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Taste Travel Food Adventure Tours takes you on a 14-day food adventure through the Kingdom of Cambodia where you will live like a local for a while. Visit Cambodia’s dark Khmer Rouge history at the Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields in Phnom Penh. Feast on Kampot Pepper Crab at the Kep crab market and see how the world famous Kampot pepper grows at an organic pepper farm. Visit Cambodia’s rice belt and sample some of its street food in Battambang. Fall in love with this amazingly special country and make some wonderful new Khmer friends at a local village homestay. Wonder in awe of the magical ancient temples of Angkor and meet the people who live on the vast Tonle Sap Lake.  This tour will tantalise and surprise your taste buds with delicious street food, authentic cooking classes, local food market tours and the best food and cultural experiences Cambodia has to offer. If you would like to learn more about Cambodian food  you can read more here.

LENGTH

14 Days/13 Nights

GROUP SIZE

Maximum 10

PRICE (AUD)

$2400 p/p (twin share)

DATES

31st October 2019

 

MAP

A Taste of Cambodia

Tour Map

ITINERARY

Starts - Phnom Penh

Ends - Siem Reap

Day 1 - Welcome to Phnom Penh

Highlights

Phnom Penh is the bustling capital of Cambodia, situated on the magnificent Mekong River. There are no activities planned for the day, so you are free to explore this exciting city on your own. At 5 pm there will be a group meeting in the hotel before we set out on our food adventure tour of Cambodia. Tonight, your included welcome dinner will be held at a social enterprise restaurant that trains disadvantaged youth and supports them to find paid employment.

Phnom Penh is the bustling capital of Cambodia, situated on the magnificent Mekong River where the Tonle Sap River joins this mighty waterway. There are no activities planned for the day, so you are free to explore this exciting city on your own. Take a tour of the Royal Palace and neighboring Silver Pagoda or check out the Central Market and the Russian Market for some retail therapy. Visit the National Museum with its wonderous collection of sculptures. For more options of things to do and see in Siem Reap and Cambodia, grab yourself the latest copy or eBook of Lonely Planet here.

Please ensure you arrive and check into the hotel in time for our group meeting at 5 pm. The meeting is an informal meet and greet and a chance to have any questions you might have answered before we set out on the town for our first food adventure. Tonight, your included welcome dinner will be held at a social enterprise restaurant that trains disadvantaged youth and supports them to find paid employment. After dinner you are free to check out some of the nightlife, take a walk along the riverside, or make your way back to the hotel for an early night.

Accommodation

  • Hotel

Meals Included

  • Dinner

Included Activities

  • Dinner @ Social Enterprise Restaurant

Optional Activities

  • Royal Palace (US$10) & Silver  Pagoda (US$3)
  • Central & Russian Markets (free)
  • National Museum (US$5)

Day 2 - Phnom Penh

Highlights

After breakfast this morning we learn about Cambodia's dark past with a visit to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Killing Fields. In the 1970's Pot Pot and his Khmer Rouge committed atrocities against their own people. While these events were tragic, it is a huge part of Cambodia's history and the memorial at Choeung Ek Killing Fields pays tribute to those who died. Your afternoon is free to explore the city before we take an exciting tuk tuk adventure to sample delicious Cambodian food around the city.

This morning we learn about Cambodia's dark past with a visit to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, a former school that was used as a torture facility. In the 1970's Pot Pot and his Khmer Rouge committed atrocities against their own people, torturing and killing millions. Then we make our way to Choeung Ek Memorial, a site that served as one of the worst killing fields during that period. While these events were tragic it is a huge part of Cambodia's history and the memorial here pays tribute to those who died. The tour ends with a sample of Khmer snacks and an opportunity to ask our local guide any last questions you may have about Cambodia's dark past and the effects on the country today.

After a somber morning, the rest of the afternoon is yours to explore the city and take in some of the sights. Be sure to be ready at 5pm for our food and craft beer tour of Phnom Penh. Tonight we will zip around the city in tuk tuks, stopping to sample more than 10 different local dishes and also try some Cambodian craft beer. We will end the night at an open-air restaurant eating dishes such as fried plantains with beef, washed down with ice cold beer or soft drinks

Accommodation

  • Hotel

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Included Activities

  • Toul Sleng Genocide Museum 
  • Choeung Ek Killing Fields
  • Food & Craft Beer Tour

Optional Activities

  • Independence Monument (free)
  • Wat Phnom (US$1)

Day 3 - Phnom Penh - Kampot

Highlights

This morning we leave Phnom Penh and head to Kampot, a small riverside town, world famous for its amazing pepper. Your afternoon is free after a short orientation tour before this evenings food adventure. Take a boat ride on the Preaek Tuek Chhu River to see an amazing sunset and, if you are lucky, a beautiful show put on by fireflies. The boat will drop us to our dinner destination where you will enjoy a delicious meal highlighting Kampot Pepper.

This morning after breakfast we head off to the riverside town of Kampot, world famous for its amazing pepper. After checking into the hotel we take a stroll along the river for a short orientation tour. The afternoon is yours to get to know this charming town. Take a walk around and check out some of the colonial architecture or, for the more adventurous, try your hand at stand up paddleboarding on the river.

We meet late afternoon to take a boat ride on the Preaek Tuek Chhu River and see an amazing sunset and, if you are lucky, a beautiful show put on by fireflies. The boat will drop us to our dinner destination where you will enjoy a meal highlighting Kampot Pepper. Dining alfresco, overlooking the river, you will enjoy a 3-course meal inspired by local Khmer ingredients with a French twist.

Accommodation

  • Hotel

Included Activities

  • Sunset Boat Cruise
  • Kampot Pepper Dinner

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Optional Activities

  • Stand Up Paddleboarding. Tours/Lessons from US$25

Day 4 - Kampot/Kep

Highlights

Take a light breakfast this morning before we head to the pretty seaside town of Kep. Visit the famous Crab Market and sample some babu squid, cooked right in front of you. Check out some of Kep's decaying mid-20th-century mansions now relics from the town's 1960's heyday. Wander around the delightful shoreline and relax on Kep beach before chowing down on Kampot Pepper Crab and other delicacies for lunch. After lunch, return to Kampot where the afternoon and evening are yours to explore this quaint town.

Take a light breakfast this morning before we head to the pretty seaside town of Kep, a short 30 minute drive away. Visit the famous Crab Market and see fresh crab brought in straight from the ocean and sold to restaurants and tourists. Try some freshly cooked baby squid, prepared right in front of you, but be sure to leave room for a delicious lunch at one of the many restaurant shacks built out on the water here. Take a walk around town and check out some of Kep's decaying mid-20th-century mansions now relics from the town's 1960's heyday. You can also take a wander around the delightful shoreline and relax on Kep Beach before chowing down on Kampot Pepper Crab and other delicacies for lunch. Kampot is world famous for its pepper and a visit to a pepper farm is planned for tomorrow.

After lunch, return to Kampot where the afternoon and evening are yours to explore this quaint town. A tour of Bokor Hill Station can be organised, or, you can explore it on your own. Bokor Hill was established by the French in the 1920's and boasts some lovely old dilapidated buildings from the era and the most amazing views of Kampot, Kep and the ocean. You could also take a bicycle tour and experience Kampot's natural beauty visiting some of the town's most beautiful spots around the river and surrounding villages. For dinner tonight ask for some suggestions of places to eat or take matters into your own hands and make your own food adventure.

Accommodation

  • Hotel

Included Activities

  • Kep Crab Market
  • Crab/Seafood Lunch

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Optional Activities

  • Bokor Hill Station

 

Day 5 - Kampot

Highlights

Enjoy an early breakfast today before we take a tour of the surrounding area to visit a sea salt farm and see some of Kampot’s stunning rice fields. Next, visit an ancient temple cave overlooking organic vegetable farms where you can see locals working the land. Pass by Secret Lake where we can stop for a swim before visiting an organic pepper farm. Learn all about pepper and how it is grown before a light lunch, sampling some mouthwatering snacks. Returning to town, the rest of the afternoon is yours to explore the area. 

Enjoy an early breakfast today before we take a tour of the surrounding area by tuk tuk to visit a sea salt farm and depending on the time of year you can see how the salt is harvested. Then see some of Kampot’s stunning rice fields on our way to visit an ancient temple cave, overlooking organic vegetable farms where you can see locals working the land. Next, we pass by the Secret Lake where we can stop and take a swim before visiting an organic pepper farm. Here you will Learn all about different varieties of pepper and how it is grown and processed. They also grow organic turmeric on the farm, in addition to many types of exotic fruits. After touring the farm you will enjoy a light lunch, sampling some mouth-watering, peppery snacks. We return to town after lunch where the rest of the afternoon is yours to explore the area.

Accommodation

  • Hotel

Included Activities

  • Pepper Tour
  • Light Lunch @ Pepper Farm

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Optional Activities

Day 6 - Kampot - Battambang

Highlights

After breakfast this morning we take off in a private minibus to Cambodia's rice belt and the country's third largest city of Battambang. Sit back, relax and enjoy the views of the countryside as our journey will take up to 8 hours. Don't worry, we will make comfort stops and take a lunch break along the way. After settling into the hotel we will meet for dinner at a social enterprise restaurant supporting the Cambodian Children's Trust.

After breakfast this morning we take off in a private minibus to Cambodia's rice belt and the country's third largest city of Battambang, pronounced Battambong. This is our only long day of travel on the tour so sit back, relax and enjoy the views of the countryside, as our journey will take up to 8 hours. Don't worry, we will make comfort stops every 2 hours or so and take a lunch break along the way. After arriving in Battambang you will have time to settle into the hotel and freshen up before we meet for dinner at a restaurant supporting the Cambodian Children's Trust. The restaurant uses produce from local farmers and serves up delicious dishes such as banana flower chicken with lemongrass, garlic, galangal & kaffir lime.

Accommodation

  • Hotel

Included Activities

  • Dinner

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Optional Activities

Day 7 - Battambang

Highlights

After an early breakfast this morning we take to the back-roads surrounding Battambang by bicycle to experience village life in the countryside. See up close how locals make their living in a variety of food production industries and snack on tasty treats along the way. After returning to town take some time to relax before we indulge a late afternoon street food tour to sample some of Battambang's delicious local delicacies for dinner. 

After an early breakfast this morning we take to the back-roads surrounding Battambang by bicycle to experience village life in the countryside. See up close how locals make their living in a variety of food production industries and snack on tasty treats along the way. Learn how rice paper, dried bananas, rice wine, Khmer noodles, fish paste and bamboo rice cakes are made. Interact with the locals and try your hand at some of their techniques. Don’t worry if you aren’t up for cycling as a tuk tuk can be organised to take you on the tour (approximately US$10)

After returning to town take some time to relax before we take a late afternoon street food tour to sample some of Battambang's delicious local delicacies. Try the sweet and savoury tastes of nom krok (fried coconut and rice flour cakes) served with a sweet and slightly sour syrup of palm sugar and fish sauce. Sample son vac (fish grilled in banana leaves), which is eaten wrapped in lettuce with cold noodles, basil, saw-tooth coriander and a tangy sauce. For something sweet, taste the bliss of banh ja’neuk, which are glutinous rice balls stuffed with mung bean paste in coconut milk, with tapioca, ginger ginger syrup and sesame seeds. You won't be able to resist the marinated beef skewers with aromatic lemongrass grilled over hot coals. These delicious skewers are succulent and hard to resist. After the food tour you are free to return to the hotel or you may like to sample some of Battambang's bars and nightlife.

Accommodation

  • Hotel

Included Activities

  • Bicycle Tour
  • Street Food Tour

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Optional Activities

  • Bamboo Train (US$5)

 

Day 8 - Battambang - Banteay Chhmar

Highlights

This morning enjoy a tasty breakfast of Cambodian style congee before we visit a local market. See seasonal, fresh, and often strange ingredients on offer. Afterwards, participate in a cooking class where you will learn to cook delicious Cambodian food such as fragrant fish amok, and tasty beef lak lok. After feasting on the finished dishes for lunch, we make our way to Banteay Chhmar to meet our homestay families and enjoy dinner under the stars at Banteay Chhmar Temple.

This morning you enjoy a tasty breakfast of Cambodian style congee before we visit a local market. The market will introduce you to the seasonal, fresh, local, and often strange ingredients on offer in Battambang. Then it’s off to learn how to use these ingredients to cook some of Cambodia's favourite dishes, such as fragrant fish amok, tasty beef lak lok, and fresh and crunchy green mango salad. Come away from today’s class with all the recipes and the confidence to recreate them once you are home again. The best part of the class is you get to feast on the finished dishes you have created. After lunch we travel to meet our host families at the homestay village in Banteay Chhmar.

Banteay Chhmar is a commune made up of 14 villages in north-western Cambodia. In 2007, with the aid of a French non-profit organisation, some of the villagers set up the Banteay Chhmar Community Based Tourism (CBT) group. CBT are dedicated to preserving and protecting the cultural heritage of the area as well as creating a responsible tourism industry there. They have compiled a number of activities and tours in the area in addition to helping families to become part of the homestay program which provides them with an ability to supplement their modest income.

Upon arrival in Banteay Chhmar you will meet your host family and check into your room. The rest of the afternoon you are free to relax or wander around and explore the surrounding area. Tonight, there will be a special welcome dinner that will be served under the stars at the Banteay Chhmar Temple, built in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. During dinner, you will listen to the sounds of traditional Khmer music played by some of the local villagers.

Please note that the accommodations in the homestays are quite basic. Your room will be equipt with a mosquito net and fan (there is no air conditioning), and the mattresses are usually quite firm. The bathroom is shared with your host family and will have a western toilet and a cold water shower. All meals will be taken/prepared at the CBT restaurant/kitchen as several of the local ladies have been trained in western food hygiene practices. The food here is all homegrown and locally sourced and the dishes are delicious homestyle Cambodian cooking. The whole experience at Banteay Chhmar gives you the opportunity to live like a local.

Accommodation

  • Homestay

Included Activities

  • Market Tour
  • Cooking Class
  • Dinner Under The Stars

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Optional Activities

 

Day 9 - Banteay Chhmar

Highlights

After breakfast, revisit the Banteay Chhmar Temple in the light of day. Then, after a visit to Ta Prohm temple, wander through the village to check out the Silk Centre. Continuing on Banteay Torp Temple by Kuyon you will enjoy a picnic lunch under the trees. See villager’s working cassava farms and rice fields on the way back to your homestay. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon walking around the village, taking a nap or hanging out with your host family before dinner and a rice flattening demonstration.

Following breakfast, served in the CBT restaurant, revisit the Banteay Chhmar Temple in the light of day and marvel at this unique archaeological site, the 4th largest temple dating from the Angkorian period. Next is a visit to Ta Prohm temple with its well preserved examples of the Bayon-style face towers, before wandering through the village to check out the Soieries du Mekong Silk Center. The silk centre has been training young Cambodian women in the art of silk weaving, sewing, embroidering and dying since 2001.

Continuing on to Banteay Torp Temple by Kuyon (tractor) where you will enjoy a picnic lunch in the shade of the trees, next to this crumbling temple structure. See villagers working cassava farms and rice fields on the way back to your homestay. Enjoy the end of the day wandering around the village, there's always something to see or some locals wanting to practice their English. Alternatively, take a nap or hang out with your host family before we meet again for dinner at the CBT centre. After dinner see a rice flattening demonstration where you learn to make dalambok, a traditional Khmer dessert.

Accommodation

  • Homestay

Included Activities

  • Banteay Chhmar Temples Tour
  • Silk Centre Tour
  • Picnic Lunch
  • Dinner & Rice Flattening Show

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Optional Activities

Day 10 - Banteay Chhmar - Siem Reap

Highlights

After breakfast this morning, visit a local market and buy ingredients for a cooking class. Learn about homestyle Khmer cooking from local, home cooks. Feast on all your hard work for lunch and then prepare to say goodbye to you new Khmer family.  Travel to Siem Reap, the jewel of Cambodia. After checking into the hotel, freshen up before heading out on a street food tour of this bustling, yet laid-back city.

Breakfast will be served in the CBT restaurant again this morning, but leave room for an early lunch as you will participate in a cooking class later. First you will visit a local market to buy fresh seasonal produce to use in the cooking class. Back at CBT you will learn about delicious homestyle Khmer cooking from local, home cooks. At the end of the class you get to feast on all your hard work for lunch and then prepare to say goodbye to you new Khmer family.

Travel back to Siem Reap (around 3 hours), arriving at the hotel by mid-afternoon. Siem Reap is the gateway to the magical Angkor Archaeological Zone, home to an abundance of ancient temples and ruins. After checking into the hotel and freshening up we will be heading out for a street food tour. Our local guide will reveal delicious street food and local snacks for you to taste. And while you’re at it try some of the seasonal fruits available and also learn about the fragrant spices and deliciously different ingredients used in Khmer cooking.

Wander through local food stalls where you will see some very strange snacks such as deep-fried tarantulas and crickets – go on I dare you! Next stop is a local restaurant to taste some local delicacies, such as Cambodia’s national dish, Fish Amok, a fragrant coconut-y fish curry. After dinner, you have the option to return to the hotel or head on out to Pub Street, the tourist hub of Siem Reap, to explore the bars and nightlife. Alternatively, our local guide can point you in the direction of some less touristy spots for a great night out.

Accommodation

  • Hotel

Included Activities

  • Market Tour
  • Cooking Class
  • Street Food Tour

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Optional Activities

Day 11 - Siem Reap

Highlights

After breakfast, travel to the incredible Tonle Sap Lake and see how locals live in floating villages. On the way, visit a nearby village to see agricultural activities such as duck farming. Try some locally made Khmer snacks before boarding a boat for a fascinating trip on Tonle Sap.  See how everyday life exists and learn about the water-based agriculture they use to make a living, most notably fishing. Return to Siem Reap where the rest of the afternoon is free, before a cocktail making class followed by a delicious Cambodian BBQ dinner.

After breakfast this morning in the hotel, we travel to the incredible Tonle Sap Lake and see how locals live in floating villages. On the way, visit a nearby village to see some agricultural activities, such as duck farming, prahok (fish paste) making, and harvesting of crickets and locusts. You may like to crunch on some tasty deep fried crickets or try some other, less unfamiliar, locally made Khmer snacks. Afterwards, we board a boat for a fascinating trip on Tonle Sap. A UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the lake is one of the most productive in the world and is home to many species of fish and waterbirds. See how everyday life exists here and how locals live in stilted and floating houses on top of this immense lake. Learn about the water-based agriculture locals use to make a living here, most notably fishing, and many earn as little as $1.50 a day.

After the tour of Tonle Sap, return to Siem Reap where the rest of the afternoon is free for you to explore, shop or rest or maybe take the zip lining tour in Angkor. Tonight, take part in a cocktail making class, infusing Khmer herbs and spices into delicious drinks. This fun class takes place at the only traditional Khmer house remaining in the old market district. Following the cocktail class, we make our way to a delicious Cambodian BBQ restaurant for dinner.

Accommodation

  • Hotel

Included Activities

  • Tonle Sap tour
  • Cocktail Making Class
  • Cambodian BBQ Dinner

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Optional Activities

Day 12 - Siem Reap

Highlights

Take a light breakfast this morning before we embark on a market tour to buy ingredients for a hands-on cooking class. Learn to make delicious dishes such as Banana Flower Salad and Sticky Rice with Mango. Feast on your creations for lunch before we head back to Angkor to visit some more temples. At the end of the day relax and sit atop one of the temples, such as Pre Rup, and watch in wonder at the amazing sunset over Angkor Archaeological Park. Head back to the hotel where you are free to freshen up and spend the rest of the evening however you wish.

Take a light breakfast at the hotel this morning before we embark on a market tour to buy some fresh ingredients for a hands-on cooking class. During the class you will learn to make some delicious dishes such as Banana Flower Salad, Fresh Spring Rolls and Sticky Rice with Mango. At the end of the class you get to feast on your creations for lunch. The afternoon will be spent back in Angkor to visit some more amazing temples. At the end of the day relax and sit atop one of the temples, such as Pre Rup, and watch in wonder at the beautiful sunset over Angkor Archaeological Park.

After the sun has set we head back to the hotel where you are free to freshen up and spend the rest of the evening however you wish or try one of the following suggestions. Phare Cambodian Circus combines theatre, story, dance, high-energy music and circus arts starting at 8 pm every night. They also have a cafe serving light meals if you wanted to eat there before the show. Or for something a little more cultural you could take in dinner and a show at Aspara Terrace, watching traditional Khmer Aspara dancing. Think about booking ahead, especially for the circus as they often book out.

Accommodation

  • Hotel

Included Activities

  • Market Tour & Cooking Class
  • Temple Tour & Sunset

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

Optional Activities

  • Bokor Hill Station
  • Kampot Bicycle Tour US$19

Day 13 - Siem Reap

Highlights

After a very early start (around 5am) we make our way to majestic Angkor Wat to see the sun rise behind the impressive structure. Breakfast will be taken in a local restaurant nearby before visiting some of Ankor's most popular and interesting temples. Enjoy a delicious picnic lunch overlooking Srah Srang Barray (reservoir) before visiting more temples in the afternoon. After the early start we finish today's activities around 4 pm so you have time to take a rest before our final farewell dinner.

After an early start (around 5am) we make our way to majestic Angkor Wat to see the sun rise behind this most impressive structure. This is also a perfect photo opportunity to get some great shots of the temple in the reflection of the ponds. Breakfast will be taken in a local restaurant nearby before visiting some of Angkor's most popular and interesting temples, including Angkor Wat in full daylight. See where the movie Tomb Raider was filmed at Ta Prohm Temple, where giant tree roots have entwined around the temple walls. Other notable temples include Bayon, Banteay Srei and Angkor Thom, just to name a few.

Enjoy a delicious picnic lunch overlooking Srah Srang Barray (reservoir) in the early afternoon before visiting some more amazing temples. After an early start we finish today's activities around 4pm to give you have time to take a rest before we head out for our farewell dinner. Tonight we dine in a restaurant that supports disadvantaged young adults, training them in all aspects of hospitality.

Accommodation

  • Hotel

Included Activities

  • Sunrise @ Angkor Wat
  • Temple Tour
  • Picnic Lunch
  • Farewell Dinner

Meals Included

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner

Optional Activities

Day 14 - Siem Reap

Highlights

Your Cambodian food adventure ends today after breakfast and you are free to depart at any time you wish as there are no activities planned for today. For those flying out of Siem Reap today, arrangments can be made for transport to the airport if you require. If you are spending some more time here, your 3 day Angkor pass is still valid if you wish to see more amazing temples.

Your Cambodian food adventure ends today after breakfast and you are free to depart at any time you wish as there are no activities planned for today. For those flying out of Siem Reap today, arrangements can be made for transport to the airport if you require. If you are spending some more time here, your 3 day Angkor pass is still valid today if you wish to see more amazing temples. Or you may like to take a rest after a busy 2 weeks and treat yourself to a relaxing massage at one of the many spots around town.

Accommodation

Included Activities

Meals Included

  • Breakfast

Optional Activities

THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW

Inclusions

  • Accommodation 13 nights (11 hotel, 2 homestay)
  • Meals (29, as stated in itinerary)
  • Transportation on the ground (except airport transfers)
  • Entry to all included activities & tours
  • Cooking classes

 Exclusions

  • Airfares to and from Cambodia
  • Airport Transfers (can be arranged for additional fee)
  • Meals (9 where you make your own food adventure)
  • Beverages/Drinks (except those included in breakfast, cocktail class & Craft Beer Tour)
  • Tips, gratuities, and optional activities

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