(Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Kep)
The peaceful, welcoming smiles of the Cambodian people have survived a challenging past that makes for a rich, vibrant and deeply touching travel experience that will change your perspective.br/>
This is a land that has survived centuries of Vietnamese and Siamese occupation, French colonization, the devastation of the Vietnam War, and the nightmare of the Khmer Rouge. The deep scars are still evident in the jungle ruins of Preah National Park, haunting deserted temples of Sambor Prei Kuk, eerie serenity of the flooded forests of Tonle Sap Lake, and crumbling colonial city of Kep. Other highlights include elephant rides through the ancient temple complex at Angkor Wat; tasting seasonal fruit at Seam Reap’s vibrant outdoor markets; discovering a protected eco park aboard a traditional ox cart; and a humbling experience at the Killing Fields Museum.
This is a confronting but ultimately up-lifting travel experience. Knowledgeable guides reveal the tragic stories of the past as you journey deeper into this mysterious land than most tourists dare. But it’s the interactions with the remarkable local people that will lift your spirits. From playing with the children at one of the country’s many orphanages and meeting the Chan people of the floating islands of Tonle Sap Lake, to touring Phnom Penh with a Khmer professor of architecture, you’ll meet a kind, spirited and optimistic people.
Enjoy a personalized vacation that best suits your needs, developed by one of our experienced destination experts. Relax during your trip with our 24/7 support and expert local guidance.
Meet your driver for an airport transfer with a private vehicle and English speaking guide.
Today, you will get up at 4 AM to head to the temples and enjoy sunrise at Angkor Wat, then return back to your hotel for breakfast. After breakfast you will transfer about half an hour outside the city to visit one of the more remote temples, Banteay Srei. After touring around this temple with your guide, you will head back towards Siem Reap, and en route you will stop for a quick visit to the Landmine Museum. This museum was opened in 1997 by Aki Ra, a former child soldier, and proceeds go toward clearing landmines across Cambodia. It's a safe and educational place to learn about the impact that these devices have had on Cambodia, and what is being done to rid the country of their threat. Transfer back to the city for lunch in a local restaurant. After lunch, head to one of Siem Reap's lively local markets where you can buy small gifts to bring along to one of the schools for local orphaned children near Wat Bo. Play with the children, tour the facilities, sit in on a lesson, and interact with the local community along with your guide. Later in the afternoon, transfer back to your hotel in Siem Reap. ***A portion of the tour cost will be donated to both the Landmine Museum and Orphanage, of course, further donations are welcome!
Today, along with your guide you will travel privately to Tonle Sap Lake. Each year the lake floods causing a seasonal phenomenon that inundates the 6 provinces with water and is a big resource for local fishermen. Travel through the lake by boat. Experience the wide open marshes and also the tight tree lined passageways that make up the body of this great lake. With its magnificent flooded forests, experience a new untraveled destination named Mechrey Eco tourism community situated just 9 kilometers west of Siem Reap. Waiting for you to explore the community is an old means of Cambodian transportation: the ox cart. Along the journey through the Eco park you can see sugar palm trees, local wildlife, and fauna and feel totally relaxed as your guide takes you through the beautiful rural Cambodian countryside. After the tour concludes you will be transferred back to your hotel.
You will be picked up from your hotel and taken on a sightseeing tour. Enjoy a half day tour visiting the South Gate of Angkor Thom and Bayon temple complex by Tuk Tuk. After the tour you will be transferred back to your hotel.
As part of your temple touring today, you will ride between South Gate and Bayon by elephant!
Transfer from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh with a private vehicle and English speaking guide. Along the way, you will stop by Naga Bridge and then visit Sambor Prei Kuk Temple complex. Sambo Prei Kuk is a collection of 7th century temple ruins located in Kompong Thom Province. It consists of dozens of impressive brick prasats in semi-cleared jungle, many displaying excellent examples of early Khmer art. You will visit Prasat Tor, Prasat Yeah Puon, and Prasat Sambor. Spend 3 hours visiting these temples, which date to the pre-Angkor period, and are some of the oldest remaining in Cambodia. Lunch will be at a local restaurant. After lunch you will stop at rice field and a local seasonal fruit market before continuing to Phnom Penh.
Today, you will be picked up at your hotel at 8 am for a very special tour, escorted by a Khmer Professor of Architecture. First transfer to visit the Royal University of Phnom Penh (RUPP) as well as the Institute of Foreign Languages (IFL). At RUPP you will see three remarkable campuses. The first was built in the 1960’s on the Russian Boulevard. The Institute of Technology of Cambodia is designed in a Soviet manner, and the 'modern baroque' Institute of Foreign Languages (a group of three buildings by Vann Molyvann, his last work of the 1970s). Finish up at the Royal University of Phnom Penh by Leroy and Mondet. Take a quick look at the Phnom Penh Royal Railway Station, and head to lunch at the famous FCC restaurant. After lunch continue on with your tour, and visit the National Museumand Cambodia Post Office. Lastly you will visit Olympic Stadium. The National Sports Complex, known as the Olympic Stadium, built in 1963-64 to accommodate the GANEFO games of 1964 and became the location for the reception of many visiting dignitaries and state occasions. Designed by Vann Molyvann, the remarkable and heroic complex has been renovated and brought back into popular use by sporty Cambodians. Visit the stadium which seats 84,000, the sports-hall with its amazing concrete 'mushroom' roof, and the Olympic-size swimming/diving pools.
A high school prior to 1975, turned into an interrogation prison known as S-21 during the Khmer rouge era, today it serves as a museum. It tells the sad story of the thousands of innocent Cambodian people who were tortured on its grounds. Spend some time visiting the site with your local guide, and learn about the prison itself, as well as the greater genocide that occurred throughout Cambodia. Afterwards, you will travel outside of town to the Killing Fields Museum. Continue onward to see the Independence Monument and take a stroll along the Mekong River. Afterwards, you will be transferred back to your hotel.
Transfer from Phnom Penh to Kep with a private vehicle and English speaking guide. On the way to Kep, you will visit a cave at Kampong Trach that you can go through to the La Ang Viel Sre 100 and La Ang Thmar Dos. At these natural wells, there is some evidence that proves that the wells were the main filming place before the 70th decade. You will also see Chinese and Vietnamese pagodas, which are maintained by the local community.
Start the tour with a visit to Wat Sampov Pram where there are five oddly-sculpted rocks nearby resembling boats. Then continue to see the beautiful two tiered Popokvil Waterfall. Next, spend 3 hours exploring beautiful and wild Cambodian jungles. In the afternoon, visit the infamous French Palace Casino. This grand and hauntingly beautiful colonial building used to be part of the French resort town for social elites to escape from the humidity and heat of Phnom Penh. The old Catholic Church at Bokor Hill Station looks like the priest locked it up yesterday. Inside, bits of glass still cling to the corners of the windows and the altar remains intact. Next you will see King Monivong Residence and Black Palace. From the top of the mountain, you can see amazing panoramic views of the Gulf of Thailand.
With a rented mountain bike, available at Veranda, you can explore King Sihanouk's old Palace built in the early 1990's, see abandoned colonial villas, and spend time along the historical, and uniquely Cambodian seaside boulevard.
Transfer from Kep to Phnom Penh with a private vehicle and English speaking guide. The transfer is approximately 2.5 hours.
At Heritage Suite Hotel, guests will stay in a sumptuous colonial villa where bamboos, lotuses and white water lilies exhale the perfumes of meditation. This sophisticated boutique retreat is nestled in tropical gardens within what is called the village, a few paces from the peaceful Siem Reap River. Some suites are up to 150 sq. m with private Jacuzzi - bath time is a memorable experience in an oversized bathtub with a view of the gardens. A “temple” of rest in one of the world’s most stunning archaeological sites. The hotel is only 6 kilometers from the renowned Angkor temples and 15 minutes from Siem Reap international airport. It takes a gratifying 4 minutes tuk tuk ride to reach the Old Market, the new fascinating National Museum and lively Pub Street. The architecture, the beautifully spacious suites, the unequalled kindness and efficiency of the staff and its culinary delights make Heritage unique as a luxurious sanctuary.
Raffles Hotel Le Royal is the premier hotel in Phnom Penh, a hotel with those rare attributes of history and style. First established in 1929 and later reopened in 1997. After a careful restoration and refurbishment program by Raffles International, Raffles Hotel Le Royal is Phnom Penh’s premier hotel with historical style and charm. The grand hotel fulfils all the requirements of a modern world-class hotel with its facilities and amenities, but imparts an old-world charm through its style and decor, which is elegant yet comfortable, classic yet casual. Ideally located, it is within easy access of the city's attractions such as the Royal Palace, Central Market, Russian Market and the National Artifacts Museum. Come experience this magnificent hotel in the vibrant city of Phnom Penh.
Veranda Natural Resort is a great retreat to get away from all the hustle and bustle. The resort is dedicated to offering the finer things of life, beauty, tranquility and great food. It is hidden below Kep National Park that overlooks the Gulf of Thailand, Vietnam Island and Bokor Mountain. Here, just a few hours from Phnom Penh airport you feel light years away from the crowds, ready to experience the true Kep in its entire splendor. The retreat presents a unique concept featuring raised wooden walkways made of stones, wood and is connected through all the private bungalows in the resort. Visit some of the island’s most iconic attractions or find your own hidden gems. Or maybe just lounge by one of the biggest salted pool in Kep whilst enjoying the natural surroundings like uncounted exotic fruit trees and the tropical breezes. Veranda Natural Resort represents a light and unobtrusive feeling. It is about personalized comfort and design combined with natural, pure interior style inspired by its natural surroundings. Each guest’s bungalow has its own individual beauty, which agrees with people who care enormously about little things.
Olive Ramchand ,
June 03, 2014
"I have to admit, this was the BEST vacation I ever had. The tour was nothing less than Fantastic! The hotels were great, the guides were great, the transportation was great, the places were great, the people were great, the food was great and last but not least China, itself was out of this world. I'm so glad I booked this tour and would recommend this to anyone. Thanks so much for all your help, your interest and your recommendations. Steve in China was so attentive, he called constantly to make sure everything was fine. We really had a fabulous time and even my jaded husband who normally only seems to care about where the nearest golf course is, was impressed and had a wonderful time.
Thanks again, and unto the next vacation (although I don't know how we would top this one!!)
Jeanne Tarvin ,
April 21, 2014
"The tour was absolutely fabulous. It all started with the planning. Kathryn graciously accommodated our tight schedule and multiple needs, including a mid-trip change in plans. The tour guides and drivers were all great and extremely knowledgeable. The accommodations and meals were fantastic. I was apprehensive about going to China not knowing the language but it worked out great!"
January 15, 2014
"We just returned on Monday from our wonderful trip to South Korea, Bangkok and Phuket. I wanted to thank you for all of your hard work in planning our tours and adventures. Everything was spot on, from our arrivals at the airports, to the guides and the tours. I would not hesitate to recommend you and your company. It was truly a wonderful vacation. Thank you again.
Bob Feldman ,
November 19, 2013
"I wanted to let you know that our trip to China was great! Everybody enjoyed themselves. When planning a trip I am always concerned about the itinerary, the vehicles and the guides. All 3 of these were great. The guides were particularly good and in this case really made the trip a pleasure. Overall a great trip. Thanks for all you did."
Gloria DeWeese ,
October 10, 2013
"A wonderful trip and everything went like clockwork. Thank you so very much for all your assistance. I hope I will have a chance to work with you again."
Wayne Gavioli ,
September 04, 2013
"We just returned from our thailand/cambodia trip. It was fantastic. You did a great job. The guides were excellent as was the drivers. We loved the Victoria Hotel you selected in Siem. Wish we had more time. Thailand met our expectations but our expectations for Cambodia were low and they exceeded them. Loved the places selected for the included lunches. Certainly would use Kensington again"
Santo Filice ,
August 30, 2013
"Thank you for arranging our guided trip to Thailand - Vietnam. It was a memorable, and pleasant trip - a 1st for us with Kensington tours and a most enjoyable one. We found that we were able to maximize our visit of the the area without the concern of booking hotels, airline, finding parking and understanding the local language. "
Tim Mesarch ,
August 02, 2013
"Alexis helped us fit in all of the sites we wanted to see on our trip to Thailand and Cambodia, and suggested some more. It was valuable talking with someone who had been there and done that. The planning went pretty smoothly, and so did the trip. The local guides were all top-notch! "
July 25, 2013
"I highly recommend Kesington Tours. The planning of our trip to Cambodia was outstanding. Our advisor Alexis Mayer was unbelievably patient, knowledgeable and responsive. We planned the trip in every possible detail and Alexis was extraordinary during the whole process. Once we were in Cambodia, we had a tiny issue with the car. I was able to get in contact with Alexis right away and the problem was instantly solved. The trip itself was fantastic. Everything was very well planned and perfectly organized. The local guides and drivers were great. The hotels were very well chosen.
Great trip. I would definitely travel again with Kensington Tours."
Pennie Quintana ,
August 07, 2013
"Thank you so much for the amazing trip we enjoyed!! All our guides were fantasy. Joseph in Jakarta, July in Jojakarta and Deon in Borneo!! Wow!! Bless you for all your attention to detail and the outstanding communication to all my questions. You made me feel so taken care of and tended too!! "
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