Active Cambodia Adventure
13 NIGHTS GUIDE PRICE ££6,050

Ready for an adventure like no other? This Cambodian itinerary serves up glittering cities, jungle exploits, luxy tropical island life and finishes with a true bucket list destination: The Temples of Angkor Wat. You’ll finish your holiday having seriously rivalled Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider but with a little bit of ‘lying by the pool’ thrown in for good measure.

Overview

Guide Price & Inclusions

3 nights Phnom Penh, 3 nights Shinta Mani Wild, 3 nights Island life, 4 nights Siem Reap £6,050 per adult and £5,750 per teen / 3rd adult sharing including luxury accommodation, flights, transfers and excursions (savings can be made by opting for a 4 star beach hotel).

Rates subject to travel dates and hotel selection

Suggested Extensions

Cambodia is ideally placed for combining with other locations in South East Asia such as Thailand, Vietnam and Singapore – in fact with non-direct flights, a stop over makes ideal sense!

Best Time to Travel

There are two distinct seasons – dry (October to late April) and wet (May to late September). This itinerary is popular year round however, as wet season can mean fewer crowds at the temples.

Tips for Families

The key to enjoying the temples is to load up with snacks and drinks and build in plenty of time by the pool either side of the visit.

Highlights

  • Discover the original ‘Pearl of the Orient’ Phnom Penh
  • Become a park ranger for a day and feed the bears
  • Zipline over a waterfall to arrive at the bar for a welcome drink at legendary Shinta Mani Wild
  • Sleep in a luxurious tent suspended over the river
  • Enjoy tropical island living
  • Marvel at the feats of Phare Circus
  • Tick off your bucket list with cycling adventures at Angkor Wat
  • Quad bike through the Cambodian countryside

Itinerary

Day 1 | Overnight flight to Phnom Penh

Depart London overnight to Phnom Penh (approx 14 hrs), usually via a destination in Asia, such as Bangkok or Singapore.

Day 2 | Phnom Penh Arrival and City Tour

On arrival into Phnom Penh you will be met by your guide and escorted to your hotel for check in to relax before your adventure begins.

This afternoon commence your tour of the most remarkable sights of Phnom Penh in a Cyclo, an original Phnom Penh means of transportation and a fun way to explore this lively city. First, head to Wat Phnom, a small hilltop temple that marks the founding place of the city, then continue along the riverfront to the impressive 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. Its original name is Wat Prakeo, meaning Temple of the Emerald Buddha. In this temple you will view a collection of Buddhas in gold, silver, crystal, and bronze. Finish off with a wander along the river, enjoying the pace of local life.

Day 3 | Phnom Penh Culinary Delights and tour at night

This morning, gain insight into the art of Khmer cuisine with a hands-on Phnom Penh cooking class. Start the day with a guided tour through the local food market alongside a professional chef who will explain the Cambodian fruits, vegetables and spices. Using a shopping list provided by the chef, help select the best ingredients to be used in your dishes and enjoy the vast array of colours, smells and tastes for sale – from the ubiquitous, smelly fish sauce to the sweet, fragrant mangoes.

After loading up on fresh ingredients, return to the cooking school and explore the secrets of Khmer food preparation. Under the chef’s guidance, use traditional techniques to create delicious home-style dishes. After your meal has been prepared, enjoy the freshly-prepared lunch, tasting the subtle flavours of local cuisine. Armed with a recipe book of Khmer dishes, return to hotel to relax.

Set out late this afternoon for an unforgettable Phnom Penh evening tour. Meet with your knowledgeable guide and travel to Preah Ang Dong Ker, a sacred riverside pagoda. Witness locals as they gather at the shrine to worship, making offerings and saying prayers at the end of the day. Then cross to the Royal Palace, home to Cambodia’s monarchy, to see this resplendent building in the late afternoon light. Then take a walk along the riverfront area where the atmosphere at this time of day is particularly lively, with city residents gathering along the wide promenade to do exercise or to have a picnic with friends.

Next up, cast off onto the Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers for a sunset cruise. Admire the views of the city as the last light of day casts brilliant colours across the skyline.

Return to the shores at dusk, just in time for dinner.

Day 4 | Free The Bears Wildlife Sanctuary

Early this morning, travel by private vehicle to Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre, located an hour’s drive from Phnom Penh and the world’s largest sanctuary for sun bears. The sanctuary has educated hundreds of thousands of Cambodians about the threats facing their wild bear populations.

On arrival meet the staff at Free The Bears, located within Phnom Tamao. Free The Bears is a registered charity that was set up by an Australian woman, Mary Hutton to protect, preserve and enrich the lives of bears throughout the world. The 100+ bears that you will see at Phnom Tamao may have faced death or a torturous life in order to provide medicinal benefits or exotic food to the Asian market. Twenty one forested enclosures have been built over 7 hectares to house a mixture of Sun bears and Asiatic black bears of different ages and personalities.

After visiting the various different bear houses take part in a fun activity of preparing enrichment toys. There will also be time to visit some of the other endangered species kept at Phnom Tamao. Lunch will be taken at a simple local picnic hut ‘Khmer style’. In the afternoon it is time to hide the food in the bear’s forest enclosures and watch them enjoy the fruits of your labour – incredibly heart warming.

Leaving Phnom Tamao drive the short distance to visit Tonle Bati Temple, an Angkorian-style temple which remains largely intact and the pretty garden enhances the atmosphere. Whilst being very small in size the temple is one of the best preserved and picturesque you can visit in Cambodia.

 

Day 5 | Phnom Penh - Shinta Mani Wild

This morning after breakfast at the hotel, transfer directly from Phnom Penh to Shinta Mani Wild. Fancy arriving by zipwire over a waterfall? It’s quite an entrance!

Shinta Mani Wild situated in a protected river valley between three national parks – Kirirom, Bokor and Cardamom, which together make up one of the greatest wilderness areas in South East Asia – this stunning property offers a truly unique experience. The lodge provides guests luxury, safari-style accommodation, whilst maintaining its focus on the conservation of its magnificent surroundings and working together with local communities. Your luxurious tent is suspended above the river and features hardwood floors with opulent furnishing and vibrant injections of colour.

Free time at leisure or enjoy the optional activities below.

– Head out on patrol with the rangers from the Wildlife Alliance, a wildlife NGO dedicated to stopping and catching poachers and illegal loggers in the area. The team of rangers is funded by Shinta Mani Wild and has a base just above the tents.
– Spend an afternoon on one of the custom BENSLEY designed expedition boats and explore the upper reaches of a nearby estuary. Anchor in a beautiful back water to take out the kayaks while your butler gets the barbecue going to cook up the fresh giant crabs that you just caught.
– Meet the chef, a master in the kitchen and an avid forager of edible Cambodian plants. Set off on a foraging expedition  as he shares his vast wealth of knowledge on the plants, fruits and fungi that the forest has to offer. On your return, prepare to enjoy a cooking class unlike any other.
– A team of naturalists living at Wild have a number of hikes for all abilities. Join them on their research projects as they check their camera traps and bring the forest alive as they get carried away talking about what they love most;  ranging from Orchids and birds to animal behaviour.
– Finish the day at The Boulder Spa. It offers a rejuvenating range of treatments based on traditional Khmer herbs and healing rituals to reduce stress and reset inner balance.

Overnight in Sihanoukville at Shinta Mani Wild

Day 6 - 7 | Shinta Mani Wild

You will have 2 free days to enjoy the many optional activities just relax in this pristine environment.

Day 8 | Shinta Mani Wild to Sihanoukville

After a leisurely morning you will transfer to Sihanoukville (2 ½ hours) to board your speedboat to Krabey island.  The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Day 8 - 9 | Krabey Island activities and relaxation

Enjoy the days at leisure, relaxing by the sea or adventures on it!

Day 10 | Krabey to Siem Reap

After the boat ride back to the mainland, you will transfer to Sihanoukville Airport for your flight to Siem Reap. Upon your arrival in Siem Reap, you will be welcomed by your local English speaking guide and transferred to your hotel for check in. Siem Reap is the base for exploring the fabled temples of Angkor, the ancient capital of the Khmer empire!

Enjoy an evening of culture at Phare Cambodian Circus Show. Set up by refugees of the Khmer Rouge era, Phare promotes performing arts as a way to cope with trauma. Over the years they have not only helped hundreds of Cambodians but also helped to promote traditional Khmer culture. Then sit down for dinner, a feast of traditional Cambodian dishes.

Afterwards, the lights will dim and the performers will take to the stage. The hour-long show tells stories of modern life in Cambodia through a rich spectacle of song, dance and acrobatics. The performers combine traditional Khmer theatre with modern influences resulting in an entertaining mm and enthralling show. Following the show there is an opportunity to take photos with the cast, a spectacular memory of the evening’s performance.

Day 11 | Explore the Temples of Angkor Wat by bicycle

Ready for an adventure?  Set out to explore Angkor Park via bicycle this morning, pedalling through dense jungles of the magnificent temples of Angkor. This family friendly trip is great for any level. The expert Adventure Cycling guide will take great care of you while you explore the temples in a very unique, fun and exhilarating way. You’ll never forget it!

Arrive through the jungle for a visit to Ta Prohm temple (a setting of one of Angelina Jolie’s (Laura Croft) Tomb Raider films). Built in the mid-12th to early 13th centuries in dedication to Jayavarman VII’s mother. Ta Prohm is unique in that it has been left largely as it was found: overgrown by jungle, trees and vines which makes it one of the most picturesque and memorable of the Angkor temples.

From Ta Prohm, dive back into the jungle and pedal through hidden passages to the ruins of Ta Nei (Grandfather Nei) and Preah Khan (dedicated to Jayavarman VII’s father) before heading to Angkor Thom. This was the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII. Then head to Bayon Temple in the exact centre of the city. This 12th century masterpiece is a study in grandeur and is well-known for its fifty-four towers with enigmatic faces representing the fifty-four provinces of the Great Khmer Empire. The Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King are also must-visits as they are both known for their intricate bas-reliefs.

Head southward now, through Angkor Thom to the famous Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world. Truly breath-taking. It was originally constructed as a Hindu temple of god Vishnu gradually transforming into a Buddhist temple toward the end of the 12th century. Built during the reign of King Suryavarman II, Angkor Wat is constructed following the model of Mount Meru, the home of the gods. Today, Angkor Wat is figured on Cambodia’s national flag as the temple symbolizes the soul of the Khmer people.

Day 12 | Craft morning and quad bike through the Cambodian countryside

This morning enjoy a craft workshop with Senteurs d’Angkor, offering training and job opportunities for disadvantaged young people focused around preserving traditional Khmer local handicrafts including Smok and Candle making. These Cambodian crafts date back to the Angkor era and are not only an immersive way to learn about these traditional arts but also support an organization providing skills training to a new generation of Cambodian artisans. Return to hotel for relax.

This afternoon, an unforgettable experience as you will ride a quad bike especially designed for off road terrain through the beautiful countryside of Siem Reap Province. The 12 km guided tour will take you to local villages, where you can learn about the way of life in rural Cambodia and have the chance to meet and chat with the wonderful and friendly people. The highlight of the 2 hour tour is the sunset in the rice fields. Magical.

Day 13 | Siem Reap

Today is a chance to relax and reflect on all your Cambodian adventure or head out exploring once more independently.

Day 14 | Departure

Enjoy some time at leisure until your transfer to Siem Reap International Airport for your departure flight.

Get In Touch

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In our Client's Words...

A much anticipated trip to Cambodia mixing ancient temples with more recent history and different experiences such as cycling and looking after rescued bears for a day. Bushbaby dealt very well with all our changing requirements and delivered a very good holiday experience at a very reasonable price.

Nell B, Cambodia

100% of our clients leaving feedback on AITO.com (the Trip Advisor of Tour Operators) have rated us 'excellent'

Map

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Koh Russey Villas & Resort, Bamboo Island, Preah Sihanouk, Cambodia

Siem Reap, Cambodia

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