Embark on a journey through one of Southeast Asia’s most spectacular areas with our Along the Mekong Cambodia Tour. Explore rural villages, discover hidden temples and visit community-based tourism projects as you follow the Mekong River as it slices through the heart of the country. From the temples of Angkor to spotting rare Irrawaddy River Dolphins on the Laos border, this Cambodia tour allows travellers to experience the essence of the kingdom.
Depart from Phnom Penh, leaving the buzz of the capital behind as you make your way up north to the border town of Stung Treng. Spend two days in this sleepy riverside town where highlights include rare dolphin viewing, trek to a waterfall, and a visit a local silk-weaving center.
Looping southwards, drive alongside the Mekong to the town of Kratie. En route, a special stop is made to see local children perform traditional Khmer music in conjunction with an arts conservation program at a small temple in the town of Sambo. Before reaching Kratie, take a boat ride to a pocket of water where endangered Irrawaddy Dolphins are frequently spotted.
Your Cambodia tour continues with an excursion to the river island of Koh Trong where you will discover the sleepy rhythms of countryside life with a bike or horse cart ride. A chance to plant trees on the island is a fantastic way to make a positive contribution to this once forested area.
Veering off the Mekong River, the next stop on your Cambodia package tour is Kampong Thom which sits alongside the Stung River. You will have a chance to explore this provincial capital and the nearby temples at Sambor Prey Kuk. Tucked deep in the forest, you will discover dozens of monuments dating back to the 6th century and blissfully free of crowds.
Finally, continue to Siem Reap and reach the end of your Cambodia tour. Gaze in wonder at the towering Angkor Wat, lumber through the gates of Angkor Thom on an elephants back and wander among vines and giant trees at Ta Phrom. A boat trip on the Tonle Sap lake culminates this amazing eight-day journey.
From start to finish, our Along the Mekong Cambodia package tour showcases the natural beauty of the country as well as gives traveller’s unparalleled opportunities to experience the country’s local culture and traditions. A well-rounded journey of rural towns, this tour also makes an ideal route for second time visitors to the country.
Today, you will head north to Stung Treng. You will spend quite some time on the road, but there will be plenty of opportunities to stop on the way to break up the journey.
Near Kampong Cham, visit Wat Nokor, a temple that is famous for its beautiful wall paintings. After a short tour of the provincial capital and its typical market, continue to one of the many rubber plantations of this area. On a guided tour, you will learn about the cultivation and production of rubber. A packed lunch will be provided.
Arrive in Stung Treng in the afternoon and head straight to the hotel for check in. Tonight, experience a special dinner at Tonlé Tourism Training Center, where young locals are being trained in the principles of hospitality to ensure a better future in Stung Treng. Dining here means some delicious Khmer food paired with a very personalized service. The students are as excited to meet their guests as the guests themselves to meet the students. (Note: The Center is closed at weekends – if your visit coincides with a Sat/Sun then dinner will be at the hotel or a local restaurant instead).
Overnight in Stung Treng
Phnom Penh – Stung Steng (390 km): 7 mins
This morning take the local ferry to cross the river and continue by road to Preah Rumkel (1hr). At Preah Rumkel you will have the opportunity for a spot of dolphin watching at Anlung Cheuteal dolphin pool. This is one of the best spots to view the rare Irrawaddy Dolphins along the Mekong and can be seen from the river bank itself.
After visit Sopheak Mitt Waterfall which is accessed by a 3km trek. The waterfall is close to the Cambodia-Laos border and you can see how the mighty Mekong follows its path at this scenic stretch of the river. This is also the perfect location for your packed lunch to be eaten.
Return to Stung Treng in the afternoon. Your last visit stop today is to Mekong Blue, a local silk weaving centre offering work and an income to disadvantaged young women in this remote area. You can tour the workshops and, if you like, shop for beautiful silk items that carry the ‘UNESCO Seal of Excellence’ (Note: Mekong Blue closed Sundays).
Overnight in Stung Treng
Stung Treng – Preah Rumkel (60 km): 1hr & 20 mins
Breakfast will be served at a local restaurant near the market in Stung Treng.
From here, transfer south towards Kratie. On the way, stop to visit Wat Sorsor Mouy Roy in the village of Sambo. The vihara (temple sanctuary) of the so-called ‘100 Pillars Pagoda’ is an important historical and cultural building and quite famous for its legend involving a princess and a crocodile.
Housed in the grounds of the 100 Pillar Pagoda and partnered with the Buddhist monks that reside there, is a small Turtle Conservation Center. Their goal is to conserve one of the world’s rarest and largest fresh water turtles – the Cantor’s soft-shell turtle through a community-led nest protection scheme. The largest known wild population survives in the Mekong River but it is endangered here and almost extinct in Laos, Thailand and Vietnam.
Continue to another temple, Wat Rokakandal, a beautiful temple from the early 19th century with some unique wall paintings located on the banks of the Mekong.
Arrive in Kratie, where you will have some time at leisure to discover the small town by yourself. This afternoon, hop on the lodge boat (may be shared with other passengers) only a short 10 minutes boat ride away from Kratie. This Mekong island displays typical Cambodian village life, where people’s livelihood largely depends on rice farming and fruits cultivation (Koh Trong is famous for its pomelo!). Upon arrival, check in to your hotel and enjoy some time at leisure to enjoy the environment.
Overnight on Koh Trong Island
Stung Treng – Kratie (79 km): 2hr & 30mins
Day 4: Kratie B/L
Breakfast at the hotel. Now you are ready for a visit the island that is your home during your visit to Kratie. You can decide whether you would like to take a local horse cart or pedal yourself around the island on a bicycle.
Your first destination is the island’s wat, where a special activity awaits you: a tree planting project initiated by a local farmer, in order to recultivate the once densely forested island. Contribute to the project by planting your own tree here and it will carry your name tag and leave a positive trace on the island.
After toughening up, relax with a beautiful Khmer lunch under pomelo trees at a typical local house right by the river.
Continue by horse cart or cycling around the island, where you will be able to taste local fruit and visit a Vietnamese floating village on the southern tip of the island. Return to your hotel this afternoon, where you will have some time to relax.
This evening, you might be lucky to see the spectacular sunset over the Mekong that Kratie is famous for.
Overnight on Koh Trong Island
Breakfast at the hotel. Now it is time to drive south, towards Kampong Thom. On the way, stop to visit Chhlong (transfer time ca. 45 minutes), a tiny town with many French colonial houses that are amongst the most beautiful in Cambodia.
Upon arrival in Kampong Cham (transfer time ca. 2.5 hours), a delicious lunch will be served at a local restaurant. After a short tour of the provincial capital and its typical market, continue to Kampong Thom (transfer time ca. 2 hours), where you will have the rest of the day at leisure to relax by your hotel’s beautiful pool or to discover the provincial capital on your own.
Overnight in Kampong Thom
Katie – Chhlonh (20km): 45 mins
Chhlong – Kampong Cham (100km): 2hr & 30 mins
Kampng Cham – Kampong Thom (114 km): 2hr
Day 6: Kampong Thom – Sambor Prei Kuk – Siem Reap B/L
Today, you head towards the rarely visited Sambor Prei Kuk, one of the most important pre-Angkorian sites in the country that is enlisted to potentially become Cambodia’s next UNESCO World Heritage Site. 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 breath-taking 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. You will have the chance to visit and contribute to the sustainability of the people’s livelihood as the local community will prepare a simple but very tasty lunch for you near the temple.
Continue towards Siem Reap, about 2.5 hours away. Upon arrival, check in at your hotel and enjoy a break.
Late afternoon, set out by typical ‘remork’(similar to the Thai tuk tuk) to see one of the major highlights of Southeast Asia awaits you: the magnificent Angkor Wat. Built during the reign of King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century, Angkor Wat is constructed following the model of the temple mountain symbolizing Mount Meru, the home of the gods. Inside the temple, the walls are covered with stone carvings and bas-reliefs depicting Hindu mythology and the wars Suryavarman II fought during his reign. Angkor Wat is well known for the more than 2,000 Apsara dancers decorating the temple. Construction is thought to have taken around thirty years of intensive labor. Today, Angkor Wat is figured on Cambodia’s national flag as the temple symbolizes the soul of the Khmer people. You will be there during sunset time, when Angkor Wat is less visited and the Apsaras will shine in the most beautiful light. Return to the hotel just after sunset.
Overnight in Siem Reap
Kampong Thom – Sambor Prei Kuk (30 km): 1 hour
Sambor Prei Kuk – Siem Reap (169 km): 2 hour & 30 Minutes
After an early breakfast take a short transfer that will bring you to the beginning of your temple exploration experience at the East entrance of Angkor Wat. You set out like the first explorers did on foot, trekking through the dense jungle of the magnificent temples of Angkor on a 6km trek. Walking from temple to temple is a unique way to see these magnificent ruins:
After a few kilometers you will reach the city of Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII. This city is surrounded by an 8m high wall, drawing a perfect square.
Continue on foot to Bayon Temple in the exact center of the city. This 12th century masterpiece is a study in grandeur and is well-known for its 54 towers with enigmatic faces representing the 54 provinces of the Great Khmer Empire.
Finish the walk and drive to visit Ta Prohm temple built between the mid 12th to early 13th centuries. Ta Prohm is unique in that it has been left largely as it was found: overgrown by jungle trees and vines, with many parts of the temple crumbling to the ground. This makes the ‘Tomb Raider Temple’ one of the most picturesque and memorable of the Angkor temples.
Break up your day with lunch at “Mahob”, the Cambodian word for ‘food’, is a culinary hotspot that takes traditional Khmer cuisine to a new level. Using only locally produced ingredients, this beautiful restaurant serves up some of the best local delicacies that Siem Reap has to offer. Located in a traditional Khmer wooden house in a peaceful cosy garden setting, and away from bust Pub Street area, Mahob provides you with a truly genuine Khmer experience.
Later this afternoon, embark on an interesting boat trip on the Tonlé Sap Lake, where you will have the opportunity to learn about life on the lake. Tonlé Sap is South East Asia’s largest freshwater lake with its size varying greatly depending on the season, as it is swelling to about four times it size during the wet season. Board a local boat and visit Kampong Phluck, a village where you will see houses on stilts that are submerged when Tonlé Sap Lake extends. On the way, you will pass floating houses and impressive flooded forests, portraying life on the water. (Note: Due to low water levels during the dry season, the boat trip is only possible from June to March. However an alternative floating village at Chong Kneas can be arranged instead).
Overnight in Siem Reap
Siem Reap – Temples (06 km): 10 mins
Enjoy this morning free at leisure to relax at the hotel or to do some last minute souvenir shopping at Siem Reap’s colorful markets. Transfer to Siem Reap International Airport for your individual flight home.
Siem Reap – Siem Reap Airport (8 km): 15 mins