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Cambodia Adventure - 12 Days/11 Nights

Venture deep into remote parts of Cambodia for a full adventure with wild life, rural villages and remote temples. From the bustling city of Phnom Penh, you will drive overland to the highlands of Mondulkiri and mingle with rescued elephants at the Elephant Valley Project. See the rare freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins that inhabit the upper reaches of the Mekong River and explore the long abandoned French colonial outpost of Kratie. Clamber through the vast ruins of Angkor's lost temples in the forests and explore majestic sites. 

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 historical architecture of Phnom Penh
  • "Walking with the Herd" at the Elephant Valley Project
  • Fresh water Irrawaddy dolphins
  • Charming colonial era buildings at Kratie
  • Pre-Angkorian temples at Issanpura
  • Jungle temple of Beng Mealea
  • Lesser known village of Kompong Khleang at Tonle Sap lake
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site Angkor Wat
     

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Phnom Penh
Upon arrival at the airport, you will be welcomed by our representative and transferred to your hotel for check in.
Overnight in Phnom Penh.

Day 2: Phnom Penh
After breakfast, visit the genocide museum of Tuol Sleng and the Killing Fields before heading to Wat Phnom, the symbol of the city. Explore the stunning Royal Palace then the Silver Pagoda before continuing on to the National Museum, home to the world’s finest collection of sculpture from the Angkor period. In the evening, board a boat for a sunset cruise on the Mekong River.
Overnight in Phnom Penh. (Breakfast)

Day 3: Phnom Penh to Mondulkiri
This morning, depart Phnom Penh for Mondulkiri on a 6.5 hours drive over 323 miles. There is an optional stop at Skuon, affectionately known as 'Spiderville', where it is possible to sample the local delicacy of deep fried tarantula. Arrive in Kompong Cham at mid-morning and visit the 'fusion' temple of Wat Nokor, an 11th century sandstone temple. See some intricate carvings and the contrast between the Hindu past and the Buddhist present. Then continue east towards the small town of Snuol. The first half of the journey is flat, passing through patches of lush forest, areas of cultivation and plantations. After Khau Si Ma district, the road snakes up through the mountains that give Mondulkiri its name of 'where the mountains meet'. Nearing Sen Monorom, the provincial capital, the scenery changes again, jungle giving way to clusters of pine trees and rolling grasslands. The scenery is unique for Cambodia and dotted with traditional Pnong villages, the main minority group in Mondulkiri. On arrival in Sen Monorom, check-in at the Lodge at Elephant Valley Project.
Overnight in Mondulkiri. (Breakfast, Dinner)
 
Day 4: Mondulkiri
After breakfast, visit Elephant Valley Project (available only on weekdays). With the support of the Bunong villagers, this camp rescues and treats domestic elephants who have suffered injury and abuse. Today, you will experience ‘Walking with the Herd for a day’. Be introduced to a herd of elephants and learn more about their history, character, behavior and body language while walking alongside them in their natural environment. You will be able to feed the elephants buckets of bananas and bathe them before watching them cover in mud again. After lunch, you will enjoy a walking trek with the elephants through the stunning Mondulkiri countryside to a waterfall for a refreshing swim and elephant bath. Return to your Lodge at Elephant Valley Project.
Overnight in Mondulkiri. (All meals)
 
Day 5: Mondulkiri to Kratie
Today you leave the pine-clad hills of Mondulkiri and drive 120 miles over 4.5 hours towards the river port of Kratie. Here is your gateway to encounter the rare freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins that inhabit the upper reaches of the Mekong in Cambodia. Arriving in Kratie, check-in at your guesthouse for some rest. Late afternoon, drive 30 minutes to Kampi where you will take a local boat to see the famous river dolphins. Spend about an hour around one of the deep pools where the dolphins gather to feed. Sightings are best at late afternoon.
Overnight in Kratie. (Breakfast)
 
Day 6: Koh Trong
This morning, you will cross the river and take a local ferry to go across to Koh Trong. Explore the island by bicycles, visiting local farms and learn about typical rural life out here. Meet a rural Cambodian family, and enjoy a simple home-cooked Khmer lunch. Find out more about the fruits and vegetables they grow, sample seasonal fresh fruits in season. You can also visit a floating Vietnamese fishing village at the southern tip of the island. In the evening, share a home cooked dinner with your friendly local hosts. Return back to Kratie and explore on your own this charming town dotted with old colonial French architecture.
Overnight in Kratie. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 7: Kratie to Kompong Thom
After breakfast, drive about 3 hours south to Kompong Cham. Passing through Cambodia’s vast rubber plantations, these were originally established by the French and redeveloped now by the locals. There may be an opportunity to stop along the way and learn how rubber is tapped. After lunch in Kompong Cham, continue another 2.5 hours drive to the provincial capital of Kompong Thom. On arrival, you will check-in at your hotel and rest of the evening is at leisure.
Overnight in Kompong Thom. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 8: Kompong Thom to Siem Reap
This morning you will explore the impressive pre-Angkorian capital of Isanapura, known today as Sambor Prei Kuk. The first major temple city in South-East Asia, the brick temples of Sambor Prei Kuk are a peaceful contrast to their more illustrious relatives at Angkor. Visiting these ancient structures before our pilgrimage to Angkor offers a fascinating chronological insight into the development of temple architecture during the Khmer Empire. You will explore the main temples here, including Prasat Tao with its elaborately coiffured lions and Prasat Sambor, with its crumbling sanctuaries. Afternoon, continue northwest on an old Angkor road with stopover in Kompong Kdei to see one of the ancient Angkor bridges that were built to span the rivers. Spean Praptos has more than 20 arches and is a spectacular sight. Continue to Siem Reap for about 3 hours where you will check into our hotel and enjoy the rest of the evening at leisure. You can stroll to the popular Pub Street for a wide choice of local restaurants or your hotel can assist to arrange a ride on a local Tuk-Tuk.
Overnight in Siem Reap. (Breakfast)

Day 9: Siem Reap
This morning, meet your guide and journey northeast, about 45min drive over 31 miles to Kbal Spean. The original ‘River of a Thousand Lingas’, Kbal Spean is an intricately carved riverbed deep in the foothills of the Cambodian jungle. You will experience a short jungle hike in the Angkor area, it is a 1.2mile scenic uphill hike for about an hour  to reach the river carvings. The path winds its way through knotted vines and big boulder formations and occasionally offers big views over the surrounding jungle. And there is a small waterfall below the carved riverbed, perfect for cooling off after the hot climb and a picnic lunch.

Afternoon, head south to Banteay Srei, a petite pink temple is the jewel in the crown of Angkor-era sculpture. The elaborate carvings here are the finest found in Cambodia and the name translates as ‘Fortress of the Women’. After, head over to the Golden Silk Farm where you can see traditional weaving techniques and the process of silk harvesting. At this farm, you will see mulberry bushes where silk worms are cultivated and learn the various stages of producing a piece of silk fabric. This farm is founded by Madame OUM Sophea Pheach, former Director of the National Center of Cambodian Silk. It is also a local non-profit organization that helps to revive the ancient Khmer know-how in silk activities and provides job opportunities to a disadvantage rural labor force living in removed areas. One the way back to Siem Reap, stop by the informative Landmine Museum if you wish.
Overnight in Siem Reap. (Breakfast)

Day 10: Siem Reap
After breakfast, drive about 90min to Tonle Sap Lake and board a small wooden boat to Kompong Khleang, a traditional stilted village community found living high above the lake's waters. The village provides homes for some 20,000 residents - it is the largest single community on the fringes of the lake. Here you will see typical rural life just outside of the touristy city of Siem Reap and learn about the challenges they face in their daily lives. A simple lunch will be taken at the village.
 
Leaving the lake, visit 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.
Overnight in Siem Reap. (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 11: Siem Reap
Take an early morning trip to Angkor Wat to beat the crowds and heat of the day. Stop for a special moment where you will receive a blessing from a monk at a pagoda near Angkor Wat. In the afternoon visit the highlights of Angkor Thom by bike, including the enigmatic faces of the Bayon, Baphuon, the Terrace of the Elephants, and the Terrace of the Leper King.
Overnight in Siem Reap. (Breakfast)

Day 12: Depart from Siem Reap
Transfer to the airport for your onward flight. (Breakfast)
 

Inclusions and Excusions

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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