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Cambodian cuisine plays a large part in the enjoyment of any visit and can be considered a reason to visit Cambodia in its own right.
a Destinations d > Cambodia > Flavours of Cambodia
Meals: 6 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches, 6 Dinners
Accommodation: 6 nights in hotel accommodation
Transportation: Transfers by private air-conditioned vehicles as specified, some short transfers by local modes of transport eg tuktuk
Sightseeing: Angkor temples tour, Siem Reap street food tour, Siem Reap cooking class and village tour, Battambang city and rural tours
*Price is per person based on twin share. Please speak to our team or view our terms and conditions for more information
An enthralling trip through Cambodia with a focus on history and culinary highlights. Explore the renowned architectural wonders of Angkor and its surrounding temples, while dining at local and social enterprise dining venues. Learn some of the secrets of Khmer cuisine in a half day cooking class. Take in Battambang’s rich culture, colonial relics, and some unique local delicacies.
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Explore the remarkable sights of Angkor Wat and surrounding temples.
Spend a day enjoying local life around Siem Reap, with insights into Khmer culture, farming techniques and of course culinary customs.
Experience the rich traditions, colonial history and contemporary culture of Battambang, including tastings of local coffee, spirits and cuisine.
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On arrival you will be met and transferred to your Siem Reap hotel. Settle in and enjoy some time at leisure to refresh.
In the evening enjoy a welcome dinner at Embassy Restaurant, an exclusive fine dining experience unparalleled in Siem Reap. With a constantly changing menu based around seasonality, guests can savour skillfully prepared masterpieces from multiple-course set menus, paired with a selection of fine wines. (D)
Early this morning begin your Angkorian exploration. Start with a typical Cambodian breakfast at a noodle stall near the temples, before continuing to explore the star attractions of Angkor Archaeological Park. Starting at the world’s largest religious temple, the magnificent Angkor Wat. Built by Suryavarman II in the early 12th century, it was constructed following the model of the temple mountain, symbolizing Mount Meru, home of the gods.
Continue to the ancient city of Angkor Thom; the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII and is surrounded by an 8m high wall drawing a perfect square. Enter the city from the impressive stone South Gate, carved with elephants and four giant faces.
From here, continue to Bayon temple in the center of the city. This 12th century masterpiece is distinguished by its dozens of towers with enigmatic faces looking out over the empire, however Bayon is of special interest to us for its galleries of bas-relief carvings featuring scenes from daily life that tell us much about the culinary culture of the Khmers during the empire. Also visit the Terrace of the Elephants and Terrace of the Leper King for more intricate bas-reliefs and stroll the grounds of the former Royal Palace to discover small hidden temples that are rarely visited.
Return to Siem Reap late morning where there’ll be time for a refreshing dip in the pool and time to rest at the hotel.
This afternoon visit the magical Ta Prohm temple. Built in the mid-12th to early 13th centuries, Ta Prohm is unique in that it is shaded by jungle, trees, vines, and with many parts crumbling to the ground, it is one of the most picturesque 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.
This evening you will be picked up for a Cambodian Street Food Discovery. First, head out with your food-loving local guide to the famous Bugs Café. (Note that certain dishes can be served without insects for the not-so adventurous eaters!)
Next, explore the streets around Psar Chas (Old Market), which are lined with various stalls selling pancakes, fruit shakes, fried bananas, waffles, coconut rice cakes, and various fried rice and noodle dishes. Sit down anywhere and enjoy anything at leisure! Make sure to stop at one of the many fresh fruit stalls to try a range of exotic local fruits.
Continue the culinary adventure around Wat Damnak, where a handful of serving one of Siem Reap’s most popular street food snacks, sach ko ang jakak - marinated beef skewers barbecued over coals on a traditional grill). There are other meats available too like BBQ frog, eel, chicken, or fish.
End the evening at one of the family-run dessert stalls near Wat Polanka, sampling one of the Khmer desserts on offer, before returning to your hotel. (B)(L)(D)
This morning discover the secrets of authentic Khmer cuisine in a half-day cooking class in the Siem Reap countryside. Begin with an introduction to the morning’s activities with a professional chef, where you will have a hands-on culinary experience, creating your own local delicacies. After which you will get to eat what you have created.
Return to Siem Reap in the afternoon for a two-hour tour around local village, which gives an insight into village life in Cambodia and the challenges faced by rural Cambodians. Take an ox cart ride, a traditional countryside method of transporting people and goods. Explore the colourful displays of vegetables, herbs and other locally-grown produce, and mingle with the shoppers who come every morning to buy the fresh ingredients.
Continue on foot through the village, providing ample opportunities to stop and chat with locals and take in glmpses of village life. Before leaving the village, partake in a special Buddhist tradition. Local monks will impart wishes of good luck and success in a solemn, age-old ceremony.
Return to hotel for refreshing and relax.
One distinctive feature of the culinary scene in Siem Reap is a selection of restaurants providing culinary arts training to disadvantaged Cambodian youth. We visit a selection of these on today’s food tour, all offering different culinary styles and contributing back to community in different ways. (B)(D)
This morning take an entertaining and informative culinary tour to Cambodia's cultural heart will be taken, getting the chance to try Cambodia's best breakfast dishes, tasty treats, and tropical fruits, with photography opportunities along the way. The tour will travel into the bustle of Siem Reap's food markets and street food stalls, sampling food all along the way, all whilst listening to stories of Cambodia’s extraordinary past.
After, depart to Battambang, Cambodia’s second largest city although it feels like a big country town with some of the friendliest locals you’ll meet in the country.
This afternoon tour along Banan Road through beautiful Cambodian countryside to Wat Banan. Along the way make a stop at Prasat Phnom Banan Winery, Cambodia's only commercial winery. Here there is opportunity for wine tasting that includes a red wine that is a blend of cabernet and shiraz, a brandy and ginger juice.
Continue through lively local villages and farms to Wat Banan, to climb the stairs up to an 11th century temple on a hilltop, set amongst fragrant flowering trees, and offering sweeping vistas over the countryside.
There will be time to rest and freshen up before heading to dinner tonight at stylish Jaan Bai (meaning ‘rice bowl’ in Khmer), a social enterprise restaurant established by the Cambodian Children’s Trust to provide training and employment for disadvantaged youths, with all profits going to support the activities of the trust. (B)(D)
This morning make a stop at the nearby Ancient House located in Wat Kor Village, the oldest standing Khmer timber house in the area.
Continue through picturesque countryside and small sleepy villages en route to Wat Ek Phnom, to visit small cottage industries operated by artisanal producers in family homes. Sample popular snacks along the way from roadside vendors, including sticky rice and black beans in bamboo called ‘krolan’, and fish or pork paste and chilli, wrapped in banana leaf and grilled called ‘naam’.
Wat Ek Phnom is a dilapidated 11th century Angkor-era temple surrounded by shady banyan trees. Rarely visited by tourists, it’s been a popular picnic spot for Cambodians dating back to the 1880s. Also pay respects at the Buddhist temple, Wat Somrong Knong. On the adjoining land the Well of Shadows is a sobering monument containing some of the bones and skulls of the 10,000-odd people killed here that now serves as a memorial to the genocide by the Khmer Rouge.
From here return to Siem Reap, and after checking in there will be time to relax and have lunch before heading out to the nearby Sombai rice spirit tasting rooms this afternoon.
Established by a French expat couple, Sombai is a modern take on the traditional approach rice liquor. Here there will be opportunity to enjoy a tasting, complemented by a selection of snacks.
Next, head to Asana Bar, located in the last remaining traditional Khmer timber house in the heart of the old town, for a Khmer cocktail lesson. During this fun informal class learn more about Khmer herbs, spices and roots, the basic principles of making cocktails, and how to prepare and mix a cocktail. The Cambodian owner Pari will teach you her cocktail recipes plus you’ll also have a chance to create your own. (Note: it’s also possible to create non-alcoholic cocktails.)
Finally, enjoy a farewell dinner at the stunning riverside Chanrey Tree restaurant for some of the most refined Cambodian cuisine in Siem Reap. Here you will get to try outstanding renditions of Khmer dishes, many made to the owner’s mother’s recipes. (B)(D)
After breakfast, you will be at leisure until your check out and airport transfer. (B)
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