To the Temples and Beyond

Cambodia – To the Temples and Beyond Tour – a 14 day Small Group Tour.

To explore Cambodia is to experience a kaleidoscope of sensory stimuli in cities, towns, villages and homes.

From landscapes, architecture, performance and visual art, to culinary voyages of discovery, there’s a lot to take in but somehow tranquillity prevails. Cambodia’s rich history of sophisticated Khmer civilisation is a useful reminder to those too close to Europe’s past glories.

However, there’s no escape from the more modern reminders of the country’s genocidal Khmer Rouge regime, and nor should there be. How Cambodia is dealing with its past is a constant running through every visit.

Still a lesser-visited part of South East Asia, Cambodia today maintains an authenticity elsewhere eroded by commercialism, a place that allows thoughtful travellers appreciate its uniqueness without overpackaging its essence. Go now.

On this 14-day tour discover what Cambodia has to offer beyond its spectacular temples. We start the journey in Siem Reap with a visit to the magnificent Angkor Wat and its overwhelming collection of temples. Scattered throughout a huge area of forest, they comprise one of the world’s greatest man-made wonders.

Travel to Battambang and explore the rural side of Cambodia before taking an exciting journey through the Cardamom mountains, where we spend two nights in the Cambodian jungle.

Explore local villages and relax in the coastal province of Kep before ending the tour in Phnom Penh, where we learn about the country’s dark history, as well as experiencing the lighter side of the city; it’s bustling nightlife.

Tour ratings.

  • Fitness
  • Off the beaten track 
  • Culture
  • History
  • Wildlife

Tour Pace


Tour style


Relaxed Pace

Relaxed tours are easy paced with plenty of leisure time built in. The tour will in all probability still be off the beaten track, with the occasional early start and there may still be occasional long drives. In general on a relaxed pace tour you can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings.

Moderate Pace

Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a tour experience that combines activities and experiences with some time to relax. Typically you will be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries. In general on a moderate paced tour there may be some long journeys involved but the tour is not an expedition or a road trip. On a moderate paced tour it will be necessary to have some early starts.

Busy Pace

A busy paced tour means that you can expect to be doing, seeing or experiencing something new almost every day, and moving on from place to place to pack in as much as possible. There may be early starts, long journeys and tiring days along the way, but you’ll return home feeling you’ve really experienced as much as you possibly could.

Pioneer Class Tours

On our Pioneer tours, you will be amongst an elite group of intrepid travellers and some of the first to explore a country that few have been privileged enough to discover. Of course, exploring such areas of the world will come with its challenges; it may mean several nights camping, long journeys by 4WD and the need to maintain a degree of flexibility for when carefully laid plans change. These are challenging tours in countries and areas that may have poor infrastructure, high levels of poverty and illiteracy. This can translate in to low standards in hotels, bad roads and poor driving standards among other issues. We try and smooth out as much of these issues as we can but you should be prepared to experience the bad with the good.

Traveller Class Tours

Our Traveller itineraries are at the core of our programme. These journeys are designed for travellers who still want to discover a land away from the tourist crowds but expect minimum standards. Accommodation will be primarily hotel based, although you could still find yourself camping, or the guest of a local family. Depending on the destination and itinerary, you’ll likely be travelling in a private vehicle, with occasional use of public transport. This is adventure travel with some of the rough edges smoothed out.


Welcome to Cambodia! Upon arrival in Siem Reap you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Depending on your time of arrival, there may be time to explore the city. Overnight at Kafu Resort or similar. No meals are included today.

After breakfast the day starts by visiting a Buddhist pagoda to witness a water blessing ceremony. The ceremony promises to deter malign spirits and bring good fortune in coming years. Sadok, a traditional gift of sugar, milk, tea and other items, is a made to the presiding monk. Thoroughly cleansed, we visit the spectacular jungle temple of Ta Phrom and the main temples of Angkor Wat. In the afternoon we explore Angkor by bicycle, riding past the King’s Siem Reap residence, through the Royal Gardens, and along the Siem Reap River past private homes and small riverside markets. Crossing the river, we wind our way down red clay roads and small dirt trails, through a series of villages, and small farms, passing school children on their way home. We pedal our way towards the west edge of the Angkor Park. After a brief stop, we bypass the frequent crush of visitors exiting the park and instead follow single track lanes, past brilliant green rice paddies and family small holdings where life appears to have endured unchanged for generations. As the temples close to visitors, we follow park trails to view the historic site in twilight and then at sunset. Finally, we park our bicycles and take a peaceful Dragon Boat ride on the moat of Angkor Thom, with local delicacies and champagne served on-board, later returning to the hotel by car. Overnight at Kafu Resort or similar. (BL)

Please note: When visiting temples or other religious sites in Cambodia, visitors are advised to follow a dress code consisting of long trousers or skirt which covers the knees as well as covered shoulders. Skirts, short shorts, tank tops and revealing clothing are deemed culturally insensitive and not allowed.

Please note: The cycle ride is flat and covers approximately 20km in total. If you do not wish to cycle, a remok (tuk tuk) can be arranged. However, this may make following smaller trails more difficult. Please advise us at the time of booking.  

After breakfast we leave Siem Reap, heading through the countryside to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Phnom Kulen. Here we visit Preah Ang Thom, which houses a large Buddha statue, as well as the Terrace of Sdach Kum Ling, a ruined brick-built temple covered by lava for hundreds of years. The site includes two waterfalls, and it’s possible to take a refreshing swim before enjoying a local Khmer lunch. After lunch we take a scenic drive to Banteay Srei, loosely translated as ‘Citadel of Women’, which houses some of the finest and best-preserved examples of classical Khmer bas-relief. Later, we continue to the Cambodia Land Mine Museum. Part museum, but also part orphanage, school and clinic for mine victims. The work is overseen by Aki Ra, who as a child was forced by the Khmer Rouge to lay thousands of mines has devoted his life to clearing them. He has so far removed over 50,000. We end today back in Angkor, with sunset at Pre Rup Temple. Later, there’s a chance to see a Cambodian circus. You will be picked up from your hotel at 7:30 pm by remok (tuk tuk) and taken to the Phare circus tent, located just outside of town. The show starts at 8:00 PM and lasts about an hour. Overnight at Kafu Resort or similar. (BL)

(Approximate journey time: seven-hours)

After breakfast we take to the water at Siem Reap’s pier, boarding the boat to Battambang. The route traverses Cambodia’s largest lake, Tonlé Sap, and allows time to take in the life of lakeside villages. There is a lunch stop, but you may want to take snacks and water. On arrival in Battambang check-in to hotel accommodation. The rest of the day is free to relax. Overnight at Royal Hotel or similar. (B)

Today we drive through the countryside to Ek Phnom, an ancient temple 15km north of the town, seldom visited by tourists. Along the way we pass many small villages and will perhaps have the chance to observe traditional culinary craft skills such as making kralan (bamboo sticky rice), fish paste, rice paper and banana paper. Afterwards we return to town and visit the campus of Phare Ponleu Selpak non-profit arts school. We stroll through the campus and see circus students learning new tricks, music students practicing beneath shady trees, and watch films produced by trainee animators. Later, after lunch at a local restaurant, the mood changes as we visit Phnom Sampeou’s notorious ‘Killing Caves’. Victims of the Khmer Rouge regime were executed here, their bodies thrown in the chasm. A glass memorial records these events, while the bones of just some of those murdered have been collected to stand as a reminder of the crime. The hill’s summit offers commanding views over the Cambodian countryside and if you choose to stay until sunset, countless bats emerge from the caves to feed on the evening air. It’s possible to watch the spectacle from a comfortable chair while enjoying a cold drink courtesy of some enterprising local entrepreneurs. After sunset, we’ll head back to the hotel. Overnight at Royal Hotel or similar. (BL)

(Approximate driving time: four-hours)

Today we drive to the rural community of Osoam in Pursat province. Upon arrival we meet a community host and walk (or take a mototaxi) to visit the ethnic minority villages of Por and Chong. Here, as well as learning about the lifestyles of villagers, there’s a possibility to see rare mountain crocodiles. Overnight at the local homestay (shared facilities). (BD) 

Please note: This trip doesn’t have conventional lunch and dinner times. Food options are limited, so it is advisable to take some snacks. Those with binoculars should bring them.

(Approximate driving time: five-and-a-half-hours)

After breakfast, say goodbye to the community and drive to Koh Kong province. There’s time to relax at the lodge’s lounge in Trapeang Rung before embarking on the one-hour journey over the Preak Tachan River. On arrival, check-in at the camp’s comfortable safari-style tented accommodation. In the afternoon there’s a guided hike through the wildlife-rich jungle surrounding the camp. Overnight Cardamom Tented Camp. (BD)

After early breakfast, join Wildlife Alliance Rangers as they embark on a patrol through the dense forest following a network of abandoned poaching and logging trails. Look out for wildlife along the way. The half-day hike stops at the Ranger Station where confiscated snares, traps and improvised hunting rifles are displayed. After a local Khmer lunch and a refreshing swim in the river, kayak along Prek Tachan back towards camp. Dinner and overnight at Cardamom Tented Camp. (BLD)

Please note: For those not confident in paddling their own kayak a motorboat option available.

(Approximate driving time: four-hours)

This morning early risers are invited to take a self-guided hike on the trails surrounding the camp. At around 10:00am we head back to Trapeang Rung and continue on to Kep. Upon arrival, transfer to hotel accommodation where the rest of the day is free to relax. Overnight at Raingsey Bungalow or similar. (B)

Today we explore Kampot by bicycle. The journey takes you through rice paddies, durian and rambutan orchards, all against the backdrop of the mysterious Elephant Mountains. There’s time to stop at villages and meet and speak with local people. Your guide will help translate and if you’ve learnt a few words in Khmer people will always be delighted to hear you try them out! Our destination is a stretch of rapids on the Kampot River. Here we stop and enjoy a picnic lunch.  After a swim in the cool waters we’re picked up and taken back to the hotel. Overnight at Raingsey Bungalow or similar. (BL)

Please note: If you’d prefer not to cycle, the route can be done by car. A small supplement will apply. Please let us know at the time of booking.

Today is at leisure to relax or explore independently. Overnight at Raingsey Bungalow or similar. (B)

(Approximate driving time: four-hours)

Today we travel to Phnom Penh, on arrival checking-in to hotel accommodation and relaxing for the rest of the afternoon. In the evening there’s a guided opportunity to experience local street food in the busy riverside area. The guide will explain more about the culture and history of street food, and explain how it’s prepared. Taste different specialties such as kralan (bamboo sticky rice), turmeric cake and other local snacks. There’s a short stop at a market to where fresh fish, snails, frogs, crabs, pork, chicken, duck are all for sale. Later, call in at Koh Pich, a favourite spot where young people meet up. Here things get interesting… Try fermented fish paste or even deep-fried tarantulas, crickets, bugs or snakes. Choose to return to your hotel or continue the culinary adventure late into the night on your own. Overnight at Anise Villa Boutique Hotel or similar. (B)

After breakfast, presuming you’re still hungry, we embark on a guided city tour. First stop is the 14th century stupa and small pagoda of Wat Phnom. This is the tallest religious structure in the city and the oldest building in Phnom Penh. We continue to the Royal Palace, built in 1866 under King Norodom. Adjacent to the palace is the Silver Pagoda, named after its floor of 5,000 silver tiles. We call in at the National Museum, notable for its collection of Angkorian artefacts. Lunch is taken at Friends Restaurant which provides underprivileged street children an opportunity to gain first-hand experience in the hospitality business. All profits are reinvested into the restaurant’s training programme. In the afternoon we explore bleaker aspects of Cambodia’s past, visiting Choeng Ek and its infamous Killing Fields, and the brutal Tuol Sleng prison where thousands perished in the country’s darkest days. Overnight at Anise Villa Boutique Hotel or similar. (B)

Please note: When visiting the Royal Palace, long trousers, over-knee skirts and covered shoulders are required. Those wearing short skirts, small shorts, tank tops and other items of revealing clothing will be denied entry. 

Transfer to the airport for your departure flight. (B)

Dates & Price.

Tour Notes

This group tour operates subject to a minimum group size of 3 travellers.

Single Supplement from £325 to £355.

Return flights from London to Siem Reap and returning from Phnom Penh start from £600. Contact us for a quotation.

Extra night accommodation pre-tour in Siem Reap costs from £40 per room, per night for sgl/dbl/twn.

Extra night accommodation post-tour in Phnom Penh costs from £50 per room, per night for sgl/dbl, and £55 per room, per night for twn.

Please note that the prices quoted above are for the category of accommodation and hotel used for this particular tour. Depending on the hotel eventually confirmed there may be some difference in the rate advertised by the hotel, and the prices available through Undiscovered Destinations. It should be noted we will not apply a surcharge should more expensive accommodation be used. At the same time in the event that a lower rate is available for the confirmed hotel we are unable to offer a refund.

Please note that this tour runs back to back with our comprehensive tour of Laos.  

Mapped itinerary.

Want to see details of your itinerary on a map?

Download PDF.

Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.

Cambodia - To the Temples and Beyond Tour Map

For expert advice get in touch now with our passionate,
well-travelled team.

+44(0) 191 296 2674 from THE UK
1-800-614-2967 from THE US & CANADA
1-300-956-415 from AUSTRALIA

Tour inclusions.

  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • All accommodation
  • Services of English speaking guide / tour leader (please note local ‘station guides’ will be used for each location when the group size is less than 3 travellers. The same guide/tour leader will be used throughout when the group is 3 or more travellers)
  • Meals as listed (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
  • Transport, including travel by minivan and river
  • Entrance fees for sites listed as part of the itinerary

Tour exclusions.

  • International flights
  • Any airport taxes
  • Travel Insurance
  • Tips
  • Visas
  • Drinks
  • Items of a personal nature

I loved Cambodia! Thank you to all involed in making this such a special trip. The group were all great and we are all keeping in touch.


Linda Heart, UK