Phnom Penh, Siem Reap Cruise 6 Days / 5 Nights

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  • Duration 6 days 5 nights
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  • Start Phnom Penh, Cambodia
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The meandering Tonle Sap River serves as a lifeline to Cambodia's people, many of whom have even taken to living aboard its waters in floating villages. Literally translated to mean Large Freshwater River, Tonle Sap is indeed that; in fact, it is the largest body of fresh water in Southeast Asia and its size quadruples in the wet season when much of the surrounding area floods.

First up, you will get to see the capital of Cambodia between the years 1618 and 1866, Oudong. Much of the town suffered from American bombing raids during the 60s but a set of 509 steps survive, leading up the famed hill to a temple and fantastic views across the surrounding area.

After seeing or even buying some of the wonderful silverware that the region produces, the cruise continues to Kompong Tralach. This community takes its name from the earthenware pots it makes and provides a beautiful site of stilted houses set amid flood plains that fill up during the wet season, providing the town with an abundance of fish, for which it is now famous.

Here, the river joins with the lake of the same name and you will get to see the intriguing villages scattered about its canal system. This tour will include the largest of them all, Chnok Tru, before your final night on board the boat and disembarkation from what we are sure will be an unforgettable trip. 

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Day 1: Phnom Penh Arrival D

Upon arrival in Phnom Penh, you will be welcomed by your local English speaking guide, who will accompany you to your hotel for check in.
Phnom Penh was once considered as one of the most beautiful cities in the Orient, and despite its recent turbulent history, it still retains a colonial charm. Cambodia’s capital is a bustling city, majestically located at the confluence of the mighty rivers of the Mekong and Tonlé Sap. Wide tree-lined boulevards and many colonial-era buildings reflect the glorious days and add to the allure of the city, where Asian and Western traditions meet in a fascinating way.
Optional tour
This afternoon, you will be greeted by a driver who will take you on a tour to 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, visit the 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.
Then visit the National Museum, which was built in traditional Khmer style. It houses the world's foremost collection of ancient Khmer artistic, archaeological, and religious artifacts from the 4th to the 13th centuries. Over 5,000 pieces are on display, constituting the repository of the Kingdom's cultural wealth. In addition, the roof space is home to a large bat colony!
This evening you will have a welcome dinner at Bopha Phnom Penh Titanic, the kitchen serves tasty Khmer (and Western) cuisine on the terrace of a breezy terrace restaurant with sweeping river views. Apsara dancing is performed nightly between 7-9pm.
After the dinner you can either be dropped back at your hotel or at the night market on the riverfront.
Note: Night market open wed, thur Friday, Saturday & Sunday only
Overnight in Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh Airport Phnom Penh (11 km): 20 mins
Day 2: Phnom Penh - Kampong Tralach L/D
Transfer with driver only to the Phnom Penh boat jetty to board your boat around 11hrs30 and embark on your river cruise to Siem Reap. This three day, two night journey is a fantastic way to discover the small villages and riverside life of the Khmer people.
After a safety briefing set sail with lunch on board. Cruise up the Tonlé Sap River with views towards the stupas of Oudong, the former capital of Cambodia, which you can see in the distance. Arrive at Prek Kdam to visit the village of Koh Chen whose inhabitants specialize in silver and copper smiting which are used in traditional ceremonies at the pagoda or for marriages. Watch the craftsmen at work and see the beautiful ornamental items they create. Further sailing until mooring up close to a local village
Dinner is served on board the boat.
Overnight on board
Phnom Penh - Harbour (1 km): 08 mins
Day 3: Kampong Tralach - Kompong Chhnang B/L/D
Enjoy breakfast as the Toum Tiou sails towards Kampong Tralach. Stop to pay a visit to the wonderful vihara belonging to Wat Kampong Tralach Leu pagoda, home to some outstanding mural paintings and dates back to early last century. The temple is quite modest but with a very scenic location standing amongst rice fields.
Re-embark the boat and sail during lunch on the way to Kompong Chhnang, one of the largest fishing ports on the Tonlé Sap. On an excursion visit a local village which is famed throughout Cambodia for its pottery ware. Not to forget learning about the ‘thnot’ (sugar palm) tree which are seen throughout the scenic countryside. The palm tree is used for palm wine and the sugar is used in many different ways.
Back on board the boat sail in the direction of the Tonlé Sap Lake and moor overnight at the entrance.
Dinner is served on board the boat.
Overnight on board
Day 4: Chnok Tru - Siem Reap B/L 
Today’s itinerary is dependant on the water level of the lake. During Jul-Mar when the water level is higher than the floating village of Chnok Tru is visited.
The arrival in Siem Reap is dependant on water level also – from Jul-Dec the Toum Tiou should be able to sail to Phnom Krom pier outside of Siem Reap. From Jan-Jun a chartered speedboat is used for the transfer instead.
On arrival, transfer to your hotel in Siem Reap.
This evening attend a performance of ‘Phare, the Cambodian Circus’. Starting at 7pm, professional artists of Phare Ponleu Selpak (PPS) will perform an inspiring show suitable for people of all ages. Set up in Battambang in 1994 by young returnee Cambodians from the refugee camps who learned about using art as a means of coping with trauma, PPS has played an influential role in promoting and developing Khmer culture over the years after the Khmer Rouge genocide. The hour long show mixes traditional and modern theater, music, dance, acrobatics, juggling and contortion performed in a story about Cambodian lives and society. Student performances can still be seen twice weekly in Battambang but now the circus has arrived in Siem Reap!
Overnight in Siem Reap
Day 5: Siem Reap B/L/D
After your breakfast, start your visit the ancient city of Angkor Thom. Angkor Thom was the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII. This city is surrounded by an 8 m high wall, drawing a perfect square. Enter the city through the ancient South Gate, an impressive stone gate carved with Elephants and four giant faces. On each side of the entrance path a row of 54 gods or demons is holding the sacred Naga snake.Then continue to Ta Prohm temple, built in the mid-12th to early 13th centuries. Ta Prohm is unique in that it has been left largely as it was found: overgrown by jungle trees and vines, with many parts of the temple crumbling to the ground. This makes Ta Prohm one of the most picturesque and memorable of the Angkor temples.
Lunch at the beautiful Mahob restaurant. “Mahob”, the Cambodian word for ‘food’, is a culinary hotspot that takes traditional Khmer cuisine to a new level. Using only locally produced ingredients, this beautiful restaurant serves up some of the best local delicacies that Siem Reap has to offer. Located in a traditional Khmer wooden house in a peaceful cosy garden setting, and away from the bustling Pub Street area, Mahob provides you with a truly genuine Khmer welcome experience.
This afternoon visit the biggest religious temple in the world: the magnificent Angkor Wat Temple. Built by Suryavarman II, in early 12th century Angkor Wat is constructed following the model of the temple mountain symbolizing the Mount Merou, home of the gods. Considered as the masterpiece of the Khmer architecture, this Vishnuite temple is the King’s funerary temple. These are the main reasons to explain the West exposure of the temple. Inside the temple the walls are covered by carvings and bas-reliefs depicting the Hindu mythology and the wars Suryavarman II made during his reign. Stay at this magic place until the sun sets and witness how the warm evening light changes the appearance of the 2,000 Apsara dancers decorating the temple. Asian Square is one of the more unique places to eat in town, located in the heart of Siem Reap. Designed around a mixture of traditional Khmer and contemporary décor, the restaurant offers a selection of creative fusion cuisine, from exotic local delicacies, to tangy Asian dishes and Western favourites.
Overnight in Siem Reap
Siem Reap – Temples (06 km): 10 mins
Day 6: Departure Siem Reap B
After breakfast, you will transfer to the airport for your individual onward flight.
Siem Reap - Siem Reap Airport (8 km): 15 mins
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