Don’t waste a moment of precious holiday time. Lengthen your stay in Cambodia with an overnight flight from the UK to Bangkok.
Landing in Siem Reap after your connecting flight from Bangkok we’ll meet you and take you to the stylish Raffles hotel. Your Angkor adventure is about to begin! With an expert guide revealing the secrets of the mightiest Khmer temple you’ll find that Angkor Wat is the world's largest religious monument and one of the most inspirational. You can walk its shady cloisters among orange-robed monks, and watch the setting sun paint the temple's lofty spires gold as dusk finally falls.
You’ve plenty of time to explore the vast Angkor complex. Your guide will introduce the mysteries of jungle-clad Ta Prohm and the huge ancient city of Angkor Thom. Dozens of stone faces smile serenely in every direction at the enigmatic Bayon temple. More menacingly you can learn more about Cambodia’s recent history at the Landmine Museum. After a relax on a boat trip along the Tonle Sap, browse the bustling Old Market and learn about our A&K Philanthropy scheme with a visit to one of our clean water projects.
From Angkor you’ll fast-forward seven centuries as you head southwest to Battambang, an artistic haven blessed with early 20th-century French colonial architecture. There’s a noticeable creative fizz about the city, along with the heavenly aroma of Laotian cuisine. Roam the lively streets on a private guided tour, then sample typical Khmer delicacies and dishes prepared with some of Cambodia's finest fresh ingredients.
The city of Battambang was long part of Siam, but its heritage stretches back to the Angkor kingdom, as evidenced by the eerily decayed 11th-century temple of Wat Ek Phnom. Watch rice and coconut treats being prepared before you climb the 358 stone steps leading to the five towers of Phnom Banan. This spectacular 1,000-year-old Khmer temple is adorned by lavish carvings and is said to have been the original inspiration for Angkor Wat.
It’s time to head east to the capital of Phnom Penh. This vibrant city’s past is never far from the surface. Admire the gold-pointed roofs of the opulent Royal Palace and the treasures of the National Museum, home to the country's most important collection of ancient Cambodian artefacts.
You can absorb moving reminders of Cambodia's troubled recent history at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. The one-time school was turned into the hellish S-21 prison by the murderous Khmer Rouge regime. The killing fields of Choeung Ek are yet more notorious, where some 17,000 people met their ends. Take time to reflect and relax during an afternoon at the river cafes of today’s cosmopolitan city.
Undiscovered Cambodia beckons as you delve into the remote northeastern region of Ratanakiri, or Jewel Mountains. There’s plenty to see on the drive from the capital. Visit Skuon, known as Spiderville, where you can taste fried tarantula (a legacy of the Khmer Rouge famine days), and drop by Michelin's old rubber plantation at Kampong Cham. Settle into Terres Rouge Lodge, a boutique lakeside retreat with a cluster of chic bungalows set amid tropical gardens.
Nestled in the borderlands of Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos, Ratanakiri is home to Kroeung and Chinese minority villages with very different cultures and architecture. Meet some of the locals, and find out more about their heritage at the Ethnic Minority Museum. Explore the beautiful plateau around the main settlement, Ban Lung, as you hike into dense bamboo forests and cool off beneath magnificent waterfalls.
Watching is almost as much fun as haggling at the market in Ban Lung, a hive of activity early in the morning. Browse the stalls for souvenirs before turning south once more for the drive back to Phnom Penh.
In the morning, you’ll travel to the French-influenced coastal resort of Kep. It’s renowned for its sun-dappled beaches and mouth-watering crabs. Emptied by the Khmer Rouge, Kep is once again making a name for itself with its gorgeous jungle-fringed bays, secret coves and enticing offshore islands.
All aboard for Rabbit Island (more officially, Koh Tonsay), where time slows to a standstill. Find your favourite patch of beach, flop on a rustic bamboo platform and while the hours away gazing at the azure sea. You’ll have plenty of time to nibble at flapping-fresh seafood and stroll the French colonial houses that line the quiet streets of atmospheric Kampot.
If a beach resort is fit for a king, why not name it after one? Hence Sihanoukville, whose moniker honours the former ruler King Sihanouk. Created in the 1950s, this winsome town has emerged as Cambodia's top beach destination. There’s a heavenly choice of palm-shaded bays and tropical islands where the slow pace of life will effortlessly seduce you.
The time has come to tear yourself away from the beach for your return flight from Phnom Penh to the UK via Bangkok.