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Experience the Highlights of Cambodia as you travel to Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Starting in the riverside capital Phnom Penh, long considered the most beautiful French built city of the Orient, explore the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, the haunting Tuol Sleng Museum and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek. Travel to Siem Reap and the fabled city of Angkor, eighth wonder of the world and spectacular ancient capital of the powerful Khmer Dynasty. Discover temples such as Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm, Banteay Srei, Beng Melea and the breathtaking Angkor Wat.
Our Highlight itineraries cover the key attractions at a relatively quick pace. Enjoy them as they are or extend them to create your perfect holiday. Discuss itinerary options and extensions with our Asia Travel Experts.
You will meet your guide on arrival, transfer and check-in to your hotel. During the drive your guide will provide an introduction to Phnom Penh, answer any questions you have, and make arrangements for the following day. Enjoy free time for the remainder of the day.
The riverside capital of Phnom Penh, once known as “The Pearl of Asia” and long considered the most beautiful French-built city of the Orient, is a charming and captivating city. The old French ochre-coloured colonial buildings are now being filled with trendy cafes, boutiques and art galleries and many traditional ornate temples still remain. The bustling squares and frangipani-lined boulevards create an atmosphere that is unlike any other city in South East Asia. Rich in history, Phnom Penh has a number of cultural and historical sites including the National Museum, Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, and offers an insight into its darker past with the haunting Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Museum.
Phnom Penh has many great restaurants and bars including the rooftop bar of the iconic Correspondent’s Club, an ideal spot to sit and watch the sun descending over the Tonle and Mekong rivers. Ask your guide for personal recommendations.
Itinerary Option: If you’re arriving to Phnom Penh in the morning, discuss additional day 1 activities with our staff.
Set out with your guide to visit the National Museum, designed in traditional Khmer style by a French archaeologist and painter in 1917. The museum houses Khmer art and sculptures from different periods of Cambodian history. Next visit the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda, built in 1866 by the French for King Norodom, two of the most striking buildings in the capital and amongst the finest examples of Khmer architecture. The Royal Palace stands on the site of the former citadel dating back to 1813 and is home to the current King Sihamoni. The Silver Pagoda owes its name to its floor made up of 5,329 solid silver tiles. The building houses many gold and jewelled Buddha statues including the 17th century Baccarat crystal Emerald Buddha. Other important buildings found within the compound include Wat Preah Keo Morokat where Royal ceremonies are performed, and the King Ang Doung Stupa - the burial site of former King Norodom. The palace has been inhabited by kings at all times with the exception of the period when the radical Khmer Rouge party took control in 1975.
Learn about the turbulent years of the Khmer Rouge on your visit to the infamous Tuol Sleng Museum. Tuol Sleng, a high school prior to 1975, became an interrogation prison known as S-21 during the Khmer Rouge era and today it is a genocide museum. It tells the sad story of the thousands of innocent Cambodian people who were tortured on its grounds. Walk the narrow corridors and former classrooms as you read the stories of the victims and witness the torture devices on display. Photographs were taken of each prisoner passing through the prison and hundreds of the black and white photos are now on display in the museum. Although a haunting experience, the museum is a sobering reminder of the Khmer Rouge’s brutality and a testament to their crimes.
Return to your hotel or to one of the riverside cafes or bars to watch the sunset over the Tonle and Mekong rivers.
Situated 17 kilometres (11 miles) from Phnom Penh town, Cheung Ek was made famous by the movie “The Killing Fields”. The seemingly peaceful stretch of green fields of Cheung Ek does not allude to the horrors that took place here. A large memorial commemorates the 17,000 men, women and children, who died here under the reign of Khmer Rouge leader, Pol Pot. The skulls and bones inside the memorial stupa and the mass graves that dot the area are a reminder of the terrible suffering that occurred here. This journey into Cambodia’s past will provide you with a background to the cruelty of the Khmer Rouge regime. Besides the tragic past, it will also give you an appreciation of the struggle that Cambodian people have faced and their tremendous courage to move on and rebuild their nation.
Enjoy free time to explore Phnom Penh for the remainder of the day.
In the morning fly from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap and meet your guide on arrival. During the drive your guide will provide an introduction to Siem Reap and answer any questions you have.
Siem Reap, situated in the north west of the country, is an enchanting town with Chinese-style shop houses, French colonial architecture and tree lined boulevards. It is the gateway to the World Heritage ancient temple ruins of Angkor, eighth wonder of the world and spectacular ancient capital of the powerful Khmer Dynasty. As well as the myriad of awe-inspiring temples and Khmer relics to explore, Siem Reap and its rural outskirts offers craft villages, silk farms, Khmer cuisine cooking classes, traditional Cambodian “apsara” dance performances and the floating villages on the tranquil waters of Tonle Sap Lake.
Accompanied by your guide start exploring the stunning temples this afternoon by tuk-tuk. Visit Angkor Thom, the ancient fortified royal city and former capital of the Khmer Empire. The city has five monumental gates and consists of several temples including the Bayon, Baphuon, Terrace of the Elephants and Terrace of the Leper King. Enter Angkor Thom through the impressive South Gate and drive towards the centre piece, the Bayon Temple. At first glance the temple may seem like a shapeless mass of stone, but further scrutiny reveals the enigmatic faces of former King Jayavarman VII looking in every direction. There are over 200 huge carved faces that stare down from fifty four gothic towers. Continue your exploration with a visit to the 350 metre (1155 feet) long Terrace of the Elephants, which served as a platform from where the King viewed the victorious return of his army. Then visit the Terrace of the Leper King with detailed carvings winding along a narrow passage that leads to the Baphuon, a pyramidal representation of mythical Mt Meru.
After your afternoon tour you will be driven to your hotel and your guide will assist you with checking in. Before leaving you at your hotel, your guide will make arrangements for the following day and can also provide restaurant recommendations for tonight's dinner.
Explore temples of the World Heritage Angkor complex with your guide. Start with a visit to the picturesque and atmospheric Ta Prohm, built in 1186. This fascinating jungle-clad temple is one of Angkor’s most impressive and most beautiful structures. Over centuries the fig tree roots have engulfed the temple’s huge stone blocks, crumbling towers and walls. The living jungle is reclaiming this Buddhist temple, shrouding the courtyards and corridors in dappled sunlight, and creating a haunting and exotic atmosphere.
In the afternoon, visit one of the world's most impressive archaeological sites, the iconic temple of Angkor Wat. The largest and most breathtaking of Angkor’s monuments, this vast temple was constructed between the 9th and 13th centuries and is the largest Hindu structure in the world. Angkor Wat is orientated towards the west, symbolically the direction of death. It is home to hundreds of beautiful carvings of Apsara and Hindu mythology and boasts some of the most well preserved carvings in the region. As you stroll the massive hallways you discover small shrines still in use today by the local people. Return to one of the grass terraces in front of the five massive towers of Angkor Wat to watch the sun setting over the temple complex. Afterwards, return to your hotel in Siem Reap.
Depart with your guide and drive through the Cambodian countryside to Beng Mealea, located in the beautiful rural hinterlands of Siem Reap. Beng Mealea is a sprawling jungle temple built by King Suyavarman II in the early 12th century and thought to have served as a prototype for Angkor Wat. The temple is enclosed by a huge moat and largely reclaimed by jungle with its stone walls crumbling, adding to the atmosphere and charm of the site.
Enjoy a simple lunch in a traditional Cambodian wooden house before heading to Banteay Srei temple, the jewel of Khmer art, built in the 10th century and dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. This red sandstone temple is one of Angkor’s most significant structures. The temple walls are covered in elaborate and well preserved carvings that provide an insight into the Angkor people and their beliefs. In the late afternoon, return to your hotel in Siem Reap.
On your last day enjoy free time until your departure transfer.
Phone now to discuss options to personalise your itinerary.
Ideas to upgrade or extend your itinerary:
All Get About Asia trips have been designed to make sure you have an unforgettable travel experience. We have developed several trip styles to cater for our diverse range of travellers. Read what your ideal Get About Asia experience might look like here.
|Deluxe:||from AU $2,245|
All GetAboutAsia prices are based on twin share and depend on availability and season. All our itineraries can be customised including international flights and extra nights. For questions or further information, Enquire Now!
Hotels each night of the itinerary (excluding your departure day). All GetAboutAsia accommodation is handpicked by us. Upgrades are available for this itinerary.
This trip package includes 1 internal flight (Phnom Penh - Siem Reap) which retails at about 200AUD.
Visas for Cambodia
It is possible to obtain your Cambodian visa on arrival at the Phnom Penh or Siam Reap international airports or any border crossing for approx. US$30 (cost subject to change) - you will need 2 passport photos.
Availability of accommodation and season.
|Start:||Phnom Penh, Cambodia|
|End:||Siem Reap, Cambodia|
|Physical:||Medium (light hiking)|
"Thank you so much for our holiday. We both loved Siem Reap with all it’s amazing temples. The upgrade at the hotel in Koh Rong Island was an added bonus a little retreat. " — Christine and Johan, Melbourne, October 2019
"We had a great time in Cambodia, thank you. We all thoroughly enjoyed our trip and would highly recommend it. As usual, some of the highlights were the guides and drivers that Get About Asia use. They were all excellent and went out of their way to make our stay enjoyable and memorable. All the flights and ticketing could not have been better. Everything went to time and all transfers and entry visas were in place and as required. " — Jarritt Family, Paynesville VIC, December 2018
"The trip went smoothly, the guides were all good and the logistics were seamless. The hotels were all good and conveniently located in the centre of town. The boat for the cruise on Ha Long Bay is starting to show its age - time for a newer boat. The hotel at Luang Prabang was lovely but not easy walking distance to the historic centre of town. I sense the only alternative would have been the Accor Three Nagas Hotel, which probably would have been more expensive - a tricky trade off. But these are minor quibbles, and designed to be helpful. Overall I have no complaint about the operation of the tour - all went very smoothly. Attached is my favourite photo of Angkor Wat. The time at Siem Reap seeing Angkor Wat and other temples nearby was the highlight for me." — Party from Canberra, Canberra, March 2018
"I had a fantastic time! My highlights were definitely Angkor Wat Temples and its history. Vietnam was also amazing and am definitely going to have to go back at some point to go further around the country. The tour was fantastic, the guide was really good and made the travelling very easy and fun. Thanks for all your help!" — Emma, Melbourne, VIC, June 2017
"Siem Reap was my favourite place as it was a lot more relaxed and was very easy to get around. My favourite experience was the food; it was all so delicious. Also having dinner with the locals and watching the children dance to modern music but with traditional dance moves was so cute." — Ms Hough, Maylands WA, March 2016
"Great holiday, everything was well organized and the guides and drivers were real professionals. Loved the Royal Palace and Phnom Penh at night but S21 and the Killing Fields was a really sad story. Glad we visited them though and we admired the way the people have moved on to rebuild their country. Angkor was amazing, an air of history everywhere we went." — Mr and Mrs Reed, Bassendean WA , February 2016
"We had a wonderful time, and thank you for organising things so well, everything went perfectly. We found Cambodia a fantastic country to visit, not only for the history and amazing places to see, but the people were so delightful, so warm & friendly and so full of gratitude." — Mr and Mrs Millar, Pelican Point, WA, October 2015