Cambodia Explorer Textiles, Temples & Khmer Cuisine
12 – 22 November 2022
Day 1 : To Siem Reap
International Departure for Siem Reap from UK or your country of residence. UK residents please contact us for international air fare on a choice of airlines.
Day 2 : Arrival in Siem Reap
Arrival Siem Reap. International flights are not included, and you will need to make your own flight arrangements. We can assist anyone departing from the United Kingdom with the best connecting flights into Siem Reap. Please contact us if you require assistance and flight costs.
Meet your guide on arrival and transfer by private air-conditioned vehicle to your hotel. 9 nights at Saem Siem Reap Hotel in Deluxe Rooms. Or Similar.
Day 3 : Siem Reap – Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm, Angkor Wat
This morning, visit the monumental magnificence of Angkor Thom - last capital of the Khmers, with its Elephant Terrace, the Terrace of the Leper King and the stunning Bayon temple. This 12th century masterpiece lies at the very centre of Angkor Thom and is an archaeological wonder of symmetry and grandeur. The exterior gallery walls have extensive bas-reliefs but the highlight is the “faces”, more than 200 of them, silent but with the famous half-smile playing on their lips. PJ de Beerski wrote of them; “godliness in the majesty and the size, mystery in the expression.”
Continue your exploration of the Angkor Temples at Ta Prohm, the temple that has been left largely in its natural state since its “re-discovery” by French explorers. Surrounded by jungle, its labyrinth of stone hallways is overgrown with the roots and limbs of massive banyan trees, which envelop the stone like tentacles. with a short stop for Photograph at Thomman Temple, Chao Say Tevoda along the tree line way to Ta Prohm.
This afternoon, you will visit Angkor Wat, the largest temple in the world, with a volume of stone equaling that of the Cheops pyramid in Egypt. It is unlike all the other Khmer temples in that it faces west, and is inspired by 12th Century Hinduism. Its symmetrical towers are stylized on the modern Cambodian flag. Conceived by Suryavarman II, Angkor Wat took an estimated 30 years to build. It is generally believed to have been a funeral temple for the king. It has been occupied continuously by Buddhist monks and is well preserved. Intricate bas-reliefs surround Angkor Wat on four sides. Each tells a story. The most celebrated of these is the Churning of the Ocean of Milk, which is located on the east wing. In it the Naga serpent, is twisted by demons and gods to spurt out the elixir of life.
Please Note: During the visit of the Bakan tower of Angkor Wat temple, visitors are required to wear a proper attire, covering shoulders and knees as this temple is still considered as a sacred site (no shorts or short trousers). It will be closed on the Buddhist Sabbath Days, the Buddhist religious days, and four days a month in accordance with the Lunar Calendar.
After resting at the hotel around 19:30 you will transfer for an evening of unforgettable circus show! Phare Ponleu Selpak, meaning “the brightness of art”, originated in 1986 in Site 2 Refugee Camp on the Thai border. The idea of an artistic association that would use art and expression to help young refugees overcome the trauma of war emerged from simple drawing workshops for children in the camps. Return to the hotel for overnight stay. B
Day 4 : Siem Reap – A Cookery experience.
Today, we spend some time learning the secrets of the Cambodian kitchen, a cuisine laced with subtle spices and tempting aromas.
Memoire Hotels & Resorts, the Cambodian veteran innate hospitality brand, are connecting every tourist to deeply understand a real Cambodian culture and helping local community by supporting their own products, which is advertising Khmer cuisine by taking a great chance for the guests to learn how to cook Cambodian Gastronomy which is led by our dedicated chefs.
09:00: Meeting the Chef to introduce the program at Memoire d’Angkor Boutique Hotel
09:20: Depart from Memoire d’Angkor Boutique Hotel
09:35: Market Tour with our Chef at Wat Pren Market
10:00: Explore cultural at Chreav Village
10:30: Arrive Cooking venue (Local Khmer House) enjoy a welcome drink
10:45: Start cooking theory
11:00: Begin the cooking session
12:00: Wrapping up & enjoy lunch choice of a glass of local beer or soft-drinks & and mineral water, cooking certificate presentation after lunch.
This afternoon at leisure time. B, L
Day 5 : Siem Reap
Depart early from Siem Reap to visit Banteay Chmar temple, it takes about two hours 45 minutes to visit the temple of Banteay Chhmar which was accomplished during the reign of Jayavarman VII in the late 12th or early 13th century. One of the temple's shrines once held an image of Srindrakumara Rajaputra (the crown prince), probably a son of Jayavarman VII. The long Old Khmer inscription found at the site (K.227), is now on display in the National Museum, Phnom Penh which relates how this prince or a king (samtac) was protected on two different occasions by four royal servants, all of whom lost their lives in his defence. The inscription lists the names of these officials and informs us that their respective images were once placed in the four corners of the shrine.
Lunch at own cost at a local restaurant.
Return to the hotel for a free afternoon. B
Day 6 : Siem Reap – Visit of Koh Ker Temple
Leave after early breakfast (around 06:30am) and drive to visit
Koh Ker Temple, Koh Ker temple, one of the main temple complexes lost to the jungle for many years and only recently opened up to a few hardy adventurers is the former tenth century capital of Koh Ker (also known as Chok Gargyar - 'Island of Glory', located in barren hill country some 85 kilometres (53 miles) northeast of Angkor, in the province of Preah Vihear. It was home to Jayavarman IV, the maternal uncle of the two previous kings and a great feudal landholder, who ascended the throne in 928. After only a few years, he'd built many colossal sanctuaries dedicated to Shiva, ruling over large numbers of people and in considerable splendour for twenty years until succeeded by his son Harshavarman I. The capital was moved back to Angkor in 944. The monuments of Koh Ker are arranged into three main groups. The first group is headed by the chief monument and state temple of Prasat Thom and includes the artificial Baray, Beng Rahal and the ruins of the walled capital. The second group is a row of towers to the east of the Rahal and a third group, are several towers along a road running south from the southern end of the Baray. The whole region occupies an area of about 5 to 7 kilometers.
After the visit drive back to visit Beng Mealea temple, you will visit Boeng Mealea, “Lotus Pond” temple is an early 11th Century Hindu temple built by Suryavarman II. If there is one temple to explore resplendent with jungle engulfing it, it is Beng Mealea. Clambering over large sandstone blocks to reach the inner sanctuary and eerie worship corridor is an exploration to remember. Garudas, hold up an outer platform, finer in detail than those to be found out in the elements of the Elephant Terrace at Angkor Thom. Surprises of fallen lintels with intricate carvings lay amongst the fallen wall and roofs. This is truly a stunning temple that has been left largely unrestored which makes for some stunning photography.
Drive back to Siem Reap for rest and overnight. B, L
Day 7 : Siem Reap – Visit of Institute of Khmer Traditional Textiles
This morning you will have a private transfer to Institute of Khmer Traditional Textiles and spend a half day at the institute. To understand and learn techniques of Khmer silk weaving and the practice of Dye Handkerchief around two hours.
The IKTT specialises in the revival of the Khmer silk ikat. Throughout history, Khmer silk weaving ranked among the best in the world; however, years of war caused the ancient art to almost disappear. The beauty of such silk has been its savior. Started in 1996 by Kikuo Morimoto, we take a purist approach to the reproduction of traditional textiles, not just by recreating the style but by following the traditional practice seen a thousand years ago in the ancient times of the Angkor Dynasty.
Return to hotel for afternoon at liesure or you may wish to go back and explore Angkor again. B, L
Day 8 : Siem Reap
Morning visit to Angkor National Museum which is a profound cultural landmark in Siem Reap. This world-class museum reveals the legend of Golden Era of Khmer Kingdom, and The Cultural Mall.
Visit a development project teaching young adults, stone carving, wood carving, lacquer application, Les Artisans d' Angkor is a heart-warming reminder that progress in Cambodia can go hand in hand with traditional crafts. Then continue to Pouk Silk Farm, the Traditional Carving and Silk Production -Two colleges originally established by the European Union to teach young adults in the art of Sandstone and Woodcarving, lacquer ware of ceremonial artefacts and modern silk weaving. The Carving College is in Siem Reap Town close to the local market providing a busy half morning or afternoon of searching for local products. The Silk farm is about 18 kilometres out of town where all stages of silk production from growing Mulberry trees, breeding silkworms, unravelling the cocoons and producing beautiful lengths of fabric.
Visit the central local market downtown Siem Reap called the Old Market. The Old Market (Phsar Chas) is a very popular of the various traditional Cambodian markets in Siem Reap. The Old Market offers the deepest selection of souvenirs and curios. There are souvenir vendors throughout much the market, especially on the riverside. The north side of the market along Street 9 sports a number of inexpensive cafe stalls serving Cambodian fare in an interesting, local atmosphere. B
Day 9 : Siem Reap
This morning, you will visit Preah Khan "The Sacred Sword", an extensive monastic complex covering over 56 hectares built by the Khmer King Jayavarman VII as a monastery and teaching complex. It is one of a group of temple complexes situated on a small 'Baray' or water reservoir including the temples of Neak Pean and the monastic complex of Ta Som. Together these structures constitute one of Angkor's major axial arrangements and hydrological complexes. Preah Khan was the site of the World Monuments Fund ‘prime’ Asian project a painstaking renovation whilst maintaining its mysterious allure and superb original structure. Continue to Pre Rup temple is around 2 kilometre’s northeast of Srah Srang and about 500 meters south of the East Baray. The temple was built in 961 during the reign of King Rajendravarman, dedicating to Shiva Brahmanism. The boldness of the architectural design is superb and gives the temple fine balance, scale and proportion. The temple is close in style to the East Mebon, although it was built several years later.
This afternoon, transfer to visit Samatoa Lotus Farm Center, a unique workshop in the world. It aims to present in detail though in an entertaining manner, the exceptional production of the most ecological fabric made from lotus fiber.
After a guided presentation of the Sacred Lotus Flower and its symbolic meaning in the Asian cultures, the Lotus Farm offers visitors the opportunity to experience each stage in the creation of this luxurious and rarest fabric:
The harvest, or the way to gather the Lotus Flowers stems to keep the best quality of material. The spinning, which consists to transform the Lotus fibers in a high quality thread. This very complex process must be realized exclusively by hand. The weaving, from the preparation of the loom to the finished lotus fabric, The re-use of the Lotus wastes which offer unique medicinal, nutritional and cosmetic properties.
Then continue to visit of Theam’s House. Lim Muy Theam is a Cambodian artist and designer who draw on inspiration from both Khmer and contemporary international design. For more than 10 years Theam has trained a team of artisan apprentices who work either at the studio or in their home villages. Explore the art studio and observe various works being created such as lacquer ware, painting and fine sculptures. B
Day 10 : Siem Reap
This morning go to visit Banteay Srei; ‘the Womans Citadel’ - a tiny, enchanting temple, which is one of the jewels in this remarkable city. Built of red sandstone in the tenth century and dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, the carved male and female figures in the niches are exquisitely executed in both style and proportion. This is the most Indian of all the temples in Angkor and in the words of H.W. Ponder, is “a fairy palace in the heart of an immense and mysterious forest.”
Note: During the visit of Banteay Srei temple, visitors are required to wear a proper attire, covering shoulders and knees as this temple is still considered as a sacred site (no short, miniskirt or short trousers).
Continue to Banteay Samre, built under Suryavarman II and Yasovarman II in the early 12th century, it is a Hindu temple in the Angkor Wat style. Named after the Samré, an ancient people of Indochina, the temple uses the same materials as Banteay Srei.
On the way back to the town, visit the Golden Silk Preservation Center, which aims at the reviving the ancient Khmer know-how in silk activities and providing job opportunities to a labour force living in removed areas. We can see the weaving techniques first-hand and experience the realities of an individual initiation to weavings.
Afternoon at leisure. B
Day 11 : International Departure or Phnom Penh extension
Transfer to the airport to board your international flight.
Those taking the extension fly Phenom Penh.
Meeting, assistance on arrival and transfer to Firanghipani Royal Palace Hotel for 2 nights stay. B
Day 12 : Phnom Penh
Half day sightseeing of the National Musuem by private car with local English speaking guide B
Day 13 : International Departure or fly to Siem Reap for an extention to Vietnam
End of the Cambodia extension. Option to Transfer to the airport for your International flight or another extension tour to Cambodia.
Fly from Phnom Penh to Saigon. You will be met by our local guide and transferred by private vehicle. The transfer approximately takes about 20-30 minutes depending on the traffic conditions. Our guide will greet you at column 7-9 (Gate A1) of the exit for the transfer to hotel in Saigon. Kindly note that hotel check-in time is 2 pm, so rooms may not be immediately available for guests arriving on earlier flights.
The first stop on this afternoon’s itinerary is Reunification Palace. Formerly named the Presidential Palace, this important city landmark was assured its place in history on 30th April 1975, when the first North Vietnamese tanks rumbled past, signaling the Fall of Saigon and ultimately the end of the Vietnam War. Now a museum with period meeting areas, war rooms and a basement communication center, after your visit, walk the short distance to Notre Dame Cathedral. At the center of HCMC’s government district, this romantic church dates back to the late 19th century and is a popular backdrop for wedding photographs. Across the street from the cathedral is the city’s striking French colonial-era post office, whilst Hotel de Ville de Saigon, officially Ho Chi Minh City Hall, is another of the city’s most prominent buildings. The Museum of Vietnamese History is housed in yet another fine example of Sino-French architecture. Dating back to the 1920s, it contains an excellent series of exhibits dating from the Bronze Age to the Nguyen dynasty, the last ruling family of Vietnam.
As an alternative to the Museum of Vietnamese History, you may choose to visit the elegant Fine Arts Museum with its impressive collection of ancient and modern art and sculptures, or the War Remnants Museum, which is primarily dedicated to the Vietnam War but also includes exhibits dating back to French colonialist period and the first Indochina War.
The final stop today is the unforgettable Jade Emperor Pagoda. With the pungent smell of incense hanging heavy in the air and an interior packed fall of ornate carvings and fierce-looking statues, this Taoist temple is one of the most atmospheric places of worship in the city. Transfer back to your hotel after your visit or alternatively be dropped off at Ben Thanh market for personal exploration and a spot of souvenir hunting.
Day 14 : Saigon
After breakfast leave to explore one of the country’s most enchanting landscapes travelling by car and then motorized sampan (a flat-bottomed wooden boat) into the ‘rice bowl’ of Vietnam.
The Mekong Delta is a rich fertile region of farmland interlaced with countless waterways crisscrossed by low-lying rice paddies.
Exploring Ben Tre, one of the lesser-visited provinces in the Mekong Delta, you will cruise along the Ham Luong River visiting small factories that provide an insight into how the local economy works. Stops include a brickworks, where bricks are still painstakingly made by hand, a salt refinery, a coconut processing workshop where you can sample fresh coconut and see how every single part of this versatile nut is turned into food and other products, and a mat weaving house, where straw mats are woven using a hand loom – you can even have a go at weaving yourself!
Stop at a peaceful village for a short walk to see more of local life in the community before travelling by bicycle or xe loi, a design of cyclo used only in the Delta, through fruit orchards before stopping at a riverside restaurant for a delicious lunch. The lunch will feature local specialties such as elephant ear fish and river shrimp. After lunch, there will be time to explore the garden or wander along the riverbanks with your guide before taking a rowing boat along narrow canals back to the main boat. Return to the pier in Ben Tre and transfer back to Ho Chi Minh City by car.
Rest of the day is at leisure.
Day 15 : To Hanoi
Breakfast at your hotel. Leave for the airport for your midday flight to Hanoi. Meeting, assistance on arrival and transfer to the hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. B
Day 16 :
Leave after breakfast for an exploration of the city, resplendent with French colonial architecture including the exquisite, Opera House. Pass Hoan Kiem Lake, also known as the ‘Lake of the Restored Sword’ after the legend that surrounds it, en-route to one of the city's many fascinating museums: choose from Ancient History, Military History, Hoa Lo Prison or Fine Arts Museum, depending on your personal interests (please discuss with your tour guide at destination!). Continue to the Temple of Literature, a serene retreat from the busy streets outside. Built in 1070 and dedicated to Confucius, it became Vietnam's first university.
The best way to experience Hanoi's Old Quarter is on foot and next we take a walking tour through an area of the city known as ’36 Streets’. The oldest continuously developed area of Vietnam, this densely populated section of Hanoi was once an important center of commerce where goods were sold on the street name of a particular guild. The labyrinthine alleyways are perfect for exploring on foot with names such as Sugar Street, Tin Street and Paper Street.
Please note: Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is closed every Monday & Friday, all afternoons and from mid-June until mid-August. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum will be closed from 15 Jun and reopen on 15 Aug for annual maintenance. During this period, the visit is still available at President of Palace and his home or walk outside the Mausoleum.
Return to your hotel for afternoon at leisure.
Day 17 : To Ha Long
Leave after breakfast for Ha Long. This transfer will take approx. 2.5 - 3 hours via the highway. On arrival, you will transfer to a cruise for your journey on Bai Tu Long.
12:00 – 12:30 Embark at Halong cruise port.
12:30 – 13:00 Check-in. Cruise begins with welcome drink and safety briefing.
13:30 – 14:30 Set menu lunch served in the outdoor dining room (depending on the weather) while cruising into magnificent Bai Tu Long Bay; admire the fascinating limestone karsts on the way.
15:00 – 17:00 Cruise to Vung Dang – Cong Dam area: Swim or relax on a white sandy beach.
18:00– 20:30 Return to Dragon Legend Cruise to refresh yourself in Mineral Seawater Pool, Fitness Room or the Spa and Massage Services before dinner.
20:30 Spend the rest of your evening relaxing, talking with the on-board team, watching movies, listening to music… Overnight in Tra San area. B, L, D
Day 18 : To London
06:30 – 07:00 Start a new day with a Tai Chi demonstration on the sundeck.
07:00 – 07:30 Take in the morning view of the Bay’s landscape with a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy breakfast in the fresh air.
7:30 – 09:45 Cruise to Cong Do area to explore the well- hidden Thien Canh Son Cave.
10:00 Check out your cabin.
10:45 – 11:30 Enjoy a Buffet while cruising towards the harbor.
11:30 – 12:00 Disembark.
Meet with your guide again at the pier and we depart for the next destination or head back to Noi Bai airport for your departure to London. B
|Price per person
|Single room supplement|
- Accommodation at hotels as mentioned with daily breakfast
- All transportation by air-conditioned private vehicle for all included sightseeing (Except day free at leisure without transportation and guide as mentioned)
- Local English-speaking guides during transfers
- Daily breakfast. Welcome dinner on arrival.
- Half day tour with lunch at IKTT, half day cooking class followed by lunch.
- Phare Circus Show
- Complimentary mineral water during transfers and sightseeing.
- VAT Government tax and services charge
- Phnom Pneh and Saigon extensions are inclusive of domestic flights.
- 100% protection of your payment by our ATBA Licence.
- International air fare.
- Visa for Cambodia (Visa is issued on arrival for most nationalities for a fee of $30. Please carry couple of passport size photographs with you for the visa.
- Additional transfers apart from the group transfer will be charged extra depending on the time of your arrival and departure.
- Any surcharges/extra fees for visit of the Angkor Historical site imposed by the Apsara Authorities in Siem Reap which are subject to change without prior notice
- Meals not mentioned in the itinerary.
- Camera/video entrance fees if applicable
- Personal expenses (drinks, laundry, telephone, tips for the guide, etc)
- Other services not clearly indicated in the package inclusions above
Cost for Extension tour to Phnom Pneh:
Per Person sharing twin or double room £ 295.00
Single room supplement £ 50.00
Cost for Extension tour to Vietnam:
Per Person sharing double or twin room £1410.00
Single Room supplement £280.00
International flight cost from the United Kingdom
Cost for international flights in economy class with Thai Airways from London Heathrow is approx. £750 - £800 per person. (includes airline failure insurance)
It is essential to have adequate insurance in place before your departure. This should be appropriate for your age, health and destination you are visiting.
• Make sure it includes comprehensive medical and repatriation cover.
• Make sure it provides cover for your whole trip (whether one day or over a year).
• Make sure it covers you for all activities.
• Disclose pre-existing medical conditions.
• Take your policy number and the 24-hour emergency contact numbers with you.
If you have any doubts about your cover, check with your insurer. Please note Covid-19 cover is now available.
For a competitive quotation please visit https://www.indusexperiences.co.uk/insurance/