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Signature Journeys™

08D/07N - TREASURES OF CAMBODIA
Siemreap, Phnom Penh
Unforgettable: This itinerary in Kingdom of Cambodia is designed to give you a more personal encounter with the history, culture and cuisine of the Khmer people. Hear war stories from one of the few survivors of Tuol Sleng prison, the secret genocidal prison of the Khmer Rouge regime. Meet Em Theay, known famously in the world of classical dance as the "Tenth Dancer" as only one in ten dancers survived during the war. Enjoy a relaxing bicycle ride around "Silk Island", a short boat ride away from Phnom Penh. Learn the secrets of authentic Khmer cuisine through an interactive cooking class from a local chef in Siem Reap. Explore remote temples that are hidden from the tourist crowds and learn more about Khmer Buddhist rituals from local monks.
Privately-Guided! Whether you are a single person, a couple, or a group, you'll have your own guide and driver for all airport pickups, dropoffs, and daily excursions. 

Choose Your Own Dates! This is not a fixed-departure-date tour. Just let us know the dates that work best for you and we will arrange everything. 

Customizable! Need more time? Less time? Want to see or do something that isn't included? Just let us know, and we will arrange it for you and let you know the change in costs.

Trip Highlights:

    •    Bone-chilling stories from a survivor of the Tuol Sleng Prison
    •    Meet classical Khmer dance master Em Theay
    •    Explore Silk Island by bicycle
    •    Learn about Khmer Buddhist rituals from monks
    •    Cooking class to learn authentic Khmer cuisine

Day 01: Arrive Phnom Penh


Upon arrival at the airport, you will be welcomed by our representative and taken to your hotel for check in. Overnight in Phnom Penh.



Day 02: Phnom Penh


After breakfast, visit the genocide museum of Tuol Sleng and the Killing Fields. You will have the opportunity to meet one of the few survivors and learn about life before the war and his experience in the Tuol Sleng prison. Learn about his involvement in the current legal proceedings by the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.  Afternoon you will meet Em Theay, a classical dance master. The glorious arts and cultural heritage of Cambodia is making a determined comeback after its virtual annihilation by the Khmer Rouge. Meet the lady known around the world as the Tenth Dancer (only one of every 10 dancers survived the Khmer Rouge regime), and find out more about her special talents, her family dynasty and hear first-hand of the hurdles she had to overcome to breathe new life into what had become a dying art form. Overnight in Phnom Penh. (Breakfast)



Day 03: Phnom Penh


This morning, travel by boat to a nearby island in the Mekong River called Koh Dach, also known as ‘Silk Island’. On this island, silk weaving is the village way of life and where you will find a loom under every house. See traditional weaving techniques and experience the realities of village life up close. Take a bicycle ride to the island’s pagoda at Wat Yeak, passing by fruit orchards and vegetable farms. Continue to a sandy beach for a break with some snacks. Then return along the island’s 4 miles length to reunite with our boat. Afternoon, explore the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and the National Museum, home to the world’s finest collection of sculpture from the Angkor period. Overnight in Phnom Penh. (Breakfast)



Day 04: Phnom Penh to Siem Reap


Transfer to the airport for your morning flight to Siem Reap. On arrival, our representative will welcome you and make recommendations for lunch in town. Afternoon, you will visit Wat Thmei, a memorial stupa for the victims of the Khmer Rouge regime. Continue to Wat Preah Inkosei , a 10th century temple. Two brick towers remain and one includes a superb lintel depicting the Churning of the Ocean of Milk. You may also meet some English-speaking monks to learn more about Buddhist rituals. There is also a small shadow puppetry workshop here showcasing some of the most popular characters from the Ramayana. Continue to the 19th century temple of Wat Bo, one of the most important pagodas in Siem Reap. The interior of the main temple features some of the finest religious murals in Cambodia, depicting the life of the Buddha. Visit the old royal palace compound of Wat Dam Nak, which has been converted to a place of learning for the Centre of Khmer Studies.
Then you drive to Wat Athvea to visit an interesting fusion temple which includes the impressive remains of an 12th century sandstone structure and an attractive old pagoda. The original Angkor-era temples were used as training sites for construction workers and are the only temples facing west. It is possible to arrange here a blessing ceremony for the success of your trip in Cambodia. Overnight in Siem Reap. (Breakfast)



Day 05: Siem Reap

Today enjoy a cooking Class at the Sugar Palm, where local owner Katana lived many years in New Zealand. She creates authentic Khmer dishes and provides an expert hands-on cooking class. You will savor your very own creations for lunch. Afternoon, drive to Tonle Sap Lake and board a small wooden boat to Kompong Pluk. Visit a floating village, where houses stand atop stilts as much as seven meters above the water. Explore a local temple before boarding a small row boat through the flooded forest. Overnight in Siem Reap. (Breakfast, Lunch)



Day 06: Siem Reap 


Rise early and see Ta Prohm in the dawn light. This temple has been abandoned to the elements and is known as the “jungle temple” for the tentacle-like roots slowly strangling the surviving stones. Then, journey north to the Kbal Spean. The original ‘River of a Thousand Lingas’, Kbal Spean is an intricately carved riverbed deep in the foothills of the Cambodian jungle. You will experience a short jungle trek in the Angkor area, as it is a steady but scenic climb to reach the river carvings. The path winds its way through knotted vines and big boulder formations and occasionally offers big views over the surrounding jungle. And there is a small waterfall below the carved riverbed, perfect for cooling off after the hot climb. After, head south to Banteay Srei, a petite pink temple is the jewel in the crown of Angkor-era sculpture. The elaborate carvings here are the finest found in Cambodia and the name translates as ‘Fortress of the Women’. If time permits, you can visit the Landmine museum before returning back to your hotel. Overnight in Siem Reap. (Breakfast)



Day 07: Siem Reap

Take an early morning trip to Angkor Wat to beat the crowds and heat of the day. Make a special stop where you will have a blessing from a monk at a pagoda near Angkor Wat. In the afternoon visit the highlights of Angkor Thom by bike, including the enigmatic faces of the Bayon, Baphuon, the Terrace of the Elephants, and the Terrace of the Leper King. Overnight in Siem Reap. (Breakfast)



Day 08: Depart from Siem Reap

Transfer to the airport for your onward flight. (Breakfast). End of Services

Rates Include:


    •    All airport transfers to and from hotel by private car
    •    All tours and excursions as outlined in the itinerary
    •    Flight from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap
    •    All surface transportation as per the itinerary by air conditioned car with bottled water
    •    Hotel accommodation with breakfast including taxes and service charges
    •    Meals as indicated in the itinerary
    •    Entrance fees to the indicated sites
    •    Services of a local English speaking guide for all visits and excursions

 
Rates Do Not Include:

    •    International airfare
    •    Visa fees
    •    Airport departure taxes
    •    Tips
    •    Expenses of a personal nature
    •    Supplements for stays on Christmas or New Year's Eve and mandatory gala dinners if applicable at the hotels on those dates


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