Wildlife & Temples from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap

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Another trip designed for those who prefer avoid taking flights and make the most of an overland journey between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.

Up North in Cambodia, the Mekong is home to the unique Irrawaddy Dolphin, one rare creature which is possible to be seen throughout the whole year.

The inverse trip is of course also possible.


  • An encounter with the most authentic Cambodia throughout our road trip.
  • Kratie and its sunsets, considered one of the most picturesque ones in Cambodia.
  • Boat trip to Kampi, home to the Irrawady dolphins that live in certain parts of the Mekong. 
  • Isanapura, the first significant temple-city built in Southeast Asia and home of the most impressive pre-Angkorian temples in Cambodia.
Phnom Penh – Kratie

Day 1 Phnom Penh – Kratie

Meals: not included | Accommodation: Garden View Room, Le Relais de Chhlong (or similar), Kratie

We will leave Phnom Penh and travel northeast to the bustling provincial city of Kompong Cham. En route, we can have a break at Skuon, affectionately known as 'Spiderville', where if you wish, it is possible to sample the local delicacy of deep fried tarantula. We then continue northeast till Chhlong, a little riverside town that serves as a regional centre for the surrounding villages.

Afterwards, we will arrive in Kratie, a sleepy Mekong port and gateway to an encounter with the rare freshwater Irrawaddy dolphins that inhabit the upper reaches of the Mekong in Cambodia. We will check in in our hotel.

In the afternoon, we will travel to Kampi, one of the many deep pools where the rare river dolphins gather. We will board a local boat and cruise out into the mighty Mekong for a chance to responsibly encounter these gentle creatures. Seeing them is commonplace, although it is easier with the shallower waters of the dry season, than in the swollen river of the wet season.

Kratie – Kompong Cham – Kompong Thom

Day 2 Kratie – Kompong Cham – Kompong Thom

Meals: breakfast | Accommodation: Deluxe room, Sambor Village (or similar), Kompong Thom

We will head south to the bustling provincial city of Kompong Cham, nestled on the banks for the Mekong, passing through vast plantations of rubber that were originally established by the French and are once again being redeveloped. There may be the opportunity to stop along the way and learn about how the rubber is tapped. 

In Kompong Cham, we will see how the 11th century sandstone temple of Wat Nokor is blended with a colourful modern wat set in its central courtyard. There are some intricate carvings at this temple and the kitsch contrast between the Hindu past and the Buddhist present is almost unheard of elsewhere in Cambodia.

We will continue to the sacred hills of Phnom Pros and Phnom Srei (man and woman hills), offering great views across the countryside. Later we will journey west to the provincial capital of Kompong Thom, our base for the night.

Kampong Thom – Siem Reap

Day 3 Kampong Thom – Siem Reap

Meals: breakfast | Accommodation: not included

Today we will explore the impressive pre-Angkorian capital of Isanapura, known today as Sambor Prei Kuk. The first major temple city in South-East Asia, the brick temples of Sambor Prei Kuk are a peaceful contrast to their more illustrious relatives at Angkor. Visiting these ancient structures before our pilgrimage to Angkor will provide us with a fascinating chronological insight into the development of temple architecture during the Khmer Empire. We will explore the main temples here, including Prasat Tao with its elaborately coiffured lions and Prasat Sambor, with its crumbling sanctuaries.

We will continue northwest on National Highway 6, an old Angkor road, and stop in Kompong Kdei to see one of the ancient Angkor bridges that were built to span the river. Spean Praptos or the Praptos Bridge has more than 20 arches and is a spectacular sight, reinforcing the impression that the Khmers were the Romans of Southeast Asia. We will arrive in Siemp Reap in the afternoon.

Price per person based on a group tour

Group Size Price per Person
2 pax 494 USD
3 - 5 pax 422 USD
6 - 8 pax 282 USD


* Prices valid till 1st October 2019 for the ready-to-book adventure outlined on this detailed program which has been handcrafted by our production team and that includes the best of every destination (highlights and some lesser known assets as well!). Our travel consultants will also be glad to customize this journey to suit your specific interests and travel-style. 

* Would you like to adapt the itinerary, accommodation or any activity as per your needs and preferences? Then just forward us your comments at info@handspan.com.

* Special prices forlarger groups and for children, and the possibility to connect the tour with other stages of your trip around Indochina by contacting us. 

* A private trip for a solo traveller is also available with a surcharge.


  • Accommodation in shared double room as mentioned on the program (upgrades possible with a supplement)
  • Transportation with experienced driver as stated.
  • Meals as specified. 
  • All entrance fees, visits and activities mentioned on the program.
  • The services of experienced local English-speaking guides.
  • VAT and other taxes.

Not included

  • Flights and visas.
  • Personal travel Insurance.
  • Child or adult in triple sharing room
  • Beverages, gratuities and personal expenses.
  • Supplements on peak season.

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