Day 1 Phnom Penh
Arrival in Phnom Penh, meet at the airport and transfer for sightseeing in Phnom Penh - Cambodia’s capital sits at the confluence of the Mekong, Bassac and Tonle Sap rivers. Considered the loveliest of the French-built cities of Indochina, it was founded as a small monastery in 1372 by a rich Khmer woman called Penh, after she found four Buddha statues in a tree trunk on the banks of the Mekong. She set up the monastery on a nearby hill – or ‘phnom’ in Cambodian. Visit Wat Phnom, Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda, National Museum, and Central Market.
Free time for shopping and leisure
Overnight in Phnom Penh
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.
NATIONAL MUSEUM: designed by a French archeologist and painter, George Groslier, in Khmer style in 1920. The most significant displays of sculpture include the eight-armed statue of Vishnu for the 6th or 7th century, the statue of Shiva and the sublime statue of Jayavaraman VII seated. The museum also contains displays of the pottery and bronzes dating from the pre-Angkorian periods of Funan and Chenla, the Indravarman, the classical Angkorian, as well as more recent work. There is a permanent collection of the post-Angkorian Buddhas, many of which were rescued from Angkor Wat when the civil war erupted.
CENTRAL MARKET (PSAR THMEI): a covered market distinguished by its central dome (built in 1937). It is filled with shops selling jewelry, fabrics, and all kinds of souvenirs. A great place for browsing.
Day 2 Phnom Penh - Siem Reap
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport for early flight from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap. Arrival Siem Reap, greeting by our local guide and transfer to the hotel. After check in, sightseeing in Angkor complex: visit Angkor Wat the world famous for its beauty and splendor. The UNESCO declared this monument and the whole city of Angkor a World Heritage Site. Including Angkor Thom, a fortified Royal City. In the center of the walled city are the city’s most important monuments including Baphuon, Bayon, one of the most popular of Angkor’s monuments and an amazing collection of towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces.
Overnight in Siem Reap
ANGKOR WAT: the 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 illustrates some of the most beautiful examples of Khmer and Hindu art. 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 World Heritage Committee declared the monument, and the whole city of Angkor, a World Heritage Site.
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 Baphuon, Bayon and the Terrace of Elephants.
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 is a place of narrow corridors, steep flights of stairs and an amazing collection of towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces.
Day 3 Siem Reap
After breakfast at the hotel, discover Angkor: visit Banteay Srei, a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, which are decorated with male and female divinities and beautiful filigree relief work. Visit Banteay Samre and take boat trip explores Tonle Sap, the lake’s fishing villages. Takeo, Ta Prohm, Sras Srang, Pre Rup, Ta Som, Eastern Mebon.
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.
BANTEAY SAMRE: built in the middle of the 12th century under Suryavarman II, and dedicated to the goddess Vishnu.
TA KEO: built by Jayavarman V (ruled 968 to 1001), it was the first Angkorian monument built entirely of sandstone and was dedicated to Shiva. The summit of the central tower is 50 meters high and is surrounded by four lower towers.
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.
SRAS SRANG: a basin east of Banteay Kdei measuring 800 by 400 meters with a tiny island in the middle where only the stone base remains of what was once a wooden temple.
PRE RUP: built by Rajendravarman II (ruled 944 to 968), it consists of a pyramid shaped temple with the upper-most of the three tiers carrying five square shrines arranged as a quincunx. The name means ‘turning the body’ and refers to the traditional method of cremation.
TA SOM: built in the late 12th century by Jayavarman VII for his teacher ‘Som’. Ta Som means ‘the old Som’.
EASTERN MEBON: temple erected by Rajendravarman (ruled from 944 to 968), it is located on an islet in the center of the Eastern Baray. The base of the temple is guarded at its corners by stone figures of harnessed elephants.
Day 4 Siem Reap - Phnom Penh
After breakfast at the hotel, continue sight seeing in Angkor: visit Chau Say Tevoda, it was dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu, Thommanon, Banteay Kdei, Neak Pean, Prasat Kravan, before transfer to Siem Reap airport for flight to Phnom Penh. Arrival Phnom Penh, transfer for sightseeing in Phnom Penh: visit Wat Ounalom, a very important Wat comprising 44 structures facing the Tonle Sap Lake and built in 1443 to house a hair of the Buddha. Tuol Sleng Museum (Museum of Genocide), and free time to enjoy shopping in Russian Market
Overnight in Phnom Penh
Sightseeing in Siem Reap:
CHAU SAY TEVODA: built during the second quarter of the 12th century on the east side of Angkor Wat, it was dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu.
THOMMANON: a temple, which mirrors Chau Say Tevoda (just to the north), as it was built around the same time and has a similar plan. It is also dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu.
BANTEAY KDEI: sprawling, largely unrestored, monastic complex in much the same style as Ta Prohm. Like many of Jaravarman VII's works, it is a tightly packed architectural muddle. Probably originally constructed over the site of an earlier temple. It functioned as a Buddhist monastery. A restoration project is underway on many of the towers and corridors.
NEAK PEAN: built by King Jayavarman VII (ruled 1181 to 1201), it is a Buddhist temple consisting of a square pool with four smaller square pools arranged on each axis. In the center of the large central pool is a circular island encircled by two nagas with intertwined tails.
PRASAT KRAVAN: the five brick towers were built for Hindu worship in 921 and are notable for the bas-reliefs cut into the bricks on the interior walls.
Sightseeing 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.
TUOL 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.
TUOL TOM PONG MARKET (RUSSIAN MARKET): is the best place in town for souvenir and clothes shopping. It has a large range of real and fake antiquities, including miniature Buddhas, wood curving, betel nut boxes, silk, silver jewelry, jewelry cases, musical instruments and inexpensive DVDs, CDs and computer program.
Day 5 Phnom Penh
After breakfast at the hotel, excursion to the Killing Fields, afternoon transfer to the airport for departure
THE 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.
End of Services **Note: Itinerary subject to change due to flight schedules.