Day 1:Upon Arrival In Phnom Penh airport, you will be welcome to Cambodia by your Tour Guide and transfer to the Hotel one night stay.
- Phnom Penh Capital of kingdom Cambodia , Phnom Penh is located at the confluence of three Rivers, Mekong, the Bassac, and Tonle Sap. Strongly influenced by its French colonial past, phnom phen has a wealth of fine European architecture. The city also boasts numerous bars and restaurants, markets, pagodas and a fine promenade along the River.
- Afternoon at leisure in phnom phen: After arriving and checking in you have the rest of the day.
Days 2: Phnom Penh city + kompong Thom
- This morning we explore the stunning Royal Palace complex, home to the Cambodian royal family and symbol of the nation. We begin amid the beautiful royal gardens, landscape with tropical plants and studded with gleaming spires. We enter the throne Hall where the royal receptions are held and Cambodian king’s coronation took place. We then pass the Napoleons 3 pavilion made from the French emperor in 19 century. We continue to the Silver pagoda, name after the 5000 Silver tiles covering the floor. Then we will drive out to Kampong Thom Province , on the way we will stop for Skuon
- Skuon Spider Town is the alternative name given to the town simply known as Skuon, which is famous for where the Hunt and eat Spiders... or rather Tarantulas. May be not the most well known of Cambodian tourist attractions, the town of Skuon is 55 km north of phnom phen, but the unusual eating habits of the residents of Skuon are earning the town a growing reputation, as both visitors to Cambodia and locals alike stop here to sample these tasty snacks. These spiders were intact first eaten during the brutal reign of e Khmer Rouge when food was scarce and starvation life.
As the spiders themselves, they are big , black and hairy, then we continue to kampong Thom province.
(overnight in Kampong Thom)
Days 3: Kompong Thom + Bakan preah Khan temple Safaris:
- we will start at 7 am for Sambor prei Kuk: Prasat Sambor prei kuk is an archeological site in Cambodia located in Kampong Thom Province, 30 km north of of kompong thom. The Ruins complex dates back to pre- Angkorian Chenla kingdom ( 6th to 9th century) . In 2017 Sambor prei kuk was declared as UNESCO World Heritage site.
- Lunch at Sambor prei kuk, Then continue to Bakan Preah khan kompong svay ( temple Safaris)
(overnight at Bakan temple ( Tent))
Days 4: Bakan preah khan + preah Vihear temple:
We will start at 7 am preah Vihear temple , on our way to preah Vihear we will at Tbeng Meanchey for Stort Lunch, Then continue to preah Vihear temple,
The Bakan temples are located in Ta Siang village, Ronakse commune, Sangkum Thmei district, about 105 kilometers southwest of the provincial town. on a plain that was a former worship place of the king. The temple is surrounded by two ramparts-inside and outside rampart. Inside each rampart, there are many other temples such as Neang Peou and Dangkao Baodos temples.The temple was likely a royal palace and worship place. According to historians, the site used to be a hiding place of King Jayavarman VII before he ascended to the throne in AD 1181 because the style of some construction is similar to the style of Bayon and Ta Prohm temples.
Outside the rampart, there are many other temples such as Preah Damrei, Preah Thkaol, Ta Prohm, Muk Buon and Preah Stung temples.Looking through into the large area beyond the wall of Prasat Bakan (Bakan Temple) in Preah Vihear province, laterite stone refracts the bright sunshine, enveloping the temple in a heavenly light. The towers of the temple have long since collapsed and the hundreds of pieces of stone which once made up Bakan are now a less-than-glorious pile of rubble. Even in this sad state destroyed in part by war, and in part by greed the fallen Bakan can still provide us with evidence of the once important place this temple held in the history of the Angkor period, but looters have other plans. In 2003 after a botched robbery, the central area collapsed and apsara and Buddha statues were stolen.
Prasat Bakan is off National Route 6, 75 km north of the Kampong Thom town, Stoung. According to the director of the Department of Culture and Fine Arts Ros Samphal, in ancient times, Prasat Bakan, or Preah Khan Kompong Svay temple as it sometimes called, was originally named after a victorious and well-loved general: Jey Srey. This general, was a man renowned for defeating the Cham and forcing them out of the Angkor capital. "Jey Srey is better known as Jayavarman VII," Ros says. "Angkor?s mighty architect and warrior king."He says that while the Angkor capital was occupied by Cham soldiers, one of the then Angkorian king?s sons, Jey Srey, fled the country to live in the Champa Kingdom (now central Vietnam). While living there, he studied this neighboring Kingdom, and in particular Cham military tactics. After 14 years, he returned to his beloved Angkor and created his own army, training them in secrecy in the jungle.
"While living in the jungle," Ros says, "he completed Prasat Bakan. He also built an iron foundry where swords, knives, axes and other weapons were made by the thousands.""Each day, more and more soldiers were enlisted for military training." "Once trained," Ros continues, "Jey Srey led his army through Kompong Svay province [now part of Kompong Thom and Preah Vihear provinces] direct to the Angkor capital, where he fought and defeated the Cham soldiers for the liberty of his father's kingdom.""Jey Srey's name held great meaning. Jey means victory and successor;Srey means happiness, harmony and good luck."Deputy director of the Preah Vihear Provincial Tourism Department Kit Chanthy says Prasat Bakan was the second capital of the Angkor kingdom during the reign of King Jayavarman VII. "King Suryavarman I began the construction of the Hindu temple Bakan between 1002 and 1050. The temple was completed by King Jayavarman VII," Kit explains. Prasat Bakan is situated in Ta Seng village, Sangkum Thmey district, Preah Vihear province."
Under Secretary of State of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts H.E. Khim Sarith says since the beginning of 2006 the Ministry has been cooperating with provincial authorities to set up a team to protect the temple. "However what makes this difficult are the current road conditions leading to the temple. During the rainy season we can?t even get into the area," Khim says. The main group of temples were built in the 12th century when Preah Khan was home to both King Suryavarman II and later, the future King Jayavarman VII, before the latter defeated the invading Chams, claimed the throne and moved his capital back to Angkor in 1181. The story of his victories are celebrated in bas-relief carvings on the walls of the Bayon and Banteay Chhmar.
Located 100 kilometres east of Angkor, the site was studied in the 1870s by Louis Delaporte, who shamefully looted and carried off a number of substantial carvings that are now housed in the Guimet Museum in Paris. However, one masterpiece remains in the National Museum in Phnom Penh and that's a finely sculpted head, believed to be of Jayavarman VII. A millennium celebration at Preah Khan attracted hundreds of locals and vegetation was cleared from the site for the occasion, but it remains a complex very much in its natural state, inundated with trees, scrubs and dense foliage throughout. With the re-emergence of Cambodia's remotest areas from years of inaccessibility.
Days 5: Preah Vihear + Ta Mok + Banteay Chhmar + Battambang Province:
- We will drive to Anlong Veng which is the last strongholds of Leader of Khmer Rouge,
- Then having lunch at anlong Veng, we then continue to visit the most beautiful temple of Banteay Chhmar,
Anlong Veng was the last stronghold of the communist Khmer Rouge regime, which ruled Cambodia brutally from 1975-79, when it forced city dwellers into the countryside to work on collective farms. The result was some 3 million deaths due to executions, torture, beatings, hard labour, malnutrition, disease, and lack of medical care. The Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot was Brother Number One, while its military chief Ta Mok was Brother Number Five. Responsible for countless massacres as well as purges within the party, Ta Mok was also called The Butcher.
Ta Mok remained powerful after the Khmer Rouge was overthrown in 1979, controlling much of this northern area of Cambodia and 3-5,000 guerillas from this base. After a party split in 1997 (yes, the Khmer Rouge survived almost 20 years after it was 'overthrown'), Ta Mok took control, placing Pol Pot under house arrest. Following a government attack on Ta Mok's house in 1998, he fled to the forest with Pol Pot, who died a few days later. Ta Mok was captured at the Thai border in 1999 and died in prison of heart complications in 2006.
Travelers interested in Cambodia's history can combine a visit to Pol Pot's cremation site with a stop at Ta Mok's House. Overlooking a lake that Ta Mok had made, the rustic house is decorated with a map of Cambodia and murals of Angkor Wat and nearby Preah Vihear. The cages at the front of the house apparently held tigers. The house is popular with Cambodian tourists, canoodling couples and monks.
Banteay Chhmar Temple is one of Cambodia’s most important and least understood temples from the Angkorian period. The temple complex, its moat, baray (reservoir) and surrounding unspoilt environment comprises a unique archaeological site and a vital link in Cambodia’s cultural heritage. For these reasons, it is now one of Cambodia’s top priorities for inscription as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Its remoteness from Angkor Wat, in part, explains the lack of in-depth documentation and study of the temple. The Ministry of Culture & Fine Arts (MCFA) is responsible for overseeing the temple complex.
Banteay Chhmar is the 4th largest temple dating from the Angkorian period after Preah Khan (in Kampong Svay), Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat being the largest temple. There are nine satellite temples as part of the temple complex. In addition, Banteay Torp, another intriguing temple well-worth seeing is about 12 kilometers south of the main temple.
Though there is no recorded or written name for the temple, scholars generally believe that the name Banteay Chhmar probably meant “The Small Citadel” or “Narrow Fortress” (a Khmer word possibly, chhmarl or chmarl meaning small, tiny or narrow). At some point, probably through oral transformation, the name became chhmar (cat). Therefore, nowadays, the temple is commonly called the “Citadel of the Cat.” These references and the oral transformation are not very clearly understood and need more documentation and research.
What is known, is that it was commissioned in the late 12th to early 13th centuries by King Jayavarman VII. A shrine in the temple once held an image of a Crown Prince, believed to be Indravarman, and probably a son of Jayavarman VII. A Khmer inscription found at the site (now on display at the National Museum, Phnom Penh) tells how this prince was protected on two different occasions by four royal servants, all of whom lost their lives in his defense. The inscription lists the names of these officials and tells us that their respective images were once placed in the four corners of this shrine.
Dr. Olivier Cunin is an independent scholar who has spent spent 10 years studying Banteay Chhmar Temple along with other temples throughout Cambodia. His work has been invaluable to our current understanding of the temple complex. Watch his presentation “The Small Citadel: Reconstructing the Ruined Buddhist Complex of Banteay Chhmar” given in October, 2010 at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. USA.
After exploring around Banteay Chhmar Temple then continue to Battambang, overnight in Battambang.
Days 6: Battambang Province
- Battambang is the capital city of Battambang Province in northwestern Cambodia. Founded in the 11 th century by Khmer Empire, Battambang is well known for being the leading rice producing province of the country for nearly 100 years, it was a major commercial hub and provincial capital of Siemese province of inner Cambodia (1795-1907), thought it was always populated by Khmer with a mix of ethnic Vietnamese, Lao, Thai and Chinese. Still today Battambang is the main hub of Northwest connecting the entire region with Phnom phen and Thailand and as such it is a vital link to Cambodia.
- The city is situated along the Sangkae River- a tranquil, small body of water that winds its way through Battambang Province providing its nice picturesque setting. As with much of Cambodia, the French colonial architecture is an attractive bonus of city. It is Home to some of the best preserved French colonial architecture in the country.
- we will drive to Bamboo Train . The Bamboo train is a must experience when visiting Battambang, not for the faint of heart ( or those with major back problems) , the Bamboo train railway line begins a few kilometers south of Battambang in O’Dambong villages. You can find it in the regional map in this Guide although flimsy- looking, the Bamboo construction is sturdy. At least, so far. Then heading back to hotel.
- In Afternoon we will visit Phnom Sampeau.
- Phnom Sampeau means ship- like mountain in Khmer. Thought it’s hard to see the Sampeau ( ship) , and even though the phnom ( mountain) would probably be considered more of a big hill by most travelers, it is well worth the 12 km trip to visit.
- Heading out to visit the large golden Buddha and see some of the Khmer Rouge war history. The Caves are worth exploring if you are not too claustrophobic. It’s helpful to have good shoes and at least a phone with flashlight. But it makes for a good little adventure. Still off the beaten track for most tourists, the top will afford some of the most beautiful view of acres of rices fields below. A final Bonus of being there at dusk is the mass exodus of thousands of Babs making their way out of the mountain for the evening: return back to hotel, overnight in Battambang:
Days 7: Battambang + Siem Reap province.
- Today we drive out to Siem Reap after breakfast,
- Siem Reap ‘s Suburbs are sprawled, as the town awakens and stretches from its slumber. When new hotels, shops, restaurants, and spas open, so too do new satellites communities to absorb the human tide that is settling on the shores of Cambodia ‘s boom town. Upon arriving Siem Reap Then checking in hotel, free at leisure.
- In afternoon we will visiting Angkor Wat for sunset.
- Return back to Hotel, overnight in Siem Reap:
Days 8: Siem Reap
- Early morning for sunrise at Sras Srang ( was a Royal bath) then continue to the most fascinating temple of the Angkor group. The ultimate indiana jones fantasy, Ta Prohm is cloaked in dappled shadows, it crumbling towers and walls locked in the slow, muscular embrace, of vast roots systems. If Angkor Wat, Bayon and other temples are testimony to the genius of ancient Khmer . Heading back to hotel.
- In afternoon we continue to visit Angkor Thom and Bayon Temple. Then Back to hotel: overnight in Siem Reap.
Days 9 : Siem Reap:
- After breakfast we will visit Kampong Phluk Village. Kampong phluk is an incredible village of Bamboo skyscrapers that rise from the lakeshore like a set from Waterworld. More memorable than Chong Kneas, but harder to reach, this is an otherworldly place where all the houses are built on soaring stills, about 8 m or 9 m high. A visit during the wet season is most rewarding, as the water laps at the wooden supports, and pigs, chickens and even crocodile bob about in floating pens. It may be possible to spot a sky burial in the nearby trees, as some communities still embalm dead bodies while awaiting dry wood, and dry land, for cremation. Then we are return back to hotel.
Note: taking flight back home or more destination. End of the trip.