Cambodian Odyssey

Explore all the charms of Cambodia with this comprehensive itinerary traversing the country's most interesting and intriguing sights. Starting from Cambodia's premier beach destination, explore the charming southern coastal towns of Kep and Kampot and the beaches of Sihanoukville, the cultural heritage of Phnom Penh before taking in the ancient ruins of Angkor.

Best time for this itinerary: November to March

Touring style: Private basis with professional English speaking guide and driver

Cambodian Odyssey at a glance
  • Day 1: Arrival Kampong Som (Sihanoukville)
  • Day 2: Kampong Som (Sihanoukville)
  • Day 3: Kampong Som (Sihanoukville) - Kep
  • Day 4: Kep - Phnom Penh
  • Day 5: Phnom Penh
  • Day 6: Phnom Penh - Kratie
  • Day 7: Kratie
  • Day 8: Kratie - Kampong Thom
  • Day 9: Kampong Thom - Siem Reap
  • Day 11-12: Siem Reap
Cambodian Odyssey Image 1

Day 1: Arrival Kampong Som (Sihanoukville)

Arrive into Kampong Som, Cambodia’s premier beach town, sporting miles of white sand beaches, picturesque islands, and warm tropical water. Enjoy a visit to a local market, a fishing village and Ochheuteal Beach.

Overnight in Kampong Som.

Cambodian Odyssey Image 2

Day 2: Kampong Som (Sihanoukville)

Excursion to the Ream National Park area. From Kampong Som, travel to Preak Tuk Sap, visiting a pepper and durian plantation, and a crocodile farm. Continue by boat downriver, past tropical forests and mangrove swamps. On the way, visit fishing villages, bird watching, and dolphin spotting. Continue by boat to the offshore island of Koh Sampouch before returning to Kampong Som.

Overnight in Kampong Som.

Cambodian Odyssey Image 3

Day 3: Kampong Som (Sihanoukville) - Kep

Leave with your driver and guide to Kampot. The caves and mountains of limestone around Kampot and Kep are riddled with cave formations, many of which are revered as sacred shrines. Explore the various chimneys, passageways, and rock formations. Visit the small pagodas and shrines erected over the years.

Continue to Kep for overnight. 

Distance and journey times:

Sihanoukville to Kampot: 130 km, 2 hrs

Kampot to Kep: 15 km, 30 mins

 

Cambodian Odyssey Image 4

Day 4: Kep to Phnom Penh

Transfer from Kep to Phnom Penh. Board a fibreglass motorboat in Takeo that will zip you along an ancient canal to the archaeological museum of Angkor Borei and the temple ruins of Phnom Da. On the way, you will have the chance to see rural life in Cambodia.

Continue to Phnom Penh. On the way, you will visit Phnom Chisor, where you can climb up to the top of the mountain to explore the well-preserved ruins of a 10th-century Angkorian temple. Enjoy an amazing view over the typical Cambodian countryside. the evening board the Kanika cruise boat for shared dinner cruise that will take you along the Tonlé Sap and Mekong rivers. You will have a wonderful view of the riverfront and the Phnom Penh skyline over dinner.

Overnight in Phnom Penh.

Distance and journey time:149 km, 2.30 hrs

Cambodian Odyssey Image 5

Day 5: Phnom Penh

Explore Phnom Penh, a chaotic energetic and always fascinating city. Graceful tree-lined boulevards and riverfront promenades are reminders of bygone eras. Start a tour into Cambodia’s cultural heritage with a visit to the Royal Palace, and the adjacent Silver Pagoda. Continue to the elegant National Museum, which contains a comprehensive collection of Khmer Art. In the afternoon, learn about a chapter from Cambodia’s more recent, tragic, past at the Tuol Sleng Museum (Museum of Genocide).

Finally, explore one of Phnom Penh’s two great markets. The Central Market, located in a distinctive domed Art Deco building or the sprawling Russian Market.

Overnight in Phnom Penh.

Cambodian Odyssey Image 6

Day 6: Phnom Penh - Kampong Cham - Kratie

Leave Phnom Penh for Kampong Cham,  a former French trading post on the Mekong. Continue to Wat Nokor, an 11th-century Angkor era Buddhist temple. Continue to Kratie Province. Enjoy a spectacular Mekong sunset this evening.

Overnight on Koh Trong Island.

Distances and journey time:

Phnom Penh – Kampong Cham (124 km): 2 hrs & 40 mins

Kampong Cham – Kratie (81 Km): 1 hrs & 30 mins

Cambodian Odyssey Image 7

Day 7: Kratie

Leave early in the morning on a scenic drive along the banks of the Mekong to the village of Kampi for a chance to view the rare Irrawaddy Dolphins. Get onboard a local boat that will take you to the preferred habitats of these interesting creatures. As soon as you have spotted the first dolphin, your boat driver will turn the engine off and you will follow the dolphins silently (duration 1 to 1.5 hours).

In the afternoon, enjoy the countryside on a cycle ride or just relax.

Overnight on Koh Trong Island.

Cambodian Odyssey Image 8

Day 8: Kratie - Kampong Thom

Leave Kratie for Kampong Thom Province. On the way, stop at Phnom Santuk Mountain and climb the 980 steps to the top to visit the pagoda and for the great views over the countryside. Upon arrival in Kampong Thom, check into your hotel and enjoy a leisurely afternoon cycling tour along the river or relax by the beautiful hotel pool.

Overnight in Kampong Thom.

Distances and journey time:

Kratie – Kampong Thom: 220 km: 4.30 hrs

Cambodian Odyssey Image 9

Day 9: Kampong Thom - Siem Reap

Head towards the rarely visited Sambor Prei Kuk, one of the most important pre-Angkorian sites in Cambodia. Sambor Prei Kuk was built in the Chenla period between the 6th and 7th century and there are over 100 well-preserved temples scattered in the forest. The three main sites are linked by small and shady tracks. Enjoy a beautiful walk through the jungle with breathtaking views. The villages around the temple complex still practice the ancient art of craft making, using materials such as bamboo and rattan. Stop at one village to observe the local production. The community runs the Isanborei Craft Hut next to the temples and sells their products there as part of a community-based tourism project. 

Continue towards Siem Reap.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

Distances and journey time:

Kampong Thom – Siem Reap: 201 km,  3 hrs

Cambodian Odyssey Image 10

Day 10: Siem Reap

Tour the crowning jewel of Khmer architecture, Angkor Wat, the national symbol and the highlight of any visit to Cambodia. The largest, best preserved and most religiously significant of the Angkor temples, it impresses visitors both by its sheer scale and beautifully proportioned layout as well as the delicate artistry of its carvings. On the way, stop to enjoy the intricate stone carvings that adorn nearly every surface with some 1,700 Apsaras or celestial dancers, sculpted into the walls. Angkor Wat is stunning at any time of the day, but sunrise and sunset are especially beautiful times to watch the play of light on the stones.

Discover Angkor Thom: The fortified city of Angkor Thom covers an area of 10 km. Enclosed by a wall and wide moats the city includes many of Angkor’s most popular sights. Enter by the monumental South Gate over a causeway lined on either side by statues of demons and gods each carrying a giant naga. Continue to the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper Kings, former spaces for public ceremonies both adorned with dramatic bas reliefs. Visit the ruined Baphuon, Royal Enclosure, and Phimeanakas before continuing to the mysterious Bayon Temple.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

Cambodian Odyssey Image 11

Day 11: Siem Reap

Continue sightseeing in Angkor. Visit the Banteay Srei Temple. Seemingly miniature in comparison to the other Angkor temples, this is considered to be the jewel of classical Khmer art. The small size, fairy-like atmosphere and extraordinary examples of Khmer sculpture, this temple is often a favourite for visitors.

Discover Ta Prohm, one of the most popular attractions of Angkor as much of the jungle has not been cleared and it looks very much as most of the Angkor monuments would have appeared when European explorers first stumbled across them.

Finally visit Les Artisans d’Angkor, a craft shop which teaches local apprentices traditional woodcarving, stone carving, and lacquer ware painting. Take a tour of the workshops and learn about the craft processes before browsing in the stylish gift shop.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

Day 12: Siem Reap

Transfer to the airport. 

Distance and journey time: 8 km, 15 mins

Highlights

Kampong Thom

The 7th Century temple ruins of Sambor Prei Kuk are hidden in the forest, and may be explored either by foot along meandering paths, or bicycle

Read more

Kratie

Located north of Kampong Cham on the Mekong River, Kratie is best known for its nearby population of the rare and endangered Mekong-Irrawaddy Dolphin.

Read more

Phnom Penh: vibrant bustling capital

The floor of its Silver Pagoda paved with solid silver tiles, Cambodia’s Royal Palace soars majestically above Phnom Penh’s low rise colonial waterfront

Read more

Siem Reap and Angkor Wat

No visit to Siem Reap would be complete without experiencing the temple complex that forms the unforgettable Angkor Wat.

Read more

Sihanoukville, Kep and Kampot: Idyllic beaches

Featuring deserted, pristine beaches, it is conveniently placed to explore Ream National Park with its primary mangrove forests, diverse wildlife, and stunning natural scenery

Read more

Accommodation

Kampong Thom, Standard Class
Sambor Village Hotel

The first boutique property in Kampong Thom, Sambor Village Hotel is also the best accommodation option in this province

Read more

Kep, Superior Class
Knai Bang Chatt

Knai Bang Chatt consists of three original and fully restored 1960’s art-deco style villas set amongst exotic gardens

Read more

Kep, Standard Class
Veranda Natural Resort

The Veranda Natural Resort is an attractive hillside retreat in the coastal town of Kep

Read more

Koh Trong Island, Kratie, Standard Class
Rajabori Villas

Set idyllically on the Mekong River island of Koh Trong, this serene rural property is ideally located to view the rare and elusive Irrawaddy dolphin.

Read more

Phnom Penh, Deluxe Class
Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra

Set amongst lush landscaped gardens, the Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra is an inspired 5-star hotel

Read more

Phnom Penh, Deluxe Class
Raffles Hotel Le Royal

Located in the heart of vibrant Phnom Penh, the Raffles Hotel Le Royal is one of the best hotels in Cambodia

Read more

Phnom Penh, Superior Class
Amanjaya Pancam Hotel

Superbly located in the heart of town with fabulous views of river and city from every suite

Read more

Phnom Penh, Superior Class
The White Mansion

This boutique property is a stylish, contemporary hotel with 30 spacious and well-appointed rooms and suites elegantly decorated with Cambodian wood furniture

Read more

Phnom Penh, Standard Boutique
The Governors House

The Governors House is an exclusive boutique hotel with 12 rooms in an elegant colonial-style mansion located in the centre of downtown Phnom Penh

Read more

Phnom Penh, Standard Class
The Blue Lime

Sleek urban accommodation, with a lush exotic garden, centrally located on a side trip behind the National Museum and the Royal Palace

Read more

Siem Reap, Deluxe Class
Belmond La Résidence d’Angkor

A deluxe boutique hotel built with a tribute to Khmer architecture located on the shores of Siem Reap River

Read more

Siem Reap, Deluxe Class
The Park Hyatt

The Park Hyatt is a deluxe hotel located in the heart of the city within close proximity to the temples of Angkor Wat

Read more

Siem Reap, Superior Class
Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa

A deluxe hotel superbly located in the heart of Siem Reap inspired by a 1930s colonial style architecture

Read more

Siem Reap, Superior Class
Shinta Mani Resort

The Shinta Mani Resort is a newly renovated boutique property centrally located in the leafy French Quarter

Read more

Siem Reap, Standard Class
Pavillon Indochine Boutique Hotel

Pavillon Indochine is located on the outskirts of Siem Reap and is the closest hotel to Angkor Wat and minutes away from the town centre

Read more

Sihanoukville, Superior Class
Sokha Beach Resort

Sokha Beach Resort is located in hectares of beautiful landscape beachfront with a private long stretch of pristine white sandy beach

Read more