Why You'll Love This Trip
- Mainly focused on the must-do experiences of the two cities, good for first timers or additional trip to any Asia holiday.
- Talk with the survivors from the Khmer Rouge at the Killing Fields to get a peek at the darkest time of Cambodia.
- Walk along with a local expert who's devoted his life into Angkorian Arts and Khmer history at Angkor Wat. You will definitely be fascinated by this world marvel.
- Nicely selected hotels and private services provide unforgettable experiences.
The Tale of Two Cities: 7-Day Phnom Penh and Siem Reap
This tour is designed based on our travels and only the sites and experiences that excite us are written down. However, review it as a suggestion and it can be customized to your own taste.
A throughout Cambodia trip can be added to any trip to Asia. The capital city is daily connected with other Asian transportation hubs such as Bangkok, Hong Kong, Guangzhou and Singapore.
Once you land at Phnom Penh's international airport, your private tour guide in the yellow shirt will welcome you with a big smile. Transfer to your hotel and free at leisure for the rest of today.
- Gatsby's hotel choice: Plantation - Urban Resort and Spa, only a few minutes of walking to the main sites of Phnom Penh yet secluded enough for some relaxing time.
- If you are flying from Thailand, we suggest you go with Bangkok Airways, Thai Airways or other nation-run airlines rather than low-budget flights.
Instead of driving around town, today you will take a Tuk Tuk ride in this interestingly chaotic city. The first stop, National Museum serves as a preview for your following days in Cambodia.
Pay a visit to Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda, both of which are proudly Phnom Penh's landmarks.
Although not widely known for arts, the young and foremost artists in Phnom Penh are changing the cityscape by their works scattering around the rundown streets. After lunch, you will take a walk around Street 80 to Street 93 to learn about how the Cambodian youngsters express their emotions.
Drop by Wat Phnom near the former French Quarter and you will know what "Phnom Penh" really means. Check out the bustling Central Market and be mentally prepared to see some deep-fried insects and their happy eaters. Well, that's SOME different local cuisine.
On the way back to your hotel, you will pass by the Independence Monument & King. Your tour guide will talk about this “Nice Hero King, The Father of Khmer Independence” with passion and honor.
Between 1975 and 1979, Cambodia was under the ruthless regime of the Khmer Rouge, which is a name given to the followers of the Communist Party of Kampuchea. During a short period of four years, they have killed over 2 million Cambodians and turned the capital into a ghost town. Memory is still haunted by their nutorious deeds and effecting the country even in today.
This morning you will spend some time with two survivors from the Khmer Rouge at the harrowing sites of Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, also known as S-21, followed by a visit to the Killing Fields.
Transfer back to downtown and resort yourself with a nice afternoon tea at Le Royal of Raffles Hotel Le Royal, which is an important part of history of Phnom Penh. Get better understanding of the country's past whle chatting with your insightful local tour guide.
- Today's visit might not be very friendly to young children or some certain travelers. We can always make changes if you are concerned.
- The two survivors work as volunteers at the museum and we will make appointment with them to make sure they have exclusive time for you. With proper respect and courtsey, you may ask any questions during the 2-hour visit. A small tip is encouraged afterwards.
Take your time with the delicious breakfast. Today we will have a late start to the airport.
Arrive in Siem Reap in the afternoon. Transfer to your hotel and relax for the night.
- Gatsby's hotel choice: Viroth's Villa, elegant French deco throws you back in time and its location is just perfect: not too far away from the night market and Pub Street yet the lush surrounding makes you have a good night.
- Free time ideas: Siem Reap is a rather small town and it only takes one hour or so to cover the entire town, why don't you go out for a drink at the Pub Street or check out the Angkor Night Market?
One of the greatest manmade wonders, Siem Reap's Angkor Wat complex is the biggest reason why you are here, isn't it?
This morning, a friendly gentleman will greet you at the entrance of Angkor Wat. He is an expert on Angkorian arts and Khmer cultures, from whom you will learn so much more than the guidebooks tell you.
Dining choice is limited around Angkor Wat, so you will be taken back to town for a nice lunch. Maybe a noon break if you need before the afternoon visit at Ta Prahom and Bayon Temple.
Later in the afternoon, you will board a Gondola boat to ride along the moat of Angkor Thom and weave your way to the less-known Prasat Chrung Temple for a stunning sunset.
Bantey Srei, also known as the queen's palace, is absolutely a masterpiece of Angkorian art. The pink sandstone and exquisite carvings sparkle brightly under the morning sun, each piece is telling an interesting story of the Khmer Kingdom.
After the visit at Bantey Srei, you will get to Pre Pup, which is a bit off the tourist radar yet still beautiful, especially under the azure sky and at sunset.
On the way back to town, you will spot by a landmine museum and learn about the tragic stories of landmines taking thousands of lives and the museum's founder's effort to clear away all remaining landmines around Siem Reap.
When you get back to Siem Reap town, just in time for a monk chat at Peace Cafe, which offers you direct conversation with two local monks.
- Today's lunch will either be packed picnic lunch prepared by us or at a friendly guesthouse on the way to Pre Rup.
- Monk chat is available every Saturday and Sunday afternoon with beforehand appointments. For other days, we will adjust the itinerary and put Pre Rup as a sunset watching point.
Start Planning Your Trip to Cambodia
Contact an expert in Cambodia that will support you 1-1 from the initial chat, itinerary design, and even on the trip.