While awe-inspiring Angkor and affecting Tuol Sleng Prison reflect the best and worst of times in its past, contemporary Cambodia is imbued with optimism, from its resurgent capital to its restful coast and, especially, its charming inhabitants.
Cambodia teams the world’s largest religious complex, Angkor, with southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake, Tonle Sap, the mix of sumptuous and sombre monuments in the capital, Phnom Penh, and a string of traditional towns and villages along the Mekong River.
Known for its artistry, architecture, and cultural heritage of theatre and dance, the country features on several of our tours in Indochina, sharing the limelight with Laos and Vietnam, leisurely cruising the Mekong to lesser-known towns, flying to focus on famed destinations, or touring by road and riverboat to intriguing treasures.
Each tour spends time in riverside Siem Reap. With a mix of Khmer, French colonial and Chinese-style buildings, chic shops and spas, and street food stalls, this is the modern gateway to ancient Angkor Wat, the UNESCO World Heritage jewel in Cambodia’s crown.
This ‘cultural wonder of the world’ covers 162 hectares with 900-year-old shrines and temples, laced with intricately carved stonework. Built for the Hindu god Vishnu, later re-dedicated to Buddhism, and abandoned in 1431, the site was uninhabited for six centuries, and undiscovered until the late 1800s, yet it is still steeped in a hauntingly mystical aura.
Among the sites visited on various tours are the three-tiered pyramid of Angkor Wat, crowned by five beehive towers; Angkor Thom’s moated gate, the Royal Enclosure and its Elephant Terrace parade; and beautiful Ta Prohm temple, still tangled in the tree roots of the jungle which kept it a secret for so long.
Some tours sail on Tonle Sap Lake, a UNESCO listed Biosphere Reserve, home to wild fowl and wetland birds, and sprinkled with stilt-house ‘floating villages’; our Mekong cruise calls at the colourful town of Chau Doc, the craft village of Koh Chen, and the ‘port of pottery’, Kampong Chhnang; and two tours take you to the capital, Phnom Penh.
Now a blend of westernised culture and Asian authenticity, ‘Asia’s friendliest capital’ juxtaposes the lavish Royal Palace and its Silver Pagoda, with the Choeung Ek Killing Fields of the Khmer Rouge, the spiritual Ounaloam monastery, and a riverfront promenade peppered with restaurants and cafés.
Cambodia’s tropical climate is hot throughout the year, with average temperatures hovering between 25 and 35°. Jules Verne tour dates avoid the worst of the humid, monsoon months (June-August), and offer departures in the more comfortable climates of January to May and September to November. Warm and dry weather can be expected from November to April, and sites are usually less busy in September and October.
A captivating country of contrasts, Cambodia’s beguiling landscapes are the backdrops for astonishing archaeological sites, cultural landmarks, timeless traditions, and characterful craftwork towns. The nation’s gentle tempo enhances the experience of our journeys, sailing on small boats or river cruisers, and travelling by tuktuk, bicycle rickshaw, and an ox cart to an isolated village, to create the perfect pairing of unhurried pace and unforgettable places. This is, on many levels, a revealing and rewarding destination.
With 45 years’ experience and a passion for creating extraordinary adventures, Jules Verne visits iconic landmarks and lesser-known sites, with expert tour guides who share their local knowledge, and show you hidden gems. In Cambodia, we add entertaining extra touches to our journeys, from an Apsara dance theatre show to a sunset sail on a traditional gondola along the Angkor Thom moat, a cooking class at a Khmer wooden house, and a cocktail and tasting at Siem Reap’s “Bugs Café” (insects for the intrepid, or a vegetarian platter).
All our guided tours to Cambodia are ABTA and ATOL protected, and we offer a 100% price guarantee, so you can book with complete confidence.
Treasures of Indochina
From the streets of Saigon to a sail on the Mekong Delta, from the temples of Angkor to the long-hidden town of Luang Prabang, from a cruise of Ha Long Bay to cultural history in Hanoi, this tour is a revealing treasure trove, gathered into just two weeks away
Grand Tour of Indochina
Discover old Saigon, cruise on the Mekong River and mystical Ha Long Bay, see the temples in Hue, Hoi An, Hanoi and ancient Angkor, and explore Laos home to luxuriant landscapes and intriguing cultural customs; and Cambodia encapsulates Indo-Chinese heritage in ancient Angkor
Highlights of Vietnam and Cambodia
Exploring Vietnam’s greatest cities, north and south, this varied tour begins among the many temples of the capital, historic Hanoi; crosses into Cambodia for the world’s largest religious complex, Angkor; and returns to Ho Chi Minh City, the phoenix of old Saigon
The Original Mekong Cruise
An exotic cruise on the Mekong River and Tonle Sap Lake, this journey teams city sights in old Saigon and Phnom Penh, with rural riverbank towns, remote, romantic pagodas, rarely-visited villages, and the Siem Reap gateway to Angkor’s exquisite temple enclave