The Khmer ruins at Angkor include some of Asia’s most recognized and iconic. The visible central portion of the temple complex extends across an area the size of Manhattan and the largest religious monument on the planet. Recent satellite images reveal that the actual size of the one-time capital of the Khmer Empire to be comparable to present-day Los Angeles, making it the largest city in the world dating from the pre-industrial era. The temples represent one of humankind's most astonishing and enduring artistic and architectural achievements.
A Closer Look
Cambodia Luxury Tours
The great thing about planning custom trips to Cambodia at present are the amazing new areas that are opening up to travelers with luxury accommodations, such as French colonial mansions recently restored deep in the countryside. Many of Cambodia’s luxury resorts have become a staple among return visitors. A Cambodia vacation should try to include Battambang, Banteay Chhmar and Sambor Prei Kuk—obscure places that are home to spectacular Khmer Empire ruins, yet rarely seen by visitors.
If you make a point to plan a custom trip to Cambodia, you could explore the ruins of Sambor Prei Kuk by local bicycle and have lunch amidst the ruins; cruise by boat from Phnom Penh to the Mekong Delta; and travel overland from Cambodia to Thailand via the Cardamom Mountains, staying overnight in a luxury floating tented camp. On our classic group tour of Indochina you will visit all of Cambodia’s iconic sites such as Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and the graceful Citadel of Women, then explore lovely Tonle Sap (Great Lake), where traditional ways of life still flourish amidst the stilted homes and floating water gardens.
CONNECT WITH CAMBODIANS
Furthermore, some travelers like to include an activity, interlude or interaction whereby they can give back to the communities they visit on their luxury Cambodia tour. If you plan a custom trip to Cambodia, you may find that volunteering is a way to deepen your connection to the people and culture of the area. If this appeals to you, it is possible to visit projects of the Cambodia/Dutch Organization, our longtime affiliate, to experience firsthand the efforts of an NGO in a developing country. Visit schools and field hospitals with the CDO staff to gain unique insight into the Cambodian culture and countryside.
The best beaches in Cambodia are coming into their own as some of Asia’s most sought-after destinations. There are many Cambodia luxury resorts located at some of the region’s most beautiful beaches. Kep is returning to its former glory, complete with abundant national park areas and rocky, black-sand beaches. The nearby Rabbit Island offers beautiful white sand beaches and the shallow sea is ideal for swimming and snorkeling. Kompong Som has exorcised the ghosts of Khmer Rouge destruction to reclaim its place as Cambodia’s premier beach destination. Numerous newly opened and renovated resorts are making “Snookyville” the next great Asian beach utopia. And Kampot is a great little beach for those who want to get away from it all. Cambodia’s luxury resorts are springing up all over theodia’s islands, so be sure to ask an ATJ Travel Expert about the latest haven.
Cambodia is a land of incredible beauty, rich customs, vibrant festivals, and warm, welcoming people. Until recently, many off-the-beaten-path areas were unsafe due to landmines strewn throughout the countryside. However, some areas have been cleared of any danger, and newly renovated villas are beginning to dot the countryside. Be sure to include these new hidden gems in your itinerary when planning custom trips to Cambodia. Finally, trekking has come to Cambodia.
TREKS & 4WD
While luxury trips to Cambodia are often about relaxing by the beach, many find thrills in exploring the mountain ranges. Take a multi-day trek through extremely remote Ratanakiri province, or Chuor Phnom Kravanh (the Cardamom Mountains). In particular the area around Ban Lung is noted for overnight trekking.
BON OM TUK
Bon Om Tuk, the Water Festival at Tonle Sap (October or November, depending on lunar cycle) is the country's greatest celebration. This major Cambodia festival marks the changing of the flow of the Tonle Sap and is also seen as thanksgiving to the Mekong River. Boat races in traditional long canoes recall the strength of the powerful Khmer marine forces during the height of its empire. Hundreds of brightly colored boats with over 50 paddlers battle it out for top honors.
BONN CHROTT PREAH NONGKOAL
If you are in Phnom Penh in mid-May be sure to take in Bonn Chrott Preah Nongkoal (the Royal Ploughing Ceremony). We encourage you to consider planning your custom trip to Cambodia around this cultural event. This celebration alerts the nation to the commencement of the rainy season and ploughing period. Cows are given a variety of crops to eat. Based on the choices they make while eating, predictions are made for the coming year's harvest.