round trip airport/bus/boat transfers
    › Traveling in air conditioning car/minivan
    › Private car/minivan to Phnom Penh
    › All entrance fees per program
    › Sightseeing & tour activities per program
    › Boat excursion, canoe and port fee
    › Kulen Elephant Forest (share-tour)
    › Street food and snacks tasting
    › Boat cruise to Silk Island
    › Mineral bottled water & fresh tissue

  • Package Not Included

    › Cambodia visa
    › International/domestic flights
    › Airport taxes/stamping fees
    › Any travel insurances
    › Drinks and personal expenses
    › Luggage handling
    › Tipping & gratitude for guide/driver
    › Meals are not mentioned
    › Single supplement surcharge
    › Early check in and late check out
    › Peak seasons (To be advised)
    › Compulsory gala dinner on 24th/31st Dec

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One of the best destinations in Asia, the fascinating Siem Reap is famed for its marvelous Angkor Wat, the unrivaled masterpieces & the finest architectures that make Siem Rea become a pearl city of wonder. Distinctively, from Angkor archaeology to the modern capital of Phnom Penh where precious Royal Palace stands, Cambodia’s southern coasts & natural islands…

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