Cambodia

Siem Reap with a Twist in 4 days

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Tour type

Tour Level: Relaxed / Easy

Tour Comfort: Budget

Tour Period: 4 Days

1 hour    English, French, German, Spanish, Russian

tour details

On arrival in Siem Reap, you will be transferred to your hotel to check-in, freshen up and get some lunch before heading for a private tour of Siem Reap’s Art scene. In the evening, enjoy a performance by Phare, the Cambodian Circus, sometimes compared to Cambodia’s Cirque du Soleil.
Your second day is dedicated to the discovery of Angkor and its main temples, but this, only after you have been blessed by the monks. In the evening blend in with the locals, taste some of their delicacies, beer and local cocktail
Next day, you will go to the countryside to visit handicrafts workshops in exclusivity as no tourists are aloud on those grounds. Have some fine and creative Cambodian food and discover the fishermen’s way of life on the largest floating and stilted village.
On your last day, before heading to your next destination, try yourself at making crochet out of plastic bags and taste locally arranged liqueurs and jams.

Arrive at Siem Reap International Airport and transfer to the hotel for check in.
(rooms may not be ready until the afternoon).

Lunch at local restaurant

This afternoon, meet the artists, designers and curators currently making waves, hosting exhibitions and competently placing Cambodia's Temple Town firmly on the artistic map.

In addition to the artwork, the characteristics of each space visited is visually impressive and should not be overlooked. A stunning artist's studio located just outside of Siem Reap Town in a lush tropical garden is one such destination. An elegant Couture House hidden in a village of local shophouses is breath-taking, with delicate Cambodian silks exquisitely draped over elegant custom-made furniture. The diversity of artwork is a breath of fresh air; sculptures, oils, photography and textured design - everything you didn't know you were looking for.

In this special private tour, you are escorted through active studios, ateliers and exhibition spaces by the highest level of curators and artists in Siem Reap.

You will be picked-up at your hotel by an Art Curator, in tuktuk, and you will ride off to a journey of Arts where experts will enlighten you with their extensive knowledge on the current art evolution in Cambodia, as well as the inspirations behind each piece.

Start with Theam's House & Art Gallery and listen to Maddy LIM always give such detailed descriptions of her brother's personal and artistic journey from Takeo to Paris to Siem Reap.

Continue to the creation studio and Boutique of Haute Couture fashion designer, Eric Raisina, who has designed for Yves St. Laurent and collaborated with Christian Lacroix. Discover what has influenced his world and how he can make any fabric dance on your curves.

Next World is the one of fine art photography by John McDermott who "found his calling in the temples and jungles of Cambodia. . . His pictures are hauntingly lit, more like paintings than photographs" as Time Magazine so well says.

Nestled in the leafy central neighbourhood south of the Old French Quarter you will discover Siem Reap's rising arts culture precinct: Kandal ("middle") Village, home to a vibrant and eclectic new mix of cafes, galleries, artsy homeware shops and cool fashion stores, unique to Cambodia. You will zig-zag through, stop for a break and finish at artist Ly Pisith's gallery of creative jewellery designs, with an established style.

Your final discovery, over a well-deserved drink, will be One Eleven Gallery, the only international contemporary art gallery in Siem Reap which showcases both a permanent collection of work as well as a rotation of exhibitions by visiting artists.

You will be dropped off for an early dinner at Phare Caf'e9 before the evening show

Watch a show by Phare, The Cambodian Circus and enjoy an amazing blend of traditional and modern theatre, music, dance, acrobatics, juggling and contortion, comedy and more, a beautifully choreographed and performed story about Cambodian lives and society. Go back with a memory filled with energy and emotions portrayed by the famous artists of Phare Ponleu Selpak Artistic and Social Center. PPS Association is a Cambodian non-profit, non-governmental association founded in 1994 by eight young Cambodians ex-refugees artists. Be part of non-profit organization efforts to build artists' careers and to bring Cambodian arts to the rest of the world.
Your tour guide and driver pick you up from hotel and take a part in a sacred Buddhist ritual when you travel to Cambodia and receive a spiritual cleansing ceremony performed by the monks. The ceremony begins with the monks chanting harmoniously as they wish you good luck, safe travel, and a long life. It is accompanied by a light sprinkling of water. At the end of the blessing, your wrist is adorned with special red ties that signify the blessing performed.
The, start by visiting the last capital of the Khmer Empire: Angkor Thom, built in the 12th century and deserted most likely during the 16th century. Inside its walls, visit:
-the South Gate with its huge statues depicting the churning of the ocean of milk
-Bayon temple, unique for its 54 towers decorated with 216 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara
-Baphuon, a pyramidal representation of Mount Meru
-the Terrace of the Elephants, used by Jayavarman VII to watch his victorious army return
-the Terrace of the Leper King, which's statue was formerly thought to represent a legendary "leper king", but is now considered to represent Yama - the Lord of the Dead and believed the terrace itself might have functioned as a royal cremation platform.
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Continue towards famous Ta Prohm, beautiful jungle temple which nature seems to have taken over, has been relatively untouched since it was discovered and retains much of its mystery.

Stop and relax for a nice lunch at Sala Russey, local restaurant facing Sra Srang.

Visit the most famous of all temples: Angkor Wat, the world's largest religious monument named UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992. The 12th century temple complex spreads over 81 hectares. It's five towers symbolize Meru's five peaks, the enclosed wall represents the mountains at the edge of the world and the surrounding moat, the ocean beyond.

Transfer back to your hotel to freshen up before your evening adventure

The Vespa team will pick you up at your hotel and you will start your evening journey to a Cambodian culinary experience

This foodie adventure is an experiential roller coaster through the vibrant Siem Reap dining and social scene mixing high end with real local style! Kick off with cocktails at one of the town's most stylish venues as the sun sets, ride pillion on jazzy modern Vespas along the Siem Reap Riverside to an evening local market and gain an insight into fresh Cambodian ingredients. Cruise through the busy streets of this ancient heritage town and be introduce to all aspects of Khmer cuisine so get your senses prepared!

From the Pub Street comfort zone and after a refreshing Vespa ride, night has fallen and you will find yourself in the middle of the hustle and bustle of street vendors inviting you to taste a seemingly endless variety of unusual foods and fruits that offer a spectacular diversity of flavours and colours.
Stop at a typical local grill and drink stand where tasty snacks and drinks are served. When you look around you will see only local customers enjoying the great food that is freshly prepared right in front of your eyes.

Into the night you move to yet another part of Siem Reap town with numerous night spots that are frequented by local clientele. Our destination is a special restaurant that is hidden in plain sight between the bars and nightclubs. This restaurant boasts a local menu that stands out in quality and variety. A selection of their best specialties will be served, accompanied by drinks and local music performances.
Just when you think that this is the end of the tour you are again in for a refreshing after dinner ride on the way to the dessert of the tour. Located in again another part of town you will enter a typical Cambodian style house to be introduced to the magic art of rice wine infusion with special herbs and spices. You will taste these tropical concoctions, which will be complemented by a selection of local sweets.

The presentation of a special souvenir marks the end of the tour and your driver will bring you safely back to your hotel or, at your choice, drop you off in the city centre of Siem Reap.

Return to your hotel
This morning, discover the "Behind the Scenes", inaccessible to the public, of a great social enterprise.

Artisans Angkor, created in 1992 when the country was faced with the challenge of rebuilding its economy, has developed from the ambitious belief that it is possible to revive ancient Cambodian Arts & Crafts while improving the lives of thousands of people living in rural areas.
Not only are they committed to the preservation of Cambodia's cultural legacy, but they also want to empower individuals by helping them secure their future by the means of education and welfare.

Today, it has 48 workshops (of silk, stone and wood carving, lacquerware, gilding, ceramics, silver plating, silk painting, and jewellery) operating in 12 sites located in Siem Reap province and provides employment to over 1100 people, including about 800 artisans, many of which, over the last few years, had the privilege to be selected for the restoration of several parts of the historical Angkor site. You will visit 3 special workshops and learn about all the facets of their creations.

A private vehicle will pick you up from your hotel and will take you to the first hidden workshop which is one of the ceramics, followed by a lacquer workshop. Observe in details the fine and delicate work it is to create a piece and learn about each process explained by your personal Artisans d'Angkor expert.

Continue to Puok, where Artisans d'Angkor Silk Farm is located and visit a stone carving workshop which is also the location where special project are realized. You will be able to see both up-close but as these are private individual's orders, and some may be very confidential, no photos or videos of special projects are allowed.

You will continue to the main location of Artisans d'Angkor, in the city center where you can have a glimpse at the Chantiers-Ecoles, where students are trained to become artisans and end your experience in the Prestige Room with a glass of wine with sparkles'85

Lunch at Pou Kitchen and Restaurant for some amazing creative cuisine by Chef Mengly
Drive to the village of Kompong Khleang near Siem Reap. This permanent community is one of the largest on the Tonle Sap Lake, home to over 20,000 people living in gigantic stilt houses with an economy based on fishing. Enjoy the spectacular site and board a private boat to visit a small island at the centre of the village to see its market, school and brightly painted pagodas. Continue by boat to see the life on the waters of the great Tonle Sap Lake.
Note: During the high water season from August to January the water level rises to within one or two meters of the buildings. During this time of year the village becomes a lively place with floating houses scattering in the vicinity of Kompong Khleang on the lake. The dry season reveals a spectacular site as the stilt houses rise up to ten meters into the sky. The floating houses are now on the open lake and can be visited with a scenic boat ride.
Depart from your hotel to visit Rehash Trash, a daily workshop that turns dirty roadside rubbish into incredible stylish stuff. Sadly, raw material is in abundance'85 discarded plastic bags which are collected each day. Rehash Trash is not only making great products and cleaning up the environment, it is changing and empowering the lives of our mothers and their families.
Take part in a 2 hours workshop to learn how they really work with these plastic bags and try yourself at making your own creation.

After that, walk over to visit Sombai Liqueur. Discover the local taste of Siem Reap through a wide range of home-made and artisan products by trying 11 different flavours of liqueur (or as many as you can handle!). It will be a pleasure for the eyes and taste buds.

Lunch for a cause at Haven Restaurant

Transfer to Siem Reap International Airport for departure flight to the next destination.
Breakfast at hotel
Lunch at Haven

includes

  • Meals as specified in the itinerary
  • Transfers and tours with English-speaking locally-stationed guides (guides in other languages are on request and may be subject to supplements) in private air-conditioned vehicles
  • All entrance fees for the places as mentioned in the program
  • Bottled water and cold towels available on the vehicles


excludes

  • Domestic airfare (quoted separately, if requested)
  • International airfare to / from Cambodia (quoted separately, if requested)
  • Optional tours
  • Surcharges for other language guides
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Personal expenditure, such as drinks, souvenirs, laundry, camera fees, communications, postage, gratuities etc.
  • Meals and services other than mentioned in the programme
  • Drinks with meals
  • Compulsory gala dinners during festive seasons and peak season surcharges which will be advised at the time of booking
  • Visa fees
  • Early check-in and late check-out at hotels, if not mentioned in the programme
Tour code: REPDSTW4

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