Siem Reap / Kampong Thom / Kampong Cham / Kratie / Phnom Penh
3 Days / 2 Nights
Siem Reap – Kampong Thom
We leave Siem Reap and travel southeast on National Highway 6. This was an old Angkor road and we stop in
Kampong Kdei to see one of the ancient Angkor bridges that were built to span the rivers. Spean Praptos or the Praptos Bridge has more than 20 arches and is a spectacular sight, reinforcing the impression that the Khmers were like the Romans of Southeast Asia. Once in Kampong Thom province, we take a short detour to explore the impressive pre-Angkorian capital of Isanapura, known today as Sambor Prei Kuk. The first major temple city
in South-East Asia, the brick temples of Sambor Prei Kuk are a peaceful contrast to their more illustrious relatives at Angkor. Visiting these ancient structures before our pilgrimage to Angkor offers a fascinating chronological insight into the development of temple architecture during the Khmer Empire. We explore the main temples here, including Prasat Tao with its elaborately coiffured lions and Prasat Sambor, with its crumbling sanctuaries. We continue to the provincial capital of Kampong Thom, where we stop for lunch. We leave the afternoon free to enjoy the atmosphere of this real Cambodian country town. We stay the night in a comfortable local hotel in Kampong Thom.
Accommodation at hotel, Kampong Thom
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Kampong Thom – Kampong Cham – Kratie
We leave Kampong Thom and travel southeast to the bustling provincial city of Kampong Cham. En route, there is the chance to pause at Skuon, affectionately known as ‘Spiderville’, where it is possible to sample the local delicacy of deep fried tarantula. We arrive in Kampong Cham and visit the sacred hills of Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei (man and woman hill). Later we see the ‘fusion’ temple of Wat Nokor, an 11th century sandstone temple with a colourful modern wat set in its central courtyard. There are some intricate carvings at this temple and the kitsch contrast between the Hindu past and the Buddhist present is almost unheard of elsewhere in Cambodia. We then enjoy a local lunch in Kampong Cham. After lunch, we travel north to Kratie, a sleepy Mekong port and gateway to an encounter with the rare freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins that inhabit the upper reaches of the Mekong in Cambodia. We pass through Cambodia’s rubber country on the way, vast plantations that were originally established by the French and are once again being re developed. There may be the opportunity to stop along the way and learn about how the rubber is tapped. We arrive at Kratie and check in to our hotel. We leave some free time to stroll around this charming riverside town and soak up the sunsets, some of the most famous in Cambodia.
Accommodation at hotel,
Kratie [Own arrangement]
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Kratie – Phnom Penh
This morning we continue northeast to Kratie, a sleepy Mekong port and gateway to an encounter with the rare
freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins that inhabit the upper reaches of the Mekong in Cambodia. We check into our hotel and leave some time free to soak up the atmosphere of this charming town, with its well-preserved colonial-era architecture. We spend the night in a comfortable local hotel. Then we leave Kratie, we travel south to the bustling provincial Kampong Cham city and straight to Phnom Penh.
Accommodation at hotel, Phnom Penh
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