|Name||Treasures of the North|
|Duration||12 Days / 11 Nights|
|Tour Type||Private Round Trip|
|Destinations||Siem Reap – Kampong Thom – Kratie – Rattanakiri - Kampong Cham - Phnom Penh|
- Explore the rural north of Cambodia and the Ratanakiri area
- Experience a traditional Cambodian homestay in Kampong Thom
- Discover the highlights of Angkor Wat and discover the bustling capital city, Phnom Penh
DAY 1 – SIEM REAP(-)
After arriving in Siem Reap, you will be picked up at the airport by your guide and transferred to your hotel.
In the afternoon you’ll enjoy a Tuk Tuk ride through the picturesque countryside before boarding a traditional wooden boat to enjoy a cool and relaxing boat trip on Tonle Sap Lake. Here we will visit one of the floating villages with its houses standing on stilts and board a pirogue to discover the seasonally flooded forest.
Return to Siem Reap to stay overnight.
DAY 2 – SIEM REAP(B)
Full day at the temple by Tuk Tuk.
In the afternoon we will explore one of the jewels of Cambodia, the awe inspiring Angkor Thom (‘Great City’). Angkor Thom includes many temples built by the 12th century King Jayavarman VII and the southern gate is home to the astonishing 23m high stone faces of Avalokiteshvara featured in the movie Tomb Raider.
We will also visit the temple of Bayon (adorned with hundreds of giant stone faces), the Terrace of the Elephants, the Terrace of the Leper King and the 12 identical towers of Prasat Suor Prat. Later in the day you will discover the most famous temples from the 11th century: Baphuon, Phimeanakas, North Khleang and South Khleang. These temples and terraces offer a fascinating and extraordinarily well-preserved glimpse into the distant past and early Khmer culture.
The day concludes with a visit of the Ta Prohm temple and monastery. Built towards the end of the 12th century, it is a truly unforgettable place where tree and temple brickwork twine together, left intact by the archeologists working on the sight as a reminder of how Angkor looked upon rediscovery.
Overnight in Siem Reap
DAY 3 – Siem Reap-Phnom Kulen Mountain-Bantey-Srei (B)
Excursion to Kulen Mountain and Banteay Srei.
Kulen Mountain is known for its intricate carvings representing fertility and for its waters, which hold special significance to Hindus. Just 5 cm under the water’s surface over 1000 small carvings are etched into the sandstone riverbed.
Next we will proceed to Bantrey Srei, which dates back to 967 AD. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva and is famed for the intricate friezes carved into its red sandstone walls. On the way back, you will visit Banteay Samre, which was built during Suryarvaman II’s rule in the middle of the 12th century. Next on the itinerary are three impressive temples from the 10th century – Eastern Mebon, Pre Rup and Prasat Kravan. You will explore the intricate and ingenious designs of these beautiful temples, which comprise some of the finest example of early Khmer art.
Back to Siem Reap for overnight
DAY 4 – Siem Reap-Kampong Thom (B)
Overland trip to Kompong Thom to experience local life
After breakfast you will drive to Kampong Thom to see the Sambor Prei Kuk Temples. Founded by King Isanavarman I during the seventh century, Sambor Prei Kuk was once known as Isanapura the ancient capital of the Chenla civilization, and was a religious center dedicated to the worship of Shiva. The complex consists of more than a hundred temples built of solid brick, laterite and sandstone. It is understood that several successions of kings have maintained this site as their capital, each adding more temples and monuments to the capital city. In the afternoon there is a chance to experience and enjoy the daily life of the local people in the Isanborei Community.
Overnight in Homestay.
DAY 5 – Kampong Thom-Kratie (B)
Overlang travel to Kratie, land of rare fresh water Irrawady River Dolphins.
You will make an early departure to Kratie, a small colonial style town, followed by a visit to Wat Phnom Sambok to see the Buddhist monasteries and to enjoy the magnificent views of the surrounding countryside. On the return to Kratie, you will stop at the best riverside vantage point from which to view the rare fresh water Irrawady River Dolphins.
Then we will take a small ferryboat to the island of Koh Trong situated in the middle of the Mekong River opposite Kratie town.
Overnight in Koh Trong.
DAY 6 – Kratie-Ratanakiri (B)
Half day cycling tour on the island and continue to Cambodia’s Northeast.
After breakfast, you start the trip with a 9 km loop around the island. Cycle through traditional Khmer villages, fruits orchards and rice fields while observing the daily rituals and routines of the traditional village life.
Take a ferry ride back to Kratie and continue by car to Ratanakiri.
Overnight in Banlung
DAY 7 – Ratanakiri (B, L)
Explore culture of minority ethnic groups with local guide and transportation.
After breakfast we will take a 4WD car to Veun Sai near the Lao border. After exploring the small village Veun Sai and its local market, you’ll continue via wooden boat upstream to Kopirk, a small local village on the Tonle San River. Have a glance into people’s local life and visit the impressive cemetery. (Donations are required in Kopork village and can be given directly to the chief of the village, supporting the local people in need.)
On the way back, stop at the nearby Lao and Chinese village, to experience the people’s local lifestyle.
Back to Banlung for overnight
DAY 8 – Ratanakiri (B)
Explore culture and lifestyle of the ethnic minority and visit Yeak Loam Lake
After breakfast we will drive in a 4WD vehicle north to Ta Veng District, home to many different minority groups. You then visit various pleasant Kroeung villages that line the road throughout the forest. (Donations are required in each village and can be given directly to the chief of the village, supporting the local people in need.)
Continue to visit the Yeak Loam Lake situated 5 km southeast of Banlung town. The Yeak Loam Lake is the most beautiful and unspoiled lake in Ratanakiri, formed by a volcanic eruption almost thousands of years ago. The lake is up to 50 meters deep at points and has beautifully clear, fresh water. Around the lake is a very easy walking path of about 2,500 m that takes around 1 hour walk.
Back to Banlung for overnight stay
DAY 9 – Ratanakiri-Kampong Cham (B)
Bargain hunting in Banlung Market
This morning you will go bargain hunting at the Banlung Market where all manner of fruit, vegetables and forest products are sold, before driving back to Kampong Cham. A traditional Cambodian market is a truly unique experience!
Overnight in Kampong Cham
DAY 10 – Kampong Cham-Phnom Penh (B)
Continue to reach the historic capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh.
The day will be spent in travelling to Phnom Penh. On the way, we will pass the famous rubber plantations of the Kampong Cham province and visit the 11th century Wat Nokor temple near Kampong Cham city.
Overnight in Phnom Penh
DAY 11 – Phnom Penh (B)
Full day city tour with visiting Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, National Museum, Wat Phnom, local market, and Tuol Sleng genocide museum.
After breakfast you will begin to discover why the Cambodia’s capital city was once called the jewel of Southeast Asia. Your guided exploration begins with a visit to the National Museum to see some of the wonderful antiquities from the Khmer civilization. This will be followed by trips to the remarkable Silver Pagoda, as well as a tour of the Royal Palace with its ornate grandeur. Then you will visit the Wat Phnom pagoda and a fascinating crafts center nearby, followed by shopping in the art deco-era Central Market and/or the Russian Market.
In the afternoon we will visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and Choeung Ek mass graves, also known as the Killing Fields. Here we will learn about the suffering of the Khmer people during Pol Pot’s regime.
Back to hotel for overnight stay
DAY 12 – Phnom Penh (B)
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for departure flight.
**End of services through Focus Asia**
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