Gastronomic Delights of Cambodia
- Price from:
- 352 GBP /person
- +44 (0)845 370 3344
- Payment Types:
- Credit Card
- Travellers cheque
- Wire Transfer
- 6 days
- Location Start:
- Phnom Penh
- Location Finish:
- Start time:
- 09.30 am
- End time:
- 05.30 pm
- We Speak:
Last updated: 10/11/2006
A delightful six days spent sampling the culinary delights of Cambodia whilst not missing out on any of the must-sees in this wonderful country.
Upon arrival in Phnom Penh you will be met by your guide and transferred to your hotel. Once you've had time to relax and freshen up, lunch is served at Sa restaurant : your first opportunity to sample the delicious Cambodian cuisine. Usually based around fish and rice, stewed meats accompanied by spicy vegetables, shrimp and seafood fritters, Cambodian food offers great variation and a very unique fusion drawing influences from India and other Far Eastern cuisines.
In the afternoon you will visit the National Museum, the Silver Pagoda, the Royal Palace and Wat Phnom Hill, the founding place of the city. All are within easy walking distance of each other and are a great introduction to this laid-back city. Phnom Penh was once considered one of the most beautiful cities in the Orient and, despite its recent turbulent history, it still retains a Colonial charm.
Dinner is at the popular Khmer Surin Restaurant, which offers an exhaustive menu of authentic Khmer cuisine, set in a wonderfully atmospheric, traditional wooden house.
Overnight in Phnom Penh.
In 1975, after years of guerrilla warfare, the radical Communist Khmer Rouge party, under its leader Pol Pot, seized power of Cambodia and declared year zero'. They immediately abolished money and private property, and ordered the entire population of Phnom Penh from their homes and into the countryside to cultivate the fields. Over the next three years, an estimated 2 million Cambodians died, many from starvation and exhaustion. Many others were tortured and executed for being supposed enemies of the state'.
This morning is spent learning more about these terrible years through visits to the infamous Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocidal Crimes and Cheung Ek, better known as the Killing Fields. It is an incredibly moving experience, but these are two visits you will be glad you make. During your visit to Cambodia, you will barely meet a single person who didn't lose a member of their family during these years, yet they are all willing to talk openly about it with you. They wish you to hear about it and see these places to ensure that it never happens again.
Lunch is at a kindness restaurant'. These restaurants are staffed entirely by ex-street children who gain valuable work experience helping them to break away from life on the streets.
The afternoon and evening are at leisure for you to explore more of the city. A great place to find your self at sunset is on the banks of the Mekong River with a cold drink, watching the city slowly grind to a halt : elephants and all!
Overnight in Phnom Penh.
After breakfast it's just a short drive through Phnom Penh to the banks of the River Mekong. From here you will take a fast-ferry service up the Tonlé Sap Lake to Siem Reap, arriving in perfect time for lunch. Cambodians eat a lot of fish, caught in the waters of Tonlé Sap, and you will see much evidence of this industry throughout your journey.
Siem Reap will be your base for exploring the fabled temples of Angkor, the ancient capital of the Khmer empire. Angkor is an outstanding site that easily lives up to its status as being one of the seven wonders of the forgotten world.
Transfer to your hotel before heading into Siem Reap for lunch at Café Indochine. The restaurant is set in a traditional Khmer-style house, built 70 years ago, giving it a Colonial feel. Make a point of ordering one of their fruit smoothies : you won't regret it!
In the afternoon, it's time to really get to grips with the Cambodian cuisine you have been enjoying at an authentic cookery class at Shinta Mani (derived from Sanskrit, meaning "The gem that provides everything one desires). It's lots of fun and quite informal, with no experience necessary. Supper will consist of your efforts!
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Your first day at the ancient ruins of Angkor. You will start by touring the south gate of Angkor Thom, the famous Bayon, the Terrace of Elephants and Terrace of the Leper King. Breaking for lunch (of course!) at Café d'Angkor, a restaurant with a decidedly Mediterranean feel to it, offering both great Khmer and international food.
You won't take much persuading to return to the site to visit the magnificent 12th-century temple of Angkor Wat. After just a few hours of climbing through the magnificent temple, you will undoubtedly feel like you could spend a lifetime there!
Before returning to your hotel you will just have time to watch the sunset over Angkor Wat from the highest point of Phnom Bakheng, which, despite the crowds, still holds a magical allure. For those with tired legs there is often an elephant or two willing to help you up the small hill.
Supper is at Viroth's restaurant in Siem Reap. Viroth's offers finely prepared Khmer cuisine with a modern touch. It's centrally located, which leaves you ideally placed to enjoy a drink at one of the fine bars to be found within easy walking distance.
Cambodians usually drink beer with their meals. The local Angkor beer is a pretty good drop. Another favourite of the Khmer people is seltzer water with a squeeze of lemon.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
A second day exploring the wondrous ancient ruins, starting with the big circuit temples' comprising Pre Rup, East Mebon, Neak Poan and Preah Khan. Lunch will be served at Bopha Angkor Restaurant, which is set amongst tropical gardens on the banks of the Siem Reap river. A great choice for lunch is a Cambodian salad, flavoured with coriander, mint leaves and lemon thyme.
In the afternoon, continue on to the wonderful Srah Srang, Banteay Kdei and the fabulous Ta Prohm Temple, reclaimed by nature - the tree roots of enormous fig trees and gigantic creepers can be seen breaking through the walls and stone carvings. Every corner you turn reveals another ruin as outstanding as the last and, at times, it can be quite overwhelming. Unlike some archaeological site visits, you never seem to lose the wow factor' whilst exploring Angkor. Every site is as outstanding as the last, and it's with a mixture of regret and excitement that you get back into your air-conditioned transport to visit the next site.
Supper is at the Aspara Theatre, where the entertainment is a traditional Khmer dance show. You will have seen evidence of Apsaras, or celestial dancers, adorning the walls of many of the Angkorian temples.
These traditional dances have been passed down through the generations. The show is an absolute must for any visitor to Cambodia and a great way to mark your last night in Siem Reap.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Departure day. Depending on your flight time or onward travel details you may have time for a visit to the market in Siem Reap to see the herbs, spices and raw ingredients used in many of the dishes you have been sampling, or to buy some last-minute souvenirs. Other options include:
* The workshops of Artisans d'Angkor (wood and stone carving)
* A boat trip on the Tonle Sap lake (best from July to February, price not included)
* Visit the Landmine Museum of Mr. Aki Ra
Transfer to Siem Reap Airport for your onward flight.
- Inclusions -
- * All accommodation * Land transportation by private air-conditioned vehicles * English speaking local guide * All admission fees at attractions and classes as mentioned in the itinerary * All meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B: Breakfast, L: lunch, D: Dinner) * International flight tickets reconfirmation
- Exclusions -
- # Flights to/from Asia. Flights information - click here # Cambodian Visa # Cambodian departure tax # Any other meals not mentioned above # Drinks # Personal expenses (laundry, telephone, drinks, tip...) # Travel insurance # All other services which are not mentioned in 'inclusive'
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