Join us for a short cruise along the Mekong River from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. Once known as the Khmer Empire, bordering Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, Cambodia is located in the south of Indochina. With its intriguing history, hidden temples and alluring scenery, travellers who venture here will find plenty of excuses not to leave.
*This cruise package is also available from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh.
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 arrival we will be met and transferred to the hotel for check-in and tour briefing. If time permits, we’ll take an orientation walk. Tonight, a welcome dinner awaits us.
After breakfast we set out to explore the capital city of Cambodia, a friendly riverside city with loads of Khmer charm and faded French-colonial style. We start with the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum and the Cheung Ek Killing Fields where thousands of civilians were killed and buried in mass graves. Continue with the Central Market to get rid of sombre feelings. Housed in a distinctive domed Art Deco building, the market is a labyrinth of stalls selling everything from CD’s and DVD’s to silks, crafts, jewellery and more. Afternoon, we’ll walk throughout the serene Royal Palace with its spectacular Silver Pagoda. Delve deeper into Khmer history at the National Museum. Spot monkeys, and perhaps have your fortune told at the hilltop temple Wat Phnom. As the sun goes down, we mosey along Sisowath Quay and take the opportunity to see stalls selling fried cockroaches, spiders, crickets or grasshoppers or other culinary delights.
We check out by 11:00 and drive to Phnom Penh Port to board the cruise ship. Enjoy a magnificent lunch as the ship cruises to Koh Chen, a small village of silversmiths and copper-smiths. They produce ornamental items, including delicately engraved tropical fruits which can be seen at traditional ceremonies or at weddings. We will be able to catch a glimpse of the distant hills of Cambodia’s ancient capital – Oudong – and its royal stupas when we are a few kilometres away from the ferry. After Koh Chen, we sail towards Kampong Tralach where we drop anchor for the night.
Enjoy a hearty breakfast as we depart for Kampong Tralach to visit its wonderful Vihara. To reach this magnificent edifice, we cross Kampong Tralach Krom village along a small road perpendicular to the river, walk along some gorgeous stretches of emerald rice paddy as we leave the river behind. Enjoy lunch while the ship heads to Kampong Chhnang, some 56 miles from Phnom Penh. One of the largest fishing ports on the Tonle Sap, Kampong Chhnang is famous for fish farming and pottery ware. And not to be overlooked are the products of the Thnot tree – a mellow tasting, caramel-coloured sugar sold in large cakes and palm wine – that grows abundantly in the area. We cruise gently towards the Tonle Sap Lake and tonight we will anchor at the entrance of this grand lake.
Breakfast is served as we cruise to Siem Reap, home to the magnificent Angkor Wat. Arriving in Chok Nu, we’ll visit local attractions such as a school, an ice factory, churches, pagodas, a pigsty, repair shops and a police station – all on the waters. Return to the ship and pack our bags and savour a delectable lunch as the ship cruises past the Tonle Sap. We disembark at Phnom Krom pier, 5 miles from Siem Reap, and will be picked up by our private guide and transferred to the hotel. Enjoy free time till our guide picks us up and takes us to Phare Circus by Tuk Tuk for the evening show. Nobody can help crying “WOW” out!
Enjoy breakfast at hotel before a tour of the area’s ancient temples. Visit the 12th-century sites of Angkor Thom and take in the sights of the South Gate with its massive statues, the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, Elephant Terrace, and Bayon. Continue on to the jungle-clad Ta Prohm, one of the region’s most incredible sights. Hop on a gondola at Angkor Thom and travel from the south gate to the west gate. This evening, live up to the legendary Apsara nights at the dinner with live entertainment.
After breakfast, we leave for Banteay Srei to admire the pink sandstone temple praised as the jewel in the crown of Angkor temples. Travel further south to visit the two very beautiful temples – Thommanon and Chau Say Thevoda – built during the reign of Suryavarman II in the 12th century. They stand out because of their very beautiful sculptured images honouring Shiva and Vishnu. Afternoon, head off to the marvellous temple of Angkor Wat, a world heritage site featuring the most extraordinary towers and bas-reliefs. Angkor Wat is one of the most astonishing monuments ever conceived by mankind, and was erected in the 12th century in honour of Vishnu. Round off the day with a climb to the top of Bakheng Hill for a spectacular sunset view over the ancient city.
Free before transfer to the airport for departure flight.
Phnom Penh – 5*
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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.