CAMBODIA NORTHEAST (14 DAYS)


Tour Style: Cambodia Adventure Tour
Nights: 13 nights
Destination: Cambodia
Departs: Daily
Start: Phnom Penh
End: Siem Reap
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CAMBODIA NORTHEAST ADVENTURE
14 Days / 13 Nights
 

From Phnom Penh, to Kratie, to Ratanakiri, to Preah Vihear and finally to Battambang and Siem Reap, this is a multi-province, comprehensive tour around Cambodia. While it includes all the must-see sights in this amazing country, it also manages to get you away from it all and takes you to some truly magical places, well off the well-trodden tourist routes.

In historic Phnom Penh you will visit the Royal Palace as well as the infamous S21 Museum. In Kratie you will hopefully catch a glimpse of the sometimes-elusive Irrawaddy dolphins, and in Ratanakiri you will enjoy a 3-day trek through some of the most spectacular jungle terrain out there.

Not to forget Siem Reap, base-camp for all things temple, including the largest religious monument ever built, and still standing for over 1000 years, Angkor Wat.

HIGHTLIGHTS:

Living Art Performance
S21 Museum & Killing Fields Cambodia Tour
Royal Palace and Museum
Cyclo Tour
Ratanakiri trek
Angkor Wat
Angkor Archaeological Park
Landmine Museum
Floating Village
Bamboo Train

TRIP DETAILS: 
Duration: 14 Days / 13 Nights
Tour type: Cultural, adventure, trek
Destinations: Phnom Penh, Kratie, Ratanakiri, Battambang & Siem Reap
Departs: Daily by arrangement
Starts: Phnom Penh
Ends: Siem Reap

BRIEF ITINERARY:
Day 01: Phnom Penh – Living Art Performance
Day 02: Phnom Penh - S21 Museum – Killing Fields – Royal Palace
Day 03: Phnom Penh - Kampong Cham – Kratie
Day 04: Kratie – Banlung
Day 05, 06 and 07: Ratanakiri Trekking
Day 08: Ratanakiri – Preah Vihear
Day 09: Preah Vihear – Siem Reap
Day 10: Siem Reap – Angkor Temples
Day 11: Siem Reap – Phnom Kulen Mountain
Day 12: Siem Reap – Floating Village – Battambang
Day 13: Battambang Excursion
Day 14: Battambang - Siem Reap – Departure

DETAILED ITINERARY:

Day 01: Arrival Phnom Penh – Free Day – Living Arts Performance

On arrival at Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, your local English-speaking guide will meet you personally, and transfer you to your hotel to check in. After checking in you will have free time to explore on your own or just relax.

Phnom Penh is known as the "Pearl of Asia", and it was considered one of the loveliest French-built cities in Indochina in the 1920s with its old colonial buildings. There is a great number of surviving French colonial buildings scattered along the grand boulevards, and is the political and commercial hub of Cambodia with about a three million population.

Tonight you will enjoy a performance by the Cambodian Living Arts at the Cambodia National Museum, starting at 07:00 pm depicting Cambodian life through the years. You can choose to have a welcome dinner at a local restaurant either before or after the performance. 

Meals: Dinner included
Accommodation in Phnom Penh
 

Day 02: Phnom Penh - Killing Fields Cambodia Tour – S21 – Royal Palace and Museum 

After a leisurely breakfast at your hotel, you friendly guide will be waiting for you in the hotel lobby to drive you about 15 Km out of Phnom Penh to see Beoung Cheoung Ek Memorial Museum (Killing Fields Cambodia Tour), and then back to Phnom Penh to the Tuol Sleng Museum (S21). If your timing is right you will also see a documentary film about the Khmer Rouge regime and the genocide of Pol Pot. First the victims were detained and tortured at S-21 prison (Tuol Sleng Museum), and then taken to the extermination fields to be put to death. The Cambodian government has constructed a massive Stupa (Memorial Monument) to display some of those skulls, bones and pieces of clothing and holds an annual ceremony to send peace to the spirits of the deceased.

In the afternoon after lunch (not included) you will have a guided tour of the National Museum, the Royal Palace with the Silver Pagoda. The Royal Palace contains some spectacular buildings such as the Throne Hall, the Royal Treasury Hall and the Napoleon II villa. The Silver pagoda (Pagoda of Emerald Buddha), steps are crafted from Italian marble, and inside the throne room the regal floor consists of more than 500 solid silver blocks weighing around six tons. The current king's living quarters are now in a separate hall. In the evening you will thoroughly enjoy an exciting Cyclo excursion along the Mekong Riverfront and passing Wat Phnom, an iconic sight of Phnom Penh. 

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner included
Accommodation in Phnom Penh



Day 03: Phnom Penh - Kampong Cham – Kratie

You will check out of the hotel after breakfast. Your driver and English-speaking guide will transfer you to Kratie via the town of Kampong Cham. On the way you will cross Chroy Chongvar, a Cambodia and Japanese Friendship Bridge, constructed in 1966. Also along the way you will see the shining, golden roofs of some Buddhist monasteries.

You’ll have a quick stop at Skoun, a small village where you can stop for some adventurous local snacks, such as deep fried tarantula spiders, crickets, and small birds. Feel free to try some if you are feeling brave! While at Kampong Cham, you will visit Phnom Bros and Phnom Srei as well as see Wat Nokor pagoda. You will leave Kampong Cham by crossing over a second Cambodia and Japanese Kizuna Friendship Bridge, driving past many rubber plantations, pepper farms, and cashew nut trees on the way to Kratie. After you check in you will have some time to relax before a visit to get a look at the Irrawaddy Mekong Dolphins.

Meals: Breakfast included
Accommodation in Kratie.
 

Day 04: Kratie – Banlung

You will have a lovely breakfast at Rajabori before you transfer to Banlung is the city of Ratanakiri Province. This scenic drive will take us through hilly villages and past many rubber plantation and peppercorn farms, and will take around 4 hours.

This is an uncharacteristically hilly city for the generally flat Cambodia, and Ratanakiri is situated on the northeast plateau, renowned for its unique natural beauty and wealth of natural resources. The physical and environmental characteristic of the province forms an impressive range including undulating hills and mountains, a level plateau, watershed lowlands, crater lakes, rivers and waterfalls. Forest cover varies from area to area, from the dense impenetrable forest in the northern reaches, which are still rich in wildlife, to the drier and sparser forest, found in the southwest. Similarly, the soil types present a range from rich volcanic soil to the sandy soil found near rivers.

On arrival, your hotel will check you in before you have an orientation tour of the city and market before heading for a swim at the Yeak Loam volcanic lake

Meals: Breakfast included
Accommodation in Banlung, Ratanakiri 

Day 05: Ratanakiri Trekking 

After an enjoyable hotel breakfast you will be ready for trekking. You transfer about 35 Km north of Banlung to begin your trek with us; we will strive to make this an authentic Cambodian experience. On arrival at the jetty in the northern part of Vearn Sai district you will be transported away from the clamour of the busy Cambodia cities and instantly you will find yourself in a gentler side of the beautiful and unspoiled countryside. After picking up some drinking water and maybe a refreshing cup of natural sugar cane juice from the surrounding marketplace, you’ll board the local ferry and head for your first destination – Koh Perk village. Sit back and relax as you progress through mile after mile of the rolling Sa Sen River – bookended on either bank by the enchanting wilderness of trees and undergrowth that tangle and entwine one another in their frozen embraces. This is a magical and unforgettable journey.

Greetings by the local children signal the end of your boat trip and the start of your adventure on Koh Perk with the indigenous Kachock tribe. The surroundings have altered now from a time long ago, where a simpler existence dominated the planet. Huge swathes of paddy fields and banana groves are peppered periodically with cheery communities of locals that can sometimes be as intrigued with you as you are with them! Your trek begins amongst the combined chatter of the excited villagers and those telltale animal sounds of the Asian countryside – there can be no mistaking it.
You’re in the jungle now!

Landscapes morph on this first day, from rice fields and pop-up villages, to extraordinarily labyrinthine bamboo forests – all the time being guided expertly by our English-speaking trek leaders. Ever wondered what a nut fruit is? What on earth that huge spider is called? (Probably a Golden Orb – they’re massive!) Or even about the sustainability of the deforestation going on around you? Don’t hesitate to query as our guides are happy to help with their encyclopedic knowledge of your surroundings – after all, it is their home!

After lunch the trek continuous apace and trails up and down rocky mountainsides and along winding streams. Your reward for the sometimes-challenging journey can be heard roaring a welcome at you through the bracken long before it hones into view. The jungle waterfall is every traveler’s dream and doesn’t disappoint after a long, hot trek through the wilderness. Clear and refreshing, bathe and languish in the cleansing waters; you’ve earned it! While you do, your guide and ranger will ensure further sumptuous treats, setting up a traditional fishing net to catch tomorrow’s breakfast and preparing tonight’s dinner – an amazing curry cooked inside a bamboo tree.
Pure heaven!

After such a long and full day your rest is assured beside the waterfall in an insect-proof hammock where you sway peacefully off into a well-deserved sleep to the soft lullaby of the waterfall’s song

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Accommodation in Hammock or Campsite.
 

Day 06:Jungle Trekking

As the sunlight pours into camp in the early morning, make sure you take advantage of your environment one last time and go for a dip in the waterfall to start the day off. Surely there can be no better way to invigorate and inspire for the day ahead. Breakfast is served and you won’t find a fresher alternative – fish caught from the waterfall itself are cooked to perfection on the campfire, along with tasty noodles and a quick coffee, if the water wasn’t enough to wake you up. Make sure you eat well though, as today’s 20 Km trek requires all the energy you can muster.

Experiencing the jungle at this time in the morning is a real pleasure as the light plays down from the canopy above. Shafts of gleaming sunlight set the jungle alight and guide you on your way through this unblemished setting which is, in every sense, an ‘ off the beaten track’ experience. Climb mountains of rock to hitherto unreached heights to indulge yourself with the stunning panoramas available and push on through the multitudes of stream and river crossings necessary to reach lunch; your first stop of the day.

Picnic over and appetite sated for now, pick up your trek and eventually find yourself with a new natural vista to engorge your visual appetite. The stone field rises out of the jungle like a shambolic Stonehenge – there’s no order but what the Tropics have deposited here is tablet upon tablet of white stone that tic-tac their way around a 50m square distance. Truly a sight to behold, the locals frequent the area, with a tributary running picturesquely around it, as a popular fishing haunt, but tonight it could be your bedroom.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Accommodation in Hammock or Campsite.

 

Day 07: Jungle Trekking - Banlung

Have a lie-in – you deserve it! The majority of your trekking has been completed by this point and so today is all about understanding the Kachock way of life. If you stayed in the village the night before you will already be a little familiar with this, but if not, a short walk to the local’s home starts the day, after another nourishing breakfast.
Upon reaching the village, take the time to see how this ancient tribe spends their days, weaving baskets and collecting and processing the natural resources. Make sure you ask before taking photographs of the people as a sign of respect and courtesy, but if you do be sure to show them the images on your digital cameras to really bring the house down.

Next it’s off to the village cemetery, which may sound a little morbid, but couldn’t be further from the truth. The cemetery is a celebration of life and all around the spellbinding site are over 100 wooden constructs of crypts and effigies of animals that represent the lives of those indigenous people now passed on. The stories of how these come about are fascinating and include sacrifice, reincarnation and bountiful offerings, but this is best left to your guide to explain in full.

Lunch is a particular treat today. Sticky rice and locally sourced produce give the food a distinctly regional flavor and if you’re feeling adventurous try some of the chili and garlic dipping sauce – not for the fainthearted! Eating with the locals is a rewarding and life-affirming experience not to be missed but unfortunately signals the end of your three-day adventure on Koh Perk. A quick walk back to the boat and you’re on your way back to a more recognizable civilization with both your stomach and your soul brimming over. Sleep may not be the same without the fireflies zipping across the night sky, but at least you’ll always have the memories and dreams of your time in one of the more remote areas of Cambodia. 

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch included
Accommodation in Banlung, Ratanakiri. 


Day 08: Ratanakiri – Preah Vihear

Today you depart from this hilly city after breakfast. You'll be on the road almost a full day on the drive to Preah Vihear province visiting Thala Borivath on the way. There is time for some early morning shopping at the Banlung market before you head off for Preah Vihear province, or to watch the minority people heading for the market to barter their products. We go via Stung Streng and also stop to explore the amazing jungle Sopheakmit waterfall on the Mekong River.

After that, you’ll continue to Preah Vihear province when the tour will stop for a while and you can rest. Leaving from Preah Vihear, you transfer to Sro Em to check in at our hotel.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Accommodation in Sro Em District.
 


Day 09: Preah Vihear – Siem Reap

After breakfast at a local restaurant we will transfer to the foot of Preah Vihear Mountain then transfer by truck to the mountaintop to pay a visit to the temple of Preah Vihear.

After visiting the temple, you’ll transfer along the scenic route to Siem Reap province. The tour will stop at Kulen District to visit the Koh Ker temple group with Prasat Thom and others then continue on to Beng Mealea temple, passing villages and many friendly local people. Next you will continue to ramble through the stunning country roads until you reach the hotel for check in. We will have dinner later in the evening. 

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch included
Accommodation in Siem Reap.


Day 10: Siem Reap – Angkor Temples

You start the tour today early breakfast and it’s straight to the jewel in the crown of Angkor, Angkor Wat temple to watch the sunrise behind the towers. You then head back to the hotel for a well-earned breakfast. This is an absolute must-see and is instantly unforgettable.

After breakfast you head back to the park to explore the ancient capital city of Angkor Thom. You will walk along the ramparts from the South Gate to see Prasat Chrung, stopping at the Death Gate for some fruit and snacks before continuing on to visit the main temple of Bayon. You will also visit some nearby temples such as Baphuon, the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King. Next you will visit the mysterious ‘Tomb Raider’ temple of Ta Prohm, the jungle temple, overgrown over centuries by balsa wood trees and vines.

Enjoy your packed lunch near Siem Reap River then have a rest in a hammock for a short nap just as the locals do, before starting your afternoon tour. You will spend the afternoon exploring Banteay Srei temple which is known as the ‘Women’s Temple', and is associated with the supposed training of female soldiers to fight against the enemy. It is fairly unique in that it is constructed of beautiful pink sandstone and decorated with intricate stone carvings. On the way back you will visit the impressive Cambodia Landmine Museum, which has disarmed and collected thousands of landmines. What is even more impressive is the story of one Khmer man, Mr. Aki Ra, who disarmed the majority of these landmines alone. If time permits, you will explore the ruins of Preah Khan, which sits right in the middle of the jungle. You will enter from the east and walk along the causeway listening to the sounds of birds and gibbons, making for a very pleasant experience.

Tonight you will enjoy dinner accompanied by a traditional Apsara dance performance depicting the ancient culture of the Khmer empire.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner included
Accommodation in Siem Reap.

 

Day 11: Siem Reap – Phnom Kulen Mountain

After breakfast, you’ll travel through the countryside to Phnom Kulen Mountain, a very popular spot for the locals on weekends and holidays. You will discover thousand-year-old Linga carvings, thundering waterfalls and an iconic reclining Buddha making Phnom Kulen National Park one of the most-visited escapes in all of Cambodia. Lunch is served at a local restaurant and you will have time to take a rest. In the afternoon you head back to town where you will have free time before heading for your dinner tonight.

Meals: Breakfast and Lunch included
Accommodation in Siem Reap.


Day 12: Siem Reap – Floating Village – Battambang 

After breakfast at your hotel you will head out to have a look at the phenomenon that is Tonle Sap Lake, which floods each year rising some 10 metres when the feed rivers flow changes direction. You will take a boat ride to the stilted village of Kompong Phluk and explore this great ecosystem by canoe, listening to the calls of the macaque monkeys while marveling at the forest beneath the lake’s surface. You will visit a small Buddhist temple, standing alone on an island, and inside you will find some beautiful Buddhist life paintings on the celling.

After lunch you will transfer to Battambang, known as the City of Rice of Cambodia. This journey will take about 3 hours and on arrival you will check in to your hotel. 

Meals: Breakfast included
Accommodation in Battambang.


Day 13: Battambang Excursion

We start our exploration of Battambang after your hotel breakfast. Battambang is the provincial capital and the second largest city in Cambodia. This region is known as the ‘Rice Bowl of Cambodia’ as most of the country’s rice is grown here. It lies along the banks of the Sagkae River, which is flanked by some well-preserved colonial architecture. It is popular because of its blend of modern city, small-town friendliness, also famous for its fresh fruit, all of which which works together to give the town a unique charm. It is a very typical Cambodian working town and unlike any of the more touristy destinations.

You will visit the hilltop temples on Phnom Banon and Phnom Sampeau. The temple on the top of Phnom Banon was originally a Hindu temple and was built to worship the god Shiva, the same as the temples at Phnom Bakheng, Phnom Bok and Phnom Kom located in Siem Reap. Phnom Sampeau is now a Buddhist temple where, in the past, one of the caves was used as a ‘killing cave’ during the regime of Pol Pot (1975-79). The day will end with a fun and exciting trip on the famous bamboo train, a journey you wont forget in a hurry. 

Meals: Breakfast included
Accommodation in Battambang
.

Day 14: Battambang - Siem Reap – Departure

After breakfast at the hotel, you will visit Phum Wat Ko village one of oldest villages in Battambang. You will visit a local pagoda and some of the more interesting ancient houses.

In the afternoon you say goodbye to Battambang and transfer to Siem Reap. You will stop on the way at Preah Netr Preah District to meet some local families who produce stone/wood carvings after which you will be dropped off at Siem Reap International airport for your departure flight.

A CAMBODIAN ADVENTURE WITH LOTS OF FUN!

 


Lyle B
"Always memorable!"

I consider myself very lucky to have known Mr Kun (Travelloops General Manager) since 2007. Many unforgettable fond memories have been attributed to the well constructed and customised itineraries Mr Kun and his team have thoughtfully put together for myself and the many friends I have travelled Cambodia (and neighbouring SEA countries) with over the years. Mr Kun and his team have always proven to be extremely knowledgable, accommodating and of course lots of fun to be around with many friendships forged over the years! Our short visit in June certainly didn't dissappoint. Although short on time (2 days) we managed to squeeze in a half day Angkor tour (in the comfort of an air conditioned car), sampled wonderful local cuisine and also got a taste of the local nightlife thanks to the amazing Mr Kun! Don't know when I'll be back but Travelloops will always be my first point of contact. Thank you Mr Kun for another memorable time in Siem Reap!

Visited June 2016


KenandDi
B.C
"Cycle touring Camboia and Laos, multi-day tours"

From 2010 to 2016, we have toured with Travelloops several times on very memorable trips. Our initial tour was 3 weeks from Siem reap to the Mekong which we followed from Pakse, Laos to Southern Cambodia. It was a tremendous trip due to the experience and wonderful Travelloops folks led by Chanra , chanra@travelloops.com. We have since done 2 more multi weeks tours and several 1 day trips, all of them tremendous experiences.
I can enthusiastically recommend Travelloops as a tours company for cycling, hiking, or motor tours in and around Siem Reap, Cambodia and Laos.
KenandDi

Visited February 2016

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