Holidays and Escorted Tours to Cambodia

Bayon_Temple_Siem_Reap

Bayon Temple Siem Reap

We offer high quality holidays and escorted tours to Cambodia. Most visitors to Cambodia fly into Siem Reap, visit the Temples of Angkor, and then leave the country. This is a real shame as the rest of the country is filled with fantastic natural beauty and historic sites. At Asian Horizons we believe it is very important to show you the unknown treasures of the real Cambodia. Of course we will take you to see the highlights, as no visitor should miss Angkor Wat, but we are also pleased to show you lesser known sites – something which is often promised but not always delivered.

Any itinerary should include Angkor Wat, the magnificent legendary temple. Bayon is another favourite with its mysterious faces smiling down on visitors, while the jungle covered Ta Phrom is an evocative blend of nature and architecture. Other temples in the vicinity worth seeing are Phnom Bakeng, Pre Rup, Baphoun, and Preah Khan. If you have more time, trips further afield lead to less crowded temples and spectacular photo opportunities. Just 12 km from Siem Reap are the Rolous Group of temples, some of the earliest ruins in the region. The petite Banteay Srey features intricate carvings in pink sandstone and nearby Banteay Kdei is a hidden gem tucked away in the jungle. Beng Melea sprawls across one square kilometre and remains covered in trees, roots, and vines. Constructed in a similar style to Angkor Wat yet overrun by nature, Beng Melea is a truly adventurous place to visit. Koh Ker, situated to the northeast of Siem Reap, is the remnants of the Khmer capital in the late 9th century and features a circular loop of about a dozen ruins.

Cambodia’s Royal Palace stands majestically in the city centre just off the riverfront area. Several buildings are open to visitors including the ‘Silver Pagoda’ whose floor is lined with solid silver tiles. Nearby, the National Museum is a fabulous old building filled with art and artefacts dating back to the pre-Angkorian era. For a look in to the country’s tragic recent history, a tour of Tuol Sleng Prison (S-21) and the Killing Fields is a sobering reminder of the evils of the Khmer Rouge regime. Although not a joyful tour, visiting these monuments unlocks keys to understanding the emergence of this still developing country.

An hour or two spent touring the city in a cyclo-rickshaw is one of our favourite tours. These three wheeled rickshaws allow you to sit in comfort with the wind blowing in your face as your driver pedals you through the streets. Along the way, stop at Wat Phnom, travel past the art-deco Central Market, and cruise the riverfront for a glimpse of the colonial buildings and local lifestyle of the people.

Heading south of Phnom Penh, you reach the towns of Sihanoukville, Kep and Kampot. Each of these towns has a different allure – Sihanoukville is a coastal town with nice beaches and great day trips available. Nearby is Ream National Park where mangrove forests, a diverse selection of wildlife, and tranquil nature await. Kampot is a riverside town with colonial buildings and nearby caves and waterfalls. Still undiscovered, Kep is a favourite destination. A quiet beach, lush hills, and delicious seafood make Kep a great place to ‘get away from it all’ especially if you take a trip out to nearby Rabbit Island.