Cambodia Highlights 

Watch view sunsets over crumbling temples, wander through ancient wonders reclaimed by nature, ride on a bamboo train and visit an incredible project that aims to combat poverty in rural communities. We’ll take you to three captivating cities and the Der Touristik Foundation-supported Smiling Gecko Farmhouse for some rural r ‘n’ r.

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7 nights
Siem Reap, Battambang, Smiling Gecko Farmhouse, Phnom Penh

Recommended itinerary

Day 1

Siem Reap

On arrival at Siem Reap airport, transfer to your hotel, where you’ll check in for three nights. Depending on when you arrive in the city, you may have the afternoon and evening to explore at your own pace.

Day 2

Siem Reap

A morning visit to the local Phsat Krom Pou will provide you with an insight into modern day life in Siem Reap. You’ll then step back in time to the Khmer Empire with a visit to Angkor Thom, entering via the South Gate with its imposing statues. This leads you to Bayon, a temple renowned for its 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling stone faces. The rest of the morning is spent exploring the site, giving you the opportunity to witness highlights such as Elephants Terrace and the temple of Baphuon, which will reveal more about the culture of the times. Later, visit Ta Prohm, an atmospheric wonder that’s been reclaimed by jungle; it’s truly one of the complex’s most beautiful temples. Finally, you’ll head to the most famous temple of them all, the vast Angkor Wat, which is the prime example of classical Khmer architecture. Breakfast.

Day 3

Siem Reap

Today begins at Prasat Kravan to catch the morning light as it casts a glow on the beautiful reliefs, showing off its exquisite detail to the fullest. Next up is Neak Pean, a fountain that was built in the middle of pools, and the stunning Preah Khan temple, where you can wander through a maze of tight corridors. The afternoon the highlight is Banteay Srei temple, a jewel of classical Khmer art. There’s time to stop at a local village to visit families who produce palm sugar. One of the most complete complexes at Angkor, Banteay Samre, awaits you later in the afternoon, before you continue on to Phnom Bakheng where you’ll stay to watch the sunset behind Angkor Wat. Breakfast.

Day 4

Siem Reap to Battambang

It’s a two- to three-hour drive from Siem Reap to the riverside city of Battambang with its fading colonial facades. It is the second largest city in Cambodia and its maze of streets lined with old French buildings housing shops and restaurants – the food here is some of the best in the country thanks to the fertile agricultural lands that surround it. Although not as famed as Siem Reap’s temples, Wat Ek Phnom is well worth a visit due to its intricately carved lintels and pediments; it is located approximately five and half miles outside of the city and sits close to the bank of the Sangkae River. Battambang is arguably most famous for its bamboo train which you will have the chance to ride before returning to your hotel. Breakfast.

Day 5

Battambang to Smiling Gecko Farmhouse

The journey south continues as you drive four hours to reach the Smiling Gecko Farmhouse, a project that’s supported by the Der Touristik Foundation. Lunch will be served at the farmhouse, and you can enjoy the fresh farm-to-table produce the project prides itself on. You’ll take a tour of the campus and learn more about how the Smiling Gecko NGO aims to combat poverty in rural Cambodia through education and agriculture. The rest of the day is at leisure. Breakfast, lunch.

Day 6

Smiling Gecko Farmhouse to Phnom Penh

This morning’s drive to the Cambodian capital takes just under two hours so there’ll be some more time to make the most of the farmhouse’s facilities which include a spa and a beautiful swimming pool. After another locally sourced lunch, it will be time to depart for Phnom Penh where you will have a free evening. Breakfast, lunch.

Day 7

Phnom Penh

A full day of capital city exploration begins at the Royal Palace, the splendid riverfront residence of King Sihamoni. The jaw-dropping Silver Pagoda, which is named after its floor that which is covered with five tonnes of silver, is located within the palace grounds. Its centrepiece is the Emerald Buddha, a crystal sculpture, and a solid-gold, diamond-encrusted Buddha. Next up is the National Museum, which houses Cambodia’s most extensive collection archaeological and cultural exhibits, before heading to Wat Phnom, an ancient hilltop temple and a park at the city's official centre. A thought-provoking and sombre visit to the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum is included and here you’ll learn more about the atrocities inflicted by the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. The day ends with a wander around the Art Deco Central Market or the sprawling Russian Market; be prepared to barter for locally made silk, crafts, and jewellery. Breakfast.

Day 8

Phnom Penh

Depart the hotel after breakfast, heading to the airport for your onward journey.