Day 1: Phnom Penh
“Pearl of the East”
Board The Jayavarman at 7:30am. Around 8:30am, embark on a city tour in this dynamic, historical capital of Cambodia which has retained its French colonial charm. Sightseeing in the morning will include the dazzling white and gold architecture of the Royal Palace, outstanding displays of Khmer crafts at the National Museum and the temple on a hill - Wat Phnom.
After lunch in a local restaurant, examine the painful, heart wrenching reminders of Cambodia’s ugly past under the Khmer Rouge regime with an excursion to the infamous “Killing Fields”; the former detention, torture and execution centers during the Cambodian civil war. Introduction and onsite lecture by a local history professor.
Thereafter, to ease the nerves a variety of cocktails will be at your disposal, followed by Cambodia’s traditional Apsara dance performance. Experience the brilliance and richness of the culture, the soothing sounds of traditional music, the calming scent of incense sticks and a delicious Khmer food buffet.
Day 2: Phnom Penh - Kampong Cham
“Monks and hilltops”
Depart before the break of dawn from Phnom Penh with a stop at the little known Chong Koh silk weaving village for a leisure walk. We cruise past the Mekong’s tranquil villages and mind blowing river life with scores of fishermen on duty. Visit Wat Nokor, a wat built within the ruins of an ancient temple that holds a timeless story.
Then, travel to the Cheung Kok Ecotourism Village, a small village developed with support from Assistance Médiation Internationale (AMICA). Travellers can visit the village and take part in activities to experience village life. Profits from tourism go towards re-investment into long-term projects.
Day 3: Kampong Cham - Wat Hanchey
“Cambodia’s province and the wetlands”
Wake up in the wee hours of the morning, truly energized to embark on a journey upriver to the pre-Angkorian temple of Wat Hanchey. Located at the top of a hill overlooking the river, it offers some of the best views in Cambodia. Dating from the 8th century, these ancient structures do justice to the architecture of the Chenla Empire which predated the glories of the mighty Angkor. Enjoy spectacular views of the surrounding well organized rice paddy plains, as well as a travellers blessing performed by the local monks.
Day 4: Kampong Cham - Kampong Chhnang - Tonle Sap
Before the sun rises, The Jayavarman sets sail to Kampong Chhnang via Prek K’dam along the meandering Tonle Sap River, which narrows through leafy swaths of the South East Asian jungle. Take a walk through Kampong Louang, one of the last silversmith villages, to see the entire community involved in making various silver items to sell. Get back aboard The Jayavarman to eat lunch while cruising towards Kampong Chhnang.
After lunch, take a motorboat excursion from Kampong Chhnang to see the wetlands, floating houses and fish farms in the region. Make a stop at a Heritage Line sponsored floating school to interact with the children and teach them some English! This is the day to truly experience rural Khmer life. In the evening, a mouth watering Farewell Dinner will be served on the Sun Deck.
Day 5: Tonle Sap - Siem Reap
This great lake dominates Cambodia and is over 150 km in length. The birdlife is profuse and from the middle of the lake one cannot even see the shores. Witness stillness and tranquillity on the way to Siem Reap. The water level varies a great deal according to the time of the year and the amount of rainfall recorded. Thus, changes may occur for the different seasons. High Water Program (approx. between July and December)
Cross the Tonle Sap Lake at dawn and 11:00 disembark at Siem Reap Port for onward coach transfer to the hotel by 12:00 pm. Low Water Program (approx. between December and June). Cruise early morning to Prek K’dam where you will disembark Jayavarman after breakfast. Board a coach at 9:00am which will take you to see a pre-Angorian temple on your way to Siem Reap. A packed lunch and refreshments will be available along the way. Arrive in Siem Reap early afternoon.
***** Please note you will leave RV The Jayavarman for good at the time you embark for the last visit.