10 days
Duration
Year-round
Dates
Cambodia
Destination

SPIRITUAL TOUR of CAMBODIA

Join Spirit Journeys Worldwide on this Spiritual tour of Cambodia.

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Be spirited away by Cambodia’s rich culture. Delve in to religious history at the temples of Angkor, meditate at the country’s most hallowed sites and partake in centuries-old customs. Reconnect with mother-nature and be rejuvenated by the beauty of Cambodia.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Meditate as the sunrises over the temples
  • Breathe deep and embrace the serenity of Cambodia with a guided sunrise meditation session at Wat Atvear.
  • Be enriched by Cambodia’s Buddhist customs
  • Witness local pilgrims deep in prayer, monks shuffling by to collect donations and partake in a traditional blessing ceremony.
  • Meet friendly locals and understand their ways of life
  • Gain a deeper appreciation for Cambodia by getting to know its people through village visits and trips to the countryside.

INCLUDES

  • 9 Nights Accommodation
  • 2 Dinners
  • 2 Lunches
  • 9 Breakfasts
  • English speaking local guide (for other languages supplements apply)
  • Tours and transfers as mentioned by private air conditioned vehicle unless stated otherwise
  • Entrance fees for mentioned visits
  • Daily drinking water

EXCLUDED

  • Visa for Cambodia (Visa issued on arrival for most nationalities, USD30/pax, please bring 1 passport photo)
  • Any surcharge/extra fees for visit of the Angkor Historical site imposed by the Apsara Authorities in Siem Reap which are subject to change without prior notice
  • Other meals than mentioned
  • International and Domestic Flights
  • Camera/video entrance fees
  • Personal expenses (drinks, laundry, telephone, tips etc)
  • Travel insurance including recommended helicopter evacuation for Cambodia
  • Other services not clearly indicated in the package inclusions above

 

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Additional information

LocationCambodia
GroupsizeMax 16
Group Departure datesSmall Group Departures are available on select dates. Please press the book now button to check the dates
Private ToursPrivates Tours are available year round. Prices shown are for a min of 2 people per tour.
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1

Siem Reap - Arrival (-/-/D)

Welcome to Siem Reap, the charming gateway to the famed Temples of Angkor. You will be greeted by your local English speaking guide, who will accompany you to your hotel for check in. Settle in and enjoy some time at leisure to refresh.

Enjoy a welcome dinner tonight at Chanrey Tree. The Chanrey Tree is one of the best fine dining restaurants in town, who offer traditional Khmer cuisine in a lush contemporary setting. Located on the riverside in heart of Siem Reap, the Chanrey Tree combines the amazing taste of only seasonal traditional Khmer ingredients, with a relaxed but lavish environment to provide a unique Cambodian dining experience.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

Distances and journey time:

Siem Reap Airport – Siem Reap (8 km): 15 mins

Siem Reap – Temples (06 km): 10 mins

2

Siem Reap (B/-/D)

Optional: Sunrise Pranayama Meditation Session at Wat Svay Romeat

Get inspired, re-charged and revitalized. Embrace the serenity and sense of romance sunrise brings to the mind, body and soul with destination-inspired activity, a ‘’Sacred Sunrise Meditation at Wat Svay Romeat.’’ It is a guided meditation to be led by one of Navutu Yoga’s wellness retreat masters done amidst the sacred space of the beautiful Wat Svay Romeat pagoda. Off the beaten-track, Wat Svay Romeat with its colorful stupas and quiet sections surrounded by age-old trees is a stunning venue for sunrise meditation. Through this auspicious experience, delve into your divine nature and be guided back to joy of living in the moment. Be guided to achieve clarity of vision for the mind, invigoration for the body and a rekindling of the spirit. Before leaving, partake in a special Buddhist tradition. Local monks will impart wishes of good luck and success in a solemn, age-old ceremony. Return to the hotel for breakfast.

This morning begin your exploration of the Angkorian temples. Built during the reign of King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century, Angkor Wat is constructed following the model of the temple mountain symbolizing Mount Meru, the home of the gods. The divine residence of Vishnu, the King himself was to reside here after his death. Inside the temple, the walls are covered with stone carvings and bas-reliefs depicting Hindu mythology and the wars Suryavarman II fought during his reign. Moreover, Angkor Wat is well known for the more than 2,000 Apsara dancers decorating the temple. Construction is thought to have taken around thirty years of intensive labor. Angkor Wat is figured on Cambodia’s national flag as the temple symbolizes the soul of the Khmer people. Your visit will coincide with the ‘Golden Hour’ to ensure you catch the Apsaras gleaming in their best light

Return to Siem Reap for a break during the midday heat.

This afternoon, visit Ta Prohm temple, unique in that it has been left largely overgrown by jungle trees and vines, with many parts of the temple crumbling to the ground. This makes the ‘Tomb Raider Temple’ one of the most picturesque and memorable of the Angkor temples. Alternatively, depending on the season and the crowds, you may wish to visit Preah Khan temple. Built by the same king in a similar style, this larger temple complex is also largely left in ruins and its labyrinthian layout and fewer visitors makes a more intimate experience even in the high season months. (Note: talk to your guide about which temple to visit depending on the date of your visit.)

From either temple, it is not far to the ancient city of Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII. This city is surrounded by an 8m-high wall, drawing a perfect square. Enter the city through an impressive ancient stone gate carved with three-headed elephants and capped with four giant faces.

Continue to Bayon Temple in the center of the city. This 12th century masterpiece is a study in grandeur and is well-known for its 39 towers with enigmatic faces looking out over the vast provinces of the Great Khmer Empire.

Tonight, experience Dining for a Cause, a gastronomical exploration of Siem Reap that focuses on restaurants with a social mission to benefit the people and communities of Siem Reap. Over the course of the evening, visit four different establishments to learn about each of their programs and sample some of their best local cuisine.

At the first stop, order any drink from the menu (they make some excellent cocktails and mocktails using local ingredients) and any one appetizer (try different ones and share with each other) while learning all about the organisation’s efforts and accomplishments.

Enjoy a family-style dinner of various Khmer classic dishes at a restaurant that follows a different business model, directing their profits both to employees and to various organisations. Learn about its efforts while dining. Along with food, order a soft drink, beer, or glass of house wine.

After dinner, go to a tropical garden restaurant run by an organization that operates a hospitality training school where all the restaurant workers learned (or are currently learning) their trade. Learn about how the program runs and its achievements while enjoying a creative cocktail, a glass of wine, beer, or coffee.

The final stop of the evening is an education social enterprise set up by a not-for-profit NGO with the mission of Breaking the Poverty Cycle Through Education and operated by the students who are served by the program. Serve yourself 200g of fro-yo with toppings and then head upstairs to talk with some students about how the program has changed their lives. As the final stop is located on Night Market street, either walk down the lane to enjoy some late-night shopping or entertainment or take the remork back to the hotel.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

Distances and journey time:

Siem Reap – Temples (06 km): 10 mins

3

Siem Reap (B/L/-)

Today experience an incredible tour to learn about life in a typical Cambodian village, meet friendly locals and discover traditional village customs and cultures.

Guests will be picked up from their hotel early morning by the local guide and driven to Ta Brak village, 25 minutes out of town. A western packed breakfast from the hotel will be taken and on arrival will meet and sit down with a local family and share this breakfast with them and to learn about local village life early in the morning when generally it is at its most active.

From here a 30 minute ox cart ride through the village will take you to a local market where a short walk through this bustling center will introduce you to Cambodian vegetables, herbs, fruits and other local produce. Continue 1km by foot through the picturesque countryside village, stopping off to meet the local community along the way to observe whatever seasonal activity is happening at that time, such as rice planting, weaving thatch roofs, planting or harvesting vegetable crops, making fish traps etc. Each tour will be different and the activities will depend on the time of the year, the family, and the needs of the local village. The surrounding countryside with its paddy fields and sugar palm trees is very typical for Cambodia.

End the morning at the local pagoda where a special water blessing by Buddhist monks await. Continue the rural Cambodia tour out of town to Tonle Sap Lake. Stop en-route at Bakong Temple, the site of what was once the centre of the 9th century Khmer civilization. Next, head to the Tonlé Sap Lake, where you will have the opportunity to learn about life on the lake. Drive past expansive rice fields and through local villages where rice and fish can frequently be spotted drying alongside the road. Next, board a private wooden vessel for a boat trip along a canal that leads to the Tonle Sap Lake.

Cruise along the canal with houses on either side: depending on the time of your visit, the houses will either have immediate access to the water or stand perched on stilts high above the ground, a phenomena caused by the annual rising and receding waters of the Tonle Sap Lake, Southeast Asia’s largest lake. Pass by the boats and nets used by local fishermen, some of whom you may spot fishing in the waters through which the boat passes. As you near the lake, you will see floating houses that move location with the annual ebb and flow of the lake’s waters. (Note: Due to fluctuating water levels on the lake and canals, the village visited will depend on the date and water levels at that time).

 

Overnight in Siem Reap.

4

Siem Reap – Battambang (B/-/-)

After a leisurely breakfast you will journey through the Cambodian countryside to the colonial city of Battambang. This is Cambodia’s second largest city and, not so long ago, was within target range of a stronghold of the erstwhile Khmer Rouge and was therefore off-limits to most travelers.

However, like the remainder of this beautiful gentle country, Battambang has recently reopened to the outside world. One fortuitous result of its isolation and lack of development is that Battambang has some of the most well preserved colonial French buildings in the country. You will find local people here to be extremely friendly. They have not been exposed to many foreign visitors and they will be as interested in you as you are in them! Battambang was formerly the rice bowl of Cambodia although these days the production of rice is augmented by large orange and jute plantations.

In Battambang, you check into your hotel. The afternoon will be at leisure to relax by the hotel pool or stroll through the charming town centre.

Overnight in Battambang.

Distances and journey time:

Siem Reap – Battambang (174 km): 3 hours

5

Battambang (B/-/-)

Spend the morning on a tour that combines walking, a boat ride and then cycling along and across the Sangke River to experience Battambang daily life. The tour includes prayers with monks as well as rich explanations of the city’s design and artistic heritage. Begin the tour at 7.30 a.m. at the offices of Battambang Bike and get fitted for your bicycle (either a mountain bike or sturdy basket bike).

Watch a few minutes of film footage which will help you imagine how developed the town was in its heyday. Battambang has passed from Cambodia to Thailand and back again several times in its history and has an excellent collection of early 20th century French colonial architecture that is better preserved and respected than in many other parts of the country.

A tour of the main market, Psar Nath includes trying a local coffee. Then walk the few metres to the river and cross a couple of minutes on a local boat to the other side of the Sangke River. Visit Wat Povil temple and take the opportunity to pray with the monks (Note: the monks may observe different rituals according to their calendar though can be seen on a daily basis). It is usually possible to accompany the boats back across the river as they begin their morning alms collection.

Once back on the other side it is time to begin the bike tour. The historic 2.5 Street is visited along with a Thai temple before you arrive at a smaller market. Again time for a coffee or a sugar cane juice. Continue a short distance to Wat Kor Village, known for its many old Khmer heritage houses built around a century ago. Visit one of the best preserved homes.

Cycle along the river and cross a suspension bridge where only motorbikes and bicycles can pass. On the way back into town there is another short drinks stop before arriving back in the town at approximately 12:45 p.m.

The Battambang Bike

Set up by a Canadian national who is a lover of architecture and cycling know as Jam. The above tour was specifically designed, but alternatives can be provided such as dedicated architecture or amateur photography rides. For Cambodian guests, all the tours are pay-as-much-as-you-can in order to stimulate interest in their history and that of the city. The long term goal of Battambang Bike is to pass ownership to a Cambodian to provide a sustainable and well structured business.

Take a break back at your hotel.

In the afternoon head towards Phnom Sampeau, meaning “Ship Hill” in Khmer, due to its distinctive shape, and one of the few hills standing out in this otherwise pancake-flat plain. From the small temple on the top, you will have a fantastic view over the typical landscape of paddy fields and sugar palm trees. Phnom Sampeau is home to the notorious killing caves, which are cruel reminders of Cambodia’s troubled past. Serenity and inhumanity represented in one place make this an interesting visit…Your visit will last until dusk – a time when millions of bats emerge from a cave and create patterns as they fly in tandem across the sky – a nightly spectacular show of nature!

Overnight in Battambang.

6

Battambang – Phnom Penh (B/L/-)

Depart Battambang for the overland transfer to Phnom Penh (duration 5 hours not including stops).

Starting early travel first to Kampong Chhnang, known for its traditional pottery, with many kilns at work in this province. In a village near Kampong Chhnang, to see the different aspects of pottery making and also experience the production of traditional rice wine.

Continue to Oudong, the former royal capital of Cambodia. The drive passes through many rural villages and pagodas, and you will the temple mountain with its dozens of stupas from afar. Upon arrival at Oudong enjoy a traditional Khmer lunch at a picnic hut at the foot of the hill.

Then, climb the stairs to the top of Oudong Mountain and enjoy magnificent views over the plains below. Your guide will explain the history of the area and its buildings as well as the religious culture of the Cambodian people. Take your time to soak in the magnificent views over the plains below.

Before heading to Phnom Penh stop at the spectacular Vipassana Dhura Buddhist Meditation Center. Your guide can explain more about the school of Vipassana (Insight Meditation) as you tour the center, before taking part in a meditation class with one of the teachers. Don’t forget to see the impressive jade Buddha, the mummified monk and the brightly painted walls telling the story of the Ramayana, the epic Sanskrit poem that decorates many pagodas seen around the country.

From here, it is not far to Phnom Penh where you will reach in the late afternoon. Check into your hotel.

Phnom Penh was once considered one of the most beautiful cities in the Orient, and despite its turbulent history and recent development, it still retains a colonial charm. Cambodia’s capital is a bustling city, majestically located at the confluence of the mighty rivers of the Mekong and Tonlé Sap. Wide tree-lined boulevards and many colonial-era buildings reflect the glorious days and add to the allure of the city, where Asian and Western traditions meet in a fascinating way.

The evening is at leisure.

Overnight in Phnom Penh.

Distances and journey time:

Battambang – Phnom Penh (330km): 5hr

7

Phnom Penh (B/-/-)

Start your day today at Preah Ang Dong Ker, a shrine on the riverfront. This is an interesting spiritual place that is frequented by worshippers at all times. You will see Khmer people arriving with alms, lotus flowers, jasmine bracelets and incense sticks that they are using for their prayers. Take in this bustling and mystical scenery while Phnom Penh awakens to life.

This shrine is located right in front of the Royal Palace which you will visit afterwards. This palace dates back to 1866 and houses the Silver Pagoda, named for the over 5000 heavy silver tiles that cover its floors. Its original name is Wat Prakeo, meaning Temple of the Emerald Buddha. In this temple you will view a collection of Buddhas in gold, silver, crystal, and bronze.

You will now be met by a cyclo driver who will take you on a tour to the most remarkable sights of Phnom Penh in a cyclo, an original Phnom Penh means of transportation and a fun way to explore this lively city. First, head along the lively riverfront up to Wat Phnom, a hilltop pagoda and the founding place of the city. From here, explore the old French Quarter with some interesting architectural examples of the colonial period.

Return to the hotel for a break during the midday heat.

This afternoon, head to Wat Langka (meditation on Monday, Thursday and Saturday in the evening from 5:00pm – 7:00pm and Sunday morning from 7:00am – 9:00am), located just south of the Independence Monument. Wat Langka is one of oldest pagodas in Phnom Penh founded in 1442 and one of the five original wats in town. It was established as a sanctuary for the Holy Writings and a meeting place for Cambodian and Sri Lankan monks. The Pagoda was named in honor of these meetings. Langka Pagoda was used as a storehouse during the Khmer Rouge era and therefore managed to avoid total destruction. The temple still plays an important role in Cambodian Buddhism and many of the monks here are highly regarded teachers.

After such deep relaxation, return to your hotel and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Overnight in Phnom Penh.

8

Phnom Penh - KEP (B/-/-)

Start early today and head to Wat Botum. Originally fPhnom Penh – Kep ounded in 1422, Wat Botum is one of Phnom Penh’s five original wats. It is known as the ‘Temple of the Lotus Blossoms’ and the compound displays many beautifully decorated stupas, some of which contain the ashes of royalty. Wat Botum is the seat of the Thammayut (royalist) Buddhist sect, the smaller of the two main Buddhist sects in Cambodia. Here, Buddhist monks will celebrate a private blessing ceremony for you, wishing you health and a safe journey – a very special experience!

From here you will continue southwards to Takeo Province. Continue to Takeo, a small town that is truly Cambodian in every sense.  Enjoy a simple but tasty lunch at a Local Restaurant. Observing the small city life is quite interesting, as basically anything beyond your imagination happens here in terms of transportation, market life and business, and little children are lined up along the road to welcome everyone with a “Hello Mister”. Board a fiberglass motorboat in Takeo that will zip you along an ancient canal to the archaeological museum of Angkor Borei and the temple ruins of Phnom Da. On the way, you will have the chance to see rural life in Cambodia. (Note: Due to low water levels during the dry season, the boat trip is generally only possible from August to February: in the dry season the site is accessible by car.)

 

Your next destination is Phnom Chisor, where you can climb up to the top of the mountain to explore the well-preserved ruins of a 10th century Angkorian temple. Enjoy an amazing view over the typical Cambodian countryside. Continue to Kep. Cambodia’s prestigious seaside resort of the 1960s is now awakening to its former glory. The small town offers reminders of the past and a growing choice of activities including island trips, a national park and the famous crab market.

Overnight in Kep.

Distances and journey time:

Phnom Penh – Kep (168 km): 3hrs

9

KEP (B/-/-)

Early this morning, embark on a short boat trip (25 mins) to scenic Koh Tonsai, also called Rabbit Island. Spend the morning at leisure exploring the island and relaxing on the island’s tropical beach. You will have pack lunch on the island. Mid-afternoon, return to Kep and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure.

Overnight in Kep.

10

Phnom Penh - Departure (B/-/-)

Today you can enjoy the morning at leisure to visit the Crab Market where an ocean side cluster of a dozen-plus rickety old wooden shacks hug the water’s edge selling famous Kep seafood: Crab, shrimps, squid and fish.

After lunch time you will be transferred to Phnom Penh airport for your onward flight.

Distances and journey time:

Kep – Phnom Penh Airport (149 km): 2h

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