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Magnificent Cambodia

Magnificent Cambodia
Trip length:8 days
Trip style:Cambodia Comfort Tours
Trip themes:Heritages, Local life & Culture
Physical rating:*****
Start / End cities:Phnompenh / Siam Reap
Price from:USD $516
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Day 01: Phnom Penh Arrival - City tour
 
 
 
independence monument phnom penh
Welcome to Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia. Met and greeted by our guide at the airport and take a short transfer to hotel for check-in.
After a break, this afternoon we will have a tour to some of Phnom Penh featured sights including the Royal Palace complex and the Tuol Sleng Prison Museum.
Built in the 1860s under the reign of King Norodom, the Royal Palace contains the Royal Residence, the Throne Hall, the Silver Pagoda, and other buildings.
Of those special architectures, the Silver Pagoda (Wat Preah Keo Morokat) is one of the city's most visited sites and has its name from more than 5,000 silver tiles, which cover a floor in the temple.
The Toul Sleng Prison Museum is a place that reminds the sorrowful past of Cambodia under the rule of Pol Pot regime - Khmer Rouge from 1975 to 1979 when around a third of the Cambodian population was either brutally killed or starved to death. In this prison only, around 15,000 prisoners including many foreigners were killed after brutally tortured. The visit to this place may prove distressing for some but it is important visit that will allow you to dig below the surface and understand better this country’s historical puzzle.
Release your mind with a peaceful walk around lively street and enjoy dinner with local taste in a local restaurant.
Overnight in hotel in Phnom Penh.
Day 02: Phnom Penh – Battambang
 
 
 
sangker rive battambang
Breakfast at the hotel and depart the city for a stunning drive along the peaceful and beautiful country land to Battambang. The drive is a bit long (around 4.5 – 5 hours) but it proves to be a nice experience with country sightseeing. On the way we will make some stops to visit to silver smith village, pottery village in Kompong Chhnang and fish market. 
Check in hotel upon arrival in Battambang. The remainder of the day is for a walk around for sightseeing of the town.
Situated by the Sangker River, Battambang is the second most populous city of Cambodia. The city attracts people due to the many nearby ancient temples, Buddhist shrines and the famous bamboo railway as well as fading French colonial architectures.
Overnight at hotel in Battambang.
Day 03: Battambang country
 
 
 
battambang
Breakfast at the hotel and later we take a drive along the picturesque Sangker River and visit to Wat Slaket Pagoda, the residence of the former provincial Buddhist patriarch
Continue to Wat Ek Phnom and then a local market where Prahoc, the Cambodian fish paste, is made. Also visit to the Provincial Museum (closed on Saturdays / Sundays) drive to Phnom Banon, with its five sandstone towers on top of a hill and enjoy a magnificent view of the surrounding plains.
Later enjoy the great experiences of sliding on this funny bamboo train. Called "norry" by the locals, the bamboo train is a unique and creative form of transport set up by the villagers that consists of a small motorcycle engine-powered bamboo platform riding on the railway tracks to transport goods and persons
Overnight at hotel in Battambang.
Day 04: Battambang – Siem Reap by Speedboat
 
 
 
tonle sap
Breakfast at the hotel and travel by speed boat to Siem Reap. Enjoy unspoiled landscapes and traditional daily-life scenes along the banks of Sangker River then cross the Biosphere Reserve and the floating villages of Prek Tuol before cruising across the Tonle Sap Lake to Chhoeung Kneas floating village.
Arrive at Siem Reap port and transfer to town for hotel check in. This afternoon, we will take a Tuk Tuk, a type of open side taxi common in Cambodia, to visit to Les Artisans d'Angkor - Chantiers Ecoles" of Siem Reap, that was established to support Cambodian arts and crafts and to help young people find work in their local villages by continuing the practice of traditional arts.
Dinner in local restaurant and overnight in hotel in Siem Reap.
Day 05: Siem Reap – Angkor Thom & Angkor Wat
 
 
 
angkor wat
It is a special treat for early risers as we get transferred to Angkor for sunrise view when the temples are shining in the most beautiful lights of the day.
Return to the hotel for breakfast and today we will a full day sightseeing of Angkor geological park.
Visit to the Angkor Thom city, the last and most enduring capital city of the Khmer empire under the reign of King Jayavarman VII in the late twelfth century. Enter the city through the ancient South Gate, an impressive stone gate carved with Elephants and four giant faces.
Continue to the impressive Bayon Temple, the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, the Elephant Terrace, the Terrace of the Leper King and of course, the largest as well as the most complete temple of the complex: Angkor Wat.
This architectural masterpiece was constructed in the 12th century and covers an area of about 210 hectares. Construction is thought to have taken around thirty years of intensive labor. Today, Angkor Wat is figured on Cambodia's national flag as the temple symbolizes the soul of the Khmer people.
Dinner and overnight in hotel in Siem Reap.
Day 06: Siem Reap – Banteay Srei & Ta Prohm
 
 
 
banteay srei
Breakfast at the hotel and get transferred toward the countryside on the newly paved road to the temple of Banteay Srei, the “gem” of the Angkor area, which remains the best preserved temple in Cambodia displaying some of the finest examples of classical Khmer art of carving.
Along the way we make stops to visit to local village of Preah Dark village and the Banteay Samre Temple that is adorned with impressive bas-relief’s depicting scenes of Vishunu as well as Krishna legends.
After lunch, in the afternoon, we explore the jungle covered temple of Ta Prohm, one of the most popular temples in the area of Angko because of the beautiful combinations of wood and stone. It is also the place where pop culture fans may recognize a few scenes from Angelina Jolie's Tomb Raider. There are enormous fig trees and gigantic creepers which embrace themselves in the stone foundations of the structure giving the impression of man's creation being reclaimed by the powerful forces of nature.
Dinner and overnight in hotel in Siem Reap.
Day 07: Siem Reap – Rolous Group & Beng Mealea
 
 
 
Breakfast at the hotel and today we will continue to explore further the magnificent architectural wonders of the Angkor era. Visit the Roluos Group, an archeological site about 13 km east of Siem Reap which was served as the capital of the Khmer Empire under the reign of Indravarman I. The temples here are amongst some of the earliest permanent structures built by Khmer and mark the beginning of classical period of Khmer civilization. Some were totally built with bricks, others partially with laterite or sandstone. 
We will spend the time sightseeing around and explore the three main temples: Bakong, Lolei and Preah Ko.
Afternoon, continue to visit the 11th century Beng Mealea where sprawling jungle temple covering over one square kilometer is largely overrun by vegetation.
Constructed in a distinctly Angkor Wat style, Beng Melea preceded and may have served as a prototype of sorts for Angkor Wat.
There is extensive carving of scenes from Hindu mythology, including the Churning of the Sea of Milk and Vishnu being borne by the bird god Garuda.
Back to Siam Reap town for dinner and overnight in hotel. .
Day 08: Siam Reap departure
 
 
 
Today is departure day so no activities planned. Breakfast at the hotel and enjoy your free time at leisure until you get transfer to the airport for your departure flight. Safe travel!