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Cambodian Trails - Angkor And Beyond

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days 12 US$ 1,780 US$ 1,691
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highlights
  • Angkor - Temple to temple walks exploring this vast, jungle-engulfed site
  • Elephant Valley Project - Walk with a herd of 'retired' elephants and support this unique project
  • Phnom Penh - Explore the capital on foot and uncover the dark history of the Khmer Rouge
  • Mondulkiri - Walking in this far eastern province of jungle and minority tribes
The Cambodian Trails - Angkor and Beyond tour starts in Phnom Penh and ends in Siem Reap. The Cambodian Trails - Angkor and Beyond is an Active And Outdoor tour that takes 12 days taking you from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap and through other destinations in Cambodia.

Exploring on foot allows you escape the crowds and see Cambodia in a different light. At the iconic site of Angkor walk from temple to temple on jungle footpaths known to few. In the far eastern province of Mondulkiri, hike to waterfalls and tribal villages and enjoy the unique experience of a day walking with elephants. Elephant Valley Project - Walk with a herd of 'retired' elephants and support this unique project Phnom Penh - Explore the capital on foot and uncover the dark history of the Khmer Rouge Irrawaddy dolphins - River cruise to spot endangered freshwater dolphins
Our adventure begins in Phnom Penh, the Cambodian capital since the mid-15th century. Lying at the confluence of the Sap, Mekong and Bassac Rivers, the city is an engaging mix of tree-lined boulevards, colonial villas and vibrant markets that reflect the country's fascinating mix of ancient and colonial traditions. After a chance to settle in, this afternoon we take a leisurely introductory walking tour, beginning at the Wat Phnom temple and wandering down past the old Post Office building and Kandal market towards the riverside, where we can enjoy a drink in one of the many bars.

Our walking tour today covers around 2 kilometres and is expected to take approximately one-and-a-half hours.
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
In the morning we plan to visit the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda. Built by the French in 1866, this spectacular pagoda-style structure is without doubt one of Phnom Penh's most impressive sights. Our next stop is the energetic chaos of the Old Russian Market, renowned for its textiles, jewellery and antiques, it's also a good place to stop for some lunch. We then continue with a more sombre visit to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the 'Killing Fields' of Choeung Ek which are a gruesome reminder of life under the Khmer Rouge. Between 1975 and 1978 somewhere close to 17000 men, women and children were murdered here and its memorial stupa, a huge glass tower filled with human skulls, is a stark reminder of the scale of Pol Pot's atrocities. You should be aware that by their very nature Tuol Sleng and the 'Killing Fields' can be a distressing visit for some people.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
We set out this morning on a sort cruise on Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers with a panoramic view of Phnom Penh along the way. Our destination is the riverine island of Koh Dach which translates as 'Silk Island' and is named after the many silk weavers who live here. Disembarking at Koh Dach market, we will take a small walking tour on the island and discover its silk weaving cottage industry, visiting artisans at work in their houses. This charming, secluded and sleepy island is small at just 30 square kilometres in size and offers a peaceful contrast to the bustle of Phnom Penh. We can enjoy some traditional Cambodian food at one of the local restaurants before catching the same boat back to the city.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Departing the capital this morning we head first for the provincial capital of Kompong Cham, passing through a landscape of vast rubber plantations originally established by the French. Arriving in time for lunch, we take a walk down to the riverfront to visit the Bamboo Bridge, before continuing by road on to the 11th century sandstone temple of Wat Nokor. After a chance to explore the temple, we drive to Mondulkiri province in the far east of Cambodia. With thickly forested mountains, waterfalls and lush rolling hills, this region is one of the most sparsely populated in the country. Over 80% of the population here come from animist hill tribes with the majority being Phnong, who live off the land, still practicing shifting 'slash and burn' cultivation. They also plant rice, fruit trees, coffee, rubber and cashew nuts and hunt wild animals. Our base for the next three nights is the town of Sen Monorom, the only settlement of any note in the entire province.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Simple hotel
Today we will visit the Elephant Valley Project, a unique initiative which takes care of several herds of retired, former working elephants and rehabilitates them back into their natural habitat. We will be able to enjoy a concept the project describes as 'walking with the herd', getting up close to the elephants as they roam free in their natural habitat. We expect to accompany the elephants for five to six hours, walking across open grassland and through the forests, taking in the views across the Otey River. Accompanying the elephants to enjoy a cooling wash in a nearby waterfall is often the highlight of a visit.

Today's walk, in the company of elephants, is expected to take approximately five to six hours.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Simple hotel
To the west of Sen Monorom lie the forests of Andong Kraloeng, the setting for today's walk which is the most challenging of the holiday, due to the jungle terrain and possibility of mud if it has been raining. Driving first to the village of Veal Amerik (named after the Americans based here during the Vietnam war), the trail then leads us into a forest and towards a steep hill covered in towering clumps of Sra Lao trees and strangler vines that are home to black-shanked douc monkeys, giant squirrels and great hornbills. Following lunch at the Leng Kho Waterfall, we return to Veal Amerik this afternoon and drive back to the village of Andong Kraloeng, for the chance to swim at the Leng Kao falls. We return to the hotel via the Seima Protected Forest.

Today's walk is expected to take approximately three hours but can be extended depending on the wishes and abilities of the group.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Simple hotel
Today we head for the banks of the Mekong and the town of Kratie, home to a group of rare Irrawaddy dolphins. We visit nearby Koh Trong island, an extremely peaceful place where we walk and observe local village life up close, visit a pagoda and a small floating village. There's also an option to rent bicycles. Returning to Kratie in the late afternoon, there may be time to walk up the many stone steps leading to Phnom Sambok, a temple occupying a prominent hilltop to the north of the town from where we can enjoy a panoramic view over the surrounding countryside.

Today's walk on Koh Trong is for around two-and-a-half hours.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Kratie is sprinkled with an interesting collection of old French and Khmer style buildings, but the main attraction are the dolphins. Early this morning we take to the waters of the Mekong in small boats to search for some of the last freshwater dolphins left in the Mekong. Later this morning we drive (around six hours) to the town of Siem Reap, gateway to the stunning temples of Angkor.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
This morning we enjoy a gently ascending walk through the shade of the forest on the south western slopes of the Kulen Hills to the riverbed carvings of Kbal Spean. The site consists of a series of 11th century stone carvings of lingams (the phallic symbol of the Hindu god Shiva) and various Hindu deities, carved into the sandstone of the riverbed and banks. It is commonly known as the 'River of a Thousand Lingas' and has a very tranquil atmosphere. Our next destination is the nearby Centre for the Conservation of Biodiversity, Cambodia's first nature conservation and endangered wildlife rescue centre where we may see a number of the mammals that inhabit Cambodia's rainforest including the Pangolin, Palm Civet and Leopard Cat. Our next Angkorian site today is the temple at Banteay Srei known for the intricacy of its pink sandstone carvings. We end the day with a visit to the Cambodian Land-mine Museum, where education and support are provided for dozens of children whose bodies, hearts and minds have been affected by land-mines.

Today's walk is expected to take approximately three hours.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Today we have a full day to explore the temples of Angkor on foot. Following in the footsteps of the intrepid explorers of old along jungle pathways, we will escape the tourist crowds and approach the temples with a different perspective. It's the perfect way to take in the rich archaeological majesty of the area. We begin at dawn with Ta Prohm, the exquisitely ethereal 'Tomb Raider' temple that has been part consumed by the jungle, before we move on to Ta Nei and Ta Keo, one of Angkor's great temple-mountains and one of the first built entirely of sandstone. Following jungle pathways, we negotiate our way around the fortified city of Angkor Thom and stroll along the massive stone walls towards the city's spectacular centrepiece, the Bayon. One of the architectural gems of Angkor, this maze of corridors, temples and giant stone faces is also home to some of the finest bas reliefs anywhere in the city.

Today's temple to temple walking is expected to take approximately five to six hours.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Early this morning we will drive to the magnificent complex of Angkor Wat, to watch the warming glow of the rising sun bring life to what is without doubt the most breathtaking of all the jungle temple sites. Entering through the east gate on foot, we then enjoy an extended visit walking around a site that covers several square kilometres. Originally built as a funerary temple for Suryavarman II, in honour of Vishnu, it represents for many the pinnacle of Khmer art and architecture and little can truly prepare you for the initial sight of this stunning setting in the early morning light. This afternoon has then been left free to continue exploring more of the temples at your leisure or you may wish to spend some time in the pleasant town of Siem Reap which has a lively market and many shopping opportunities.
Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
  • Standard hotel
Our tour ends in Siem Reap after breakfast.
Meals
  • Breakfast
what’s included
Accommodation
  • 8 nights standard hotel
  • 3 nights simple hotel
Meals
  • 11 Breakfast
Transport
  • Bus, Boat
Guide
  • Explore Tour Leader / Trek Guide, Driver(s)
what’s excluded
  • International Flights
  • Any international flights to Phnom Penh and from Siem Reap are not included in this price. We always recommend that you arrive 1 day prior to your tour starting date.
  • Travel Insurance
  • Travel insurance is not included in this Cambodian Trails - Angkor and Beyond tour. Travel insurance is mandatory to buy. We recommend purchasing it from World Nomads.
Tour details
Duration 12 days
Tour Type Group Tour - Max 17 participants
guiding method Live guide/instructor
Guide Language English
Starts/Ends Phnom Penh, Cambodia/ Siem Reap, Cambodia
Get a PDF file with detailed trip information: Download Trip Notes for Cambodian Trails - Angkor and Beyond
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Payment

A deposit of 169 USD is required to confirm this tour. The remaining balance will be charged 59 days before departure. For any departures within 17 August 2019 full payment is required.

Travel Insurance

The Cambodian Trails - Angkor and Beyond tour requires that you have adequate and valid travel insurance covering medical and personal accidents, including repatriation costs and emergency evacuation. We recommend using World Nomads' travel insurance.

Visa

For this Cambodian Trails - Angkor and Beyond tour getting the required visa(s) is the responsibility for each individual traveller, as visa requirements vary depending on your nationality. We recommend to check with your local embassies representing the countries that you are travelling to, as part of this itinerary.

CancellationNo additional cancellation fees apply for this Cambodian Trails - Angkor and Beyond tour. You can cancel the tour up to 60 days prior departure and avoid paying the full amount, but your deposit paid is non-refundable. No refund applies for cancellations within 59 days of departure.
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