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Cambodia – Kingdom of Wonder - 4 Days

Contemporary Cambodia is the successor state to the mighty Khmer empire, which, during the Angkorian period, ruled much of what is now Laos, Thailand and Vietnam. The traveller’s first glimpse of Angkor Wat, the ultimate expression of Khmer genius. Just as Angkor is more than its wat, so too is Cambodia more than its temples. The chaotic yet charismatic capital of Phnom Penh is a hub of political intrigue, economic vitality and intellectual debate.

Places to visit

Siem Reap
Siem Reap (literally “Siam Defeated”) is undoubtedly Cambodia’s fastest growing city and serves as a small charming gateway town to the world famous destination of the Angkor temples. Thanks to those Cambodia attractions, Siem Reap has transformed itself into a major tourist hub. It is laid-back and a pleasant place to stay while touring the temples. Siem Reap offers a wide range of hotels, ranging from several 5-star hotels to hundreds of budget guesthouses while a large selection of restaurants offer many kinds of food.

Preah Vihear

Preah Vihear is a Khmer temple situated atop a 525 meter (1,722 ft) cliff in the Dângrêk Mountains, on the border between Cambodia and Thailand. It has the most spectacular setting of all the Khmer temples. Most of the temple was constructed in the 11th and 12th century during the reigns of the Khmer kings Suryavarman I and Suryavarman II. It was dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Preah Vihear is the subject of a long-running territorial dispute between Thailand and Cambodia, and several soldiers were killed in clashes in 2009.

Sihanoukville

Sihanoukville, also known as Kampong Som, is a port city and beach resort on the Gulf of Thailand. The big attraction here are the white-sand beaches and several undeveloped tropical islands. Sihanoukville is a good place to relax and unwind, though be prepared to battle the crows during the high season or a holiday weekend.

Tonle Sap
Tonlé Sap is the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia and is of major importance to Cambodia. The lake expands and shrinks dramatically with the seasons. From November to May, Cambodia’s dry season, the Tonlé Sap drains into the Mekong River at Phnom Penh. However, when the year’s heavy rains begin in June, the flow of the Tonlé Sap changes directions and an enormous lake forms. Tonlé Sap is home to many ethnic Vietnamese and numerous Cham communities, living in floating villages around the lake.

Silver Pagoda

Located within the Royal Palace compound in Phnom Penh, the Silver Pagoda houses many national treasures such as gold and jeweled Buddha statues. Most notable is a small 17th century baccarat crystal Buddha (the Emerald Buddha of Cambodia) and a life-sized gold Maitreya Buddha decorated with 9584 diamonds. The internal wall of the Silver Pagoda courtyard is decorated with a richly colored and detailed mural of the Ramayana myth, painted in 1903–04 by 40 Khmer artists.

Bokor Hill Station

Bokor Hill Station near Kampot was built by the French in the 1920s to be used as a retreat from the heat of Phnom Penh. It has since been abandoned twice, first in the 1940s when the Japanese invaded Cambodia and again in the 1970s, when the Khmer Rouge engulfed the country. Today, Bokor Hill Station and its abandoned buildings have an eerie, ghost-town feel. As of October 2008, the road to Bokor is officially closed due to ongoing reconstruction. Independent access seems to be impossible. though there are hiking tours arranged by local travel agents.

Kratie
Kratie is a small town located on the banks of the Mekong River and is dominated by a central marketplace surrounded by old, French colonial buildings. There’s no large scale tourism, but plenty of backpackers pour through here during the peak season. It is the place in Cambodia to see the rare Irrawaddy dolphins, which live in the Mekong River in ever-diminishing numbers. It is estimated that there are between 66 and 86 dolphins left in the upper Cambodian Mekong area.

Koh Ker
Koh Ker was the capital of the Khmer empire for a very brief period from the year 928 to 944 AD. In this short time some very spectacular buildings and immense sculptures were constructed. A giant Garuda (mythical half-man, half-bird creature), carved into the stone blocks, still guard the very top, although its partially covered now. Left to the jungle for nearly a millennium, Koh Ker was one of Cambodia’s most remote and inaccessible temple destinations. This has now changed thanks to recent de-mining and the opening of a new toll road.

Banteay Srei
Although officially part of the Angkor complex, Banteay Srei lies 25 km (15 miles) north-east of the main group of temples, enough to list it as a separate Cambodia attraction here. It is built largely of red sandstone, a medium that lends itself to the elaborate decorative wall carvings which are still clearly visible today. Banteay Srei is the only major temple at Angkor not built for a king, instead it was constructed by one of king Rajendravarman’s counselors, Yajnyavahara.

Angkor
The greatest attraction in Cambodia and one of the most spectacular ancient sites on earth, Angkor is a vast temple complex featuring the remains of several capitals of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th to the 15th century AD. These include the famous Angkor Wat temple, the world’s largest single religious monument, the Bayon temple (at Angkor Thom) with its multitude of massive stone faces and Ta Prohm, a Buddhist temple ruin entwined with towering trees.

Day 1
Arrival in Siem Reap

Arrive at the Siem Reap International Airport in the early morning. Meet your guide and driver and transfer to your hotel. Siem Reap was the ancient capital city of the Khmer Empire and it is also the place where you can explore hundreds of mountainous temples.

In the afternoon, Explore the most famous Angkor Wat. Known as the Seventh Wonder of the world, this temple was built by King Suryavarman II, in the early 12th century. It is a replica of the universe in stones and represents an early model of the cosmic world. The central tower rises from the center of the monument, symbolizing the mythical Mount Meru which is situated at the center of the universe. Because it faces to the west, this temple was the funerary temple for King Suryavarman II. Inside the temple the walls are covered by carvings and bas-reliefs depicting Hindu mythology and the wars King Suryavarman II made during his reign. In addition, Angkor Wat is well-known for the 2,000 Apsara dancers decorating the temple.

View the sunset at Phnom Ba Kheng before returning to the hotel for an overnight stay in Siem Reap

Day 2
Siem Reap

Start the day with a visit to Angkor Thom. It the last capital of the Khmer Empire, and was a fortified city enclosing residences of priests, officials of the palace and military as well as buildings for administering the kingdom. It was built from the end of the 12th century to the beginning of the 13th century by the famous King Jayavarman VII. The visit to this Great City of Angkor Thom starts from one of the five gateways – the South Gate – where you can see a row of gods on the left and a row of demons on the right.

Visit the Bayon Temple. It is one of the more popular temples in the Angkor complex, and is located in the center of the city. Over 200 large faces are carved on the 54 towers which, at that time, represented the 54 provinces of the kingdom.

Visit the Terrace of the Elephants and Leper King. Stop for lunch (not included)

Explore some temples on the Small Circuit, namely: Ta Prohm, Banteay Kdei, Srah Srang, Chau Say Tevoda and Thommanon, Ta Keo Temple. Return to the hotel for an overnight stay in Siem Reap

Day 3
Siem Reap

Start the day with a visit to Banteay Srei, also known as the Citadel of Women, it is made of hard pink sandstone and is one of the smallest temples, but it is the most charming temple built by King Rajendravarman and King Jayavarman V in the second half of the 10th century. This Brahmin temple is decorated with excellent carvings and bas relief of Khmer architecture. That is why it is a precious gem and a jewel in Khmer art.

Visit Banteay Samre, it was built in the middle of the 12th century by King Soryavarman II, and is dedicated to Vishnu Brahmanism. Stop for lunch (not included)

Visit the temples on the Grand Circuit, namely: Preah Khan,Neak Pean, Pre Rup Temple, Ta Som. View the sunset at Eastern Mebon before returning to the hotel for an overnight stay in Siem Reap.

Day 4
Siem Reap

Visit Chong Kneas (by car and boat) This is a Floating Village on the Tonle Sap Lake. There is much to learn about life on the lake.

Tonle Sap is South-East Asia’s largest freshwater lake with its size varying greatly depending on the season. During the dry season, it is roughly 2,500 square kilometers, but it swells to about four times its size during the wet season – 10,000 square kilometers! There are floating houses, floating farms and even a floating hospital.

In the afternoon, transfer to the Siem Reap International Airport for your departure flight.

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Price From USD 470 USD $ 399/person
Group Discount Available
Group Discount Price
Cost Per Adult Traveler:
$ 399 USD
399
Total $ 399 USD

Trip Facts

  • 1 - 10
  • plane, bus, boat
  • $
  • ☆☆☆
  • breakfast
  • all year long

Customer Reviews

Gabriel Max
Gabriel Max
12:57 25 Aug 19
Shishu tours were fantastic, nothing was a problem for them as they go out of their way to make sure your trip is fantastic! From guides to porters they do a wonderful job, thanks for some amazing memories.read more
orla santiago
orla santiago
12:44 25 Aug 19
I visited Nepal in early 2015 for the Shishu Tours' Everest Base Camp trek. It was well organised, with a thorough briefing from Sonu before we started. The guides, led by Hari, were knowledgeable, friendly and skilled. They ensured everyone in the group was save and well looked after, as well as being informative, conveying a true sense of love and awe for the environment. The accommodation in Thamel was good and out on the trek it was as good a standard as could be expected. This was my second trip to the Everest region and I if I get the opportunity to go again, I would certainly consult with Sonu and her Shishu Tours team.read more
chilou zhuu
chilou zhuu
12:42 25 Aug 19
I hiked with a group of 11 people with the goal of Everest Base Camp. When I got to Namchee Bazaar, I had a lot of diarrhea and fatigue. I discussed with my head guide that I did not feel I had the stamina to continue to higher elevations. The head guide arranged for a porter to accompany me back to Lukla over the next 2 days. All arrangements for accommadations and flight back to Kathmandu were arranged by Shishu Tours. The rest of the group successfully went to Everest Base Camp. I am very grateful for the excellent adaptability of the head guide Hari to help my special situation. And I appreciated the help of my porter Krisha on the trip back down to Lukla. Shishu Tours did a great job with all the travel arrangements.read more
felix yeap
felix yeap
12:34 25 Aug 19
This was a magic experience and the team at Shishu tours where exactly what we needed. They looked after us, where professional and most I felt safe in their hands. Would recommend them to anyone wishing to trek in the Everest especially if it is your first time trekking and first time in Nepal.read more
oliver rim
oliver rim
12:32 25 Aug 19
I can't recommend Shishu Tours enough. Throughout the trip, it really did feel like MY trip. Any extra/ side trips I wanted to make, any extra days I wanted - my guides were more than happy and quick to accommodate.read more
babu kaji maharjan
babu kaji maharjan
12:26 25 Aug 19
I have just returned from what I can only describe as a once in a lifetime opportunity to trek to Everest Base Camp. Thank you so much to Sonu who were my points of contact for the trek. When my flight got cancelled due to poor weather , Santosh did everything he could to get me to Lukla so I would not miss the trek and stayed at the airport with me until a helicopter was arranged. Sonu met me in Lukla and was a great porter and guide for the entire duration. He helped me get through my altitude anxiety and we made it to base camp on the most beautiful day ever. Santosh kept in contact with me the whole way and was very helpful advising me to drink lots of water, stay hydrated and not to sleep during the day ( all of which are very useful tips for the trek).Trusted his advice 100 percent especially since he has summited Everest. Thank you so much...Would love to do Annapurna in future perhaps !read more
Gautam sharma
Gautam sharma
12:23 25 Aug 19
It was my first time to Nepal, first time trekking, and a friend of mine recommended Shishu to me as she already went with them before so I did EBC trekking with them. From the minute they picked me up from the airport, I knew everything is gonna be alright. Guys were so cheerful and paid a lot attention to my needs. I felt like traveling with friends, we talked a lot, shared a lot, with the great view of Himalayas and delicious meals. This has been one of my best trip and not the last. Go with them and you won't regret!read more
shrisha gurung
shrisha gurung
12:17 25 Aug 19
We went to EB trek with Shishu Tours last November, it’s kind of surreal. In the middle of nowhere and then you come across this amphitheater of a town with coffee shops and bakeries. Most travel through it going north but it worth ha gong out for a couple of days. Go to the art shop and buy something special for yourself. So genuine and humbleread more
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