Arrival in Phnom Penh, meeting on arrival at Pochentong International airport, direct transfer to the hotel, after refreshment: sightseeing in Phnom Penh: visit Wat Ounalom, Wat Phnom, Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, Central Market (Psah Thmay)
Overnight in Phnom Penh
WAT OUNALOM: is the headquarters of the Cambodian Buddhist patriarchate. It was founded in 1443 and comprises 44 structures. The head of the country's Buddhist hierarchy lives here, along with an increasing number of monks.
WAT PHNOM: set on top of a 27m-high tree-covered knoll. According to the legend, the first pagoda on this site was erected in 1373 to house four statues of Buddha deposited here by the waters of the Mekong River and discovered by a woman named Penh.
ROYAL PALACE and SILVER PAGODA stands on the site of the former citadel, Banteay Kev (built in 1813), fronts Samdech Sothearos Boulevard. Since King Sihanouk's return to Cambodia, visitors are only allowed to visit the palace's Silver pagoda and its surrounding compound. The silver pagoda is often called the Pagoda of the Emerald Buddha or Wat Preah Kaeo after the statue housed there. King Norodom originally built the wooden temple in 1892 and inside; its floor is comprised of more than 5000 silver blocks.
CENTRAL MARKET (PSAR THMEI): a covered market distinguished by its central dome (built in 1937). It is filled with shops selling jewelry and souvenirs. It is a great place for browsing.
Day 2 Phnom Penh - Siem Reap
After breakfast at the hotel, excursion to the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Museum
Afternoon transfer to airport for flight to Siem Reap
Sightseeing in Siem Reap: visit Angkor Thom, Bayon, Baphuon, Phimeanakas, Former Royal Palace, Terrace of Elephants and Visit Phnom Bakheng for sunset over Angkor
Overnight in Siem Reap
Sightseeing in Phnom Penh:
TOUL SLENG MUSEUM (MUSEUM OF GENOCIDE): in 1975 Toul Svay Prey High School was taken over by Pol Pot's security forces and turned into a prison known as Security Prison 21 (S-21). It soon became the largest center of detention and torture in the country.
KILLING FIELDS OF CHOEUNG EK: between 1975 and 1978 about 17,000 men, women, children and infants who had been detained and tortured at S-21 were transported to the extermination camp of Choeung Ek.
Sightseeing in Siem Reap:
ANGKOR THOM: a fortified Royal City (10 square kilometers) built by King Jayavarman VII, who ruled from 1181 to 1201. The city has five monumental gates and is encircled by a moat 100 meters wide. In the center of the walled city are the city’s most important monuments including Bayon, Baphuon, the Terrace of Elephants, the Terrace of the Leper King and Phimeanakas with Royal Enclosure.
BAYON: Jayavarman VII's temple mountain that stands at the center of Angkor Thom. It is one of the most popular of Angkor's monuments and a place of narrow corridors, steep flights of stairs and an amazing collection of towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces.
BAPHUON: the pyramid shape represents the mythical Mount Meru and marks the center of the city that was here before Angkor Thom.
PHIMEANAKAS: near the center of what was once the royal palace within Angkor Thom. Phimeanakas means ‘Celestial Palace’, though today there is not much left to indicate its former splendour.
FORMER ROYAL PALACE: nothing remains today accept two pools that were used by royalty for washing.
TERRACE OF ELEPHANTS: this terrace was used for viewing public ceremonies and was a base for the King’s grand audience hall. The famous lines of elephants are at either end of the retaining walls.
TERRACE OF THE LEPER KING: North of the Terrace of Elephants is a platform named ‘Terrace of the Leper King’. On the platform is a nude statue – one of Angkor’s mysteries.
PHNOM BAKHENG: hilltop temple ruins, which provide one of the best views of Angkor Wat, especially at sunset.
Day 3 Siem Reap
After breakfast at the hotel, continue sightseeing in Angkor complex: visit Banteay Srei Temple, Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm.
Afternoon boat trip on the Tonle Sap Lake, watch life go by on the banks of the river as you enjoy exploring the lake’s many fishing villages. Visit Phnom Krom,
Chong Kneas, and local market before going back to hotel
Overnight in Siem Reap
BANTEAY SREI: built in the late 10th century, it is a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva. The temple is square with entrances on the east and west. Of main interest are the three central towers, which are decorated with male and female divinities and beautiful filigree relief work.
ANGKOR WAT: a temple dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu by King Suryavarman II, who reigned between 1131 and 1150. It was constructed over a period of 30 years and is world famous for its beauty and splendor. Angkor Wat features the longest continuous bas-relief in the world, which runs along the outer gallery walls and narrates stories from Hindu mythology. In 1992 the UNESCO declared the monument and the whole city of Angkor a World Heritage Site.
TA PROHM: one of the most popular attractions of Angkor as much of the jungle has not been cleared and it looks very much as most of the Angkor monuments would have appeared when European explorers first stumbled across them.
TONLE SAP LAKE: Journey up the Tonle Sap River, which links the Tonle Sap Lake to the Mekong River, and onto the Tonle Sap Lake.
TONLE SAP (Great Lake): this lake takes up much of the center of Cambodia and changes in size depending on the season. During the dry season in February it shrinks to a tenth of its original size and is then one of the richest fishing grounds in the world. The boat trip explores the lake’s fishing villages.
PHNOM KROM: a hill south of Siem Reap with spectacular views over the lake and a temple dating from the 10th century. The three towers on it are dedicated to Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma.
CHONG KNEAS: a floating village on the lake where both Khmer and Vietnamese live.
LOCAL MARKET: The friendly locals make visiting a local market an interesting excursion.
Day 4 Siem Reap
After breakfast at the hotel, free time at leisure or shopping before transfer to the airport for departure
End of Services **Note: Itinerary subject to change due to flight schedules.