Coastal Cardamom Mountains Explorer 800x450
 

Cruise deep into the mangroves and meet local fishing communities. Stand under a majestic waterfall, and visit pristine mountains.

 

Day 1: Koh Kong

Arrive in Koh Kong, Cambodia. Take a long tail boat which glides along the estuary to the ocean and offers opportunities to spot the rare Irrawaddy dolphin.

Visit the Peam Krasaop Wildlife Sanctuary (PKWS), which is home to millions of magnificent mangroves; the sanctuary’s numerous alluvial islands are separated by a maze of bays and channels. The local community has built a mangrove walk consisting of elevated walkways, picnic platforms, a suspension bridge and an observation tower which offers panoramic views. Boeng Kayak is the main gateway to Peam Krasaop.

Continue on a boat trip to Koh Sralao Fishing Village which is surrounded by dense forest. Cruise deep into the mangroves to experience a rare glimpse of life among the fishing communities that live off the natural bounty of this watery paradise. Return to town by long tail boat before night fall.

Overnight in Koh Kong

Day 2: Koh Kong

Travel by boat past Tatai village to the Tatai waterfall. The thunder of the majestic Tatai Falls reveals the river’s true power as it drops 6 metres to the rocks below. Turning into a tributary of the Tatai, head into the heart of the Cardamom jungle to the far off sounds of exotic birds and other wildlife. Within minutes wonder at the sight of journey’s end while gazing down into the turbulent waters of the falls.

Take a moment for lunch, but before take a few moments of hydro-massage and a refreshing drink as guests find some shade for a picnic and open the senses to the sights and sounds of the jungle. The tour can also arrange to transport some kayaks for added fun and adventure. From March to July there is also an opportunity to visit a nearby fruit plantation.

Arrive in Andoung Tuek Village and a private motorboat will be ready to take guests to Chi Phat. Relax and take in the view of the river before arriving at Chi Phat Community Based Ecotourism (CBET) where guests will be welcomed with a fresh coconut and registration at the CBET office. There will then be a presentation about the project followed by activities. Before evening falls, guests will have dinner at the CBET office.

Overnight in Koh Kong

Day 3: Koh Kong – Phnom Penh

Depart Chi Phat at sunrise for a splendid bird watching trip on a motorboat. Continue on a traditional row boat along the Stoeng Prat (Cattle Skin Cord) River. Have the chance to see Hornbills and Silver Languor’s that feed on the fruit trees lining the riverbanks. Enjoy a packed breakfast on the boat.

Continue rowing on to the Damnak Kos camp site. Relax, stroll around the camp or go for a swim. Return to Stoeng Prat and head to Andoung Tuek by motorboat with a boxed lunch on the return journey. Arrive at Andoung Tuek and continue on the next leg of your itinerary.

Journey south through the coastal province of Koh Kong while passing through the untouched and pristine Cardamom Mountains.

Overnight in Phnom Penh

Day 4: Phnom Penh – Siem Reap

Explore Phnom Penh, a chaotic, energetic and always fascinating city. Graceful tree-lined boulevards and riverfront promenades are reminders of bygone eras; today they teem with life and activity, as motorcycles weave in and out of traffic, vendors hawk their wares, and pedestrians go about their business.

Start the tour with an insight into Cambodia’s cultural heritage with a visit to the Royal Palace, still the official residence of King Norodom Sihamoi and the adjacent Silver Pagoda, also known as the Pagoda of the Emerald Buddha.

Continue to the elegant National Museum, which contains a comprehensive collection of Khmer Art. Finally, explore the modern-day city, visiting one of Phnom Penh’s two great markets, the Central Market, located in a distinctive domed Art Deco building or the sprawling Russian Market, a labyrinth of stalls selling everything from CDs and DVDs to silks, crafts, jewelry and more.

Fly from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

The fortified city of Angkor Thom covers an area of 10 square 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. In this temple, one of the most popular and compelling in Angkor, explore the galleries of beautifully preserved bas reliefs and ascend narrow stairs to reach the central sanctuary, where giant stone faces smiling enigmatically down from every angle. Watch the sun set over the Cambodian countryside from the upper terraces of an ancient Angkorian temple.

Overnight in Siem Reap

Day 5: Siem Reap

The crown jewel of Khmer architecture, Angkor Wat is the national symbol and the highlight of any visit to Cambodia. The largest, best preserved, and most religiously significant of the Angkor temples, Angkor impresses visitors both by its sheer scale and beautifully proportioned layout, as well as the delicate artistry of its carvings. To approach the temple, first cross the vast moat, continuing along a broad causeway lined with naga balustrades. Upon entering the main structure, ascend through a series of galleries and courtyard before reaching the central sanctuary, which offers beautiful views back over the causeway and across the surrounding countryside.

On the way, stop to enjoy the intricate stone carvings that adorn nearly every surface of the temple, with some 1,700 Apsaras, or celestial dancers, sculpted from the walls. Along the outer gallery walls run the longest continuous bas-relief in the world, which narrates stories from Hindu mythology, including the famous Churning of the Ocean of Milk. 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.

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