CMB – T 05: CAMBODIA ARTS AND CRAFTS, 6 days (L)
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 CENTRAL MARKET, SAMDECH SOTHEAROS BLVD the area that is know for its rattan workshop and enjoy Sunset cruise on the Mekong River.
Free time for shopping and leisure
Overnight in Phnom Penh
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.
SAMDECH SOTHEAROS BLVD: visit an area that is known for its rattan workshops including those that produce rattan furniture for domestic consumption and export.
Sunset cruise on the Mekong / Tonle Sap River Relax and enjoy the sunset over the river.
Day 2 Phnom Penh
After breakfast at the hotel, excursion on the Mekong River and to local market. Today you will have a chance to observe life along the river and visit Koh Dach: the small island that well known for production of fine silk. Afternoon, visit Tuol Tom Pong (RUSSIAN) Market, which luxury foodstuffs and selection of local crafts, antiques, and furniture. Visit Wat Phnom, the first pagoda in Phnom Penh.
Overnight in Phnom Penh
KOH DACH: travel by boat to an island that is known for its production of fine silk. Travelers will also stop at local villages along the way to observe life along the "mother of all waters", the Mekong River.
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.
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.
Day 3 Phnom Penh - Siem Reap
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to 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, excursion to Arts & Crafts in/around Siem Reap town
Siem Reap and surrounding communities are rich in diversity and culture. This half-day tour will introduce the visitor to the traditional Khmer skills of carving, basket weaving, and silk production. Visit Puok Silk Farm, Les Artisans D’ Angkor craft shop attached to and EU-sponsored school teaching local apprentices traditional wood and stone carving. Basket Weaving Village, and enjoy significant view of Angkor over Phnom Bakheng.
Overnight in Siem Reap
PUOK SILK FARM: located in the countryside 16 kilometers from Siem Reap town. Visitors are shown the different steps in silk production: from mulberry tree planting to silk weaving, from cultivation of mulberry bushes, to the silk worms, to cocoons, to spinning, to weaving, to finished products which are on sale.
LES ARTISANS D ANGKOR: craft shop attached to a EU-sponsored school teaching local apprentices traditional wood and stone carving. Les Artisans also sell wood and stone carvings produced by the local craftsmen.
BASKET WEAVING VILLAGE: visit a local village where the indigenous local craft is basket weaving. Basket of various styles and sizes come from the village, which is located just a short 8 kilometers from Siem Reap town.
PHNOM BAKHENG: hilltop ruins that provide one of the best views of Angkor Wat, especially at sunset. The descent takes about 15 minutes.
Day 4 Siem Reap
After breakfast at the hotel, discover 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. Phimeanakas, and Ta Prohm
Overnight in Siem Reap
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.
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. PHIMEANAKAS
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.
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.
Day 5 Siem Reap - Phnom Penh
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport for flight from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, upon arrival in Phnom Penh, excursion in/around Phnom Penh to see traditional arts, crafts, and the traditional dance school. Visit Khmer Apsara Dance the school of fine arts, Prayuvong Buddha Factory, National Museum, Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda.
Overnight in Phnom Penh
KHMER APSARA DANCE: visit the School of Fine Arts to see young apprentice Apsara dancers train.
PRAYUVONG BUDDHA FACTORY: observe the restoration of Buddha statuary and ritual objects destroyed by the Khmer Rouge and the manufacture of objects for contemporary practitioners of Buddhism.
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.
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.
Day 6 Phnom Penh
After breakfast at the hotel, free time at leisure or shopping until transfer to the airport for departure.
End of Services **Note: Itinerary subject to change due to flight schedules.