Take your family on a journey of discovery and adventure. Interact with the locals, discovering their culture and learning how they live day to day. Help with the cooking and go on a treasure hunt, watch martial arts and traditional dancing. Cambodia is an enchanting country waiting to be discovered.
Depart the UK with international economy flight to Phnom Penh, Cambodia. We can also arrange departures from your local airport at no extra cost.
Upon your arrival in Phnom Penh, your guide will welcome you at the airport and then transfer to your hotel for check in. The remainder of day is free at your leisure.
Today you will take a city tour of Phnom Penh, start at with a visit at the Royal Palace built in 1866 by King Norodom and comprising different structures grouped together in one enclosure. These house a remarkable collection of Khmer art. Here you’ll find the Silver Pagoda whose key works include a golden Buddha encrusted with 9584 diamonds and weighing 90kgs, and a Buddha featuring emeralds and Baccarat crystal dating from the 17th century.
After lunch break (own expense), continue to visit Wat Phnom, an ancient pagoda standing atop a hill, built by a wealthy Khmer woman named Penh in 1372 to house the sacred relics. After that you can learn about the darkest period of Cambodia’s history by visiting the genocide museum of Tuol Sleng, an old secondary school which was transformed into a detention centre under the Khmer Rouge. The prison gates carry the name <<S21>>. Thousands of prisoners were detained, tortured and killed here. Returning to Phnom Penh we visit a local art school for learning Khmer martial art and traditional dance.
In the morning, you embark for a 1.5 hour cruise on a local wooden boat to reach the small island of Koh Dach. Situated on the Mekong and sufficiently isolated from the capital Phnom Penh, you discover the real Cambodia and especially the art of silk weaving by hand; Koh Dach is renowned throughout the country for the quality of its silk. What better than a bike to explore this island. Upon arrival at Koh Dach, you start cycling through small roads to meet the weavers but also its people and its lush countryside. All along the trail you will prompted by the clatter of loom. Our lunch today will be prepared by a Khmer family. Afterwards the ride continues on the other side of the island. In the afternoon, you take the boat back to Phnom Penh. Round off your day with a walk around the Russian market built in 1937 and of a splendid colonial architectural style.
After breakfast we depart for Kompong Chhnang – you’ll see magnificent scenery along the way of rice fields with large sugar palms and many traditional wooden stilt houses. After about two hours, you’ll arrive in Kompong Chhnang, a provincial town where you can walk through traditional potting villages and see local artisans at work making braziers for domestic cooking along with many other utensils and decorative pieces for the home. An hour later back on the road, we’ll stop at Kompong Luong village where a traditional boat will motor around the lake allowing you to view community life of a real floating village and all its unique characteristics. After lunch at the local restaurant we arrive at Battambang at the end of the day and check into our hotel.
Discover the real Cambodia as a responsible traveller who respects the environment. The Battambang cycling tour is a unique way, off the beaten track to experience the local way of life of the villagers in the hinterland of Cambodia. Along the path, following a small stream you get the chance to see typical houses unchanged for generations, rice paddies, local workshops and much more. Take part in the daily activities such as the preparation of sticky rice, the custom knife making, the preparation of the traditional fish paste
Leave by road from Battambang heading for Siem Reap through scenic Cambodian countryside featuring rice fields and traditional wooden houses. The road travels through Sisophon in the province of Banteay Meanchey, 68 km from Battambang. From here, and after about 100 km, arrive in Angkor. (Note: the road is not always in good condition.) On the road you’ll observe stone sculptors and silk weavers. At a silk farm about 15 km from Siem Reap, you will be able to see all the steps of traditional silk production, from raising the worms to making the silk and colouring it. Arrive at 13.00 at Siem Reap for lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon visit Angkor National Museum which is a profound cultural landmark in Siem Reap.
The funniest way to discover the wonderful temples of Angkor and also the Cambodian countryside. Your journey will take you to on a discovery of the ancient Khmer temples through deep jungles, green rice fields and some of the most astonishing ruins you ever have seen. Thanks to the tuk-tuk and the treasure hunter’s book, the teams will have to find the clues hidden in different places in the Angkor area temples. Games or questions or contact will the local people will be the only way to find the clues. You will have to find the secret treasure of Angkor. In some places, the guide will wait the teams for the visit. Divided in 02 small groups, everybody will have a different track and they will compete to each other. The winner will be the one who find the treasure! To celebrate the winner and also to congratulate the other team, awards will be presented…..for lunch break: it will be prepared at a remote, untouched temple. After a delicious lunch, relax under the trees before starting your afternoon activities. The evening and dinner is free at leisure.
We will spend more time to visit remote temples of Angkor Park: Temple of Bang Mealea in the jungle. The temple was built during the reign of Suryavarman II, in the middle of the twelfth century. It gives the visitor the impression of being the first explorer of the temple. Far from the bustle of Angkor Wat, Beng Mealea lends itself particularly to the reverie and meditation, inhabited by celestial dancers (Apsaras), this symbiotic relationship between vegetable and mineral is most surprising. The roots of the trees that have gently wrapped this temple seem to marry forms.
In the afternoon, leave for Banteay Srei where one of the most impressive jewels of Khmer art exists. Erected in the 10th century, this small pink sandstone temple is known as the Citadel of Women. It houses some remarkably well conserved sculptured lintels and was made famous by Andre Malraux in the early 20th century when, in 1923, he returned the Apsara heads that he had previously removed. Back to the hotel for a free evening.
In the morning, leave for Kompong Khleang, a village 40 km from Siem Reap and bypassed by mass tourism as yet. All the houses are on stilts offering an exceptional natural environment offering breathtaking views of floodplains, rice fields and water views as far as the eye can see. Walk through the village meeting the friendly locals and their children. Afterwards, travel by boat over the canals to a large lake where Vietnamese people live when they are displaced from their homes because of the seasons. Return to Siem Reap town for a free afternoon.
Relax by hotel’s pool or spend more time to explore the Old Market of Siem Reap as you wish. See your guide again for a transfer to airport for departure flight.
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We used Emperor for a group trip to India. they were fantastic with their choice of hotels (some truly incredible) their tour guide, the whole programme and their choice of airlines for the trip. We made things quite tough for them with different members of the group travelling for different periods and arriving in and out of different airports. We specifically had some issues with one of the airlines on the return leg of our trip, through no fault of Emperor, but they did their utmost to put things right and made the journey home as pleasant as possible by meeting the cost of a lounge at the airport for us do to the shortcomings of one of the airlines checking in procedures. The pre holiday package of information was very comprehensive and we were presented with very durable luggage tags. We would have no hesitation in recommending Richard and his team in tailoring a package for a trip to India. We had an amazing culturally stimulating trip and will certainly go back to India in the future.