Audley clients Jack Allen, Leonard Hirsch and Irvine Wells recently visited Cambodia on separate trips. Highlights included visiting the magnificent Temples of Angkor and seeing the ever present smiling faces of the Cambodian people.
'The entire trip was amazing, and I would 100% recommend this area of the world to anybody.'
The trip was fantastic from start to finish; it's really difficult to just pick one highlight, so I'll write about a few.
The first was the bicycle tour of the Temples of Angkor. The sheer size and scale of the temples was fascinating, and the tour guide was full of information and facts about the history of the complex.
Sunset quad bike tour, Cambodia
The second was the sunset quad bike tour in Siem Reap. There was something quite surreal about driving a quad bike through the paddy fields and roads around the town. We stopped at a shooting range along the way which was a great experience, before stopping again to watch the sun set with the accompanying music from a nearby temple. There were many children around, all desperate to wave at you as you drive past.
Jungle trek in Koh Sok National Park, Thailand
We got a boat from the floating village to a nearby island, where we started the trek through the jungle. Along the way we saw many different types of wildlife and the terrain was both challenging and extremely enjoyable. Midway through the trek we stopped at a cave and proceeded inside. It was absolutely pitch black, with even the head torches offering very little light, yet we could just glimpse the nearby snakes and Huntsman spiders on the wall, with the shrieking of hundreds of bats coming from further inside.
The entire trip was amazing, and I would 100% recommend this area of the world to anybody. There are so many different types of environment, from the hustle and bustle of Bangkok to the tranquillity and landscapes of Koh Sok.
'Every day of the trip was a highlight but I think the most outstanding memory was of the temples outside Siem Reap.'
Southeast Asia was the first leg of our round the world SKIing (SKI = Spending the Kids Inheritance) to celebrate my 60th birthday (and pension lump sum). We arrived in Bangkok, then to Laos via a fabulous two day Mekong cruise, then Vietnam, Cambodia and Borneo before Australia and South America.
Dawn visit to Ta Prohm, Cambodia
Every day of the trip was a highlight but I think the most outstanding memory was of the temples outside Siem Reap. In particular, the dawn visit to Ta Prohm, where the trees have grown through the ruins and the eerie faces on the walls of the Bayon temple, have remained imprinted on my memory. We visited both temples in the early morning light, which was special as there were very few visitors there, intensifying the almost spooky holiness of the sites.
Overnight cruise in Halong Bay, Vietnam
Other highlights included the overnight cruise on the Jasmine in Halong Bay, which included a small boat ride around a floating village. Unfortunately, there was a fog in the bay so there was no swimming but it did make for some good atmospheric photos. Also in Vietnam was the wonderful town of Hoi An, with its colourful shops and markets and the most entertaining cookery lesson I've ever had at the Red Bridge Cookery School. The lunch there was absolutely delicious (prepared by their chefs — not us!).
'Cruising on the Mekong from Saigon to Siem Reap on the Motor Vessel Jayavarman was truly memorable.'
Cruising on the Mekong from Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap on the Motor Vessel Jayavarman was truly memorable. The ever changing views of this magnificent river and the smiling welcome from the Cambodian people, either while meeting them on the shore excursions or from their boats, made such an impact. A knowledge of the recent tragic history of this area only served to enhance one's respect for a country trying to put its past behind it.
Read more travellers' tales from Southeast Asia
Tailor-made itinerary ideas in Cambodia
Explore the temples of Angkor near Siem Reap and the capital city of Phnom Penh with some time to relax in the coastal village of Kep.
This itinerary is the perfect way to combine the scenic Mekong Delta with the stunning temples of Angkor. It allows you to contrast frenetic Ho Chi Minh City with the slow pace of the Mekong Delta and Cambodia’s charming capital, Phnom Penh, with the remote countryside surrounding the temples of Angkor.
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