Water Blessing

Honeymooning Off the Beaten Path

Country: Cambodia

13 Days | $3,000

Why settle for a cookie-cutter honeymoon when you can customize an off-the-beaten-path vacation that’s as special as your new spouse? Cambodia offers incredible history, scenery, lodging options and culture, and our team knows how to avoid the tourist traps and show you the real behind-the-scenes Cambodia that most people miss. Start your journey in the capital city of Phnom Penh before heading out to spend time with elephants in Mondulkiri and dolphins in the Mekong River. Next up, explore the temples of Angkor Wat, the neighborhoods of Siem Reap and the floating villages on the Tonle Sap Lake.

A honeymoon in Cambodia is perfect for couples looking to get off the beaten path and experience culture and nature.

“Southeast Asia tends to be a destination honeymooners choose if they are well traveled – you’ve done the tour of Europe and you want something more exotic this time. This trip in particular was designed with independent travelers in mind. Yes, it’s a guided tour, but the guiding doesn’t hinder your chance to explore and a guide really is needed in these off-the-beaten-path areas. This trip is active, fun and different, and it really gets you away from the typical tourist traps. The accommodations are a mix, as these less-explored regions haven’t quite developed a high level of accommodations. But if you’re willing to spend a few nights in places that are basic (but clean and comfortable) to be able to explore the quieter parts of Cambodia, you’re in for a real treat.” – April Cole, Journeys Within Honeymoon Specialist


Rambutan Phnom Penh

Day 1   Phnom Penh: Arrival and Royal Palace and National Museum

Arrive in Phnom Penh where you will be met by an air conditioned van and driver and will be transferred to your hotel.

This morning, take a tour of the Royal Palace which, to this day, is still the royal residence. See the amazing royal collection and the beautiful architecture before heading to the National Museum, where you will be taken around by a trained museum guide who will show you some wonderful pre-Angkorean pieces as well as a number of special pieces from the temples.

Return to your hotel for lunch or have your guide drop you off in town where they can help you find a good place to eat. Remember to take a look at our Cheat Sheet which lists a number of our favorite restaurant recommendations!

Meals Included: None

Overnight at Rambutan Resort – 1Deluxe Pool Double Room

Day 2   Phnom Penh: The Killing Fields

This morning, head to the Tuol Sleng Prison Museum where your guide will explain the history of the Khmer Rouge and walk you through the different museum displays. After watching the introductory movie, continue on to the Choeung Ek Memorial, the site of one of the country’s many killing fields. At the entrance you will find a memorial stupa and shallow pits reminding visitors of the thousands killed under the Pol Pot Regime. There is an excellent audio headset on site which includes firsthand survivor stories, accounts from guards, traditional music, as well as a guided tour of the site. We recommend using this thoughtful and well-produced audio tour as most visitors to the Choeung Ek Memorial use the personalized headset tours, leaving the somber grounds quiet allowing for introspection. Your JW guide will be on hand if you would prefer to explore the site with them or have any additional questions after you have completed your audio tour. Return to your hotel for lunch or have your guide drop you off in town where they can help you find a good place to eat. Remember to take a look at our Cheat Sheet which lists a number of our favorite restaurant recommendations!

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight at Rambutan Resort – 1Deluxe Pool Double Room

Day 3   Phnom Penh to Sen Monorom

Your driver and guide will meet you at your hotel and will drive you to Sen Monoro., a drive that should take between 5-6 hours depending on the traffic. After arrival, check into your hotel and spend the afternoon at your leisure.

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight at Mayura Hill Hotel & Resort – 1Double Superior Villa

Elephant Valley Project

Day 4   Sen Monorom: Elephant Valley Project

Your guide will meet you after breakfast and you will depart for the Hefalump Café, the meeting point for the Elephant Valley Project. After a brief induction, you’ll depart for the short journey to the Elephant Valley Project where you’ll be Immersed in the simple yet amazing daily routine of the elephants and their mahouts. These magnificent animals are retired from work and make up the heart of the beautiful elephant sanctuary. You will spend the day observing the elephants in their natural habitat while learning about their lives, personalities and amazing progress and recovery since their arrival at the Elephant Valley Project.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Mayura Hill Hotel & Resort – 1Double Superior Villa

Rajabori Villas

Day 5   Sen Mornorom: Bousra Waterfall and Mayura Zipline to Kratie

Your guide will meet you after breakfast and you will drive to Bousra Waterfall. Mondulkiri’s rolling green scenery marks it out as a special destination within Cambodia and the Bousra Waterfall is a hidden gem amongst the greenery. Set in Bousra Eco Park, a beautiful protected forest that is home to diverse wildlife, the waterfall has dramatic upper and lower sections with spectacular views. Take a dip in the fresh cold water or simply enjoy the view! There are also market vendors selling local products, food and drinks. After taking in the scenery and Bousra Waterfall, you will be introduced to the team at Mayura Zipline and get kitted up for your exhilarating Zipline experience. Mayura Zipline consists of 7 ziplines through the treetops, starting in the highest sections of forest and finishing with a dramatic zipline across the Bousra Waterfall – yes, a zipline across the waterfall!

Your guide and driver will meet you at your hotel and drive you to Kratie, a journey that will take 3 hours. After arrival in Kratie you will board a small boat that will take you to Koh Trong, an island in the middle of the Mekong River, where you can check into your hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight at Rajabori Villas – 1Double Superior Suite Fan only with Double Bed

Koh Trong Island

Day 6   Irrawaddy Dolphins with Mekong Turtle and sunset at Mountain

Your guide will meet you after breakfast and you will drive to the river location to embark on your Irrawaddy Dolphin cruise. Listed as critically endangered in 2004, the Mekong Irrawaddy Dolphin is part of Cambodia’s national heritage and symbolizes the magnificence of the Mekong River and its biodiversity. The Irrawaddy is a shy, small dolphin that is dark grey in color with a small rounded dorsal fin and a bluntly rounded head. You will take a small boat out on the Mekong River and sit quietly as the boat rests amongst the Irrawaddy Dolphins; watching them feeding and playing in their natural habitat. Return to town where your guide can assist in choosing a local restaurant for lunch, or you can return to your hotel for lunch.

After lunch, you will drive north of Kratie town to Sambor district where you will visit The Mekong Turtle Conservation Center (MTCC), located at the beautiful and historic 100 Pillar Pagoda (Wat Sor Sor Muoy Roy). The MTCC was opened by Conservation International to increase the wild population of the endangered Cantor’s Softshell Turtle (Pelochelys cantorii) in the nearby Mekong River, through head-starting turtle hatchlings from the community-led turtle nest program. The facility has  over forty indoor tanks containing juvenile turtles which are kept for a 10 month period before releasing into their natural habitat. There are also many other Asian turtle species at the facility to see. After your visit to the MTCC, you can wander the grounds of the magnificent 100 Pillar Pagoda – a priceless architectural structure built at the site of the old Royal Palace Temple of Sambor District.

As dusk approaches, you’ll drive to Phnom Sam Bok (Sam Bok Mountain) and climb the steps to the Phnom Sam Bok Pagoda to watch the beautiful sunset over the mighty Mekong River and surrounding countryside.

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight at Rajabori Villas – 1Double Superior Suite Fan only with Double Bed

Day 7   Kratie: Drive to Siem Reap

Your guide and driver will meet you at your hotel and drive you to Siem Reap. This journey will take about 7 hours depending on the traffic and will take you through countless Cambodian villages and rice fields. Arrive in Siem Reap and check into your hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight at Jaya House River Park – Deluxe Room

Angkor Wat sunrise

Day 8   Siem Reap: Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom

This morning, head to Angkor Wat with your guide in an air-conditioned car. Explore this majestic temple throughout the morning while it is still cool and has fewer tourists. Return to your hotel for lunch or have your guide drop you off in town where they can help you find a good place to eat. Remember to take a look at our Cheat Sheet which lists a number of our favorite restaurant recommendations!

In the afternoon head to Angkor Thom, the famous walled city and see the many temples within its borders, including the fascinating Bayon temple with its many magnificent faces smiling out. There are several beautiful spots from which to watch the sunset. Discuss with your guide where you would like to be and then relax and enjoy a memorable end to your day at the temples.

Water Blessing

Your guide will take you to an active Wat, where you should change to clothes you can get wet in as here you will experience the ceremony “Srouch Tec”, which roughly translates into “pour water”. A monk will chant in ancient Pali as he splashes water over you, washing away your sins and bad luck so you can start fresh and by being a good person can increase your good luck.

Please note: As you will be getting wet, we recommend either changing your clothes before this tour or bringing a change of clothes with you.

Meals included: Breakfast

Overnight at Jaya House River Park – 1Double Deluxe Room

Kulen Mountain Forest

Day 9   Siem Reap: Kulen Mountain Forest Discovery Trail

Today you will take a guided hike with Indochine Exploration through the protected Cambodian jungle of Phnom Kulen National Park. Located about an hour and a half north of Siem Reap, Phnom Kulen is home to a community-protected area of mainly intact evergreen and boulder forest. You will leave early in the morning for this forest that surrounds Preah Ang Thom, the largest community on the mountain. As you drive to the village, your guide will talk to you about how this conservation initiative involves local villagers who maintain the trails. By including them in the tour development, locals are provided with an income and therefore an incentive to help stop deforestation and leave the wildlife proper. After arriving and walking through the village, the trail heads into the forest with the canopy high above providing shade even in Cambodia’s hottest months. Hike along the cleared trails, while you keep your eyes open for the wildlife that inhabits the area – in addition to the flying squirrels and birds, rare Silver Langurs were recently discovered in Kulen. After passing over a boulder passageway and through an active bat cave, you will stop for lunch along the banks of the Kulen River before heading back to Preah Ang Thom to visit Cambodia’s largest reclining Buddha, and if you still have energy, take in the beauty of the Kulen Waterfall.

Please note: Your guide for this tour will be different than your temple guide

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Jaya House River Park – 1Double Deluxe Room

Day 10   Siem Reap: Banteay Srei, Land Mine Museum and Other Temples

This morning set off with your guide to Banteay Srei, the intricately carved temple located just 30km beyond Angkor Wat. Continue on to visit the Land Mine Museum, a rather humble look at the land mine problem, past and present, in Cambodia. Enjoy lunch in the temple complex overlooking Sra Srang, followed by a visit to the nearby Banteay Kdei and Ta Prohm, two of the prettiest temples in the complex. Return to your hotel mid-afternoon.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Jaya House River Park – 1Double Deluxe Room

Tonle Sap kayaking

Day 11   Prek Toal: Floating Village and Kayak Adventure – Day 1

After breakfast, your guide and driver will meet you at your hotel and you will drive for approximately an hour to Mechrey. From Mechrey, you will take a boat on the Tonle Sap Lake and enjoy lunch onboard as you head to a suitable location to launch the kayaks. After lunch, you will kayak through the flooded forests and the floating village of Prek Toal as you paddle to your homestay; a floating house. Once you have met your homestay family and settled in, your guide will take you to The Saray Platform, an initiative that gives the poorest women in the village employment by weaving the stems of Water Hyacinth into handicrafts. This is where you will enjoy a wonderful local dinner, before returning to your homestay. Relax and turn in early in preparation for the birding spectacle in the morning.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Overnight at Home Stay

Day 12   Prek Toal: Floating Village and Kayak Adventure – Day 2

Rise early to catch the incredible spectacle at the core bird reserve, home to approximately 200 species of bird, making it South East Asia’s largest fresh water bird colony. Grab a quick breakfast and coffee, before heading out on a local boat into the bird reserve, observing the birds and wildlife at your leisure. Return to Prek Toal in the late morning and drive back to Siem Reap.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Overnight at Jaya House River Park – 1Double Deluxe Room

Day 13   Siem Reap: Departure

Your driver will meet you at your hotel for your private transfer to the airport, where you will arrive in time for your onward flight –

Meals included: Breakfast

PLEASE NOTE

This itinerary is currently in progress and does not reflect hotel room availability. The pricing is not final until the itinerary has been confirmed and booked.

Tour Rate: $ 3,000 per person based on two people traveling

Price includes:

  • Boat tickets as specified above
  • Accommodation as specified above
  • Air-conditioned car/van with driver
  • Licensed English speaking guides
  • Tours and admission fees as mentioned above
  • Meals as specified in itinerary, including water

Price excludes:

  • Personal expenses
  • Visa fees
  • Airport tax
  • Drinks (except water) and meals not mentioned in itinerary
  • Tips
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