Journeys International - vacations and travel

Grand Cambodia

  • Phnom Penh, Cambodia
  • Active & Adventure
Cambodia, Asia

from $1,950* per person 9 Days September-May
Comfort accommodations Exertion level: 3
Operator: Journeys International 12 people max
This trip takes you through and then beyond Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Angkor Wat into the villages and rural countryside most tourists don't see.  Discover an extraordinary, peaceful, poignant and productive land.  In the capital of Phnom Penh, visit the palace and ancient temples, as well as Tuol Sleng Museum -- a high school converted into the infamous Khmer Rouge torture site known as Security Prison 21. Explore communities on the Mekong River and Tonle Lake. Travel to Siem Reap to absorb the beauty of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bantay Shrei, Bayon and other astounding sites.  Cambodian pride in Angkor is palpable, and on this trip you witness the channeling of this pride into myriad efforts to revitalize the country.

Loading map, please wait...

Locations visited/nearby

Cambodia, Asia

0 testimonials about this trip.

3 testimonials about the provider, Journeys International:

  • Reviewer: located in Chagrin Falls, OH USA
    We love that JOURNYES is eco-minded. The quality of the overseas tour companies are excellent. We have been very pleased with the quality and diversity of the content of your tours. We will definitely be back.
    5
  • Reviewer: located in Sahuarita , AZ USA
    The major reasons that we enjoy traveling with JOURNEYS, are the fast responses to questions and information, talking to a real person who is friendly and empathetic to individual needs, the professionalism of the staff and the knowledge of all trips we have taken.
    5
  • Reviewer: located in Chicago, IL USA
    This trip captured our souls and will live with us forever.  Our daughter still talks everyday of the Masaai people in the Sinya camp who carried her during our stay.  Our son bores anyone who comes through our door with our slide show.  We all look at our pictures and pinch ourselves…..were we really there?!  Did we really watch and listen as a mother lion “spoke” to her cubs and they sassed back?  Did we really see giraffes, monkeys, elephants and zebra….all in the same spot?!  Could we really see for hundreds of miles across the savannah?!  Could the sky hold any more stars and has the Milky Way ever been clearer?!  Could the people have been any nicer!?  It is all like a magical dream…
    5

Comments from Facebook

Special information

  • This is a custom departure, meaning this trip is offered on dates that you arrange privately with the provider. Additionally, you need to form your own private group for this trip. The itinerary and price here is just a sample. Contact the provider for detailed pricing, minimum group size, and scheduling information. For most providers, the larger the group you are traveling with, the lower the per-person cost will be.

Itinerary

Day 1      Arrive Phnom Penh

On arrival in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, you will be met by a local guide and transferred to your centrally located hotel. Phnom Penh sits at the confluence of the Mekong, Bassac and Tonle Sap Rivers, and is considered the loveliest of the French built cities of Indochina. It was founded as a small monastery in 1372 by a rich Khmer woman called Penh. She set up the monastery on a nearby hill, or “Phnom” in Cambodian, after she found four Buddha statues in a tree trunk on the banks of the Mekong. You will have the opportunity to visit this site.
   
Meals: None
Lodging: 4 * hotel   

Day 2      Phnom Penh City Sights

Today you will have a full day of guided sight seeing at places such as Wat Ounalom. Built in 1443 to house a hair of the Buddha, this very important temple consists of 44 structures facing the Tonle Sap Lake. Another interesting sight is the Silver Pagoda, often called the Pagoda of the Emerald Buddha or Wat Preah Kaeo after the statue housed there. King Norodom originally built the wooden temple in 1892, and its floor is comprised of more than 5000 silver blocks that together weigh nearly six tons. Continue with your tour to the National Museum, which was designed by French archeologist and painter George Groslier to exhibit works previously scattered about the country. Next, visit the Tuol Sleng Museum, home of the former high school that became the Khmer Rouge’s main torture and interrogation center known as Security Prison 21. Conclude with a visit to the Central Market, a covered market built in 1937 and distinguished by its central dome. It is filled with shops selling jewelry, fabrics and all kinds of souvenirs, making it a great place for browsing.
   
Meals: Breakfast
Lodging: 4 * hotel   

Day 3      Oudong Countryside Stupas

Today you depart for Oudong, located about 25 miles from Phnom Penh and once the capital of Cambodia from 1618-1866. The ridges of Oudong feature several stupas containing the ashes of former Khmer kings. On the large ridge are the remains of Vihear Preah Ath Roes, “Vihara of the 18-cubit Buddha”. There are good views of the Cambodian countryside from here. Return to Phnom Penh for your overnight.
   
Meals: Breakfast
Lodging: 4 * hotel   

Day 4      Kampong Cham Port on the Mekong

After breakfast, you will journey north through the Mekong River basin to Kampong Cham overland. This lively port on the banks of the Mekong River has some good examples of colonial architecture. The Mekong River, which rises in Tibet, flows over 190 miles through Cambodia before continuing on through Vietnam to the sea. Visit a few of the sites in Kampong Cham, including the Wat Nokor Bayon, an 11th century Mahayana Buddhist shrine. Nakor Bayon is made of sandstone and laterite, with a large reclining Buddha and numerous alcoves containing Buddha images. Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei are two temples set atop hills, and translate as “Man Hill” and “Woman Hill” respectively. The hills offer beautiful views of this central part of Cambodia. Continue on to Kampong Thom for the night.
   
Meals: Breakfast
Lodging: Best available hotel (basic A/C rooms)   

Day 5      Kampong Cham Buddhas & Temples

In the morning, visit the seventh century Sambor Prei Kuk, one of the oldest temple groups in Cambodia. These Hindu temples pre-date the Angkor period and served as an inspiration for some of the Angkor temples, built some five hundred years later. Continue on to Siem Reap and check-in to your hotel for the night.
   
Meals: Breakfast
Lodging: 4 * hotel   

Day 6      Siem Reap: Angkor Wat

You rise early before breakfast to avoid some of the crowds for a more intimate look at Ta Prohm, the jungle covered temple and looking very much like most of the Angkor monuments would have appeared when European explorers first discovered them. Next, explore Angkor Wat, the temple dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu by King Suryavarman II, was constructed over a period of 30 years and illustrates some of the most beautiful examples of Khmer and Hindu art. It also features the longest continuous bas-relief in the world, which runs along the outer gallery walls and narrates stories from Hindu mythology. Return to the hotel around 9:00 am for breakfast before continuing on with your afternoon temple visit to Angkor Thom, a fortified royal city with five monumental gates, that is encircled by a moat over 325 feet wide. In the center of Siem Reap are the city’s most important monuments, including Baphuon, Bayon, and the Terrace of Elephants. The Bayon is one of the most popular of Angkor’s monuments, and is a place of narrow corridors, steep flights of stairs and an amazing collection of towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces.
   
Meals: Breakfast
Lodging: 4 * hotel   

Day 7      Siem Reap: Angkor Temples

Your final tour of Angkor includes the Roluos Group, monuments that mark the beginning of Classical art. Lolei is built on an islet with sandstone carvings in the niches of the temples. Preah Ko has inscriptions in Sanskrit on the doorsteps of each of its temples, and Bakong, the largest and most interesting of the Roluos group, still has an active Buddhist monastery. End the day with a tour to Banteay Srei Temple, one of the most beautiful of the Angkor temples. If you like spend some time afterwards walking around the Old Market.
   
Meals: Breakfast
Lodging: 4 * hotel   

Day 8      Tonle Sap Lake Vistas

This morning, you will have an opportunity to learn more about the Cambodian people as you begin your journey through a local village for the opportunity to take photos of families and their livestock. You can also visit the local orphanage for the chance to interact with the orphans and their teachers, and perhaps teach the children a few words of English while they teach you a few words of Cambodian. Afterwards, take a boat trip on Tonle Sap Lake. You will journey up the Tonle Sap River, which links the Tonle Sap Lake and the Mekong River, until you reach Tonle Sap Lake. This “Great Lake” takes up much of the center of Cambodia and changes in size depending on the season. During the dry season in February, it shrinks to a tenth of its original size  and  becomes one of the richest fishing grounds in the world. Your boat trip will take you to interesting fishing villages such as Chong Kneas, a floating village where both Khmer and Vietnamese live, and to Phnom Krom, a hill with spectacular views over the lake. The three towers on the hill are dedicated to Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma. Return to Siem Reap for your overnight.
   
Meals: Breakfast
Lodging: 4 * hotel   

Day 9      Siem Reap/Onward

Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
   
Meals: Breakfast
Lodging: None

More information from Journeys International: