Small but perfectly formed, our Compact Cambodia holiday gives you time in Phnom Penh to get your head around the Pol Pot era, before heading further back in history to explore the Angkor Temples. Finish your trip with a taste of modern rural Cambodian life as you take to the waters of Tonle Sap to visit floating villages and a (seasonally) flooded forest.
At a glance
- Explore the buzzing city of Phnom Penh
- Learn how Cambodians are recovering from their horrific recent history
- Hop on a bike to discover the fabled ruins of Angkor
- Navigate the flooded forests & floating villages of Tonle Sap
Phnom Penh - 2 nights
Cambodia’s capital is one of Asia’s fastest growing cities, booming and blooming as the country recovers from its time under Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge regime. Your stay will include a tour of the ornate royal palace, and lunch at Friends, a restaurant which teaches and employs former street children. Your first day here will be at leisure to recover from your journey and get your bearings.
Day 1 - Arrive Phnom Penh
On arrival in Cambodia, you'll be met by your private guide, who will accompany you to your hotel.
Welcome to Selective Asia! This level of personal service (such as private transfers, private tours etc) is what you can expect throughout your trip. A few services (eg boat cruises) will be shared, but we'll always make sure you're aware of these.
Day 2 - Tuol Sleng & Cheung Ek, City Tour
This morning will be a sombre experience: Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocidal Crimes and the Cheung Ek ‘killing fields’ will open your eyes to the true brutality of the Pol Pot regime. There’s no sugar-coating this deeply disturbing insight into human capacity for cruelty - but it’s essential to understanding Cambodia and its people today. Your guide will have almost certainly lost loved ones to the regime, and will answer your questions as you try to comprehend what you’ve learnt. Lunch will be at ‘Friends’, a restaurant which trains ex-street children and other vulnerable groups in the hospitality trade. The food also happens to be excellent! The afternoon your guide will escort you around the Royal Palace complex, with its lavish ceremonial buildings. You’ll also have the option to visit the National Museum, which is full of intriguing artefacts from several millennia of Cambodian culture.
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Siem Reap - 3 nights
Siem Reap is the gateway to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor, the ruined capital of a historic Cambodian empire, and one of the ancient wonders of the world. The town is booming thanks to these fabled ruins, but remains low-rise by royal decree, and retains much of its original charm. Your stay here offers an opportunity to witness sunrise over Angkor Wat, the jewel of Angkor’s marvellous ruined temples. 100s of them lie scattered around Siem Reap, largely hidden by jungle. You’ll have plenty of time to discover them with a knowledgeable guide, as well as a day spent boating on Tonle Sap, exploring this great lake’s floating communities and flooded forests.
Day 3 - Angkor Temples exploration
Depart for Siem Reap by car, passing through provincial towns, villages and roadside hamlets offering an insight into life away from Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. There'll be the opportunity to stop at Skun Village, famous for its deep-fried tarantulas, which you can snack on if you so wish! There will also be a stop to stretch your legs and enjoy a coffee in Kampong Thom. Once you reach Siem Reap, you can begin exploring Angkor straight away if you wish. Discuss your preferences and the best route with your guide; the sites you visit are flexible.
Day 4 - Continue exploring the Angkor Temples
Continue your exploration of Angkor Wat, and the complex of ruined temples and palaces around it. You can choose to explore by bike if you wish - if not, you’ll be driven between them. Either way you can fit quite a few in (if you want to), and our guides know when to see the ruins at uncrowded times. If you wish, start the day with the magical (but popular!) sunrise over Angkor Wat, and let your guide know what kind of pace you prefer, whether you want to fill your day with archaeology, or spend some of it on Tonle Sap lake, or even back at your hotel pool.
Day 5 - Tonlé Sap's flooded forest & floating village
Aboard your private boat, visit Kampong Klaing, a water village built entirely on stilts in Tonle Sap, the lake at Cambodia’s centre. See the little school, church and shops before puttering off to a floating fishing village, and a flooded forest, where - if water levels are high enough - you can pass amongst the branches by boat. The voyage will finish around mid-afternoon, leaving the rest of your day at leisure.
Day 6 - Depart Siem Reap
Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
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We only provide privately guided holidays - meaning that you will not be expected to share guides or transport for the duration of your visit. You can also start on any day you choose.
Please click on the hotel category buttons below to view hotel details. These are recommended properties only - we have many alternative options for you to choose from if you would prefer. You can mix hotel categories throughout your holiday.
|Hotel class||Price per person (based on total # travelling)|
|2 persons||3 - 5||6 - 10|
Anise Phnom PenhConveniently located in the very heart of Phnom Penh, and just minutes by foot from all the key sites and attractions, the Anise hotel allows you to... See more
The Moon Residence
Situated in the heart of Siem Reap, with the Old Market, shops and the river on its doorstep, The Moon Residence is a good value, locally owned and run hotel, in a brilliantly convenient location...See more
VMansion Boutique HotelVMansion is a welcome breath of fresh air in one of the South-East Asia’s most exciting cities. Located within walking distance of many of Phnom Penh's key highlights... See more
Viroth's HotelNot to be confused with the original, smaller Viroth’s hotel, this fresher 1950’s inspired Viroth’s Hotel opened at the beginning of 2015... See more
White MansionSet right in Phnom Penh’s lively heart - only 500 metres from the Royal Palace - the imposing White Mansion is a conveniently located, high quality hotel with very good facilities for a city-centre property... See more
Shinta Mani ShackFunky and stylish, the Shinta Mani Shack enjoys a location in the heart of Siem Reap’s French Quarter... See more
Raffles le RoyalSister hotel to the renowned Raffles in Singapore, the Le Royal is located in the heart of Phnom Penh, just yards from Wat Phnom - the founding place of the city - and within easy reach of many other key attractions, such as the Royal Palace and Central Market… See more
Shinta Mani AngkorSo much more than 'just another' deluxe hotel in Siem Reap, the Shinta Mani Angkor is very much part of the city's early heritage. Rebuilt from scratch in 2011, opening again in 2012... See more
Solo travellers are always welcome - please contact us for a tailored quote.
These prices are shown in GBPUSD.
Selective Asia is a UK-registered company, but our client-base spans the globe, so we bank in both GBP and USD and can therefore provide a fixed price in either currency.
We also have payment facilities in Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the EU, and can typically offer better-than-bank exchange rates on the date of payment in these currencies (against a booking priced in GBP).
- You may have heard about the large crowds in the Angkor temples at peak times. Whilst our experienced guides know a trick or two about avoiding these where possible, there are also a number of further-lying (and therefore quieter) temples that you may wish to consider. For example, Beng Mealea, which is the size and scale of Angkor Wat but utterly swallowed by the jungle; and the temple complex of Koh Ker, a 10th century capital abandoned for more than a thousand years. Both can easily be covered in a single day, in place of the existing programme or as an additional day.
- Many visitors to Cambodia ignore its southern coast in favour of Thailand and Vietnam’s better know beaches. However, Cambodia has several excellent beaches close to Sihanoukville - not only are they just three hours drive from Phnom Penh, you’ll also avoid the large crowds that descend on other better know Asian beaches during peak seasons.
Whilst many clients are happy with of our recommended itineraries in the current form (and at the price quoted), there are those that wish to personalise their holiday in some way, whether it be a change of hotel, an additional destination or even start from scratch. This is when our tailor-made specialists come into their own; with many years of experience both living and working in the region they are ideally equipped to advise on alternatives and to facilitate any necessary changes.
The important stuffPlease note: During high season periods (such as Christmas and New Year) hotels often levy a surcharge and these are not included in the above prices. Your consultant will be happy to advise you of these.
- English speaking, local guide
- All accommodation listed
- Land transportation by private air-conditioned vehicles
- Any domestic flights listed (unless marked otherwise)
- All admission fees at attractions, temples and activities as mentioned in the itinerary
- All meals listed
- International flight reconfirmation.
- Flights to/from Asia. We are an ATOL bonded operator and can arrange flights for all our clients, regardless of whether you are departing from the UK or from almost any other worldwide destination.
- Entry visas
- International airport departure taxes
- Any meals not listed in the itinerary
- Drinks, other than water on activity days
- Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, drinks, tip...)
- Travel insurance
- All other services not listed in 'inclusive'
Please noteAll prices are correct at the time of publishing. They are liable to change and can only be confirmed upon submitting an enquiry.
FlightsWe will arrange all internal flights used within our holiday itineraries. We can also arrange discounted flights from all UK airports to Asia and we are a fully bonded ATOL operator. If you would like a quote for your international flights then please complete the required section on the enquiry form.
VisaYou will require a visa to enter Cambodia. Your consultant will be happy to advise you on visa requirements.
PassportPlease ensure that you have a valid passport with at least 6 months validity remaining after your return date. You will also need at least one blank page for each of the countries you are visiting.
InsuranceYou will require a comprehensive travel insurance that covers you for medical costs associated with hospitalisation, emergency travel and repatriation back to your home country. We offer our customers a specially discounted insurance policy, ideally suited to the needs that a trip such as this creates. Tick the insurance box in the enquiry form and we will send you a quote to suit your needs.
Vaccinations and Malaria PreventionYou will undoubtedly require vaccinations for your visit to Asia. Please consult your doctor or a vaccination clinic for the most up-to-date advice. They will also be able to advise you of the most suitable anti-malarial medication if required. It is important that you do this well in advance of your departure date.
Booking ProcedureOnly once you are completely happy with any holiday itinerary we create for you will we ask for a payment. In order that we can secure availability for your booking we would typically require a deposit of 20%.
Travelling ResponsiblyWe care about the places and the communities that you will travel through. It is important to us that we travel as responsibly as possible throughout Asia and that we are giving something back to the regions and the people that make these journeys so special. Full details on our approach to responsible travel can be found on a dedicated section of this website.
Our tailor-made service costs you no extra
This itinerary is designed to work straight off the peg, but we'll happily tailor it until it's a perfect fit for you, to ensure we’re making the absolute best of your time and funds. All you need to do is ask...
Your own private guides & drivers
You'll typically have your own private guides & drivers throughout your trip. When you will be sharing a service (eg a boat cruise) with others, we'll always let you know.