The Essence of The Khmer Kingdom

- A Secret Retreats journey -
9 days / 8 nights
from 1,190 USD /person



This journey has been personally designed by Kim Nou (host at Maison Wat Kor)
Has been in the travel business for over 25 years, is in love with his country and passionate about sharing his deep knowledge of Khmer culture and unique places with guests and give them memorable experience to bring back home.

All our itineraries have generally been constructed on the basis of the rooms that have the most charm or best view, and not necessarily the first prices, nor the most expensive suites.
We can of course adjust according to your request.

Highlights of the Journey:

The best of Cambodia

  • Angkor Archeological Site
  • Lake Tonle Sap
  • Battambang
  • Phnom Penh
  • Optional extension to Kep seaside resort
...and some of the best culinary experiences the country has to offer along the journey

Exploring Cambodia is also discovering the Cambodians and their wonderful smile. The Khmer Kingdom offers its visitors truly a wonder of the world in the archeological site of Angkor, a place of breathtaking splendor - with the perfection of Angkor Wat, the mystery of Bayon and the abundance of vegetation in Ta Prohm – and a warm and welcoming people with an ancient culture.

You will reach Battambang by overland, a charming colonial town built along the banks of the Sangker River. A day later you will visit Phnom Penh, long known as the "Pearl of Asia" with its many buildings with European and colonial architecture.


Contact the concierge on

Your Journey Day by Day

9 days / 8 nights from 1,190 USD /person
  Possible extension to Kep or the Cardamom Mountains

based on two people sharing a room


Day 1 : Siem Reap (-/-/-)
After welcoming you on arrival at Siem Reap International Airport with a cool refreshing lemongrass towel we will drive you to the hotel and let you settle down at your hotel, Heritage Suites or Le Chanthou Boutique. If you land early enough in Siem Reap a visit of the National Museum will be proposed. The museum gives the visitor a great introduction to the history of the Angkor complex, perfect before visiting the temples. Later in the afternoon, a tuk-tuk will take you for a drive to give you a general overview of the location the main temple of Angkor.

For dinner, on your own, maybe at the hotel for the first night
HOTEL: Le Chanthou Boutique (Premier Suite) or Heritage Suites (Colonial Suite)
Day 2 : Siem Reap (B/-/-)
After an early breakfast at hotel, you will meet your guide at 8:00 am in the lobby and transfer to the pier of Roluos. Discover the village of Kompong Phluk, one of the beautiful stilted villages, located 16 kilometers from Siem Reap. Visit the village and take a boat trip in a traditional wooden boat on the Tonle Sap Lake, the great Lake of Cambodia, one of the wonders of Asia. At noon, we return to Siem Reap city center for lunch (we will suggest some restaurants for you to pick). After lunch, return to your hotel and time for a cooling dip in the pool before returning to the temple complex to visit the most dramatic temples of the site.

At 15:00, you will continue your temple visits to Neak Pean, a fountain built in the middle of a pool and representing the paradisiacal Himalayan mountain-lake, and visit Ta Prohm until the sunset, one of the most beautiful temples in the area, as it has been relatively untouched since it was discovered and retains much of its mystery. Its appeal lies in the fact that, unlike the other monuments of Angkor, it has been left to be swallowed by the jungle, and looks very much the ways most of the monuments of Angkor appeared when European explorer first stumbled upon them.
Sunset at Pre Rup temple.
By 18:30, we return to your hotel.
For dinner, we will recommend you, some nice restaurants for you to pick.
HOTEL: Le Chanthou Boutique (Premier Suite) or Heritage Suites (Colonial Suite)
Day 3 : Siem Reap (B/L/-)
After an early breakfast at hotel, you will depart at 8:00 am to the Kulen Mountain range. Walk 45 minutes through the forest to the top of the hill to reach Kbal Spean, the Thousand Linga River: discover the 10th-12th century sculptures chiseled from the rocky riverbed, the Royal Bath and the waterfall. Then, continuation to the enchanting temple of Banteay Srei, the nearly everyone's favorite site. The special charm of this temple lies in its remarkable state of preservation, small size and excellence of decoration. Lunch at Khmer House located 7 kilometers from Banteay Srei temple. After lunch, return to the hotel and a relaxing afternoon by the pool or a relaxing massage (optional). Dinner by your own account, we will have suggestions for you!
HOTEL: Le Chanthou Boutique (Premier Suite) or Heritage Suites (Colonial Suite)
Day 4 : Siem Reap (B/-/D)
After breakfast, you will leave at 8:30 am by tuk tuk to visit the most famous of all the temples on the plain of Angkor: Angkor Wat. The temple complex covers 81 hectares and is comparable in size to the Imperial Palace in Beijing. Its distinctive five towers are emblazoned on the Cambodian flag and the 12th century masterpiece is considered by art historians to be the prime example of classical Khmer art and architecture. Angkor Wat's five towers symbolize Meru's five peaks - the enclosing wall represents the mountains at the edge of the world and the surrounding moat, the ocean beyond. Enjoy the sunset on Angkor Wat. We will have a break around 12:30 for lunch (own account). In the afternoon, visit the South Gate by tuk tuk with its huge statues depicting the churning of the ocean of milk, the antique capital of Angkor Thom (12th century), the Bayon Temple, unique for its 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara, the Royal Enclosure, the Phimeanakas, the Elephants Terrace, the Terrace of the Leper King and Baphoun temple. Enjoy the sunset on Angkor Wat!

Return to your hotel to refresh.

At 19h30, we will book a table for your dinner at Mie Café restaurant, a member of Secret Tables, where the very creative and dynamic Chef Pola will serve you a unique and exciting menu of Khmer ingredients with Western techniques.
HOTEL: Le Chanthou Boutique (Premier Suite) or Heritage Suites (Colonial Suite)
Day 5 : Siem Reap - Battambang (B/-/-)
After breakfast at hotel, check out, the driver will pick you up around 09:00 and drive you to Battambang (3hrs drive). We should reach Battambang around 12:30, for check-in at your hotel, the Maisons Wat Kor. Probably a good time for your to enjoy lunch at the property (own account) After lunch, a relaxing afternoon by the pool or a relaxing massage (optional). 16h30, an excursion by tuk-tuk will be arranged for a late afternoon visit to Phnom Sampauv, about 12 km from Battambang. This site is famous for the 1000 Bats Cave, an incredible natural wonder to witness at dusk as the bats leave the cave to hunt.
We return to your hotel in evening.
No arrangement for dinner.
HOTEL: Maisons Wat Kor (Lotus Room, upper floor)
Day 6 : Battambang (B/L/-)
After a relaxing breakfast a tour by tuk-tuk to discover Battambang.
- visit the seamstresses of Kramas,
- visit a traditional incense making workshop
- meet a lady of Battambang to learn how she makes traditional cigarettes
- visit to traditional wood carvers
- visit an artisan kitchen that specializes in rice noodles
- visit a traditional rice wine factory
During the excursion, we will stop for lunch in a local restaurant and continue the visits with:
- a stop in a house that is famed for a Battambang speciality, rice cakes.
- and another one famed for sticky rice cooked in bamboo
- followed by a visit to the market to see Prahoc (fish paste)an essential ingrediant in Khmer cuisine, being made.
- finally a stroll through the city to see the colonial old town, the Governor's House, the Provincial Museum (closed Saturday, Sunday and public holidays) and the Psar Natt market.
Return to the hotel in the late afternoon and enjoy a dinner (own account).
HOTEL: Maisons Wat Kor (Lotus Room, upper floor)
Option: During your stay in Battambang you can attend a circus show organized by the NGO Phare. The show takes place every Monday and Thursday from 19:00 to 20:30 (14 USD/person). We recommend that you head there for arrival at 18:00, before the performance, to have time to visit a visual arts exhibition created by the students.
Day 7 : Battambang - Phnom Penh (B/L/-)
Departure by road to Phnom Penh after breakfast. We will stop on the road for a local style lunch and visit Kampong Chhnang, a village famed for its pottery. On arrival in Phnom Penh, check in at Iroha Garden Hotel (Deluxe Balcony). Free time at the pool to relax and dinner on your own.
HOTEL: Iroha Garden (Deluxe Balcony Room)
Day 8 : Phnom Penh (B/-/-)
After your breakfast, you will tour the Khmer capital starting with the National Museum (also known as the Museum of Fine Arts) followed by the Royal Palace, built in 1866 by King Norodom with its Silver Pagoda and then a trip to the Hill of Wat Phnom considered as the center of the city. Lunch by your own account. In the afternoon, visit to the Russian market and an option to visit the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum. No arrangement for dinner, but we will be happy to make recommendations.
HOTEL: Iroha Garden (Deluxe Balcony Room)
Day 9 : Phnom Penh – Airport or Extension (B/-/-)
After breakfast, check out and departure to airport or extension of your stay to Kampot, Kep or to the Cardamom Mountains.

If you end the program in Phnom Penh, the driver will drop you at the airport.
Extension :
To end this trip smoothly, we suggest you to relax in one of the quaint and quite villas by the sea at Samanea Resort in Kep, explore more from Khla Lodge in Kampot or to take refuge in the nature, in one of the tents of the 4 Rivers Floating Lodge.
Ask Secret Retreats concierge for advice.

Your Accommodation on this Asia Travel Itinerary

The Essence of The Khmer Kingdom

9 days / 8 nights
from 1,190 USD /person
  Possible extension to Kep or the Cardamom Mountains

based on two people sharing a room


The total price includes:
Accommodation on a bed & breakfast basis in the hotels detailed in the itinerary.
All meals (lunch and dinner) when mentioned in the program.
All transportation by Air Conditioned car or tuk-tuk for some of the tours.
Entrance fees to all sites and museums mentioned in the program.
Local English-speaking guide (other languages possible when required) for all tours in Siemp Reapand Phnom Penh (English speaking driver only for Battambang - we can also arrange a guide with a supplement)

The total price does not include:
VISA - A valid visa for Cambodia is required (USD30 per person + 1photo). Visas are issued on arrival for certain countries or please enquire and apply with the Cambodian Embassy in your country of residence well in advance or your travel dates (Please make sure your passport is valid for 6 months beyond your departure date).
Other meals that are not included in the program.
Drinks, personal expenses, tips and gratuities.
No guide in Battambang
Options and other activities not included in the program.

This Secret Journey was designed in cooperation with Kim Nou and Selective Travel (license #50004510)


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