Discover the allure of Cambodia within its quiet natural beauty, mysterious monuments and dramatic history. Delve into the confronting Khmer legacy in Phnom Penh, cruise the Mekong River on a splendid riverboat, and uncover the mysteries of incredible Angkor Wat. On this luxury tour of Cambodia, your family will become acquainted with everyday Khmer life on guided city tours, cycling forays, a Vespa tour through the countryside, visits to traditional villages and explorations of the UNESCO-listed Angkor Archaeological Park. A must for culture seekers and history lovers alike.
Admire the stately columns of the Royal Palace, visit the National Museum, the Silver Pagoda, and climb to the hilltop Wat Phnom. Then learn about Cambodia’s tragic past at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, the former site of the Security Prison S-21 established by the Khmer Rouge regime. Visiting the Killing Fields at Choeung Ek is not a warm experience but it is essential if you want to understand what happened in Cambodia during the time of the Pol Pot regime. Enjoy a fine home-cooked meal in a traditional stilt house hidden beside the Mekong River, and visit the quaint and charming Silk Island to learn about Cambodia’s silk weaving process and history.
Begin your luxury cruise on the Mekong River and visit silversmiths’ and pottery villages along the way. Discover the many fascinating facets of the Tonle Sap lake and river ecosystem. Your kids will love taking a boat trip around one of the stilt villages. Visit a floating ice factory, and attend a Buddhist blessing ceremony. Later, explore the Prek Toal Core Bird Reserve by boat and spot large waterbirds such as the spot-billed pelicans, milky stork, black-headed ibis and the elusive masked finfoot. Disembark in the enigmatic city of Siem Reap, and watch the Phare Circus Show featuring dance, theater, live music, juggling, gymnastics, and breath-taking circus arts, which are used to tell Cambodian stories from folklore, recent history, and modern society.
The Temples of Angkor
Cycle to Angkor Wat, which is one of the most prominent attractions in all of Southeast Asia. Long considered ‘lost’, the ruins of Angkor were never really lost to the Khmers, who have used the monuments as religious sites throughout their history. Later, head off the beaten path on the back of a Vespa with a local guide on a personalized adventure into the lush green Cambodian countryside. Your tour includes a visit to APOPO, a landmine clearing organization that uses Hero Rats to sniff out the deadly explosives. The next day, cycle to the ancient city area of Angkor Thom, with its many carved-stone faces standing as silent witnesses to former days of glory, and Ta Prohm, a temple complex slowly being reclaimed by the jungle. You’ll also visit Banteay Srei which, with its carvings from Hindu mythology on its pink walls, is like something out of a storybook. These delicate carvings and animal-headed guardians make this intimate pink citadel a favorite for children and adults alike. It is touted by many as Angkor’s most beautiful temple.
This luxury tour is the most perfect of family holidays in Cambodia. Please note this is just a sample itinerary that can be tailored in accordance with your personal wishes. All excursions and transfers are on a private basis, with the exception of the cruise portion, which is shared with other passengers.
Itinerary & Prices
Welcome to Cambodia!
Welcome to Phnom Penh!
Located on the banks of the Tonle Sap and Mekong River, Phnom Penh was once known as the “Pearl of Asia”, one of the loveliest French-built cities in Indochina.
Upon your arrival, you will be met by your guide and driven to your hotel. Take the rest of the day easy, have a good rest, enjoy a stroll along the picturesque river promenade and make sure to be ready for your exciting day first thing in the morning!
Royal History of Phnom Penh and Local Family Dinner
Spend a day exploring some key attractions of Phnom Penh – Wat Phnom, the Royal Palace, and Silver Pagoda.
Next, the National Museum with a collection of over 14,000 items, making it one of the world’s largest collections of Khmer art.
Proceed to visit the less glorious sites of the city. Tuol Sleng, a high school turned interrogation prison known as S-21 during the Khmer Rouge era and now a genocide museum; and Cheung Ek, a large memorial commemorating the 17,000 victims who died there under the reign of Khmer Rouge leader, Pol Pot.
In the evening, enjoy a fine home-cooked meal in a beautiful traditional Khmer stilt wooden house hidden in the jungle garden on the banks of the Mekong River, and hosted by one of the Kingdom’s leading chefs.
The hosts aim to preserve and bring the rich history of Khmer culinary culture to the world as well as to support the arts in Cambodia. This is reflected in the traditional musical performance, the architecture, and decor of their beautiful home.
Relax by the pool with aperitifs as your feast is being prepared. Dinning is accompanied by a live musical performance by traditional Khmer musicians.
Silk Making and Local Lifestyle
Leaving the bustle of the city behind, we will take you to the shores of the Mekong to spend a day on an island, nestled 30 minutes from the banks of Phnom Penh.
Your guide for the day is a local couple, Expat and a Khmer who joined together to showcase their home, known as Silk Island. As a child, Sopheap grew up on the island dreaming about the city life and wishing her simple countryside away. Having spent many years learning creative arts and cooking, working in some of the city’s best creative centers she moved back to Silk Island, appreciating the beauty and simplicity as the key to life.
Today, she (or if not available, her partner Jason) will showcase the very best of this quaint, charming island and embark on a tour of history, philanthropy, and food.
Onto the Mekong
We’ll bring you to the embarkation point of Aqua Mekong. Get acquainted with the boat, and find all of its treasures – the game room, the private cinema, and the mountain bikes and kayaks.
Watch a Khmer Apsara performance, an indigenous tradition memorialized on the temple walls at Angkor Wat.
Silversmiths' and Pottery Villages
This morning, we visit Koh Chen, a silversmith village known for its fine craftsmanship. Keep an eye out for their famous silver bowls, regularly chosen by Cambodia’s king as gifts for visiting dignitaries.
In the afternoon, we continue learning about Khmer riverside life in Kampong Chhnang, the ‘Port of Pottery’ so called because archaeological findings here date to the 6th century.
Bikes option is available.
Water World of Tonle Sap
Continue exploring the remote communities around the Tonle Sap Lake, designated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1997.
In Chhnok Tru, we “slide” into an ice factory and learn from locals what it’s like to live in a town where schools, churches, pagodas, and even the karaoke bar and police station all float.
After lunch, we visit the floating village of Moat Khla, accessible only by water, and attend a Buddhist blessing ceremony in this isolated community.
Arrive to Siem Reap and See the Breathtaking Performance
Set off by skiff into the 22,000-hectare Prek Toal Core Bird Reserve, one of the largest freshwater bodies in Asia and the last refuge in Southeast Asia for large waterbirds like the spot-billed pelicans, milky stork, black-headed ibis, and the elusive masked finfoot.
Disembarkation and transfer with a private driver to the hotel.
Your driver will pick you up in the evening, in time for the fascinating and inspiring Phare Circus Show and dinner. Phare Circus works mainly with disadvantaged young people.
They learn circus skills, theatre performance, music, and a range of visual arts. It combines local traditions with new creative and innovative genres.
Daring athleticism is combined with stories that speak powerfully to Cambodia’s not-too-distant history.
Half Day Biking to Angkor Wat and Countryside on Vespa
Depart for an introductory cycle to Angkor Wat, one of the modern wonders of the world.
The temples are set among a large forest with shaded roads that are relatively quiet and suitable for cycling.
On arrival at the temple, drop off the bikes and stroll through the intricately carved hallways that still show hundreds of fine carvings of Apsara and Hindu mythology and discover small shrines still in use today by the local people.
Continue cycling around the complex before heading back to the checkpoint from where you transfer back to your hotel.
After lunch, delve into the idyllic Cambodian countryside on this Vespa tour of cultural discovery!
Start by visiting an NGO that trains southern giant pouched rats to detect landmines.
Waving farewell to these valiant rodents, leave the hustle of the city behind and follow tree-lined roads deep into the countryside, stopping at a local market.
Venture onwards to a beautiful Buddhist temple to receive a traditional blessing.
Hop back on the Vespa and cruise through the lush natural scenery of rice paddies and farmland to enjoy refreshments at a local household and meet their herd of water buffalo.
Return to the hotel before dark.
Full Day Biking to Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm, Banteay Srei
Depart by bike for Angkor Thom, the ancient royal city of the Khmer Empire with its centerpiece; the Bayon temple.
Although it may look like a shapeless mass of stone, further scrutiny reveals towers with enigmatic faces of former King Jayavarman VII. Continue to the Terrace of the Elephants, which served as a platform from where the King could welcome back his victorious army, and the Terrace of the Leper King, with perfect carvings winding along a narrow passageway to the Baphuon complex.
Continue to Ta Prohm, one of Angkor’s jewels, overgrown fig trees, giving a haunting yet exotic atmosphere. The magnificent roots of the trees have merged themselves over the centuries with the temple’s huge stone blocks, emphasizing a ‘forgotten city’ feeling.
Lunch is served in a local restaurant on the way.
Leave the bikes and enjoy a transfer to Banteay Srei – one of Angkor’s most significant structures as its walls are decorated with elaborate carvings which have been preserved remarkably well. Transfer back to Siem Reap.
(Maximum of 14 kilometers cycling)
When you’re ready, the driver will meet you for your transfer to the airport. Time permitting, you can plan a local lunch at your favorite restaurant before departure.