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I am totally captivated by Asia. Having lived in Singapore, Nepal, South Korea and Hong Kong, travelled extensively across all of our destinations in Asia, and worked in luxury travel for many years, curating exceptional trips comes naturally to me.
- from $4,669 PP
- 10 Nights
- Sep - Mar
- 11 hrs from London / 19 hrs from NYC
Cambodia is one of the world’s most overlooked luxury travel destinations. In this 10-night itinerary we’ve handpicked our ultimate blend of upmarket accommodation in each of Cambodia’s key destinations. Travelling through Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, coastal Kep, and tropical paradise Koh Rong, each stay will feature impeccable accommodation and unrivalled service. Then there’s the travel experience itself. We’ve selected our favourite activities throughout, each providing an exclusive, immersive, and thoughtfully constructed take on the local area. This holistic approach ensures that this incredible itinerary really does showcase the absolute best of Cambodia; travelling in comfort and style throughout, each day bringing yet more exhilarating experience, you’ll discover that as a luxury destination Cambodia really does offer it all.
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- 10 nights in 5 star accommodation
- Daily breakfast plus other meals as per itinerary
- All tours and transfers on a fully private basis
- Private English-speaking guides for all mentioned sightseeing
- Domestic flight as described in economy class
- 24/7 support from our dedicated staff
- Flexible, personalized itinerary based on your interests
Day by Day Itinerary
Day 1 Siem Reap: Arrival into Siem Reap International Airport
Your 10-night trip begins with your arrival into Siem Reap International Airport. You’ll be greeted by your private English-speaking guide, and then private driver, and together they will transfer you to your nearby hotel. While best-known for the temples and ruins of Angkor, once the world’s largest and greatest pre-industrial city, Siem Reap also offers opportunities to explore museums, markets and buzzing nightlife. Once checked in you will have the remainder of the day free to rest and recuperate at the hotel, or jump in a tuk tuk and head out to explore.
Day 2 Siem Reap: Morning Temples of the Forest; Afternoon tour of Angkor Thom
Wake early this morning to enjoy the lesser-visited corners of the Angkor complex at their quietest time of day. Head first to Srah Srang, Angkor’s expansive 700m x 350m reservoir, which glows a deep orange at sunrise. Continue to the legendary jungle temple Ta Prohm, its crumbling ruins now held together with roots and vines. A 15-minute walk through the forest north of Ta Prohm then takes you to Ta Nei where you’ll be served a delicious picnic breakfast. At this time of day you’re likely to have the entire temple site to yourselves. A short drive then brings you to the final stop of the morning – Ta Keo, known as the ‘Mountain of Bronze Peaks’, with its impressive five-tiered pyramid structure. You’ll be dropped back at your hotel in the mid-morning and have some time to relax.
In the afternoon your guide will take you on a walking tour through the mighty Angkor Thom – literally ‘Great City’. Start at the imposing Victory Gate, then continue along the 5m high former city walls to the ‘Death Gate’ and then the Terrace of the Leper King. A further short walk from the Buddhist sanctuary of Preah Palilay takes you through shaded woodland to the three tiers of Phimeanakas, flanked by beautiful lakes, and then to the Hindu temple Baphuon. The big finish arrives in the exact center of Angkor Thom at the Bayon, former state temple of Jayavarman VII. The Bayon is known for its captivating bas relief faces, carved in their hundreds, each telling a different story of daily life and epic events in the time of Angkor. End the day with a leisurely boat ride on the moat of Angkor Thom, enjoying the sun set with cocktail in hand.
Day 3 Siem Reap: Sunrise at Angkor Wat; Afternoon rural tour with private country villa dinner
This morning you will visit Angkor Wat, the mother of all temples. Timings are flexible but we recommend visiting at dawn, seeing the sun climb over the temple and bathe it in the softest and best light of the day. Angkor Wat is reputed to be the largest religious complex in the world. Constructed over a period of 30 years during the reign of Suryavarman II, it was originally a Hindu mountain temple, then later converted to Buddhist use in the 16th century, remaining in such use today. The sheer scale of Angkor Wat, coupled with the incredible complexity and detail of its bas reliefs, is difficult to comprehend. Spend as much time as you need exploring in the company of your guide before returning to your hotel to relax.
Later in the afternoon you’ll be taken out to discover a rural landscape beyond Siem Reap which has changed little since the days of Jayavarman VII. Here you can experience contemporary Khmer culture, and see a side of Cambodia far beyond the reach of mass tourism. Travelling by ox-cart, and later by boat, you’ll pass through picture postcard bucolic scenery of woodland, rice paddies, and village life. Stop at a rural pagoda for a blessing from the village monks, and then (via your guide) have a chat with local families. You’ll also stop at the vast Western Baray, a man-made reservoir which once provided irrigation for an entire city of Angkorian farmers.
A further boat ride then brings you to an exclusive country villa, set in tranquil surrounds, where you’ll enjoy sunset drinks and then a private Khmer dinner.
Day 4 Phnom Penh: Morning tour of Lake Tonle Sap; Fly to Phnom Penh
After an early breakfast you will head out to the great Tonle Sap Lake: the richest freshwater fishing ground in the world, and a Cambodian national treasure. A privately guided boat tour will introduce you to the communities that live around the margins of the lake, who adapt to the continual variation in water levels by building their homes on floating stilts. Take the opportunity to pause at the stilted houses to learn how a subsistence fishing family lives, before returning to shore, where you will find a picnic lunch has been prepared for you.
You’ll then be taken back to Siem Reap and dropped straight at the airport in time for a short domestic flight to Phnom Penh. On arrival you’ll be met by a new guide and driver team and taken to your downtown hotel to check in. Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, is one of Asia’s most exciting and fastest-growing cities. Get settled into your room and enjoy the remainder of the day at your leisure. If you want to take a stroll, you’ll find a number of elegant colonial buildings and grand boulevards which saw Phnom Penh donned the “Paris of the East” during the 1920s. We highly recommend a visit to the Central Market, an astonishing piece of Art Deco architecture which contains vast hallways housing countless stalls selling all sorts of items.
Day 5 Phnom Penh: Highlights and hidden gems by cyclo
This morning you’ll head out for an absorbing tour of Phnom Penh, taking its architecture as a lens through which to view the many sides of the city. In the company of a local architectural enthusiast you’ll travel by cyclo (pedal rickshaw), weaving through the busy city streets, taking in Chinese-style shophouses in older residential areas, French colonial buildings from the late 19th and early 20th century, and several examples of the famed ‘New Khmer Architecture’ of the 1950s and 1960s. The tour culminates at the Central Market, an astonishing Art Deco landmark, which impresses both as a design classic and as a hive of commercial activity, housing hundreds of stalls selling clothing, souvenirs, electronic goods, jewellery, flowers, and an extensive produce and street food section.
In the afternoon continue your private tour of the city at the attractive Royal Palace, and then the neighbouring Silver Pagoda, covered in approximately 5,000 silver tiles. Afterwards, you’ll explore the massive collection of Khmer sculptures and artefacts in the National Museum which were recovered from the ancient Angkor Empire. You will then learn more about the sober recent history of Cambodia, visiting the infamous Tuol Sleng prison and then the “Killing Fields” of Choeng Ek where over 17,000 civilians were killed and buried in the 1970s. These visits can be skipped should you prefer – please discuss locally with your guide.
Day 6 Kep: Scenic road transfer to Kep on Cambodia’s southern coast
You’ll leave Phnom Penh behind today and be transferred by road down to Kep on Cambodia’s sultry southern coast. Located around four hours’ drive south of Phnom Penh, Kep is former colonial coastal retreat, housing several fine mansions – some of which now converted into excellent boutique hotels – and is also the focal point of Cambodia’s crab fishing industry. The central market and surrounding fish restaurants are world renowned for outstanding fresh seafood; the local delicacy – Kep crab in local Kampot pepper sauce – is an absolute must. From the market we recommend a short but strenuous climb to the summit of jungle-topped Kep Hill, which is rewarded with fine views across the Gulf of Thailand.
Day 7 Kep: Full day exploration of Kep and Kampot
Today is free to explore the twin coastal towns of Kep and Kampot. Kampot, a short 30-minute drive from Kep, is a charming riverside port, known for its quaint shopping streets lined with photogenic shophouses and its surrounding pepper farms (Kampot pepper enjoys WTO Protected Geographical Indicator status, putting it on a par with champagne or Scotch beef). A visit to a pepper farm, including a tour and an excellent lunch, can be easily arranged locally. We also recommend a trip up to Bokor National Park, a 1000m summit above Kampot. Formerly a French hill station, Bokor was completely abandoned post-independence, and now has a somewhat eerie quality with several derelict hotels and mansions. There are also a couple of hilltop stupas and a range of walking trails. Back in Kep, we recommend a visit to the fish market or a short walk down to Kep’s small but functional beach.
Day 8 Koh Rong: Transfer by road and boat to the Royal Sands Koh Rong
A short private transfer takes you from Kep down to the coastal city of Sihanoukville (once a laidback backpacker retreat, now exploding into a regional mass tourism destination), where you’ll be dropped at the Royal Sands jetty. You’ll then board a resort speedboat (shared with other guests checking in that day) which will complete the crossing to Koh Rong in around 45 minutes. On arrival at the resort you have the rest of the day free to kick back and settle in to paradise.
Days 9-10 Koh Rong: At leisure on Koh Rong
These days are at leisure to relax, enjoy the stunning beach, let the resort indulge you. Take in the facilities – including a pool, spa, gym, beach bar, and restaurant – or choose from an array of enticing activities, such as snorkeling and diving, kayaking, island-hopping tours, or treks and mountain bike tours of the island’s jungle interior.
Day 11 Koh Rong: Departure day
Your epic tour of Cambodia comes to an end today. At the appropriate time you’ll join a shared resort speedboat back to the mainland, then be transferred on to Sihanoukville Airport in a private car. Total transfer time will be just over an hour. If you’d like to explore more of Southeast Asia, chat with our travel experts who can help plan the ideal bespoke addition to your itinerary.
What's not Included
- As we have clients from all over the world. Our itineraries do not include flights. If you would like us to include flights in your trip, we are happy to do so. Please speak to your travel specialist at the planning stage to include them.
- Gratuities for local guides
- We strongly advise all guests to purchase comprehensive travel insurance
- Visas if required
Shinta Mani Angkor, Siem Reap
Raffles Le Royal, Phnom Penh
Royal Sands Hotel, Koh Rong
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