Explore the fascinating temples of historic Angkor before a relaxing week at the beach on Phu Quoc Island.
3 nights Siem Reap, including breakfast and excursions; 7 nights La Veranda Resort, including breakfast. Includes flights and transfers.
13 days from £2,945pp
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On the beach - 8 days
La Veranda Resort
A relaxed and elegant resort exuding classic French charm, La Veranda is a colonial-style mansion set on the edge of a golden-sand beach. Step back in time, unwind by the pool and soak up the atmosphere at this elegant tropical escape.
Set in colourful manicured gardens, La Veranda is an intimate hotel with excellent standards of service. Decorative tiled floors, wicker furniture, whirring ceiling fans and breezy verandas create a magical air of times past in the main building, which is linked to the villas by attractive pathways. The swimming pool forms a centrepiece to the gardens and the small spa offers a good range of massages, wraps and scrubs. The restaurant serves Vietnamese, Asian and French cuisine but you could always opt to head for a tiny desert island instead, where you can dine alone on a white-sand beach. Snorkel in crystal-clear waters or take a half-day trip around the island to explore the lush rainforest, beautiful beaches, pearl farms and fishing villages. Learn about local life with a trip to see how pepper is grown, harvested and prepared.
La Veranda boasts a beautiful selection of superbly-appointed rooms decorated in a classic French colonial style, with mosaic floors, dark woods, four-poster beds and shuttered windows. Villas have private balconies and views of the lush gardens or the beach.
Before the beach - 4 days
Temples of Angkor
The remains of an ancient Khmer capital, the magnificent temples of Angkor are a fitting reminder of an empire that once stretched from Myanmar to Vietnam. Built between the 9th and 15th centuries, successive rulers sought to build ever greater monuments to their reign resulting in what is now one of the most significant archaeological sites in the world. Hundreds of temples still survive, from the iconic Angkor Wat to the enigmatic Bayon with its super-sized human faces, and jungle covered Ta Prohm.
Set in tropical gardens in a central but quiet location in Siem Reap, the Shinta Mani Resort offers 62 stylish and sophisticated rooms with contemporary decor featuring handcrafted fittings. The hotel has an excellent restaurant, inviting pool and a spa offering traditional Khmer treatments.
La Veranda Resort
70 rooms, 3 restaurants, 1 pool
Set on a pretty stretch of coast, La Veranda Resort and Spa is a boutique property that has become a firm Audley favourite.
The hotel has been designed to reflect the style and ambience of an old colonial mansion and comprises only 70 rooms.
Managed by the Accor group, service is of a good standard yet still retains a relaxed, laid-back atmosphere of an independent hotel.
Lots of guests are here to relax at the start or end of a Vietnam tour and so are just lounging by the pool or enjoying a spa treatment but there are plenty of things to do should you want to be more active.
The resort welcomes families but is not particularly geared toward children.
Many of the room types enable you to add a crib or an extra bed and there are a number of connecting rooms available.
A babysitting service is also available on request and there is a section of the swimming pool that can be used by children.
La Veranda is on Phu Quoc, an island off the coast of south Vietnam.
Set on a beautiful white sand beach, the hotel has local bars and restaurants along with other hotels within walking distance. One restaurant which has been recommended to us is the nearby Phuong Binh House. The nearby town has even more restaurants and is a 1 km taxi ride which should only cost a couple of dollars.
La Veranda is suited to those looking for a relaxed, unsophisticated beach break and is very popular with both couples and families. The resort area is relatively small and facilities limited so it may not suit those looking for larger resorts.
The resort has 70 rooms in total, all designed in a classic French colonial style with tiled floors, shutters, dark wood and exposed brick work.
Deluxe Room Garden View
These rooms are situated in a low storey building and have either a balcony or terrace overlooking the lush tropical gardens. The total floor space, including the balcony or terrace, is 36 sq m and some are interconnecting, making them good for families.
Deluxe Room Sea View
The Deluxe Sea View Rooms have all the same facilities as those with a garden view but offer views of the ocean.
Deluxe Villa Garden View
The villas are more spacious than the rooms at 50 sq m including a large private terrace. They are set in single storey blocks of three villas in among the gardens.
Amenities are the same as the Garden and Seaview Rooms but the villas benefit from a separate bathtub and shower and can also connect with an adjacent villa for families.
La Veranda Suite Villa
There are six La Veranda Suite Villas; three have a direct beachfront location, whilst the other three have a seaview but all have a private terrace.
They have a separate bathtub and shower as well as four-poster beds. Connecting rooms are also available.
Pictures of the rooms
Activities, diving & excursions
The swimming pool is set among the lush colourful tropical gardens that are a feature of the resort and there are sun loungers here and at the beach. Part of the pool has been set aside for children.
Kayaks are available free of charge.
The resort has an intimate bar and lounge, furnished with comfortable wicker chairs, ceiling fans and tiled floors and there is also a library with internet access and a range of books. Although there is little in the way of organised entertainment, the local town and other simple resorts along the beach offer a good range of alternative eating and drinking options.
There are several local PADI certified dive shops through which the resort can arrange diving and snorkelling excursions. This is recommended during the dry season only (November to May) as visibility can be poor at other times of the year.
Food & drink
The resort has a comfortable intimate style with breezy verandas ideal for enjoying refreshing drinks or meals and there are three restaurants.
The Pepper Tree Restaurant has views over the ocean and the sunset. The restaurant serves Pacific Rim cuisine.
Le Jardin also overlooks the ocean and serves Mediterranean food.
La Veranda has a small spa with 3 treatments rooms which offers a good range of massages, treatments, wraps and scrubs using locally produced products.
Temples of Angkor
Location: Siem Reap
Once a small market town, Siem Reap has undergone one of the fastest periods of growth in Southeast Asia, and is still growing.
Now a gateway to Angkor -— and home to all the hotels — the town has a surprisingly sophisticated selection of good restaurants and bars, but you do not have to look far to find a more authentic Cambodia, for example, on the stalls of the fascinating local market.
Travellers from far and wide congregate in a small corner of northwest Cambodia to marvel at this truly staggering collection of temples. Scattered throughout a huge area of forest, together they comprise one of the world’s greatest man-made wonders. Though often used to refer to the entire complex, Angkor Wat is the most famous temple, but to see even this you should allow several hours and will probably want to return.
Built between 1113 and 1150 AD, this is the world’s largest religious monument, with countless towers, cloisters, courtyards and carvings. As the most famous, it attracts the most visitors and its main avenue can become crowded with photographers at sunset. However, in the immediate area there are more than 50 other temples to explore.
The 'Grand Circuit'
The 'Grand Circuit' comprises the walled city of Angkor Thom, the centrepiece Bayon temple decorated with over 200 intricately carved faces, the former Buddhist university Preah Khan, and finally Ta Prohm. Engulfed in jungle, this temple remains much as Henry Mouhot would have originally found it when he rediscovered the deserted temples in the 1860s.
Beyond the Grand Circuit are many other temples, often more overgrown and almost deserted, sharing 360 square kilometres with a dense forest of tall, majestic trees. Our favourites include the Rolous Group, a collection of early Khmer temples built in the 9th century; Banteay Srei, a charming early Hindu temple; and the recently opened Beng Melea. Less visited, these provide the seclusion to take in the splendour and vastness of this lost empire’s achievement.
Tonle Sap Lake
A great excursion is on Tonle Sap Lake, a vast body of water that, when the Mekong floods, is Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake. A boat trip on the lake reveals rural Cambodian life as it co-exists with the seasonal floods, with floating and stilted villages where communities dwell in an aquatic world.
Shinta Mani Shack
Accommodation: Shinta Mani Shack
The latest addition to the hotel scene in Siem Reap, the Shinta Mani Shack stands in a central location within walking distance of the Old Market, cafés and bars. This stylish and modern courtyard-style resort, boasts 62 rooms and one suite which all have first floor balcony views or direct access to the large swimming pool and tropical gardens. The design cues of designer Bill Bensley permeate throughout the property, with exclusively created artwork in each room, the Shinta Mani offers affordable, deluxe accommodation. Bai Tong offers all day dining, with indoor and outdoor seating areas, there is complimentary Wi-Fi available throughout the property also. Guests also enjoy the facilities of its sister property, Shinta Mani Club, which stands opposite, including the spa, Kroya Restaurant and Bensley’s Bar.
Shinta Mani strongly supports responsible tourism through their Shinta Mani Foundation — a stay here assists the on-site hospitality training school for the less fortunate and disadvantaged children in the local community, a percentage of the daily room rate contributes to the Foundation to support their activities. Guests can visit The Development Centre or speak to staff about how they can make a difference.
Day by day
Board your overnight flight to Siem Reap.
On arrival you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel.
Start your exploration of the magnificent Angkor temple complex with a visit to Angkor Wat late this afternoon. The best preserved of the Angkorian temples and one of the largest, Angkor Wat dates back to the 12th century. Visiting at this time of day offers the opportunity to see the unset over the spires of the central tower.
An early start this morning to watch the sunrise at Pre Rup temple. After dawn, continue on to Ta Prohm temple. Set in the jungle with vines and trees growing through the walls, many parts of the temple are crumbling into the ground — it was one of the most picturesque of the Angkor temples.
Pause for lunch in a traditional wooden building in a small village where you can sample authentic local food. This afternoon, visit Angkor Thom, one of the most iconic temples of the Angkor complex and the world's largest city in the 12th century. At the centre of the city the Bayon temple has 216 carved stone faces.
This morning you will travel to Tonle Sap Lake to explore a fishing village that appears to float on the lake. You will have the afternoon free to explore at your leisure before a visit to Phare Circus in the evening. Run by a non-profit association working with vulnerable children and young adults, this fascinating circus features music, dance, acrobatics and theatre with stories centred around Cambodian society and history.
Today you will be transferred to the airport for your short flight to Phu Quoc Island. Here you will be met and transferred to La Veranda Resort, your home for the next seven nights. Settle in on your first afternoon with a walk along the white sand beach and check out the local restaurants nearby.
Today is your first full day at leisure on Phu Quoc. You might like to take a day trip to the lush rainforest national park in the north of the island or explore the pearl farms and fishing villages of the south.
Days 7 - 11
Today you will transfer to Phu Quoc airport for your flight home.
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