VC05 Cambodia Adventure ( 7 days / 6 nights )
Phnom Penh – Stung Treng – Rattanakiri - Kratie - Kompong Cham - Kompong Thom - Siem Reap
Day 1 Phnom Penh – Stung Treng
After an early breakfast, take Road 6 to the Stung Treng (approximately 455km/6-7hrs away) which is located on a high sandy bank overlooking the Mekong River. This region initially was under the influence of the Khmer Empire, then the Lao Kingdom of Lan Xang and later the Lao Kingdom of Champassack. The province was later ceded back to Cambodia during the period of French Indochina in 1904. In the afternoon, visit the Stung Treng Women’s Development Centre (SWDC) to explore the sericulture centre for vulnerable Cambodian women in Stung Treng Province, which includes 2 weaving units and a dye shed used for silk-making training and production, classrooms for education programs, administration offices and sleeping quarters. You will have an opportunity to discover the silk production process from initial phase of the growing of mulberry tree, to feeding the silkworm, and finally the silk dying and weaving phases. Visit a gallery that showcases and sells Mekong Blue products to visitors and a small kindergarten. The Centre’s operating hours are from 7:30 to 11:30 and from 14:00 to 17:00, Monday to Saturday.
Overnight in Stung Treng.
Day 2 Stung Treng – Rattanakiri
After breakfast at local restaurant, drive along Road 7 to Ban Lung, the capital of Rattanakiri Province (approximately 133km/2hrs away) which is home to shy hill tribes, endangered wildlife and numerous natural attractions. Upon arrival, check-in to your hotel. In the afternoon, drive to Lom Phat to visit an old abandoned airport parched with bomb craters, a Laotian pagoda, and villages of ethnic minorities of the Charai, Laotian and Khmer people perched along the banks of the scenic Se San River. In the late afternoon, visit the Eisei Patamak Hill for a panoramic view of town and the statue of a reclining Buddha.
Overnight in Ban Lung [Breakfast]
Day 3 Ban Lung
Today you will take an early morning excursion to a bustling ethnic-minority market. Return to the hotel for breakfast before driving to the weaving handicraft village at Choeung Phnom. Visit the crystal clear Lumkut Lake and another market at Borkeo. Later in the morning, stop by the gem-mining region of Borkeo District and visit a Tumpoun minority village before continuing to Aundong Meas for a boat cruise on the Se San River where you will explore Charai ethnic graveyards in an abandoned forest. Enjoy a picnic lunch before returning to Ban Lung in the late afternoon.
Overnight in Ban Lung [Breakfast, Lunch]
Day 4 Ban Lung – Yeak Lom Lake
In the morning, drive to Voen Sai which is located on the banks of the Se San River. En route visit the Kreung minority villages of Noang Le and Kala. Upon arrival at Voen Sai, take a boat and cruise upstream to POPEAK and pass a number of Tampoun villages, a Chinese community, and Laotian and Kreurng villages. After a picnic lunch, drive back to Banlung for a visit to Yeak Lom Lake, a beautiful lake formed by a volcanic eruption approximately 4,000 years ago.
Overnight in Ban Lung [Breakfast, Lunch]
Day 5 Rattanakiri – Kratie
In the morning, we will leave Ratanakiri Province for Kratie (290km, approx. 5hrs drive) and stop en route stop to visit Kampi Pool to watch for the rare Irrawaddy Dolphin. Upon arrival in Kratie, board a local ferry heading to the last destination of the day, the Koh Trong Community Based Tourism Site. Koh Trong is an island situated in the middle of the Mekong River directly opposite Kratie Town. There is a 9km circuit road around the island’s perimeter which provides opportunities for visitors to leisurely cycle or to take an ox-cart through traditional Khmer villages, fruit orchards and rice fields while observing the rituals and routines of traditional village life. Afternoon is one of the best times to explore the island. Keep an eye open for traditional rooftop decorations as the numbers on the top of the roof indicate house’s construction year. Some houses even date back to the 1960s. The highlight of the tour includes leisurely cycling or ox-carting on shady trail around the island, visiting a Reforestation Project where you can plant a tree with your name (option), tasting a national renowned Koh Trong pomelos, visiting a floating village and pagodas and of course interacting with the villagers. Today, we will stay overnight at a home stay. Dinner at village. (A traditional Khmer home stay is equipped with only basic facilities such as a pillow, mattress, blanket and mosquito net (no AC) as well as sharing the sleeping area and bathroom.
Overnight home stay at Koh Trong [Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner]
Day 6 Kratie – Kompong Cham – Kompong Thom
After breakfast, visit the old colonial town of Kratie before driving south to Chhlong, a small town dotted with fine French buildings. Proceed to the provincial town of Kompong Cham to visit the local market before heading to the Wat Nokor Temple and the 11th century Wat Kohear Nokor to meet local monks and villagers.
Overnight in Kompong Thom [Breakfast]
Day 7 Kompong Thom – Sambor Prei Kuk – Siem Reap
In the morning, drive 30km to the 7th century Sambor Prei Kuk Temple. Along the way, observe the everyday life of rural Cambodia. Visit the ancient capital of Chenla to see 100 temples dating from the pre-Angkorian period. The complex at Ishanapura is comprised of four groups of temples that are amongst the most ancient surviving examples of Khmer architecture. After lunch, drive to Siem Reap.