JOIN OUR CAMBODIA CUISINE AND CULTURE TOUR

9-16 NOVEMBER, 2019

Our CAMBODIA CUISINE AND CULTURE TOUR is an 8-day slow, local and experiential escorted small-group tour focused on riverside Siem Reap, gateway to UNESCO World Heritage listed Angkor Wat and Angkor Archaeological Park, the remote and rarely visited temples and village of Banteay Chhmar near the Thai border, and laidback Battambang, the agriculturally rich ‘rice bowl’ of Cambodia, and the picturesque rice paddies and sleepy villages surrounding them. You’ll learn about Cambodia’s rich cuisine, culture and history and engage with its people, as you gain an insight into everyday life in its towns and countryside.

This trip will be extra special: as it coincides with the Cambodia Water Festival, you’ll get a chance to join the locals to watch the boat races, participate in rituals and ceremonies, and take in the buzzy atmosphere of one of the country’s most important holidays.

Slow, Local, Experiential

IN TRUE GRANTOURISMO STYLE, OUR CAMBODIA CUISINE AND CULTURE TOUR IS SLOW, LOCAL AND EXPERIENTIAL

SLOW

Trundle on tuk tuks through temple ruins and rice paddies, scramble Angkor Wat and other archaeological sites, cruise on a lotus-filled lake in a traditional wooden boat, linger over a tasting menu at a farm to table restaurant, and do a road trip to remote Banteay Chhmar and rural Battambang. Have time to savour sunsets with a drink in hand, absorb a museum or gallery, linger in a cafe, or be pampered at a spa.

LOCAL

Meet and engage with locals — Cambodian guides, creative chefs, street food vendors, artisanal makers, farmers, cooking instructors, crafts-people, curators, artists, and designers. Get off the beaten track to discover local markets, neighbourhoods, villages, and the countryside. Live like locals in apartments and village homestays.

EXPERIENTIAL

Get hands-on, dig deep, be immersed, and be enriched, whether exploring UNESCO World Heritage listed Angkor archaeological sites, making Cambodian food in a cooking class, experiencing Cambodia’s culinary culture on a market or street food tour, learning about noodle-making or dessert-making, or trying your hand at a traditional craft.

STAY IN BOUTIQUE CHARM

Stay in intimate, independently owned 4-star boutique accommodation with swimming pools that offer comfort, space and ooze colonial charm. Lodgings are centrally located and close to the riverside and historic centres in Siem Reap and Battambang. Get a taste of living like locals in a suite with a living-dining area and kitchen in Siem Reap and in a simple, clean, family homestay in a traditional wooden house at Banteay Chhmar village.

CAMBODIA CUISINE AND CULTURE TOUR ITINERARY

The Sugar Palm. 8-day Cambodia Cuisine and Culture Tour. Copyright 2019 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Day 1 – SIEM REAP

Saturday 9 November

Arrive in riverside Siem Reap, gateway to UNESCO World Heritage listed Angkor Wat and Angkor Archaeological Park and a delicious yet little-known cuisine.

A driver will meet you at Siem Reap International Airport and take you to your charming lodgings.

Afternoon at leisure to rest, swim, have a massage, or visit Angkor National Museum. Meet the group at 5pm to learn to say ‘cheers’ in Khmer over G&Ts as you get to know your travelling companions during a fun language lesson.

Enjoy a drink at a chic cocktail bar before a feast of traditional Cambodian food.

Today is Independence Day, when King Norodom Sihanouk declared independence in 1953 from France. Expect fireworks.

Accommodation: Chateau d’Angkor La Residence
Meals included: Welcome drinks and dinner

Day 2 – Siem Reap

Sunday 10 November

Sunrise and a Buddhist monk’s blessing at 12th century Angkor Wat before exploring Angkor Archaeological Park with a guide. Breakfast on noodle soup and iced coffee. You’ll discover Bayon with its enormous face towers, and sprawling Preah Khan, set in a forest.

Lunch at a casual social enterprise restaurant training disadvantaged youths for the tourism industry.

Afternoon at your leisure to sleep, swim, or spa, or join the locals to watch the boat races marking the start of Cambodia’s Water Festival.

Sip sundowners at a riverside rooftop bar. See the mesmerising Sacred Dancers of Angkor perform Cambodian classical ballet on a moonlit stage and dine on inventive French-Cambodian cuisine at a restaurant in a beautiful traditional house.

Accommodation: Chateau d’Angkor La Residence
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Angkor Wat at Dawn. 8-day Cambodia Cuisine and Culture Tour. Copyright 2019 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.
Noodle Making. 8-day Cambodia Cuisine and Culture Tour. Copyright 2019 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Day 3 – Siem Reap

Monday 11 November

Journey by tuk tuk through rice paddies and sleepy villages to elaborately carved 10th century Banteay Srei temple, splendid little-visited Banteay Samre, pyramid-shaped Pre Rup, and Prasat Kravanh for its bas-reliefs.

Watch rice noodle making, palm sugar production and basket weaving, and brunch on fresh noodles.

Swim or nap before a Cambodian cooking class with a local chef on an organic farm. Do a street food tour, trying tropical fruits, fried insects and traditional desserts, before Phare Cambodian Circus (no animals just talented performers) and dinner at the casual restaurant of a creative young chef.

Float candlelit offerings on the moonlit Siem Reap River, a Water Festival ritual.

Accommodation: Chateau d’Angkor La Residence
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 4 – SIEM REAP – BANTEAY CHHMAR

Tuesday 12 November

Learn about poverty and development in Cambodia and engage with locals on an interactive two-hour village walk with an NGO guide.

Snack on num pang (Cambodian banh mi) on the drive to Banteay Chhmar, a 12th-century garrison temple, skirted by a lotus-filled moat.

Settle into your homestay in traditional wooden house, cook with local women and enjoy a countryside lunch, visit a silk-weaving centre, ride an ox cart, and explore Ta Prohm and Banteay Chhmar temples.

Observe dalambok (rice flattening), a traditional Water Festival moon salutation ritual called Sampeas Preah Khe, a sunset performance by local musicians and an alfresco candlelit dinner under the stars by the temple walls.

Accommodation: Banteay Chhmar Homestay
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Banteay Chhmar Temple Complex. 8-day Cambodia Cuisine and Culture Tour. Copyright 2019 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.
Battambang Markets. 8-day Cambodia Cuisine and Culture Tour. Copyright 2019 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Day 5 – BANTEAY CHHMAR – BATTAMBANG

Wednesday 13 November

Breakfast, browse the village market, then ride a kuyon (local tractor trailer) through the rice paddies and cassava fields to dilapidated Banteay Torp temple. Drive to Battambang, Cambodia’s ‘rice bowl’, untouched by tourism, home to friendly locals, with a well-preserved French-colonial centre, mural-clad Buddhist pagodas, and a Chinese temple where you can have your fortune read.

Enjoy a light Cambodian lunch, a rest and swim before a leisurely afternoon tuk tuk trundle through the countryside to visit a Muslim fishing village, riverside farm, and century-old traditional wooden houses.

Sip sundowners at a charming cocktail bar and dine on Cambodian and pan-Asian at a social enterprise restaurant.

Accommodation: Bambu Hotel / La Villa
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Day 6 – BATTAMBANG

Thursday 14 November

Breakfast on duck soup at a local eatery before a mouthwatering market tour. See a procession of monks on their morning alms collection. Trundle through picturesque villages, visiting cottage industries in family homes, including traditional dessert-makers and rice paper makers, a fish market, and a historic Buddhist pagoda and genocide monument.

Lunch on hand-pulled noodles and hand-made dumplings then nap, swim or gallery-hop before a late afternoon architecture cum street food tour taking in Chinese shophouses, French colonial buildings and Buddhist pagodas.

Enjoy sundowners at an atmospheric bar, then visit Phare Ponleu Selpak performing arts and circus school before dinner at a riverside restaurant in a French colonial villa.

Accommodation: Bambu Hotel / La Villa
Meals included: Breakfast, lunch and dinner

Monks collect alms at a Battambang market. 8-day Cambodia Cuisine and Culture Tour. Copyright 2019 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.
Embassy Restaurant, Siem Reap. 8-day Cambodia Cuisine and Culture Tour. Copyright 2019 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Day 7 – BATTAMBANG – SIEM REAP

Friday 15 November

After a leisurely breakfast at the hotel, we’ll drive back to Siem Reap.

Lunch and afternoon at your leisure after a busy few days: relax, swim, enjoy a massage or spa treatment, gallery hop, or linger at a café.

Early this evening we’ll visit an infused rice spirit maker, tour the infusion room and do a tasting, followed by a Cambodian cocktail class. There’ll be time to browse the Made in Cambodia market before dinner.

Savour a tasting menu at elegant Embassy restaurant, helmed by two young female chefs experimenting with creative contemporary Cambodian cuisine.

Accommodation: Chateau d’Angkor La Residence
Meals included: Breakfast and dinner

Day 8 – SIEM REAP

Saturday 16 November

Watch artisans carve stone and wood and make lacquerware, have coffee and cake at a café-school training disadvantaged girls to be pastry chefs.

Lunch in the leafy courtyard of a hospitality-training restaurant.

Continue with the group to visit the couture house of a fashion designer or private studio of an artist, and a hip shopping quarter for locally made jewellery, accessories, interior décor, and gifts. Or do your own thing: return to Angkor, take a class on jewellery making or pottery, or another cooking class.

Dinner is at an organic farm-to-table restaurant by one of Siem Reap’s most exciting chefs experimenting with inventive Cambodian cuisine.

Accommodation: Chateau d’Angkor La Residence
Meals included: Breakfast and dinner

Lum Orng Farm to Table Restaurant. 8-day Cambodia Cuisine and Culture Tour. Copyright 2019 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.
Shopping in Kandal Village, Siem Reap. 8-day Cambodia Cuisine and Culture Tour. Copyright 2019 Terence Carter / Grantourismo. All Rights Reserved.

Day 9 – SIEM REAP

SUNDAY 17 NOVEMBER

Check out today is at noon. Until then, enjoy a leisurely breakfast, relax, swim, do some last minute shopping at Kandal Village, or have a final massage.

Airport transfers are included and will be arranged.
We’ll meet you before you fly out for final goodbyes.

8-DAY CAMBODIA CUISINE AND CULTURE TOUR PRICES

Full Price: US$2,955 per person single occupancy in a 1-bedroom suite/double room

$500 deposit to book. Balance due by 19 October 2019

Last Minute Discount: US$2,660 per person single occupancy in a 1-bedroom suite/double room

$1,000 deposit to book. Balance due by 10 October 2019

Full Price: US$2,755 for second person sharing a 1-bedroom suite/double room with double/twin beds

$500 deposit to book. Balance due by 19 October 2019

Last Minute Discount: US$2,580 for second person sharing a 1-bedroom suite/double room with double/twin

$1,000 deposit to book. Balance due by 10 October 2019

Full Price: US$2,555 per person triple occupancy for three people sharing a 2-bedroom suite in Siem Reap (one double bedroom and one twin bedroom), one homestay house (with two/three bedrooms) in Banteay Chhmar, and one room (with three beds) in Battambang.

$500 deposit to book. Balance due by 19 October 2019

Last Minute Discount: US$2,455 per person triple occupancy for three people sharing a 2-bedroom suite in Siem Reap (one double bedroom and one twin bedroom), one homestay house (with two/three bedrooms) in Banteay Chhmar, and one room (with three beds) in Battambang.

$1,000 deposit to book. Balance due by 10 October 2019

WHAT’S INCLUDED

Airport transfers upon arrival and departure
Travel/food writer Lara Dunston as your host
Cambodian guides to escort all tours and excursions
Private transport by air-conditioned vehicles between destinations
Charming tuk tuk transports for local travel
7 nights accommodation in 4-star hotels with swimming pools
1 night’s accommodation in a clean comfortable homestay
All meals as indicated in the itinerary in restaurants and local eateries
All tastings and drinks on food tours
All activities, tours, classes and excursions as indicated in itinerary

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED

International flights
Cambodia visa
Travel Insurance (see below)
3-Day Angkor Temple Pass
Additional meals, drinks and snacks not in itinerary
Personal expenses, such as laundry, telephone, mini-bar, etc
Tips, at your discretion

CONTACT FORM

For bookings or any questions you need answered, drop us a line at
lara @ grantourismotravels.com or fill out this form.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

It is a condition of booking that you purchase travel insurance, which provides cover for such things as pre-tour cancellation, travel disruptions/delays, personal injury, sickness, medical expenses, emergency evacuation/repatriation, and theft or loss of luggage and personal effects. We require a copy of your travel insurance policy 30 days before your departure.

Where To Buy Travel Insurance

While there are many travel insurance companies that you can purchase your travel insurance from, we recommend World Nomads. You can easily get a quote and purchase your insurance using the box below and they offer 24 hour customer service seven days a week, emergency assistance, online claims, and we love their travel philosophy and altruism.

The Small Print

Payments

The total price for the main 8-day Cambodia Cuisine and Culture Tour in Siem Reap, Banteay Chhmar and Battambang from 9-16 November 2019 is US$2,955 per person single occupancy of a double room; US$2,755 for a second person sharing that double/twin room; and US$2,555 per person triple occupancy for three people sharing a 2-bedroom suite in Siem Reap (with one double bedroom and one twin bedroom), one homestay house in Banteay Chhmar (with two/three bedrooms), and one room in Battambang (with three beds).

Payments Dates

The tour must be paid in full by the date specified above. This means payment must be received by that date, so that we can pay our travel partners. If payments are not received on time, there is a risk that some bookings might be cancelled by our travel partners, such as flights, accommodation and tours and we may need to find alternatives to those specified in the itinerary.

Discounts

Early bird discounts and last minute discounts may be offered to fill spots and may be detailed above from time to time. To receive these discounts payments must be received in our account by the date specified. Early bird discounts may be offered because our travel partners might offer us a discount if we are able to pay for rooms or services by a certain date. Last minute discounts may be offered because we need to fill remaining spots by a certain date to close bookings on the trip. The discounts will not apply to payments received after the dates specified.

Bookings and Deposits

A booking cannot be made until a deposit is received. To book a place on the tour a deposit of US$500 is required if you are paying full price or a deposit of US$1,000 if you are taking advantage of an early bird or last minute discount. Please notify us if you require an invoice. Detailed payment instructions will be provided on request and should be read carefully. A receipt or ‘tax invoice’ will be provided for these payments.

Non-Refundable Deposits

Deposits for tours are non-refundable because they are used to hold bookings with our travel partners. This is because it’s a condition of our bookings with our travel partners that deposits be made to secure the best deals and keep the prices as low as possible. If we didn’t provide these deposits, the tour prices would be higher. It’s essential that you take out travel insurance as soon as you have paid a deposit in case of an unexpected event or emergency that necessitates a cancellation of your place on the tour.

Itineraries and Accommodation Subject to Change Until Booked

Only after your deposit is paid will your place on the trip and accommodation at the lodgings in the itinerary be confirmed. Therefore, lodgings currently listed in the itinerary are subject to change until then. Should we lose booked rooms, then efforts will be made to book hotels as close as possible to the price point, quality and style as the original accommodation listed. Unlike many tour companies that use big characterless brand hotels that off generous trade discounts and commissions, we have hand-picked intimate accommodation that is independently owned, comfortable, and has character and charm. We would hate to lose these bookings.

Cancellation Policies

The cancellation of your place on this tour after 30 September 2019 will be subject to a US$2,000 per person cancellation fee. Cancellations after 7 October 2019 will be 100% cost of the tour. This is why travel insurance is essential. In the event that Lara could not fulfil her commitment as host on these trips due to exceptional circumstances, such as a serious illness or personal emergency, then an alternative host with similar expertise and experience in Cambodia will be engaged, but unfortunately cancellations by participants cannot not be accepted and refunds cannot be given for this reason in the highly unlikely event of this happening.

Group Size

We like to keep our tours small with an ideal group size of 7-12 people as we believe smaller is better: the host and guides are able to ensure all participants receive attention on tours, excursions and classes; we are able to travel in smaller, more comfortable vehicles; participants are able to forge stronger friendships with their travel companions; and smaller groups are less intrusive in local settings such as restaurants. If you’d like to undertake this trip with a larger group of friends or family, get in touch and we can organise a private trip for you.

Extend Your Trip?

We can assist with travel planning advice, itineraries and tips if you’d like to continue travelling in Cambodia or Southeast Asia after this tour. We will also be hosting more Cambodia and Vietnam Cuisine and Culture Tours and Culinary Travel Writing and Photography Retreats in conjunction with our travel parters at the end of 2019 and in early 2020. Email or fill out the contact form above if you’d like more information.

Copyright © 2019 Grantourismo Travels. All rights reserved. The itinerary for the Vietnam Cuisine and Culture Tour and Trip Extensions is the intellectual property of Grantourismo Travels and may not be reproduced or copied in any format without prior written permission.

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