Phnom Penh Holidays

Sample Itinerary - REF SOUTHEAST ASIA 440

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Day 1: Phnom Penh

Welcome to the Cambodia! Upon arrival, you will be met by your tour guide and driver before being transfered to your hotel. A sight seeing tour of the city will take in the Royal Palace, the incredible solid silver-floored Silver Pagoda and the National Museum, a treasure chest of Angkorian and pre-Angkorian artifacts before ending our city tour with a visit to Wat Phnom pagoda and shopping at the Russian market.

Day 2: Phnom Penh

After breakfast we travel southwest of Phnom Penh to Choeung Ek. The memorial just outside Phnom Penh was an orchard and a Chinese cemetery prior to 1975. During the Khmer Rouge regime, it became one of the killing fields, the site of the brutal executions of more than 17,000 individuals, most of who first suffered through torture and deprivation in Toul Sleng Prison. Choeung Ek is now a group of mass graves and a memorial stupa containing thousands of skulls. This evening, enjoy a boat cruise on the Mekong River and take in the local night life.

Day 3: Phnom Penh - Kompong Thom

After breakfast we leave Phnom Penh and travel to Kompong Thom province. The province is large in size with some 13,814 km2 making it the second biggest province of Cambodia. It is one of the most popular historical and cultural sites to explore due to its pre Angkorian temples. Later visit Sambor Prei Kuk, the most impressive group of pre-Angkorian monuments in Cambodia.

A pre Ankorian Sambor Prei Kruk

Day 4: Kompong Thom - Siem Reap

Today we continue to Siem Reap to visit the Angkor Wat Temple. This architectural master piece was built in the 12th century, took 30 years to complete and represents the Khmer civilization at its grandest. Covering 81 hectares, it is one of the largest religious monuments ever built. Angkor Wat (the biggest Hindu temple in the world and one of the largest religious monuments in the world, was built between the 9th – 13th century. In the early evening climb to Bakheng Hill to enjoy the superb view as the sun sets over Angkor Wat.

Day 5: Siem Reap

Today is spent further exploring the Angkor Wat complex, entering the South Gate of Angkor Thom Temple marvel at the wonders of the eerie Bayon, the terrace of Elephants and the terrace of the Leper King. Afterwards, we continue to visit Ta Prohm temple, shrouded in jungle and left just it was founded by French explorers in 1850s. This afternoon we set out for a cruise on the beautiful Tonle Sap Lake passing a typical floating village observing the locals in their daily life.

Day 6: Siem Reap

Today travel to Banteay Srey, one of the most unusual temples of Angkor, Cambodia. It lies 20 km due north of the main group of temples and is built largely of red sandstone, which is covered with elaborate and intricate carvings. Later visit Banteay Samre, built in the third quarter of the 12th century. The Srah Srang a royal bathing Palace, located east of Banteay Kdei is our next destination. It was constructed in the mid-10th century, and modified in the 12th or 13th century, then visit the Banteay Kdei Temple, a massive Buddhist monastery from the latter part of the 12th century and is surrounded by for concentric walls. Later take in Ta Keo, and finally we finish with Thommanon Temple, one of a pair of Hindu temples.

Day 7: Siem Reap

After breakfast we visit Beng Mealea Temple, a spectacular jungle temple around 60 Kms drive to the north east of Siem Reap. It is one of the "new" highlights of Cambodia; having only been cleared of mines at the end of 2003. Built by Jayarvaman VII; in the style of Angkor Wat; its scale is huge. Being well over one square kilometer in area and all located within a moat. Approached by four causeways, Beng Mealea appears to be a huge pile of rubble partially hidden in the trees, it's not until you get closer to the high walls that the ancient Khmer Architecture reveals itself. Cloaked in vegetation the temple looks as it did when French explorers first stumbled across it.

Day 8: Siem Reap - Saigon

Arrangements conclude in Cambodia after breakfast and onward transfer to the airport for your flight to saigon (flights not included). Welcome to Saigon, the largest and busiest city in Vietnam. You will be greeted at the airport and transfered to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure.

Ho Chi Minh's Notre Dame Basilica Cathedral at night

Day 9: Saigon

This morning, we depart for Cu Chi Tunnel, an underground maze, which became legendary during the 1960s for its role in the Vietnam War. Located about 75 km northwest of Saigon, the tunnels were part of an underground network that zigzagged from the southern tip of the Ho Chi Minh trail near the Cambodian border to the Saigon River. Later we visit the Reunification Palace (also known as Independence Palace), one of the most fascinating sights in Saigon and once the symbol of the South Vietnamese government. Nearby is the famous Notre Dame Cathedral and the War Remnants Museum, where we can learn more about the "American" War as it is referred to in Vietnam. Our next stop is Ben Thanh market, typical of local markets markets in Vietnam.

A street trader in Saigon

Day 10: Saigon - Can Tho

We travel overland through the beautiful countryside of the Mekong Delta to Vinh Long province. On arrival, we take a boat ride to visit a local orchard and the Cai Be floating market. Everyday, approximately 400-500 boats filled with fruits, vegetables and other local products anchor along the banks of the River, waiting for traders and customers. Here we observe the local people buying selling and exchanging goods from their boats. Later we leave Cai Be, and visit a local family producing coconut candy, a specialty of the region. After lunching on the local delicacies in a local Bonsai garden travel onwards to Can Tho.

A woman rowing a boat to Can Tho floating markets

Day 11: Can Tho - Saigon

This morning we cruise along the small and picturesque tributaries of the Mekong by rowing boat and visit the Cai Rang - Phong Dien floating market. The scenery is simply stunning and the daily activities of the locals who live along the Mekong canals are a pleasure to watch going about their daily activities. Later return to Saigon.

The Peoples Committee Building at night in Ho Chi Minh

Day 12: Saigon - Dalat

Today we travel to Dalat, the capital city of Lam Dong province. At an altitude of 1500m above sea level, Dalat was dubbed the “city of spring”, with its ideal climate for horticulture. It’s famous for its lakes, waterfalls, pine-tree forests, vegetable gardens and flowers. The drive to Dalat is quite long, approximately 7 hours. En route we will stop at the town of Bao Loc and visit Dambri Waterfall. We will arrive in Dalat late afternoon, rest of the day at leisure. OVERNIGHT - Ngoc Lan Hotel

Day 13: Dalat

In the morning we visit Xuan Huong Lake, which is located at the center of Dalat. Xuan Huong was created when the French dammed the Cam Ly River in 1919. Continue to the Central Markets where you will be bewildered with a riot of multi-colored flowers as well as fresh vegetables and mouthwatering fruits. We also visit Prenn waterfall, which is nestled in the valley covered with densely lush vegetation and pine forest. In the afternoon we visit Lam Ty Ni pagoda, one of the unlikeliest and most delightful attractions of a stay in Da Lat. The pagoda is home to Vien Thuc, the so-called "mad monk" of Dalat. OVERNIGHT - Ngoc Lan Hotel

Day 14: Dalat - Nha Trang

Today we take a drive to Nha Trang, famed for white sandy beaches with up to 7km in length azure blue water and more than 200 islands offshore. We arrive in Nha Trang in the early afternoon, hotel check in and afternoon at leisure.

Day 15: Nha Trang

A day of leisure and indulgence as we cruise through blue clear waters of the islands off the coast of Nha Trang. Visit the Tri Nguyen Aquarium on Mieu Island then onto Mun Island where you will get the chance to swim or even do some snorkeling in the crystal clear waters. Then a stop is made for lunch at the fishing village of Lang Chai where you will have the opportunity to explore further before boarding the boat back to Nha Trang harbor.

Day 16: Nha Trang - Phan Thiet

After breakfast, we depart for Phan Thiet. On the way, we will make a stop to visit Po Klong Garai Cham Tower in Phan rang town. Upon arrival, check in hotel and afternoon at leisure.

Day 17: Phan Thiet

Free day to enjoy the tropical oasis that is Muine Beach on the south east coast - where palm trees line the perfect sandy beaches.

Day 18: Phan Thiet - Saigon

Today we are transferred to the airport for our flight to Saigon (flights not included). Upon arrival you are transferred to your hotel.

A street trader in Saigon by William Cho

Day 19: Saigon

After breakfast arrangements are complete. Onward departure transfer to Saigon airport.