Mondulkiri, Cambodia’s eastern province is one of the sparsely populated areas in the country. It’s known for its grassy hills, rainforests and wildlife. The region is inhabited by the hardy Bunong people who maintain strong links with nature. Sen Monorom, the provincial capital serves as base to explore its surrounds. The Mondulkiri region has over 80 waterfalls, including Bousra waterfall, lakes and forests. Phnum Prech Wildlife Sanctuary and the Phnom Nam Lear Sanctuary are home to a wide variety of flora and fauna.
Discover Cambodia with an exclusive tour of Siem Reap. Visit countryside temples of Banteay Srei and Banteay Samre. Then explore the inner sanctum, Angkor Wat and ornate Angkor Thom. Travel to Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s charming capital. Visit its Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda and the National Museum. Then transfer to Sen Monorom, the provincial capital of Mondulkiri. Explore its minority villages, waterfalls, swim in lakes. Activities include jungle trekking and elephant riding.
TRAVEL UNTAMED ON THIS 10-DAY JOURNEY INTO NORTH CAMBODIA...
And, discover the remote regions of Mondulkiri and Kratie.
One of the most unspoilt countries in South East Asia, Cambodia is a fascinating mix of breathtaking scenery, simple cultures and traditions. There is a great surge to see the highlights of Phnom Penh and Angkor Wat but travellers really wish to explore Cambodia’s hidden charms, meet the locals as they travel through pretty rural countryside, and get off the beaten track to visit remote temples.
This tour was designed for travellers who like a brief tour of the Angkor temples and not be overwhelmed by them. The tour is combined with a short stay in Phnom Penh and an introduction of the north Cambodia.
Your private guided tour will start in Sem Reap where you will visit the most impressing and breathtaking pieces of history in the world – the temples of Angkor. Established by the Khmer Kingdom of Kambuja, which gave its name to Cambodia, it became one of the largest empires in South East Asia. The ruins seen today represent successive capitals. These were cities of massive stone temples, wide majestic causeways, thrusting towers and imposing gates. The sheer size and magnificence of Angkor Wat is compelling.
Next visit Phnom Penh, once considered one of the most beautiful cities of the Orient that still retains much of its original charm. The city took shape around the famous Wat Phnom, meaning “Hill Temple”.
Continue north on what is probably Cambodia’s most scenic drive, to the region of Mondulkiri and discover a peaceful rural Cambodia. Sen Monorom (Mondulkiri) is predominantly populated by minority hill tribes with more than 12 different ethnic groups. Trekking on foot or by elephant to the nearby villages, sightseeing to the numerous and Cambodia’s largest waterfalls. After 3 days in that quiet province where time goes slowly, drive back to Phnom Penh via the charming town of Kratie along the river bank of the Mekong and see the rare Irrawady dolphins.
Discover Cambodia The tour is combined with a short stay in Phnom Penh and an introduction of the north Cambodia.
Siem Reap (Angkor), Phnom Penh, Mondulkiri, Kratie
(10 Days – Travel Any Day)
Day 1 – Arrive Cambodia
Siem Reap Meet and greet on arrival at the Siem Reap International Airport and transfer to your hotel. After some rest drive through the countryside to the popular Banteay Srei (“citadel of the women”), a petite temple with elaborate carvings in pinkish sandstone and regarded as the jewel in the crown of classical Khmer art. Nearby is Banteay Samre, one of the most complete complexes at Angkor. Stop at the serene Preah Khan, “The Sacred Sword”, an extensive complex built as a monastery and teaching complex. But the outstanding example is Ta Prohm, which has been left largely in the natural state, as if allowing the massive banyan trees to consume the temple.
Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort (Nil)
Day 2 – Temple Tour
Siem Reap You will visit the monumental magnificence of Angkor Thom (Great City) – the last capital of the Khmers, believed to have once housed a population of approximately one million people, with its Elephant Terrace, the Leper King Terrace and the stunning Bayon temple whose 54 towers are decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avalokitesvara. This 12th century masterpiece lies at the very centre of Angkor Thom and is an archaeological wonder of symmetry and grandeur. The exterior gallery walls have extensive bas-reliefs but the highlights are the “faces”, more than 200 of them, silent but with the famous half-smile playing on their lips.
After lunch, visit Angkor Wat, an enormous temple city built as a model of the Hindu universe in stone and comparable in size to the Imperial Palace in Beijing. Art historians consider it to be the prime example of classical Khmer art and architecture.
Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort (B)
Day 3 – Explore
Siem Reap Next day visit Tonle Sap, the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and drive to nearby villages set up on gigantic stilt houses with an economy based on fishing. Continue by boat to see the life on the waters of the great Tonle Sap Lake. More temple viewing during the day but with adequate rest to ensure there is no fatigue.
Sofitel Angkor Phokeethra Golf & Spa Resort (B)
Day 4 – Transfer
Phnom Penh Spend time at leisure at the local market. Visit “Les Artisans d’Angkor - Chantiers Ecoles”, two centres that work with young artisans to create a unique collection of ornamental sculptures, lacquer ware, silk weaving and silk painting products. After lunch, transfer to Siem Reap airport for your onward journey to Phnom Penh.
Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra (B)
Day 5 – Tour
Phnom Penh Begin your private tour with a visit to the Royal Palace and the Silver Pagoda, see a Buddha made of Baccarat crystal and another of gold and diamonds. At the National Museum, view the world’s premier collection of ancient Khmer sculpture and artefacts. Explore the city’s markets and shop for local textiles and silver. Take a cyclo ride to discover its beautiful colonial architecture and stop at Phnom Penh’s vibrant cafés and have a drink at the legendary Foreign Correspondents Club.
Sofitel Phnom Penh Phokeethra (B)
Day 6 – Explore
Mondulkiri The road snakes up through the mountains that give Mondulkiri its name of “where the mountains meet”. The lush jungle hugs the road where the locals claim to see tigers at night. Sen Monorom is less a provincial capital (of a district with the same name) and more a home to many different tribal minorities, who live their life in a traditional way. Explore the countryside and enjoy the scenery quite unlike anywhere else in the country, with clusters of pine trees and rolling grasslands dotted with Pnong villages. This is an excellent base for starting mini-activities like visiting waterfalls, swimming in lakes, jungle trekking or elephant riding.
Mondulkiri Hotel (B, L, D)
Day 7 & 8 – Explore
Mondulkiri Spend the day visiting the nearby hill tribe villages. There are hundreds of minority villages around Sen Monorom with huts of woven wooden walls and thatched roofs in which more than one family lives. But you will be lucky to see more than a handful of people during daytime, as they will be all out working in the fields.
Option 1: Travel to see a double drop waterfall and visit hilltribe villages and the scenic countryside.
Option 2: Travel to a minority village for an Elephant ride through some stunning jungle, across rivers and past local minority farms before ending up at the Trok River for lunch.
Mondulkiri Hotel (B, L-packed, D)
Day 9 – Explore
Kratie Situated on the banks of the mighty Mekong River, the lively riverside town of Kratie (pronounced kra-cheh) has an expansive riverfront and a rich legacy of French-era architecture. Over the years it has become a dolphin habitat and a haven for nature lovers and wildlife conservationists. You will see one of the world's rarest mammals - the Mekong sweetwater Irrawaddy dolphin. In the evening, visit the beautiful river boulevard, a great place for a stroll or jog, and enjoy the dramatic sunsets over the Mekong.
Rajabori Villas (B, L, D)
Day 10 – Depart
Cambodia Drive to Kompong Cham where we take a break for lunch at local restaurant. Here we will visit some 12th century old Pagodas and then continue to Phnom Penh and transfer to hotel or airport.
Make this your holiday
Getting There There are no direct flights to Cambodia from the UK, but good connections are available from major Asian destinations. You can fly with Thai Airways to Bangkok, Malaysian Airlines to Kuala Lumpur or British Airways via Hong Kong. From there you can take the budget airline Air Asia or Dragon Air. The total journey time, excluding transit, is about 15 hours. From Phnom Penh you can take direct flights to Siem Reap, which now operates on daily basis. Direct one-hour flights are now also available from Bangkok.
When to go The ideal time to visit Cambodia is between November and February when it is cool and dry. In the beginning of March, the heat begins to build until April when it can be quite oppressive and uncomfortable. In May and June the southwestern monsoon brings a measure of relief and also high humidity. The wet season, lasts until October but it rarely rains all day. It generally rains short spurts mostly in the afternoon or evening. Although the wet season can be a low season for tourism it has its own advantages. It is when the Angkor complex is at its most beautiful, the vegetation is lush, the moats for full of water and there are less tourists so you can explore the temples in peace.
Visa Tourist visas are required and can be obtained in advance or on arrival at the airport in Siem Reap. In the latter case, guests must provide a passport photo and US$20. Passports must be valid for at least six months from the arrival date and must have one entirely blank page for the visa. Guests are advised to check with their nearest Cambodian embassy or consulate.