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Bangkok - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat
A long travel day awaits today. It's a long drive from Bangkok to Siem Reap (approx. 10 hours/450 km total by private bus, including border crossing and lunch). Exit Thailand at Aranyaprathet and enter Cambodia at Poipet. Your tour leader will help you with border crossing procedures. If you are getting your visa at the border you will need USD cash. From Poipet to Siem Reap is around another 150 km.
The small but expanding town of Siem Reap is the gateway to Angkor. This is the most popular destination for travellers in all of Cambodia, perhaps even in South East Asia. The markets are a great place to shop or to try some cheap, delicious street food.
Temple-hop with our local guide to make the most of our visit to the world-famous Angkor complex. These temples were built between the 9th and 13th centuries when the Khmer empire was the pre-eminent influence in South-East Asia. The temples were believed to represent the cosmic world and were set in perfect balance, symmetry and composition. The intricately carved bas-reliefs and architectural designs are mind-blowing and there are spectacular photographic opportunities at any time of day - watching a sunrise or sunset is a must. The ruins are scattered over an area of some 160 sq km, but the main cluster of temples is close to Siem Reap so we'll have plenty of time to fully appreciate the great archaeological sites of Angkor Wat, the Bayon and the jungle-covered Ta Prohm.
Depending on the season there may be a chance to visit Tonle Sap Lake for a look at local life.
If you feel like some adventure another option is to do the "Flight of the Gibbon" zip-line course, giving you a birds eye view of the rain forest with extra adrenalin rush thrown in!
Get a taste of real Cambodian life on a homestay with a local family in one of the traditional villages near the impressive Sambor Prei Kuk temple complex. Jump on a private bus heading towards Sambor Prei Kuk and our Homestay. Arrive at your homestay, drop your bags and meet the local family with who you'll be staying with tonight.
Tour the village with your local guide, who will introduce you to the way of life of the local people, your homestay facilities and your hosts for tonight. Facilities are very basic at the homestay, but this is an opportunity to experience the everyday life of rural Cambodians. Sambor Prei Kuk is Cambodia's oldest temple site dating back to the 6th century. You have free time to visit this fascinating temple complex. In the evening, we enjoy a traditional Khmer dinner with the host family.
Phnom Penh, Cambodia's capital, is set on a major junction of the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers and boasts some fine examples of French-inspired architecture. Confront Cambodia's tragic past on a guided tour of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. Head out to the Choeung Ek Memorial, where a stupa made of human skulls marks the site of the infamous Killing Fields. Learn about a brighter period in Cambodian history with a visit to the Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda.
Explore Wat Phnom, a peaceful temple situated on a hill for which the city is named. Check out the National Museum, which contains many outstanding examples of Khmer craftsmanship. Take in the sites by cyclo - central market, US Embassy, Wat Phnom, Mekong river front, and independence monument, finishing at the Royal Palace.
Ho Chi Minh City
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