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Participants will need to bring 1 extra passport photo for a Cambodian visa. Remember, the visa will require additional blank visa pages in your passport. To verify you will have enough blank visa pages to travel to Cambodia, please review the Passports 101 Page. The $40 visa fee is included in program cost.
Visit Cambodia’s two main cities: Phnom Penh: the current capital & Siem Reap: the ancient capital.
Phnom Penh, was once considered the loveliest of the French-built cities of Indochina. The Khmer Rouge took over the city in April 1975 and the city entered a period of darkness. Learn more about this period by visiting the Toul Sleng Museum and Choeng Ek Killing Fields. During the Pol Pot regime, Toul Sleng, formerly a high school, was converted to a detention center known as “S21”. After interrogation and often torture, prisoners were transferred to ‘Killing Fields’ where they were often tortured again and brutally killed.
From there, the program switches gears and the group will enjoy a sunset boat trip up Tonle Sap River. Enjoy a picturesque view of the Royal Palace, National Museum, Park and Phnom Penh style. After dinner at a local restaurant, enjoy a Plae Pakaa show: a series of must-see performances including both Apsara and folk dances from Khmer and other Cambodia ethnic minority cultures.
Before heading to Siem Reap, visit the beautiful Royal Palace, Silver Pagoda and the Champey Academy of Arts (CAA). This is one of the local professional and non-profit schools in Phnom Penh working on Cambodian traditional performing arts training program. Established in January 2013, Champey’s mission is to inspire young people to preserve, protect and promote their nation’s culture.
In Siem Reap, the highlight is the famous temples of Angkor Wat. Angkor is an incomparable temple complex built between seven and 11 centuries ago at the height of the Khmer civilization. The ruins represent successive capitals constructed by a dozen Khmer kings, which included massive stone temples, majestic causeways and imposing towers. Visit the most famous temple complex, Angkor Wat which is considered to be one of the most inspired and spectacular monuments ever conceived by the human mind. The Bayon Temple (Angkor Thom) is an edifice of 54 towers, each carved with the four enigmatic faces of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara and bas-relief events. Ta Prohm temple, built in the 12th century, has been left largely in its natural state since its “re-discovery” by French explorers. Surrounded by jungle, its labyrinth of stone hallways is overgrown with the roots and limbs of massive banyan trees, which envelop the stone like tentacles and giant claws. The Angkor National museum reveals the royal historical path of this Golden Era of the Khmer Kingdom through state of the art multimedia technology demonstrations.
- Fly to Phnom Penh
- Visit Cheung Ek, a Memorial site for Cambodians and visitors from all over the world to pay their respects for the victims during the Khmer Rouge
- Lunch at local restaurant
- Visit the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum
- Sunset boat trip along Mekong River
- Dinner at local restaurant
- Plae Pakaa show
- Overnight hotel
- Breakfast at hotel and check out
- Visit The Royal Palace and The Silver Pagoda
- Visit Champey Academy of Arts (CAA)
- Fly to Siem Reap (Box lunch en route)
- Visit Angkor National museum
- Dinner on own, overnight hotel
- Breakfast at hotel
- Visit Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm temples
- Check out and lunch at hotel
- Visit Angkor Wat
- Dinner on own, fly back to Saigon, return to ship
- Day 1 = Lunch, Dinner included
- Day 2 = Breakfast, Lunch box (dinner on own)
- Day 3 = Breakfast, Lunch included (dinner on own)
- 2 x bottled of water/ day on bus included
- Clothing should cover shoulders and knees while visiting temples and pagodas
- Hat, sunscreen, bug spray is always recommended
- The two sites Toul sleng Museum & Cheung Ek killing Field, are grim reminders of the extermination policies carried out by the Khmer Rouge. If you choose to participate in these visits, be prepared for some gruesome and depressing sights
- Children must be age 12 or older to participate