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Cambodia Explorer - 8 Days/7 Nights

Phnom Penh – Kompong Thom - Kompong Svay - Siem Reap 

Get off the beaten track in Cambodia and explore lesser known temples in Cambodia. Start in Cambodia’s modern and vibrant capital city of Phnom Penh before heading out to pre-Angkorian temples of Sambor Prei Kuk in Kompong Thom and Preah Kahn Temples in Kompong Svay. End your tour in Siem Reap where you will explore the ancient ruins of Angkor Wat and learn the secrets of Khmer traditional cooking. A special feature of this tour is spending a night in a luxury safari tent by remote temples that hardly see any visitors!

Privately-Guided! Whether you are a single person, a couple, or a group, you'll have your own guide and driver for all airport pickups, dropoffs, and daily excursions. 

Choose your own dates! This is not a fixed-departure-date tour. Just let us know the dates that work best for you and we will arrange everything.

Customizable! Need more time? Less time? Want to see or do something that isn't included? Just let us know, and we will arrange it for you and let you know the change in costs.

Click here to read what our clients have told us after they return.

Trip Highlights

  • Explore the vibrant city of Phnom Penh
  • Learn the tragic history of the Khmer Rouge regime
  • Explore lesser known ancient temples
  • Camping in a luxury tent by remote temples
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site Angkor Wat
  • Market visit and Cooking Class in Siem Reap


Day 1: Arrive Phnom Penh
Upon arrival at the airport, you will be welcomed by our representative and transferred to your hotel. Depending on your arrival time, you can commence sightseeing today or day after. Explore the Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and the National Museum, home to the world's finest collection of sculptures from the Angkor period.
Overnight in Phnom Penh.

Day 2: Phnom Penh
In the morning, visit the Killing Fields and learn about the atrocities committed during the Khmer Rouge regime. After, enjoy a local lunch at a restaurant that is supported by the PSE vocational training center that supports children who can't afford formal education. In the afternoon, visit the genocide museum of Tuol Seng.
Overnight in Phnom Penh. (Breakfast)

Day 3: Drive to Kompong Thom
After breakfast, meet your guide and drive about 3 hours to Kompong Thom. Along the way, visit Santuk Silk Farm and learn more about silk production in Cambodia, from silkworm breeding to weaving fine garments. The farm is run by Budd Gibbons, an American Vietnam War veteran who’s lived in Cambodia since 1996, and his Cambodian wife. At the farm, you will break for a freshly prepared local lunch. If you’re interested, this is a place to shop for top quality silk items as they are better priced than in the cities.

Afternoon, explore the pre-Angkorian capital of Isanapura, known today as Sambor Prei Kuk. The first major temple city in South-East Asia, the brick temples here are a peaceful contrast to their more illustrious relatives at Angkor. These temples offer a fascinating chronological insight into the development of temple architecture during the Khmer Empire. You will explore the main temples, including Prasat Tao with its elaborately coiffured lions and Prasat Sambor, with its crumbling sanctuaries.
Overnight in Kompong Thom. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 4: Kompong Svay Campsite
This morning, drive about 1hr 40min to Kompong Svay where your safari campsite is located. On arrival, explore Preah Kahn and 3 other satellite temples. According to historians, the site used to be a hiding place of King Jayavarman VII before he ascended to the throne in AD 1181. It stands as the largest single religious complex ever built during Angkorian Era, as its exterior enclosure is about 3 sq. miles. There are few historical data about Preah Khan, French scholars argued it had been founded in the 11th century probably by Suryavarman I, was king of the Khmer Empire from AD 1006 to 1050. Tonight, your campsite consists of a luxury tented camp next to the ancient temples. Actual beds will be provided within the tent and a toilet tent will be set up. Dinner will be freshly prepared and served at your camp site.
Overnight in Kompong Svay. (All Meals)

Day 5: Koh Ker and Beng Mealea
Early morning, enjoy a freshly prepared breakfast at your campsite before driving about 2 hours to the remote Angkor capital of Koh Ker where King Jayavarman IV left a legacy of 30 major temples and some gargantuan sculptures that are on display in the National Museum in Phnom Penh. Visit Prasat Thom, a seven-storey step pyramid with commanding views over the surrounding forest. Then proceed to Prasat Krahom or Red Temple and other temples, including the five towers of Prasat Ling, each enclosing a giant linga or fertility symbol.

Later, drive about an hour to the temple of Beng Mealea, a slumbering giant lost for centuries in the forests of Cambodia. Here it is possible to enjoy an Indiana Jones experience clambering about the vast ruin. There is also a sturdy wooden walkway running right into the heart of the temple. Then, visit to a nearby Angkor-era quarry from where stone was cut to build these massive monuments. From here, it will take about 1.5 hours to drive to Siem Reap.
Overnight in Siem Reap. (Breakfast, Lunch)
Day 6: Cooking Class in Siem Reap
Today you will take a break from temples and learn how to cook authentic Cambodia cuisine. At 8am, you will be picked up and join a group for a special Cambodian Cooking Class at Sala Kdei near Sras Srang. You will first visit a local market to learn about fresh ingredients used in secrets of Khmer cuisine. Then head over to Sala Kdei, a beautiful traditional Khmer house and begin your cooking class. You will learn some of the kingdom's best loved dishes including the fish amok. You will enjoy lunch after the class and transfer back to your hotel. For rest of the day, you can visit some local handicraft workshops to shop for souvenirs or relax in your resort. It is very inexpensive to take a local tuk-tuk to visit other sights around the small town on your own and your hotel will be able to assist.
Overnight in Siem Reap. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 7: Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom
Take an early morning trip to Angkor Wat to beat heat of the day. Believed to be the world's largest religious building, this temple was built in the 12th century by King Suryavarman II. You can return to your hotel for a full breakfast or take a breakfast box from the hotel before you leave so you can continue to tour the temples.

Then continue or return later in the afternoon to visit the highlights of Angkor Thom – the last capital of the great Khmer Empire. You will visit the sprawling Elephant Terrace, the Terrace of the Leper King and the enchanting Bayon. This 12th century masterpiece lies at the very centre of Angkor Thom City and is an archaeological wonder of symmetry and grandeur.  Overnight in Siem Reap. (Breakfast)

Day 8: Depart Siem Reap
Transfer to the airport for your onward flight. (Breakfast)

Inclusions and Exclusions

Our Package Rates Include

  • Private airport transfers
  • Daily accommodation with breakfast
  • Private vehicle transportation for all excursions per itinerary
  • Meals as listed in above itinerary
  • Services of a local, English-speaking guide for all visits and excursions
  • All tours and activities mentioned in the itinerary, including entrance fees

Rates Do Not Include

  • International airfare
  • Cambodia visa application fees
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for drivers and guides
  • Expenses of a personal nature

To Book This Tour

Please call us toll free at 1-877-362-2793 and let us know that you are interested in this tour. To prepare a proposal, we'll ask questions about how many people are traveling, your preferred travel dates, standard and types of accommodation, and any special interests that we may be able to accommodate.

Once we have finalized a customized price quote for you, your agent will inform you a per-person non-refundable deposit to initiate reservations (typically 20% of tour cost). Final payment is due 75 days prior to departure.

If your reservation is made less than 75 days prior to departure, the non-refundable deposit will allow us to initiate reservations. Full payment will be due immediately upon confirmation of all hotels and transportation services. If the services quoted cannot be confirmed, alternate accommodation or transportation will be arranged and the price will be adjusted accordingly.

Payments can be made by personal check, bank wire transfer, or credit card. Upon receipt of your deposit, we will initiate your reservations and send you a statement showing your payment. Approximately 2 weeks prior to your departure, we will send you a final confirmation containing your itinerary and detailed information on the logistics of your trip.
Please review our complete terms and conditions:
Booking Terms and Conditions

Cancellation/Refund Policies

- Cancel more than 60 days prior to departure - forfeit your deposit.
- Cancel between 30 and 60 days prior to departure - forfeit 50% of the tour cost.
- Cancel less than 30 days prior to departure - NO REFUND of tour cost.
- Cancellations must be made in writing and sent via mail, fax, or email to Red Lantern Journeys.
- Refunds will be processed within 30 days of receipt of your written request.
- No refunds are available for unused services or tours during your trip.

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