Cultural & Wildlife Tour of Cambodia
Day 1: Arrival Siem Reap
On arrival you are greeted by our guide and transferred to hotel. This tranquil town is our base for exploring the world famous temples of the ancient city Angkor, which was the capital of the powerful Khmer Empire from 802 AD to 1350 AD. Upon leaving Siem Reap Town we set off on a short drive to the archeological area and spend our time to visit the most striking structures. They are the South Gate of Angkor Thom which is famous for its series of colossal human faces carved in stone, the impressive Bayon Temple, the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, the Elephant Terrace, the Terrace of the Leper King and the architectural masterpiece of Angkor Wat. We stroll around this massive monument, exploring the many galleries with columns , libraries, pavilions, courtyards and ponds full of water reflecting the towering temple. Overnight in Siem Reap. (B)
Day 2: Siem Reap – Angkor Wat temples
The jungle covered temple of Ta Prohm is an incredible sight. 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. We explore the well known Ta Prohm and some nearby temples including Banteay Kdei, Sra Srong, Ta Keo, Thommanon and Chau Say Tevado. They almost belong to the small circuit according to the archaeologists’ division. Upon leaving this area we visit various famous temples of the grand circuit such as Preah Khan, Kravan, Neak Pean, Krol Ko, Ta Som, East Mebon and Pre Rup. We round off our exciting day with a walk up to Phnom Bakheng Hill to admire the spectacular sunset over these sandstone monuments. Overnight in Siem Reap.(B)
Day 3: Siem Reap - Bird sanctuary of Prek Toal on Tonle Sap lake
The temple exploration is not only activity in Siem Reap. We visit the famous Tonle Sap Lake and the largest bird sanctuary in Southeast Asia. This shallow lake boats the largest natural fresh water body in Southeast Asia and flows into the Tonle Sap River which joins the Mekong River in Phnom Penh. The traditional boat navigates along a small river towards the gigantesque lake, giving us a chance to explore floating village, local life style, friendly children in small boats and fishermen pulling in morning catch close up. At 5:30 am, we leave the hotel for Siem Reap pier (Chong Kneas). Then, we cross the Tonle Sap lake by boat to Prek Toal bird sanctuaries. The rest of the morning you can enjoy watching birds in the sky and on the lake from a traditional paddle boat gliding through the flooded forest, guided by a specialist of the area. Thousands of waterbirds come each year to breed during the dry season, making the area the most important site in South-East Asia for endangered species such as Storks, Adjutants, Pelicans, Ibis and many more…After a typical lunch with fresh fish, sit and relax while observing the local "floating way of life". During the afternoon, you will discover different aspects of village lifestyles, which rely heavily on fishing. Return to Siem Reap around 4:00 pm. Overnight in Siem Reap (B,L)
Day 4: Siem Reap – Phnom Penh
Today we take a short flight to Phnom Penh. On arrival at Phnom Penh Airport , you are met by local guide and transferred to hotel. The capital of Cambodia, Phnom Penh lies near the confluence of the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers. This riverside town still maintains considerable charm despite its recent turbulent history. An afternoon city tour acquaints us with some major sights of Phnom Penh. The private quarters of the Royal Palace are now home to the royal family and are therefore very close to the public. At the northern area of the palace grounds is Silver Pagoda, the most sacred temple in the country. We follow it with a walk up to a small hill for an interesting visit to the legendary Wat Phnom and a fantastic view over the surrounding areas. Overnight in Phnom Penh.
Day 5: Phnom Penh – Phnom Ta Mao Zoo – Phnom Penh
Today we drive some 35 km to the outskirt of Phnom Penh to Phnom Tamao Zoo. Phnom Ta Mao Zoo permits guests to experience the diversity of Cambodia’s wildlife without trekking in to the rainforest. The zoo was set to help the conservation of uncommon and endangered species which might be endemic to the area however immediately it additionally serves as a sanctuary for animals that had been victims of the unabated wildlife trade. The majestic tiger prowling round in its enclosure whereas the tame deer at the entrance are favorites of the children. Extra importantly the zoo is responsible through the Free the Bears Fund for rehabilitating Asiatic black bears and sun bears that were injured as a result of animal smuggling. Another hanging distinction from most Western zoos is that visitors are encouraged to feed the animals and some budding entrepreneurs have even arranged small food stalls adjoining the compounds of the inmates. Later in the afternoon we return back to Phnom Penh.
Day 6: Phnom Penh – Departure
Today is free at leisure until time for transfer to airport for departure flight. End of service.