Jumping straight in at the awe-inspiring Angkor temples, this trip is a perfect blend of Cambodia’s classic highlights with a bit of a Selective Asia twist. Rather than squeezing in as many different stopovers as possible, this route gives you plenty of time to pause in each destination and really soak it all in. This is your holiday time, after all, and sometimes less really can be more.
Tear yourself away from Siem Reap and Angkor and continue on to buzzy Phnom Penh - one of Asia’s fastest-growing capital cities - before heading south to laid-back, coastal Kep. Ending your trip with time by the sea is a great way to contemplate everything you’ve seen from the comfort of a local restaurant, looking out over the Gulf of Thailand. Whether you savour our founder Nick’s much-dreamt-of crab in pepper sauce or discover a different favourite delicacy, taking things slowly gives you time to experience the full breadth of what’s on offer. This is Cambodia in 3D, the slow-travel Selective way.
As one of the most spectacular sights in Asia, if not the world, it’s difficult to adequately describe the impact of that first glimpse of the Angkor temples, but ‘stunning, astounding, and jaw-dropping’ is a good start! You’re unlikely to ever be the only one watching the sun rise behind Angkor Wat, contemplating the mysterious faces of Bayon Temple, or pretending to be Indiana Jones amidst the root-entwined stones of Ta Prohm, but we’re experts at helping you to experience Angkor your way. Whether cycling through the surrounding villages, heading away from Siem Reap to lesser-known archaeological gems, or taking in the birds-eye view from a microlight, you can always see Angkor from a different angle.
We know that the risk of getting ‘templed out’ is real, and three nights, or ideally four, is the perfect length of time to take advantage of everything the Siem Reap area has to offer. Sample some of the best restaurants in the country, learn about the unique way of life around the Tonle Sap lake, marvel at the feats on display at the Phare Circus, and meet some of the rescued elephants roaming free in 1100 acres of protected forest.
Arriving in bustling Phnom Penh - Cambodia’s welcoming, lively, and increasingly prosperous capital - it’s almost impossible to imagine that less than 50 years ago it was entirely emptied under the Khmer Rouge regime. It’s a sobering thought, with the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocidal Crimes and the ‘killing fields’ of Choeung Ek providing heart-wrenching opportunities for reflection, often brought into sharper focus by the personal stories of our guides. Whether you choose to visit these sites or not (and we firmly believe it’s a very personal choice), it’s important to appreciate how Phnom Penh has grown and blossomed since its darkest days.
There are so many rewarding ways to immerse yourself in the city and its surrounds, from visiting the glittering Royal Palace and nearby temples to supporting excellent community projects, such as restaurants working with former street children. To see the city at its brightest, whizz through the streets and night markets in a tuk-tuk, sampling everything from delicious banh chheo savoury pancakes to eye-openingly crunchy bugs.
The delightfully crumbly seaside town of Kep, which was a retreat during French Colonial times and later a hideaway for the Khmer elite, is the perfect place to pause at the end of any Cambodia trip. It’s so perfect that we sometimes wish we could keep it all to ourselves... Whilst it doesn’t have the long, sandy beaches of neighbouring Sihanoukville, it’s also free from Sihanoukville’s crowds of visitors, high-rise developments and casinos. Instead, laid-back Kep lends itself to doing as much, or as little, as you want.
If you can bring yourself to leave your charming, characterful boutique hotel, your driver will be available throughout your stay to help you explore the surrounding scenery and cave temples, or take you to the riverside town and pepper plantations of nearby Kampot. We’d highly recommend taking regular strolls in the direction of the ‘Crab Market’ restaurants and sampling as many dishes as possible– this is Cambodia with Ease after all!
The guide price of £1,890US$2,190 is a per person price (not including international flights) staying 4 nights in Siem Reap, 3 nights in Phnom Penh and 3 nights in Kep; all in our favourite mid-range hotels. Cambodia has an excellent selection of properties to suit all budgets.
How yours looks is up to you, our tailor-made specialists work with you to create your perfect journey.
Discover the true breadth of Cambodian culture by exploring the Angkor Temples, bustling Phnom Pehn before heading to the Cardamon Mountains and rounding up with a few days on Cambodia’s islands.