- Highlights of Cambodia
Bursting with UNESCO World Heritage recognised temples, off the beaten track beaches and a fascinating heritage, Cambodia has reinvented itself as an enticing destination for the discerning traveller.
Depart London on your scheduled overnight flight to Phnom Penh in Cambodia.
You will be met by your guide on arrival and transferred to your hotel with some time to relax before joining the group again for dinner.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Following breakfast, the day begins with a visit to the Royal Palace. Built by King Norodom in 1866, it is a spectacular sight to behold boasting ornately gilded Khmer roofs, a beguiling throne hall, a solid gold encrusted Buddha and the Silver Pagoda made up of 5,000 silver tiles. This afternoon includes a guided tour of Toul Sleng Prison Museum and the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, both grim reminders of Cambodia's bloody past that took 1.7 million victims under Pol Pot's gruesome regime. These excursions may prove distressing for some but are important pieces of Cambodia's historical and cultural puzzle. Round off the day with sunset views over the tree-lined avenues from Wat Phnom Temple then return to your hotel for your evening meal.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Depart the capital in the morning for the beachside town of Kep, with some fascinating stops along the way. First visit Phnom Chhnork, a remarkable 7th-century shrine dedicated to Shiva found within a low cave formation that is reached by a 203-step staircase that leads up the hillside and down into the cavern below. Once in the cave, you'll be greeted by a stalactite elephant at the entrance before reaching the shrine itself which still bears the carvings found in unusually good condition thanks to the protection of the cave overhead. Later continue to Kampot Pepper Farm to learn about the renowned Kampot pepper that grows exceptionally well here owing to the excellent seaside climate and quality of the soil. The arrival of Chinese pepper planters dates back to the 13th century, however, it wasn't until the end of the 19th century that production really expanded on an intense scale as the French began to export 8,000 tonnes annually. Arrive in Kep late afternoon and take a wander around this tranquil coastal area, that was once the favourite holiday spot for Cambodia's French-influenced elite but still welcomes tourists today thanks to its delicious seafood and tropical islands.
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before enjoying a visit to Kep's crab market where bustling stalls line the road with live crabs and sizzling barbeques. Guests can try their hand at bargaining for these delicious crustaceans, but be sure to remember the Khmer phrase "t'lay na!" meaning "so expensive!" to ensure the best price. Continue in the afternoon to Sihanoukville, Cambodia's premier beach resort. The rest of the day will be at leisure to explore the surrounding area. We suggest a walk up to the summit of Victory Hill which affords excellent views down over the town and the Gulf of Thailand.
Today it's time to sit back and relax on white sandy beaches or take a dip in the inviting blue ocean with a full day at leisure.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Breakfast will be served at your hotel then there will be some free time before your flight to Siem Reap. Dinner will be served at a local restaurant.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Begin your day with an early breakfast before setting off for Banteay Srei, a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva and considered by many to be the 'Jewel in the Crown' of Angkorian art as it is cut from stone of a pinkish hue and includes some of the finest carvings in the world. This afternoon you'll continue to the biggest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, Tonle Sap, where you'll have the opportunity to learn about life on the river during a tour on a traditional wooden boat to the charming village of Chong Khnea. Tonight experience a wonderful Aspara dance performance, an ancient dance that you'll see depicted on the temple walls of Angkor Wat.
Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Take an early breakfast to watch the sunrise over the 12th century Angkor Wat temple complex, the best-preserved temple boasting fascinating decorative flourishes that took 30 years to build and represents Khmer civilisation at its grandest. Next visit Angkor Thom, a group of buildings that somehow surpass Angkor Watt in splendour and grandiosity, not surprising given that it was the last great capital of the Khmer empire. Start at the Southern Gate, flanked by a row of 54 stone figures on each side, followed by the Bayon and its beautifully crafted central towers. From here you visit Baphoun, Phimeanakas and the Elephant Terrace, once used as a giant viewing stand for public ceremonies and the Terrace of the Leper King. Lastly see Ta Prohm, undoubtedly the most atmospheric ruin at Angkor. Unlike the other monuments of Angkor, it has been left to be swallowed by the jungle and is the perfect place to watch the sunset.
Depart Siem Reap for your flight back to the UK via Hanoi or continue on to your chosen extension.
Sidney King15 Sep 18
All very good hotels.
A visa is required for entry into Cambodia and this can be purchased on arrival at the airport in Phnom Penh. The cost of this is approximately USD $30 per person. Please note that you will be required to bring a passport photo with you as well as USD $30 cash in order to apply for your visa on arrival into Cambodia. Please note that it is important that is plenty of space left in the passport, as a Cambodian visa alone takes up one page. A visa is required for entry into Vietnam Until 30th June 2021, a visa is not required for stays up to 15 days. From the 1st July 2021 and for stays longer than 15 days, a visa is required for entry into Vietnam. You can apply for an e-visa online at https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn. The cost of the visa is approximately US$25 and will take roughly 3 working days. Alternatively, we work closely with The Travel Visa Company who will be able to arrange your visa for you on your behalf. Please call them on 01270 250 590 and quote 'Mercury Holidays'. The cost of the visa is £105. The visas take around 10 working days to issue and are only valid for 3 months from the date of entry. We therefore recommend that you apply for your visa 8 weeks before travel, however please be aware that your passport will be required for the application so make sure that you will not need it during this time. You can also visit the Embassy of Vietnam in London: 12-14 Victoria Road, London, W8 5RD. This visa information is a guide line only and is subject to change; up-to-date information regarding the process and fees will be advised at the time of calling the Travel Visa Company. Visa requirements are subject to change and obtaining a visa is the responsibility of the traveller and not Mercury Holidays. We recommend you check with your destinations' Tourist Board or Embassy prior to departure for the most up to date guidelines regarding visas and passport validity.
We strongly recommend that you and all members of your party are suitably insured as soon as you book your holiday. It is a condition of booking that you must have suitable travel insurance. It is important that you purchase travel insurance that suitably covers your participation in whatever activities you may undertake at the time that you make your booking. To assist you with this, we have arranged travel insurance in partnership with Holiday Extras. To arrange your travel insurance with Holiday Extras, please call 0800 781 4237 and quote 'WK830' for preferential rates. Please ensure you provide us with the name of your insurer, policy number and their 24 hour emergency contact number as soon as possible. Mercury Holidays will not be liable for any costs incurred by you due to your failure to take out suitable travel insurance from the date of booking.
If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £250pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.
Each passenger is entitled to 30kg of hold luggage. Hand luggage: One piece not exceeding 7Kg and with maximum total dimensions not exceeding 115 cm (56 cm x 36cm x 23 cm). Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check-in. IMPORTANT: Please note that final flight details will be confirmed on your final documentation which will be sent to you approximately 10 days before departure. A printed E-ticket is no longer required at check-in, all you need to do is present your passport to the staff at the desk and your boarding pass will be given to you.
It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, www.travelhealthpro.org.uk, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.
This tour is accessible to most people with a good level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves climbing of steep stairs and getting on and off coaches and boats. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.
The minimum number of travellers in your group will be 10, and the maximum will be 45. If in the unlikely event there are less than 10 people booked on your tour date, we will endeavour to reduce any disruption to your holiday and try to operate your tour with lower passenger numbers. If we are not able to operate your departure date then you may be asked to change to a different date and a full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.
You will need to take some extra money with you to cover any dinners where these are not mentioned on your itinerary and personal purchases, such as souvenirs, extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £300-£400 per person should be sufficient for the duration of your tour.