Combining the magnificence of the Khmer Empire with lively Phnom Penh, this introduction to Cambodia is the perfect way to get acquainted with its classic sights and modern delights. Witness the grandeur of ancient Angkor Wat, see the enigmatic faces of the Bayon, confront the tragedy of the recent past and delight in the hopes for the future on this classic Cambodian adventure.
Days 1-2 Phnom Penh
Cambodia's capital is a friendly riverside city with loads of Khmer charm and faded French-colonial elegance. Confront this country's tragic past on a visit to the Tuol Sleng Museum and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek. Discover brighter times while wandering through the serene Royal Palace with its spectacular Silver Pagoda. In free time delve deeper into Khmer history at the National Museum, hunt for silver and local crafts in the Russian Market or take a sunset stroll along Sisowath Quay. Indulging in a strong coffee is a Phnom Penh experience not to be missed - the caffeine hit should certainly fuel some independent explorations.
Days 3-6 Siem Reap/Angkor Wat
Fly to Siem Reap, gateway to one of the world's most amazing archaeological sites. Built between the 9th and 13th centuries when the Khmer Empire was the pre-eminent influence in South-East Asia, the temples at Angkor were believed to represent the cosmic world and were set in perfect balance, symmetry and composition. Enjoy a guided introduction to the history and mythology of the ruins of Angkor Wat, the Bayon and the jungle-covered Ta Prohm. Hindu epics come to life in the sandstone bas-reliefs of Angkor Wat and the intricate architecture affords spectacular photo opportunities. Perhaps ease away any temple-fatigue with a massage back in town or travel further afield to visit Banteay Srei, with the most detailed carvings of all the temples. End this classic adventure by tucking into a sumptuous feast of Khmer cuisine.