Cambodia Culture and Cuisine

Cambodia Culture and Cuisine
5 (100%) 4 votes
Cambodia Culture and Cuisine
From Upon request
Duration 9 Days 8 Nights

TOUR INFORMATION

Indulge in the best that Cambodia has to offer. Meet talented local artisans, discover ancient heritage buildings, feast on incredible cuisine and explore untouched natural wonders. Spend days immersed in the country’s rich culture and evenings relaxing at the finest hotels.

What’s Included

  • Accommodation in a shared twin or shared double room in selected hotel
  • Meals as mentioned (B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
  • English speaking local guide (for other languages a supplement applies)
  • Tours and transfers as mentioned by private air conditioned vehicle (2012 Hyundai Sonata for 2 pax, 2012 Hyundai H1-12 seater/2011 Toyota Hiace-15 seater for 3-6 pax) unless stated otherwise and subject to availability
  • Entrance fees for mentioned visits
  • Sunset gondola trip as indicated in itinerary
  • Boat trip on Tonle Sap Lake as indicated in itinerary
  • Daily drinking water and cold towels

What’s Not Included

  • Visa for Cambodia (Visa issued on arrival for most nationalities, USD 30/pax, please bring 1 passport photo).
  • Any surcharge/extra fees for visit of the Angkor Historical site imposed by the Apsara Authorities in Siem Reap which are subject to change without prior notice
  • Other meals than mentioned
  • International and domestic flights (quoted separately)
  • Camera/video entrance fees if applicable
  • Personal expenses (drinks, laundry, telephone, tips etc)
  • Travel insurance including recommended helicopter evacuation for Cambodia
  • Other services not clearly indicated in the package inclusions above

TOUR MAP

ITINERARY BY DAY

DAY 1 – PHNOM PENH ARRIVAL

Welcome to Phnom Penh!

Sitting at the confluence of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers, Phnom Penh was once considered one of the most beautiful cities in the orient. Despite its recent turbulent history, the city still retains much of its former colonial charm with wide, tree-lined boulevards and classic colonial architecture.

Upon arrival at Phnom Penh airport, our local English speaking guide and driver will be waiting to provide transport to the hotel for check in.

In the afternoon, depart on a Khmer Architecture walking and driving tour, discovering some of the city’s finest Cambodian architecture from both the colonial times to the late 1950s and 1960s.

In the evening, indulge in a delicious welcome dinner at Malis Restaurant, one of Phnom Penh’s top addresses for authentic Khmer cuisine.

Overnight in Phnom Penh.

DAY 2 – PHNOM PENH CITY

Spend the morning exploring the local market and learning about Khmer cuisine. Pick up begins from the hotel by cyclo, followed by a stroll through the market. Walk through the aisles as the guide explains the different fruits, herbs and vegetables and how they are used in Khmer cuisine (sampling some local fruits along the way.)

The walking tour will last about 2 hours before continuing to a local restaurant which uses many of the ingredients seen at the market. Various dishes are ready cooked; French-style baguettes (num pang) and the tasty nom banh chok can be ordered.

In the afternoon, visit the remarkable sights of Phnom Penh. First, head to the Khmer-style National Museum, housing the world’s foremost collection (over 5,000 pieces) of ancient Khmer artistic, archaeological, and religious artifacts from the 4th to the 13th centuries.

Continue along the lively riverfront to the Royal Palace. This palace dates back to 1866 and houses the Silver Pagoda, named for the over 5000 heavy silver tiles that cover its floors. In this temple, view a collection of Buddhas in gold, silver, crystal, and bronze.

Enjoy dinner at the renowned Foreign Correspondents’ Club located on the riverside. The building is a colonial gem with great views of the confluence of the Upper Mekong, Lower Mekong, Bassac and Tonle Sap rivers. Dinner is à la carte with a large selection of both Western and Asian dishes.

Overnight in Phnom Penh.

DAY 3 – PHNOM PENH – BATTAMBANG

Travel by private vehicle over scenic back roads to Cambodia’s former capital, Oudong (transfer time 1h), about 39km from Phnom Penh. Pass rural villages, local pagodas, and scenic rice paddies before reaching the main hill of Oudong. After visiting a family that is producing palm sugar at their house, climb to the top of the stupa-filled hill for great views over the rural plains. Enjoy an early lunch local at the foot of the mountain.

Continue to Battambang (transfer time 4hr) and head directly to the hotel for check in. Though Battambang is Cambodia’s second largest city, its atmosphere is very laid-back; a charming, relaxed river town full of fine examples of French-colonial architecture.

Overnight in Battambang.

Optional: Phare Ponleu Selpak

In the evening, head to Phare Ponleu Selpak, School of Music, Visual & Performing Arts. Phare combines different performing arts to provide education, support and entertainment to the poor communities. One visit to one of their ‘circus’ shows is simply unforgettable.

(Note: The circus performance is only performed regularly on each Monday & Thursday. However there is also a daily performance in Siem Reap as well.)

DAY 4 – BATTAMBANG

Battambang sits along the Sangker River, a quiet body of water that winds its way through the province, connecting the Cardamom Mountains with Tonle Sap Lake.

In the morning, head through the many cultural villages around Battambang, learning how locals produce rice paper, prahok (typical Cambodian fish paste), grolan (sticky rice stuffed in bamboo), and other Cambodian treats.

Afterwards, take a short ride on the famous Bamboo Train, an original mode of transport on the old train tracks leading to Phnom Penh.

Take a break at the hotel for lunch (at own expense).

In the afternoon explore another side of Battambang. Take a relaxing, 2.5 hour cyclo ride around the town with an audio set explaining the surroundings. At many points it’s possible to get off the cyclo and walk around before moving on the next stop. (Note: only 2 cyclos are available with 1 person per cyclo only).

Continue on to Jaan Bai, a social enterprise run by the Cambodian Children’s Trust, working to break the cycle of poverty in Battambang by empowering underprivileged children. The training and development restaurant is located in an original French colonial building in the heart of Battambang. Jaan Bai uses seasonal organic produce sourced from their kitchen garden, local farmers and neighbouring markets. Enjoy a tasty menu showcasing the best of South East Asia with Western influences.

Overnight in Battambang.

DAY 5 – BATTAMBANG – SIEM REAP

Sail along the Stung Sangker River until reaching the Prek Toal bird sanctuary, one of the most important breeding grounds for waterbirds in the region. Continue along the edge of Tonle Sap, the largest freshwater lake in Asia. Swelling four times in size during the wet season, the expanding waters flood nearby fields and forests, supporting an extraordinarily rich and diverse eco-system. The lake is also an important breeding ground for fish, providing more than half of the amount of fish consumed in Cambodia. To adapt to the lakes massive changes, locals live in floating houses and stilt houses to combat the rising waters.

The boat trip takes 6-7 hours depending on water levels and is a slow, but beautiful journey, ultimately ending in Siem Reap. (Note: This boat trip is only possible in the high water period from July to December. Water levels are too low during the dry season and transfer times can be extremely long; from January to June transfer by road.)

Arrive in Siem Reap mid to late afternoon.

This evening, enjoy dinner at the stunning Chanrey Tree. One of the best fine dining restaurants in town, the Chanrey Tree offers traditional Khmer cuisine in a lush contemporary setting.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

DAY 6 – SIEM REAP CITY

Start the morning temple explorations at the illustrious Ta Prohm. Built in the 12th century, Ta Prohm is unique in that it has been left largely as it was found: overgrown by jungle trees and vines, with many parts of the temple crumbling to the ground.

Continue with a visit to the ancient city of Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII. This city is surrounded by an 8 m high wall, drawing a perfect square around its perimeter. Enter the city through the ancient, impressive South Gate, leading to Bayon.

Located in the center of the city, Bayon Temple is a study in grandeur and is well-known for its 54 face-carved towers, Terrace of the Elephants, and the Terrace of the Leper King.

After the visit, return to the hotel for a leisurely lunch (at own expense).

Optional

This afternoon there will be an opportunity to tour the Angkor National Museum. This interactive museum showcases artefacts from the Golden Era of the Khmer Empire by use of multimedia technology.

This evening, embark on a very special tour around Siem Reap to sample delicious Cambodian dishes in several different locations. Led by a Scottish fine dining chef, start at 5 PM and sample everything from Cambodian BBQ to frogs stuffed with kroeung, a fragrant curry paste that is one of the defining ingredients of Khmer cuisine. The evening tour is a fun way to get acquainted with Siem Reap and Cambodian food.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

DAY 7 – SIEM REAP CITY

This morning, discover the secrets of authentic Khmer cuisine during a half-day cooking course with Mrs Kethana Dunnet. 35km out of Siem Reap, travel to a village near Banteay Srei to meet the chef at her beautiful home. Kethana is the owner and founder of the Sugar Palm restaurants in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh and is known for her work with many celebrity TV chefs including Gordon Ramsay and Luke Nguyen.

Over the course of the morning, learn various dishes that are served at Sugar Palm and the differences between Khmer and other regional cuisines. Learn how to prepare Cambodian dishes- the ultimate souvenir to bring back home! The class lasts about 3 hours before sitting and enjoying the freshly cooked dishes (2 starters and 2 main courses).

After lunch, continue to visit the Golden Silk Pheach Farm. This local NGO works to revive the ancient Khmer know-how of silk production, provides job opportunities to more than 100 local staff.

End the afternoon with a visit to the “gem” of the Angkor area, the pretty temple of Banteay Srei. Also known as the “Citadel of the Women,” this remains the best preserved temple in Cambodia, displaying some of the finest examples of classical Khmer art with its remarkable bas-reliefs.

Transfer back to Siem Reap with the rest of the evening at leisure.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

DAY 8 – SIEM REAP CITY

This morning, visit the legendary Angkor Wat via local ‘remork’ (similar to the Thai tuk tuk). Built in the early 12th century, Angkor Wat was constructed to represent Mount Meru, the Hindu/Buddhist home of the gods. Inside the temple, the walls are covered with stone carvings, bas-reliefs, and over 2,000 Aspara dancers. Construction of this national icon is thought to have taken around thirty years of intensive labor to complete.

Take a break back at the hotel until the late afternoon.

Enjoy a relaxing cruise in a gondola paddle boat at the moat of Angkor Thom. Watch a spectacular sunset at Prasat Chroung temple accompanied by cocktails, champagne, canapés, and soft drinks.

For the last night of the trip, enjoy dinner at the renowned Embassy restaurant. The Embassy is an exclusive fine dining experience headed by executive chefs Pol & Sok (the “Kimsan Twins”) Having trained under Michelin starred chefs, they have created one of the most unique five-star quality cuisines that can be experienced in Siem Reap. With a constantly changing menu based around seasonality, guests can savour skilfully prepared masterpieces from multiple-course set menus, paired with a selection of fine wines.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

DAY 9 – SIEM REAP – DEPARTURE

After breakfast, enjoy some time at leisure until the transfer to the airport for the departing flight.

TOUR NOTES

Note: we only run private and customizable tours.

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  1. Joseph Van Joseph Van says:

    Cambodia Culture and Cuisine Tour – 9 Days 8 Nights

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