A three day exploration to the northern roads of Cambodia along the Mekong river to Kratie – home of the rare freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins. This tour is also a great way to learn about Cambodian rural life as we visit an impressive spider market, and stroll through lush green rice fields in Kampong Thom. We also explore the impressive pre-Angkorian capital of Isanapura, known today as Sambor Prei Kuk. The first major temple city in southeast Asia, the brick temples of Sambor Prei Kuk offer a peaceful contrast to their more illustrious (and crowded) cousins at Angkor.
• Kratie, a small town that lives to the rhythms of the Mekong• Kompong Cham and the 'fusion' temple of Wat Nokor• Kompong Thom and Sambor Prei Kuk, a most impressive group of pre-Angkorian monuments
• Encountering the rare freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins• Relive the glories of the impressive pre-Angkorian capital of Isanapura• A variety through multiple smaller destinations that are well worth a detour
[Day 1] Phnom Penh – KratieMeals: N/A | Accommodation: hotel
We leave Phnom Penh and travel northeast to the bustling provincial city of Kompong Cham by national roads 6 and 7. En route, we'll make a quick stop at Skuon, affectionately known as 'Spiderville', where it is possible to sample the local delicacy of deep fried tarantula. Well worth a photo, if not a taste test...
We then continue northeast to Kratie, a sleepy Mekong port and gateway to an encounter with the rare freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins that inhabit the upper reaches of the Cambodian Mekong. We'll check into our hotel before journeying in the afternoon to Kampi, one of the many deep pools where the rare river dolphins gather to feed. We board a local boat and cruise out into the mighty Mekong for a chance encounter with these gentle creatures. Viewing is commonplace, although it is easier to see the dolphins in the shallower waters of the dry season than in the swollen depths of the wet season. .
Accommodation at hotel
[Day 2] Kratie – Kompong Cham – Kompong ThomMeals: N/A | Accommodation: hotel
We travel south to the bustling provincial city of Kompong Cham, nestled on the banks for the Mekong. We pass through Cambodia's rubber country on the way, vast plantations that were originally established by the French and that are once again being redeveloped. We often take the opportunity to stop along the way and learn about how the rubber is grown and how the precious sap is tapped from the trees.
In Kompong Cham we'll also see the 'fusion' temple of Wat Nokor, an 11th century sandstone temple with a colorful modern wat within its central courtyard. This temple offers uniquely intricate carvings and its colorful combination of the Hindu past and the Buddhist present is almost unheard of elsewhere in Cambodia.
We continue on to the sacred hills of Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei (Man and Woman hills), which offer great views across the countryside. Later we journey west to the provincial capital of Kompong Thom, our base for the night where we'll overnight in a comfortable local hotel.
[Day 3] Kompong Thom – Siem ReapMeals: N/A | Accommodation: N/A
We explore the impressive pre-Angkorian capital of Isanapura, known today as Sambor Prei Kuk. The first major temple city in southeast Asia, the brick temples of Sambor Prei Kuk are a peaceful contrast to their more illustrious (and crowded) relatives at Angkor. Visiting these ancient structures before our pilgrimage to Angkor offers a fascinating chronological insight into the development of temple architecture during the Khmer Empire. We explore the main temples here including Prasat Tao with its elaborately coiffured lions and Prasat Sambor with its crumbling sacred sanctuaries.
We continue northwest on National Highway 6 with a stop in Kompong Kdei to see one of the ancient Angkor bridges that were built to span the region's many rivers. The Spean Praptos bridge has more than 20 arches and is a spectacular sight, reinforcing the impression of the Khmers as the Romans of Southeast Asia. We continue on to Siem Reap and arrive in late afternoon.
Note: A trip in the opposite direction that starts from Siem Reap and ends in Phnom Penh is also available.
PRICE PER PERSON
• Accommodation• Boat trip as specified• Drinking water during sightseeing• Travel in an appropriate air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced driver• The services of an experienced English-speaking guide• All entrance fees
• Meals• International flight tickets and airport tax, currently $25 per person• Cambodia entrance visa, currently $20 per person• Beverages, gratuities and personal expenses.• Camera fees (if any)• Personal expenses.• Surcharge in peak season (Christmas & New Year)• Insurance
Mid-range• Kratie: Oudom Sambath hotel (Standard room)• Kompong Thom: Sambor Village hotel (Deluxe room)
Accueil - Connectez-vous - Plan du site
Copyrights ® 2010 by HANDSPAN. Designed by GlobalLink Software Solutions