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  • Cambodia Culture and Cuisine (9D8N)

    Explore the best Cambodia has to offer. Meet skillful and talented local artisans, discover ancient heritage buildings, feast on incredible cuisine and indulge in untouched natural wonders. Enjoy days immersed in the country’s rich culture and evenings relaxing at the finest hotels with your chosen budget.


    HIGHLIGHTS & INCLUDE

    • See Battambang through the eyes of a local, by local transportation, stopping to see unique cottage industries and rural villages off the tourist trail
    • Cook Khmer Cuisine with a local chef, in her countryside home to prepare traditional dishes and learn about Cambodia’s food culture
    • Help Promote Cambodia’s heritage, by supporting community-based tourism to ensure Cambodia’s rich culture remains intact

    DETAILED PROGRAM

    Day 1

    Phnom Penh

    Welcome to Phnom Penh! Lovely located at the confluence of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers, Phnom Penh capital was once considered one of the most beautiful cities in the orient. Despite its recent turbulent and tragic history, the city still retains much of its former colonial charm with wide, verdant tree-lined boulevards and classic colonial architecture buildings.

    Upon arrival at Phnom Penh airport, your local Cambodia Senses English speaking guide and driver will be awaiting to transfer you to the hotel for check in before we start the Cambodia Culture and Cuisines Tour. After that, depart on a Khmer Architecture walking and driving tour, discovering some of the city’s finest Cambodian architecture from both the colonial rule to the late 1950s - 1960s.

    In the evening, enjoy a delicious welcome dinner at well known Malis Restaurant, one of Phnom Penh’s top addresses for authentic Khmer cuisine. Overnight in Phnom Penh.

    Recommended Phnom Penh Hotels:

    - The Palm Boutique Hotel Residence
    - Frangipani Fine Art Hotel
    - VMansion Boutique Hotel


    Day 2

    Phnom Penh

    After breakfast, we spend time exploring the local market and learning about Khmer cuisine. Your guide will pick you up at the hotel by rickshaw or cyclo. Stroll through the aisles as the guide explains the different fruits, herbs and vegetables and how they are used in Khmer cuisine (sampling some local fruits along the way.)

    The walking tour lasts about 2 hours before continuing to a local restaurant which uses many of the ingredients seen at the market. Various dishes are ready cooked; French-style baguettes (num pang) and the tasty nom banh chok can be ordered.

    In the afternoon, pay a visit to the remarkable sights of Phnom Penh. Firstly, head to the Khmer-style National Museum, housing the world's foremost collection (over 5,000 pieces) of ancient Khmer artistic, archaeological, and religious artifacts from the 4th to the 13th centuries.

    Travel along the lively riverfront to the Royal Palace, dating back to 1866 and houses the Silver Pagoda, named for the over 5000 heavy silver tiles that cover its floors. In this temple, view a collection of Buddhas in gold, silver, crystal, and bronze.

    For dinner, indulge yourselves at the renowned Foreign Correspondents’ Club located on the riverside. The building is a colonial gem with great views of the confluence of the Upper Mekong, Lower Mekong, Bassac and Tonle Sap rivers. Overnight in Phnom Penh.

     Silver Pagoda, Royal Palace, Khmer-style National Museum


    Day 3

    Phnom Penh - Oudong - Battambang

    Travel by private vehicle in 1 hour over scenic back roads to Cambodia’s former capital, Oudong which is located about 39km from Phnom Penh. Pass through rural villages, local pagodas, and scenic rice paddies before reaching the main hill of Oudong. Spend time visiting a family that is producing palm sugar at their house, before climbing to the top of the stupa-filled hill for great views over the rural plains. Enjoy an early local style lunch prepared at the foot of the mountain.

    Head to Battambang (transfer time 4hr) then check in hotel upon arrival. Despite the fact that Battambang is Cambodia’s second largest city, its atmosphere is very laid-back; a charming, relaxed river town full of fine examples of French-colonial architecture. Overnight in Battambang.

    Optional: Phare Ponleu Selpak

    For evening activities, you could head to Phare Ponleu Selpak, School of Music, Visual & Performing Arts. Phare is a combination of different performing arts to provide education, support and entertainment to the poor communities. The visit to one of their ‘circus’ shows will gain you an unforgettable momery. *** (Note: The circus performance in Battambang is only scheduled on each Monday & Thursday.)

    Recommended Hotels Battambang:

    - The Sanctuary Villa
    - Au Cabaret Vert Hotel
    - Delux Villa Hotel


    Day 4

    Battambang

    Battambang locates along the tranquil Sangker River, a quiet body of water that winds its way through the Battambang province, connecting the Cardamom Mountains with Tonle Sap Lake.

    In the morning, head through the many cultural villages around Battambang, discovering how local people produce rice paper, prahok (typical Cambodian fish paste), grolan (sticky rice stuffed in bamboo), and other Cambodian treats. Afterwards, take a short ride on the famous Bamboo Train which offers a great chance to interact with locals. Previously mainly used for transporting agricultural products and people, it’s often one of people's favourite activities. The train is made of a wooden and bamboo carriage powered by a small engine. Maximum speed is around 15 km per hour and it can easily be disassembled when carriages come in the opposite direction.

    Return to the hotel to take a break then have lunch (at own expense). In the afternoon, visit another side of Battambang. Take a relaxing stroll around the town with your guide to explore the surroundings. Continue on to Jaan Bai, a social enterprise operated and run by the Cambodian Children’s Trust, working to support and empower underprivileged children in Battambang to break the cycle of poverty. The training and development restaurant is located in the heart of Battambang, in an original French colonial building. Enjoy a tasty menu showcasing the best of South East Asia with Western influences. Overnight in Battambang.

     Bamboo Train


    Day 5

    Battambang - Tonle Sap Lake - Siem Reap

    Sail along the Sangkae River until reaching the Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary Biosphere Reserve, one of the most important breeding grounds for waterbirds in the region. Board a boat trip along the Tonle Sap Lake, the largest freshwater lake in Asia. Swelling four times in size during the wet season, the expanding waters flood nearby fields and forests, supporting an extraordinarily rich and diverse eco-system. The lake is also of great importance in breeding ground for fish, providing more than half of the amount of fish consumed in Cambodia. To protect themselves and to adapt to the lake's massive changes, local people live in floating houses and stilt houses to combat the rising waters.

    The boat trip takes 6-7 hours depending on water levels and is a slow, yet relaxed and leisurely journey, ultimately ending in Siem Reap.

    Arrive in Siem Reap mid to late afternoon. This evening, enjoy dinner at the stunning Chanrey Tree. One of the best fine dining restaurants in town, the Chanrey Tree offers traditional Khmer cuisine in a lush contemporary setting. Overnight in Siem Reap.

    Note: This boat trip is only operated during the high water period from July to December.

    Recommended Siem Reap Hotels:

    - Home Indochine D’Angkor
    - Frangipani Villa Hotel
    - Tara Angkor Hotel


    Day 6

    Ta Prohm - Angkor Thom - Bayon Temple

    Start the morning temple explorations at the illustrious and stunning Ta Prohm Temple. Constructed in the 12th century, Ta Prohm is unique in that it has been left largely as it was found: overwhelmed by jungle trees and vines, with many parts of the temple crumbling to the ground.

    Continue to the ancient city of Angkor Thom, 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 around its perimeter. Enter the city through the impressive South Gate, leading to Bayon Temple which is located in the center of the city. The temple is a study in grandeur and is well-known for its 54 face-carved towers, Terrace of the Elephants, and the Terrace of the Leper King. After the visit, travel back to the hotel then have lunch (at own expense).

    Start this afternoon with a visit to the Angkor National Museum. This interactive museum exhibits and showcases artefacts from the Golden Era of the Khmer Empire by use of multimedia technology.

    This evening, join a very special tour around Siem Reap to try delicious Cambodian dishes in several different locations, starting at 5 PM. You wil have chance to sample everything from Cambodian BBQ to frogs stuffed with kroeung, a fragrant curry paste that is one of the defining ingredients of Khmer cuisine. Return to hotel then rest. Overnight in Siem Reap.

     Ta Prohm, Angkor Thom, Elephant Terrace and the Leper King Terrace


    Day 7

    This morning, learn the secrets of authentic Khmer cuisine during a half-day locally-conducted cooking course taken in a village in Banteay Srei, which is 35km out of Siem Reap, with a famous local chef.

    Over the course of the morning, learn various dishes and the differences between Khmer and other regional cuisines. Learn how to cook Cambodian dishes- the ultimate souvenir to bring back home! The class lasts about 3 hours before sitting and enjoying the freshly cooked dishes.

    After lunch, head to visit the local NGO Golden Silk Pheach Farm which works to revive the ancient Khmer know-how of silk production, and provides job opportunities to more than 100 local staff.

    The afternoon comes to an end with a visit to the “gem” of the Angkor area, the pretty temple of Banteay Srei which also means the “Citadel of the Women,”. This remains the best preserved temple in Cambodia, displaying some of the finest examples of classical Khmer art with its remarkable bas-reliefs. Return back to hotel then rest. Overnight in Siem Reap.

      Half day cooking class, visit NGO Golden Silk Pheach Farm


    Day 8

    Angkor Wat

    This morning, visit the legendary Angkor Wat via local tuk tuk. Built in the early 12th century, Angkor Wat was a contruction to represent Mount Meru, the Hindu/Buddhist residence of the gods. Inside the temple, the walls are covered with significant stone carvings, bas-reliefs, and over 2,000 Aspara dancers. Construction of this national icon is said to have taken around thirty years of intensive labor to complete. Take a break back at the hotel until the late afternoon.

    In the late afternoon, enjoy a relaxing cruise in a gondola paddle boat at the moat of Angkor Thom. Admire the stunning and spectacular sunset at Prasat Chroung temple accompanied by cocktails, champagne, canapés, and soft drinks. For the last night of the trip, enjoy dinner at the renowned Embassy restaurant. Overnight in Siem Reap.


    Day 9

    Siem Reap Departure

    After breakfast, enjoy some time at leisure until the your driver transfers you to the airport for the departing flight. End the Cambodia Culture and Cuisines Tour with Cambodia Senses Travel.

     

     

    MORE TOURS HERE


    NOTES:

    • Prices are in USD, per person, based on two people traveling together and sharing a room. At Cambodia Senses Travel, we carefully select all hotels to ensure that your accommodations match our standards of trip and service excellence.
    • Prices include the following:
      . All hotel accommodation including all taxes and breakfast
      . Internal economy flights as stated with airport taxes
      . All transfers & sightseeing transportation in private vehicle
      . Private services of local guides
      . All special events & private tours, guest experts
      . All entrance fees into historical sights & museums
      . Drinking water and refreshing towels for touring
      . 24/7 support from the Cambodia Senses Travel Team

     

    Location
    Accommodation

    PHNOM PENH
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    Palm Boutique Hotel & Residence

    • The Palm Boutique Hotel & Residence offers stylishly-themed accommodation. It features a rooftop swimming pool and guests can enjoy meals at the in-house restaurant or have a drink at the bar. Free WiFi is available throughout the property.

    • It is 1.4 km to Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and Aeon Mall. Independence Monument is 1.7 km away. The nearest airport, Phnom Penh International Airport is 11.1 km from the property. Shuttle services are available at additional charges.

    • Air conditioned rooms and suites have a seating area fitted with an in-room safe, minibar and flat-screen TV. The private bathroom includes a rain shower, hairdryer and free toiletries.

    • Guests can approach the 24-hour front desk for currency exchange, luggage storage and ticketing services. A business centre can assist with meet/banquet facilities and fax/photocopying services.

    • The in-house restaurant serves up Asian and Western cuisine.

    • Chamkar Mon is a great choice for travelers interested in culture, food and friendly locals.

    BATTAMBANG
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    The Sanctuary Villa Battambang

    • Designed to look like a Khmer Buddhist Temple, The Sanctuary Villa Battambang offers a salt-water outdoor pool. Fitted with free Wi-Fi, air-conditioned villas present a mix of modern and traditional decor.

    • The Sanctuary Villa Battambang provides a free transfer from Battambang Bus and Boat Terminal. Via tuk-tuk, it is a 5-minute ride from the town area and a 15-minute ride from Bamboo Train Station. The property offers complimentary pickup services from the bus or train station.

    • Dark wood furnishings and shades of golden-yellow give villas an elegant feel. All come with a flat-screen TV, DVD player and a minibar. En suite bathrooms have a separate bathtub and walk-in shower.

    • Leisurely afternoons can be spent with a traditional Khmer massage treatment. Day trips can be arranged at the tour desk. The property offers complimentary use of bicycles for guests who wish to explore the surrounding area.

    • The semi-outdoor Oh Yeah! Restaurant serves a selection of Khmer, Thai and international dishes. In-room dining is also possible with room service.

    SIEM REAP
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    Home Indochine D’Angkor

    • A boutique hotel located in central Siem Reap, Home Indochine D'Angkor provides elegant accommodation just a 7-minute walk to the famous Phsar Chas (Old Market) and Pub Street. Guests enjoy access to the outdoor swimming pool and free WiFi is offered throughout the property.

    • Home Indochine D'Angkor is situated 9 km from Siem Reap International Airport and a 15-minute drive from Angkor Wat Temple, a world heritage site. It is a 5-minute walk from the hotel to Siem Reap River. The property offers complimentary airport pickup services.

    • All rooms are air-conditioned and feature a private en suite bathroom, a cable TV and 2 free bottles of mineral water daily. Rooms also have seating areas and offer views of the garden or pool.

    • Breakfast and fresh juices are served at the restaurant, which also offers local specialities and some Western dishes. There is also a bar on site. Room service is provided on request.