In Cambodia, swathes of jungle hide entire temple cities, paradise islands pepper idyllic coastlines and whole villages jut out onto giant lakes. Uncover its mysteries on this in-depth private tour, starting with the wonders of Angkor Wat where you’ll ride an elephant through its ancient temples before cruising through the floating villages of Tonlé Sap. You’ll then arrive at its capital, Phnom Penh, for golden royal palaces and silver pagodas before disappearing into the wildlife-rich Koh Kong rainforest to stay in a luxury tented suite floating on the River Tatai. End with a stay on the country's idyllic south coast where you'll enjoy the perfect mix of palm-fringed relaxation and national-park adventure, all framed by sweeping views across the sparkling Gulf of Thailand.
Following a chauffeur transfer to the airport, relax in the premium lounge before your overnight flight.
After a private arrival transfer, check into your marbled accommodation before heading out to explore a true world wonder – the mist-shrouded Temples of Angkor. You’ll start with its eponymous centrepiece, uncovering its maze of corridors, chambers and terraces all adorned with ancient carvings. Your guided touring continues the next morning as you set off before dawn to watch the sunrise over Angkor Wat, enjoying breakfast with a view. You’ll then uncover the secrets of its surrounding complex; there are Bayon’s giant faces, an included elephant ride at Angkor Thom and the jungle-clad Preah Khan where whole trees grow over crumbling balustrades.
A private transfer brings you to Chung Khneas village to board your riverboat on the shores of Tonlé Sap whose 5,000 square miles of waterways and expansive shimmer dominates Cambodia’s interior. You’ll then cruise along a network of canals, past floating villages complete with schools, restaurants and hospitals, to pause at the equally afloat Gecko Environment Centre where you’ll learn about the lake’s ecological importance to local communities. Then, continue through a section of mangroves onto Tonlé Sap itself to join in the throng of local fishermen. It’s an exclusive glimpse into a unique way of life.
Travelling along an Angkorian pilgrim route and passing 1,000-year-old stone bridges carved with naga serpents, you’ll arrive at Sambor Prei Kuk – the pre-Angkorian capital of the Chenla civilization. Dating back to the 7th century, it’s one of the oldest temple cities in Southeast Asia. An off-the-beaten-track gem, it’s largely untouched by tourism – some 100 temples hide among verdant canopies cloaked by strangling vines. Travel on to your jungle-clad accommodation in Kampong Thom to sample Cambodian village life with a visit to a local market and Buddhist temple.
Stay: Sambor Village Hotel
Breakfast & Lunch included
Continue through Cambodia’s rural heartland, pausing at a remote village for an included lunch; watch as artisans carve Buddhas from rough stone and sautéed spiders are hawked at busy marketplaces. You’ll then arrive at Phnom Penh and its most prestigious address – Raffles Hotel Le Royal. A colonial gem, it’s your Art Deco base for your private tour of the Cambodian capital. There’s the glorious Silver Pagoda, the golden, sweeping curves of the Royal Palace and the National Museum’s Khmer and pre-Angkorian artefacts. Contrast their magnificence with the atrocities of the Pol Pot era, memorialised in the Choeung Ek Killing Fields and the chilling Tuol Seng Genocide Museum, a high school turned prison where 20,000 were executed.
Head west to plunge into the virgin jungles of Koh Kong, arriving at your unique eco-accommodation – the world’s first floating tented camp. Here, you’ll explore the rainforest through a range of activities. Enjoy a sunset cruise, kayak through mangrove waterways to reach waterfalls hidden in the jungle or hike to the Cardamom Mountains – the picture-perfect view from your tent’s private balcony. It’s all animated by a surprising array of wildlife, from gibbons and Siamese crocodiles to the rare Indochinese tigers and Asian elephants. For some relaxation, book onto a hydro-massage or simply cast a fishing line from your sun lounger.
A private transfer will bring you east along the coast to your luxury boutique hotel in the enchanting town of Kep. Popular with the French elite in the early 20th century, it's a place of picture-book sunsets and delicious seafood, while the pagoda-studded hills and butterfly-filled forests of the nearby Kep National Park are perfect for hiking and biking. Explore it all between sun-soaked dips in the hotel pool as everything from optional sailing trips to cooking classes and private dining experiences bring down the curtain on your Cambodian adventure. There's also the chance to upgrade your stay here to a private-island retreat on the Koh Rong archipelago. The stunning Six Senses Krabey Island offers private-pool relaxation, pristine golden sands and a host of superb dining options. Call our specialists for information and prices.
Stay: Knai Bang Chatt
Spoil yourself: Upgrade to Six Senses Krabey Island
Hopping to relaxed, beachside Sihanoukville, you’ll transfer back to Phnom Penh and your overnight flight home. Arrive to a private chauffeur transfer back to your door.
"By just visiting Cambodia and not its neighbours, you'll be able to get off the beaten track and reflect on the country's beauty. The temples of Angkor are a must-see in anyone’s book, but you'll also see Cambodia’s Pol Pot past, etched in history and unavoidable. It'll help you understand the country more and marvel at its resilience. To finish, kick back in style with a beachside stay at Knai Bang Chatt – a luxury boutique hotel overlooking the Gulf of Thailand."
Low Season from: £3,190 pp
High Season from: £3,940 pp