Phnom Penh and the Southern Provinces
This journey through Cambodia’s southern provinces starts in the bustling city of Phnom Penh, from where we head to rural Takeo province and visit the archaeological sites of Tonle Bati and Angkor Borei which date back to the pre-angkorian era.
We travel on to the re-emerging seaside resort of Kep, where we enjoy fresh seafood and an island trip to picturesque Koh Tonsay or Rabbit Island. Near the quaint rural town of Kampot we visit unique cave pagodas and a pepper plantation before we head to the country’s prime beach location, Sihanoukville, for some relaxation downtime and back to Phnom Penh.
7 Days (6 Nights)
- Day 1 Arrive in Phnom Penh. City tour & dinner cruise on the Mekong.
- Day 2 Visit Tonle Bati and Angkor Borei. Travel to Kep
- Day 3 Island trip to Koh Tonsay. Cave pagodas of Kampong Trach
- Day 4 Visit of pepper plantation and transfer to Sihanoukville
- Day 5 Boat trip to Ream National Park
- Day 6 Beaches of Sihanoukville
- Day 7 Travel back to Phnom Penh and transfer to airport or additional tour
Day 1: Arrive in Phnom Penh, where you are picked up by our tour guide and transferred to your hotel. Later we visit the spectacular Royal Palace complex, including Wat Preah Keo Morokat with the spectacular Silver Pagoda, decorated with a floor made up of 5,000 silver tiles, the National Museum which houses the world’s finest collection of sculptures from the Angkor period, Wat Phnom, the city’s landmark and the notorious Toul Sleng Genocide Museum. In the evening we enjoy a scenic dinner cruise on the Mekong.
Day 2: We leave Phnom Penh early in the morning and travel south to Tonle Bati, where we visit the 12th century laterite temple of Ta Prohm. We continue to Takeo from where we take a private speed boat along the ancient canal networks to the pre-Angkorian sites of Angkor Borei and Phnom Da. On the way we catch a glimpse of the rural life in the area and enjoy the stunning views of the countryside. After lunch back in Takeo we head to the seaside resort of Kep for a peaceful sunset and fresh seafood dinner.
Day 3: After breakfast we take a boat to the beautiful, palm-fringed island of Koh Tonsay, where we can swim, snorkel or just relax before we enjoy our picnic lunch on the white-sand beach. In the early afternoon we head back to the mainland to visit some of the cave temples in the area. In the limestone formations surrounding Kep there are a number of cave systems, housing intersesting Buddhist relics, one of them even a 7th century brick temple.
Day 4: On our way to Sihanoukville we visit a pepper plantation near Kampot. The pepper produced here is renowned as one of the best in the world. We stop in the picturesque town of Kampot for lunch and a stroll along the riverfront before we continue our journey along the coast to Sihanoukville, home to Cambodia’s best beaches, for a late afternoon swim.
Day 5: We depart for the Ream National park and take a short trek and boat tour through the Mangrove forest. The park includes beaches, dense mangrove forests and many different animal species including monkeys, eagles, and tortoises. From December to February, it is also possible to spot dolphins. We enjoy a picnic lunch along the way, relax and swim on one of the unspoilt beaches and head back to Sihanoukville in the late afternoon.
Day 6: Today is free at you own leisure. You may want to relax on one of the beaches or use your time to go on a daytrip, for example to one of the unspoilt islands off the coast.
Day 7: Time free at leisure until we check out and head back to Phnom Penh.
The above tours are therefore sample itineraries.
Ideal base for excursions
The sleepy riverside town of Kampot is rich in French colonial architecture, giving it a scenic atmosphere. It is an ideal base for various excursions to the nearby mountains, including Bokor Hill Station.
Of particular interest are also several cave pagodas and the many pepper plantations in the area. The fresh climate and soil type of Kampot as well as the experience from several generations of pepper farmers make this pepper unique.
Kampot is an up and coming tourist destination and the city has recently undergone many changes. There are a number of charming hotels, guesthouses and resorts in and around town.
Tasting locally caught crab
The former seaside resort of Cambodia’s elite was almost completely destroyed by the Khmer Rouge, but has since been largely rebuilt and is enjoying increasing popularity. Surrounded by jungle-covered mountains, it offers stunning views and is justly famed for its scenic sunsets.
There are many atmospheric boutique hotels and resorts offering quality accommodation and excellent food. Tasting the locally caught crab is a must for any visitor. Although Kep’s beach is not very attractive, nearby Rabbit Island offers a beautiful sandy beach and is only a short boat ride away.
Cambodia’s prime beach resort
Also known as Kompong Som, the coastal town of Sihanoukville is Cambodia’s prime beach resort, situated approximately 230 km Southwest of Phnom Penh. In and around the town are many white sand beaches and off the coast a number of unspoilt, partly uninhabited islands.
The tourist infrastructure is well developed and there is a vast choice of accommodation options, including some of the country’s best hotels. Dining options are abundant, many restaurants offering fresh sea food. Nevertheless, Sihanoukville is not as commercially developed as some of the crowded sea resorts in neighbouring countries.
The sea around Sihanoukville is ideal for aquatic sports such as diving, sailing and fishing around the islands. Another rewarding destination is Ream National Park with its dense mangrove forests, secluded beaches and coral reefs and an abundance of wildlife.
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