Day 01 Saigon
Upon arrival into Saigon you will be transferred to your hotel
Day 02 Saigon
Day at leisure in Saigon
Day 03 Saigon to Can Tho
Transfer by road to Can Tho.
Day 04 Can Tho to Chau Doc
Early morning, set out by boat to explore Cai Rang Floating Market, the biggest and most bustling of the Mekong Delta markets, which attract fruit and vegetable vendors from all over the region. Buyers on small boat weave between the large barges selling wholesale produce. Each vendor advertises fresh samples of their wares on long poles that tower over the colourful boats. Cruise through the market, watching people haggle and trade. By 9.00am the activity has died down and it is time to return to the pier after exploring some of the backwaters and canals. Continue by vehicle from Can Tho to Chau Doc. On arrival in Chau Doc visit Sam Mountain which rises sharply from the surrounding rice paddies. Considered to be one of the most important pilgrimage sites in Vietnam, the mountain is dotted with pagodas and temples, many of them inside caves. Visit Lady Chua Xu Pagoda at the base and continue up the stairways along the mountain, visiting other pagodas as you ascend. At the mountain’s peak enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, stretching all the way to the Cambodian border.The stairs are steep and narrow and not recommended for the elderly.
Day 05 Chau Doc to Kep via Phnom Den
Today travel by vehicle from Chau Doc to Phnom Den (the Vietnamese/Cambodian border), and then from the border to Kep in Cambodia. Visit Kampot where there are a variety of caves worth exploring. Phnom Ta-aun and Phnom Sia form part of a limestone formation with chimneys and intriguing rock formations, some of which are revered as shrines. Around Kampong Trach is a series of limestone caves carved into the side of the mountain, adorned with pagodas and shrines. Return to Kep to your hotel.
Day 06 Kep
Today’s sightseeing is an excursion by boat to Rabbit Island or Koh Tonsay. This island is located about half an hour by boat from Kep, with several beaches and a small community of fishermen families. The sea here is shallow and has a long slope making it excellent for walking and swimming.
Day 07 Kep to Kampong Som
This morning travel by vehicle from Kep to Kampong Som to your hotel. Afternoon at leisure.
Day 08 Kampong Som
Today, travel from Kampong Som travel to Preak Tuk Sap, visiting a pepper plantation, a durian plantation and a crocodile farm en route. Continue by boat downriver past tropical forests and mangrove swamps. Many different birds and animals make their home in this area, located near Ream National Park. On the way, visit fishing villages and try your hand at birdwatching and dolphin-spotting. Continue to the island of Koh Sampouch before returning to your vehicle and Kampong Som.
Day 09 Kampong Som to Phnom Penh
Travel by vehicle from Kampong Som to Kampot which is located on the Tuk Chhou River and is Cambodia’s most important durian growing region. Continue from Kampot to Phnom Penh with sightseeing at Takeo province. Tonle Bati: a lake with a beach and the impressive laterite temple of Ta Prohm built by King Jayavarman VII on the site of a 6th century Khmer shrine. A stele found here dates from 1574 and inside the north gate is a statue of the Hindu god Preah Noreay. Phnom Chisor: the main temple on this hill is constructed of laterite and brick with carvel lintels of sandstone. The inscriptions found here date back to the 11th century and the wooden doors to the sanctuary are decorated with carvings. Angkor Borei: a 6th century monument, built in laterite by King Rudravarman of Funan. His patron diety was Vishnu and many Hindu statues survive from this site. It is on the few remaining sites with traces of the Kingdom of Funan (a kingdom influenced by India and thought to have spread as far as Southern Burma and Indonesia). Phnom Da: a hill south of Angkor Borei with four artificial caves built as shrines. Overnight in Phnom Penh.
Day 10 Phnom Penh
Today explore Phnom Penh, a chaotic, energetic and always fascinating city. Graceful tree-lined boulevards and riverfront promenades are reminders of bygone eras; today they teem with life and activity, as motorcycles weave in and out of traffic, vendor hawk their wares, and pedestrians go about their business. Start your tour at Wat Phnom, the birthplace of the capital; according to legend the city began here when a woman named Penh found four Buddha statues and built the temple to house them. Afterwards, see the splendor of Cambodia's royal heritage by visiting the Royal Palace, still the official residence of King Norodom Sihamoni, the adjacent Silver Pagoda, also known as the Pagoda of the Emerald Buddha, and the elegant National Museum, which contains a comprehensive collection of Khmer art. In the afternoon, learn about a chapter from Cambodia's more recent, tragic, past at the Tuol Sleng Museum (Museum of Genocide). Formerly the Tuol Svay Prey High School, in 1975, this became the interrogation and torture facility for the Khmer Rouge regime - at that time known as Security Prison 21, or simply S-21. Kept largely unchanged, this prison now showcases photographs and exhibits about the thousands of victims that passed through these doors - only seven of whom came out alive. Finally, explore the modern-day city, visiting one of Phnom Penh's two great markets, the Central Market, located in a distinctive domed Art Deco building (Central Market is currently under construction but can be visited as usual), or the sprawling Russian Market, a labyrinth of stalls selling everything from CDs and DVDs to silks, crafts, jewelry and more.
Day 11 Phnom Penh to Siem Reap with sightseeing at Oudong
Oudong is the former capital of Cambodia between 1618 and 1866. The twin ridges of Phnom Oudong feature several stupas containing the ashes of former Khmer kings. On the larger hill are the remains of Vihear Preah Ath Roes, Vihara of the 18-Cubit Buddha. After exploring the temples, enjoy the panoramic views of the Cambodian countryside before continuing to Siem Reap.
Day 12 Siem Reap
The crowning jewel of Khmer architecture, Angkor Wat is the national symbol and the highlight of any visit to Cambodia. In 1992 the UNESCO World Heritage Committee declared the monument, and the whole city of Angkor, a World Heritage Site. The largest, best preserved, and most religiously significant of the Angkor temples, Angkor Wat impresses visitors both by its sheer scale and beautifully proportioned layout, as well as the delicate artistry of its carvings. To approach the temple, first cross the vast moat, continuing along a broad causeway lined with naga balustrades. As you enter the main building, ascend through a series of galleries and courtyard before reaching the central sanctuary, which offers beautiful views back over the causeway and across the surrounding countryside. Along the way, enjoy the intricate stonecarvings that adorn nearly every surface, with some 1,700 Apsaras, or celestial dancers, sculpted into the walls. Along the outer gallery walls run the longest continuous bas-relief in the world, which narrates stories from Hindu mythology, including the famous Churning of the Ocean of Milk. Angkor Wat is stunning at any time of the day, but sunrise and sunset are especially beautiful times to watch the play of light on the stones. Preah Khan: a temple built by King Jayavarman VII with towered enclosures and shoulder-hugging corridors in a jungle setting. Preah Khan covers a very large area but the temple itself is enclosed within a rectangular wall of around 700 by 800 meters. Seemingly miniature in comparison to the other Angkor temples, Banteay Srei is considered to be the jewel of classical Khmer art. Built in pink sandstone, the walls are covered in exquisitely preserved carvings of unusual delicacy. Because of its small size, fairy-like atmosphere and extraordinary examples of Khmer sculpture, this temple is often a favorite with visitors. Watch the sunset over the Cambodian countryside from a temple.
Day 13 Siem Reap
An early morning start for sunrise at Angkor Wat. After breakfast continue sightseeing of Angkor. The fortified city of Angkor Thom covers an area of 10 square km. Enclosed by a wall and wide moats, the city includes many of Angkor's most popular sights. Enter by the monumental South Gate over a causeway lined on either side by statues of demons and gods, each carrying a giant naga. Continue to the Terrace Of The Elephants and the Terrace Of The Leper Kings, former spaces for public ceremonies, both adorned with dramatic bas reliefs. Visit the ruined Baphuon, Royal Enclosure and Phimeanakas before continuing to the mysterious Bayon Temple. In this temple, one of the most popular and compelling in Angkor, explore the galleries of beautifully preserved bas reliefs and ascend narrow stairs to reach the central sanctuary, where you will find giant stone faces smiling enigmatically down at you from every angle. Prasat Kravan: the five brick towers were built for Hindu worship in 921 and are notable for the bas-reliefs cut into the bricks on the interior walls. A massive Buddhist temple dating from the second half of the 12th century, Banteay Kdei is surrounded by four concentric walls, the outer walls measuring 500 by 700 meters. Sras Srang: a basin opposite of Banteay Kdei measuring 800 by 400 metres with a tiny island in the middle where only the stone base remains of what was once a wooden temple. Ta Prohm: one of the most popular attractions of Angkor as much of the jungle has not been cleared and it looks very much as most of the Angkor monuments would have appeared when European explorers first stumbled across them. Ta Keo: built by Jayavarman V who ruled from 968 to 1001), it was the first Angkorian monument built entirely of sandstone and was dedicated to Shiva. The summit of the central tower is 50 meters high and is surrounded by four lower towers. Thommanon: temple which mirrors Chau Say Tevoda (just to the north), as it was built around the same time and has a similar plan. It is also dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu. Chau Say Tevoda: built during the second quarter of the 12th century opposite of Thommanon, it was dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu.
Day 14 Excursion to Beng Mealea
Journey east of Siem Reap to Beng Mealea, a mysterious temple in the middle of the Cambodian jungle. Surrounded by a vast moat, this 12th century temple follows a complex floorplan similar to Angkor Wat, but with a haunting jungle atmosphere similar to Ta Phrom. Visitors that make their way thorugh the ruined stone blocks and wandering tree routes are rewarded by the sight of beautiful classical bas reliefs.
Day 15 Siem Reap
Today you will be transferred to the airport for departure flight