Competition

The winner of the Sunday Times Travel competition is
Marilyn Grobbelaar from Mossel Bay.
Congratulations!!
You will enjoy this wonderful itinerary with your husband.

 

COMPETITION ITINERARY

 

Day 1:    Arrive in Phnom Penh

 

You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel for check in. Spend the rest of the day exploring the city on foot or by tuk-tuk or cyclo.

 

Phnom Penh was once considered one of the most beautiful cities in the Orient, and despite its recent turbulent history, it still retains its colonial charm. Cambodia’s capital is a bustling, friendly city located at the confluence of the mighty rivers of the Mekong and Tonlé Sap.

 

In the late afternoon, enjoy an atmospheric sunset cruise on the Mekong River and watch how Phnom Penh’s popular riverfront comes to life in the early evening.

 

Overnight in Phnom Penh.

 

Day 2: Phnom Penh

 

MEET YOUR TOUR GUIDE AROUND 08:00.

Depart from your hotel to visit to the Royal Palace compound built in 1866. It is one of the most impressive colourful Khmer-style Palaces and includes the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda (The Emerald Buddha temple) and displays of Buddha Statues that were decorated made with diamonds, emeralds, gold and silver.

Then you 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 artefacts from the 4th to the 13th centuries. More than 5 000 pieces are on display, constituting the repository of the Kingdom’s cultural wealth.

After that a visit to Wat Phnom, built in 1443 to enshrine a sacred hair of the Buddha. When the Khmer Rouge evacuated Phnom Penh in 1975, they vandalized the building and murdered the Abbot along with many of the 500 monks who lived there. Thereafter visit the Victory, Friendship and Independence Monument.

Enjoy lunch at local restaurant.

In the afternoon you will visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum (S-21) and the notorious ‘Killing Fields’ of Choeung Ek. A visit to these sights provides you a deep insight into the painful, bloody rule of the Khmer Rouge. Thereafter a visit to Central Market, where unbelievable bargains are to be found!

 

Overnight in Phnom Penh.

 

Day 3: Phnom Penh

 

You have the day at leisure to explore Phnom Penh – easy to do on foot, or by tuk-tuk if you prefer. Try the street food, wander around the restaurants and shops of Bassac Lane, or browse through the nearby Russian Market, the best place in the city for wood and stone carvings, jewellery, clothes and Cambodian silk souvenirs.

Alternatively find a fun and vibrant pub or restaurant and relax. A good one is the history-filled Foreign Correspondents’ Club overlooking the lazy Mekong River. A great place for beer lovers is the Hops Craft Beer Garden where you are able to sample some local craft brews.

 

Overnight in Phnom Penh.

 

Day 4: Phnom Penh – Siem Reap

 

After breakfast at your hotel you will head for the airport to catch your flight to Siem Reap (50 minutes). Upon landing you will be transferred to your hotel in the old part of Siem Reap.

 

You will have the rest of the day to acquaint yourself with this beautiful city which was once the capital of the Khmer empire. You can easily walk around Siem Reap or hop on one of the multitude of tuk-tuks. If you like craft beer, the Siem Reap Brewpub is a must and there is always a good time to be had in Pub Street which is full of establishments in which to eat and drink.

 

You could also do a quad bike tour, an evening Vespa food tour or a Khmer cooking class.

 

Overnight in Siem Reap.

 

Day 5:    Siem Reap

 

You will spend the day with your English speaking guide and driver on a tour to the temples. This will  include the magnificent Angkor Wat Temple.  It is the most famous of the Angkor temples and is featured on Cambodia’s national flag as the temple symbolizes the soul of the Khmer people.

 

Other temples you will visit will include Ta Prohm – unique in that it has been left largely as it was found: overgrown by jungle trees and vines. It was a setting in the Tomb Raider movie with Angelina Jolie. Your visit will also include Angkor Thom, Bayon (or the “faces” temple), Sra Srang – once the Royal bathing pond, Banteay Kdei, a Buddhist monastery from the late 12th Century, and the exquisite Banteay Srei or “Woman’s Temple”.

 

Overnight in Siem Reap.

 

Day 6:    Siem Reap

 

Today you will meet your guide and go on an interesting boat trip on the Tonlé Sap Lake, where you will have the opportunity to learn about life on the lake. Tonlé Sap is South East Asia’s largest freshwater lake with its size varying greatly depending on the season – rainy or dry!

Board a local boat and visit the village of Kampong Kleang, where only few tourists venture. Embark on a boat ride through the village where the fisherman and their families live in stilted houses among the petrified mangrove forests and waterways. Many families live permanently on the lake.

You can also visit the Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary on the lake.

 

In the evening, if you are interested, you could attend a performance of ‘Phare, the Cambodian Circus’. Starting at 8pm, professional artists of Phare Ponleu Selpak (PPS) will perform an inspiring show suitable for people of all ages. The hour-long show mixes traditional and modern theatre: music, dance, acrobatics, juggling and contortion performed in a story about Cambodian lives and society.

 

(Note: during the months Apr-Sep the water level may be too low for a visit by boat. However the village is still fascinating and can be visited by car. It is quite dramatic to see how the stilted houses are exposed above the lake when the  water levels are low!)

 

Overnight in Siem Reap.

 

Day 7:    Siem Reap – Sihanoukville – Koh Rong Samloem

 

After breakfast you will transfer to the airport for your flight to Sihanoukville (50 minutes). Upon arrival, you will be met by your driver to take you to the Serendipity Pier to catch your ferry to the island of Koh Rong Samloem. This trip will take 30-40 minutes.

 

Upon arrival at the island, you will be met by the resort staff who will escort you to your resort. Spend the rest of the day relaxing at the resort or take a walk along the more than two kilometre beach. You can also take a hike out to the lighthouse, visit the waterfall or walk 1,5 kilometres through the jungle to Lazy Beach, on the western side of the island. This beach was voted one of the 21 Best Beaches in the world by National Geographic!

 

Overnight on Koh Rong Samloem.

 

Days 8 & 9: Koh Rong Samloem 

 

More of the same on the island today!

 

Later this afternoon you can take a trip with Captain Kem’s Caribbean Tour if you wish: you will be picked up outside your resort and motor around to the north side of the island. Here you will spend some time snorkelling in beautifully clear water surrounded by loads of fish.

 

Thereafter you will head for the nearby local fishing village – watch the sun set over drinks and then have a buffet meal in a local restaurant. On the way home you will stop and be able to jump back into the sea to experience the bioluminescent plankton.

 

Overnight on Koh Rong Samloem.

 

Day 10: Koh Rong Samloem – Sihanoukville – Phnom Penh

After a leisurely breakfast at your resort you will transfer back to the mainland by ferry where you will be met by your transport to take you back to Phnom Penh to meet up with your flight home.

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