Best of Cambodia and Indonesia Vacation

A 10 day trip to Bali / Indonesia & Cambodia 
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Sunrise over Ta Prohm embodies the essence of discovery, and the escalating chorus of the Kecak Fire Dance expresses the epic tone of Balinese legend. Your custom tailored tour takes you on an exploration of multiple cities to experience the lifestyles, histories, and cultures of Cambodia and Bali. Ancient temples hide beneath the jungle canopy and stand atop breathtaking cliffs. Fishermen cast nets into rushing rivers and calm ocean waters. Monkeys guard secluded trails and villages stand on staggering stilts above quiet lakes. The uniqueness of Bali and Cambodia’s towns, cities, villages, and countryside take on an unforgettable spirit.

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Most tours are customized for private travel.

General Information

Photos
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Angkor Wat, Tonle Sap Lake, Ubud, Sacred Monkey Forest, Ulun Danu Bratan, Nusa Dua, Tanah Lot, Uluwatu 

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Phnom Penh – The Warmth of Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh conjures images of shimmering spires rising out of the Royal Palace and monks draped in saffron robes walking down the wide boulevards. Markets fill with the aromas of captivating spices and cafes emanate the scent of freshly roasted coffee and succulent cuisines. Your flight lands at Phnom Penh International Airport, where your private transfer meets you upon arrival. The city stands at the confluence of the Mekong, Bassac and Tonle Sap Rivers, combining big-city elegance with provincial charm. Trees line the lanes and frame French colonial mansions. Fishing boats move with the river current in search of filling their nets. You settle into the comforts of your luxurious hotel at the heart of the city, offering you the remainder of the day at leisure.

For a perfect introduction to Khmer culture and history, you can visit the National Museum, which was erected between 1917 and 1920 using traditional Khmer architectural elements. The galleries contain a millennium’s worth of masterful design and stunning sculpture wrapped around a verdant tropical courtyard. A herbaceous aroma fills the walkways beneath the rose-tinted rooftops. You first find a large fragment of an immense bronze statue depicting Vishnu. In the southern pavilion, you discover pre-Angkorian collections, offering a timeline of artwork attributed to Indian sculptors as well as the intricate detail of Khmer culture dating between the 5th and 8th centuries.

What’s Included: airport transfer, accommodation

Day 2: Siem Reap – Beyond the Temple Gateway

In the morning, an armada of fishing boats takes to the Mekong River with fishermen eager to cast their nets on the rushing water. The markets open with vendors cooking fresh noodle soup with eggs, passing the traditional breakfast dish to keen patrons. Market stalls showcase fresh produce, from passion fruit to mangosteen. Your private transfer meets you in the hotel lobby and escorts you to the airport for your brief flight to Siem Reap. The expressive contemporary city stands at the edge of Angkor, the ancient and enchanting city. Cafes line the streets, and artisan craftsmen work in the Les Chantiers Ecoles, the epicenter of cultural revitalization by teaching locals the art of wood and stone carving, along with traditional silk painting.

Inside the city center, cars and tuk-tuks (rickshaws) roll through the streets. On the outskirts of Siem Reap, farmers continue to use donkeys and carts to carry crops to the market. Your private transfer escorts you to a fabulous hotel close to the bustling city center. In the late afternoon, you board a paddleboat to float down the moat edging Angkor Thom. The gentle breeze brings a refreshing cool to the jungle trees. You can hear monkeys lingering in the canopy. The bridge connecting the historic gate is framed with elegant statues facing outwards. The temple was erected in the 12th century in the Bayon style, manifesting in large, laterite towers adorned with gazing faces.  

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, tour, accommodation

Day 3: Siem Reap – At the Sun’s Peak

You wake before dawn when the city fills with the aroma of freshly baked baguettes, a remnant of French Colonialism. Vendors at the market return to begin preparing their stalls for the morning rush. Your guide meets you in the lobby and escorts you into the jungle to face the stunning gates at Ta Prohm Temple. The structure was erected between the mid 12th and 13th centuries. The aroma of cool soil and rich jungle brush fills the air. You can hear the waters of the moat trickling in the distance. The sunlight spreads slowly across the walls cloaked in tree roots. You feel like an adventurous archeologist in search of hidden treasures in forgotten temples.

The jungle has swallowed the temple over time, offering you a glimpse of the entire Angkor complex as European explorers first discovered in the 19th century. Your guide leads you along the thick tree roots dangling from the pitched rooftops, embodying the power of nature and ingenuity of humanity. Towers wrap around closed courtyards, and elegant reliefs decorate narrow corridors. Moss and lichen overtake displaced stones and leaves flutter in the newly returned sunlight to cast an emerald hue above the silver stone walls. The temple was featured in the Tomb Rader film when Angelina Jolie picked a jasmine flower from the Crocodile Tree at the entrance pavilion. In the afternoon, you take the time for an enriching visit to the Angkor National Museum, which exhibits artifacts of the region’s Golden Era during the Khmer Empire.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 4: Siem Reap – Life On Water

In the morning, students and performers venture to Phare, the Cambodian Circus, to practice their techniques and works in the celebrated performance space of the Cambodian Circus. The shows blend personal stories with triumphant feats of physical strength and high-flying acts of imagination. Your guide meets you in the hotel lobby after breakfast and leads you to the shores of Tonle Sap Lake, Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake, encompassing an area of 1,000 square miles. Crocodiles and turtles linger in the marshlands, and mangrove forests grow against the mouth of the river.

Macaques rifle through the trees and call out to one another in the cool morning air. You board a local boat and venture to the village of Kampong Phluck. Houses hover over the surface water on stilts nearly 20 feet tall. In the wet season, the lake rises and submerges the stilts, making it look as though the village floats along the surface. The thatched walls and corrugated pitched roofs grab your attention. Chickens cluck and graze on the grass away from the water. Villagers greet you with warm smiles.

Children wave from the platforms of their houses as fishermen lay large traps in the water. Your guide explains that when the water rises too high or becomes too choppy, the villagers move to the floodplains. Outside the village, you float through the submerged forest, passing your fingers over the tree bark and waxy texture of the leaves. Passing fishermen nod in welcome as they squat near the front of their canoes. The villagers make boats with wood from the coki tree, which grows in abundance near the lake.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 5: Ubud – Jungle Edge to Vast Rice Fields

The bustle of the streets of Siem Reap returns in the morning with vendors headed for market and farmers bringing their wares to sell across the city. Passersby make their way to the gates of Angkor and the morning market fills with colorful clothing and vibrant paintings meant to catch a patron’s eye. Your private transfer meets you at the hotel and escorts you to Siem Reap International Airport for your flight to Bali. The city of Ubud claims the title of Bali’s “Cultural Capital,” with streets meandering along the Central Highlands and glowing with iridescent rainforest trees and emerald rice paddies. A cool mountain breeze rustles the surrounding trees and artists fill the marketplace with elegant paintings, spectacular jewelry, and captivating woodcarvings.

Your private transfer meets you at Ngurah Rai International Airport upon your arrival. Your luxurious hotel overlooks the sweeping greenery of the bordering rice fields. Sporadic wildflowers bloom with orange petals. The scent of hyacinth blends with the aroma of coffee drifting out of the chic central cafes. For a unique first impression of Ubud, you venture to a hotel famous for its hillside location and spectacular views. A swing dangles between the two coconut trees on a hilly summit. You can sit on the swing and enjoy a gentle pace with views of the Ayung River. You can hear the tranquil splash of a mini waterfall while looking out to the rice fields and peak of Mount Agung.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 6: Ubud – Palatial Past and Sacred Trails 

The aroma of banana pancakes fills the morning air, blending with the rich scent of freshly roasted coffee beans. After breakfast, your guide meets you in the hotel lobby, eager to introduce you to the lush landscape around Ubud. Trails crisscross the rice fields. Locals sell coconuts freshly fallen or taken from the trees. Farmers wear traditional thatched, conical hats. The trails wind beneath coconut canopies and alongside farmland. The rice grows over ankle-height. Sporadic huts rise out of the fields. You continue to Ubud Palace, where the royal family continues to live amongst the decorative statues and stone carvings. Bright flowers adorn the shrines and hints of jasmine drift through the air.

The palace was erected in the 19th century and remains a splendid example of Balinese architecture. The beauty of the décor and design has established a deep seeded connection between the region and artists, bringing in artisan craftsmen from across Bali to take inspiration from the charming tropical garden. Once in the Sacred Monkey Forest, you discover more than 100 long-tailed macaques spread across 27 acres. The rainforest canopy shades the stone walkways. Monkeys linger on historical statues and watch passersby from the treetops. A rocky stream flows at the bottom of the central ravine. Your guide leads you to the first of a collection of ancient temples, reminding you of the moss-covered walls you saw at Ta Prohm Temple.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 7: Ubud – To the Terraces and Beyond

In the morning, you find frangipanis blossoming against the open lobby of your hotel. The sweet aroma fills the air and calls to passing hummingbirds in search of nectar. Your guide meets you at the hotel and leads you to the Tegalalang Rice Terraces to view the remarkable texture of the hillsides. Palm trees soar above the layered tiers of the rice fields overtaking the landscape. The iconic image of the Balinese countryside adheres to the subak, a cooperative irrigation system passed down through the generations, beginning in the 8th century.

Farmers carry poles with woven baskets balancing at both edges. They walk barefoot through the puddled terraces as the rice grows into fields. The microclimates change across the hillside tiers, growing warmer as you reach the valley floor. You continue your exploration of the Balinese countryside on a scenic drive north to Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, the Lake Temple. The complex was erected in the 17th century and dedicated to the Hindu trinity of Brahman, Vishnu, and Shiva. The grounds also contain shrines devoted to the lake goddess.

Tiers offer a theme for the day, taking you from the terraced hills to the concentric thatched-roof towers of the temples. The water laps against the stone-studded borders of the small islands and lakeshore setting. Lily pads wade in the soft wake. Four gates encircle the city to embody the four shrines and the four points of the compass. Your guide points to the Vishnu’s shrine, which contains 11 tiers, as opposed to Brahma and Shiva’s shrines, which contain seven and three tiers, respectively.  

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 8: Nusa Dua – Beyond the Sands

In the morning, the waves break beyond the reef. The sound of the splashing water accompanies the sea breeze. Palm trees and sporadic umbrellas cast shade across the sand. After breakfast, you meet your instructor at Geger Beach for a private surf lesson. Avid surfers have already made their way to the breaks, gliding across the water with dancer-like grace. You first learn the techniques of balance by popping up on the board while situated on the sand. You burst upward to your feet from a lying position. When you feel comfortable, your guide helps you out to the water, taking you over the small waves curling near the shore. He tells you when to paddle your arms to propel yourself forward.

The water is refreshing beneath the tropical sun. You pop up when told, balance your body, and ride the wave back to the powdery shoreline. The remainder of the day is yours to enjoy the splendors of Bali and the southern peninsula at your leisure. For a unique view of the landscape, you make your way to the sacred and secret canyon near Sukawati. The canyon rocks are iridescent with gold and turquoise hues reflected in the crystal clear water. The cold and refreshing river courses gently along the rugged boulders at the base of the canyon wall. The magnificent landscape resembles a surreal painting in which you can find hidden faces protruding from the rocks.

What’s Included: breakfast, tour, accommodation

Day 9: Nusa Dua – Amongst the Shores and Cliffs

In the morning, the air around Nusa Dua fills with the tropical aromas of starfruit and pineapple. Seaweed farmers tend to their crops growing off the coast. The sunlight captures flickers of colorful coral glinting from beneath the water. After breakfast, you begin the day with a visit to the majestic Water Blow, a natural phenomenon turning the coastline into a geyser. The wake fills a narrow passage on the rugged shore with water. When the pressure builds, the water erupts over the viewing platform and craggy rocks, before receding. The mist remains for minutes at a time, cooling the surrounding air beneath the rising tropical sun.

In the afternoon, your guide leads you to the cliffs of Uluwatu, overlooking the eponymous beach. The white sands glow against the fading sunlight beneath the breathtaking image of a temple erected along the limestone precipice. The edifice was built in the 11th century nearly 230 feet above the splashing waves. Monkeys linger in the trees and lounge on the walkways. The temple is regarded as one of Bali’s spiritual pillars. The sun fades behind the horizon, and an irrefutable rhythm erupts with a drumbeat. The Kecak Fire Dance begins with performers extending their arms and shaking their hands into the air. Their collective chant is fast and repetitive, combining their movements to tell a story from the Ramayana epic.

What’s Included: breakfast, dinner, tour, accommodation

Day 10: Nusa Dua – Continuing Wonders

In the morning, the sunlight stretches over the natural arch at Nusa Penida. The geological phenomenon resembles a hole in the cliff where the water has broken through. The turquoise hues of the sea glow against the golden striations of the rock. The arch was once a full cave that collapsed over time, creating a natural pool protected from the open ocean. On the beaches near your resort, surfers have returned back to the water. You can’t help but recall your morning in the surf, riding the waves at Geger Beach. The thrilling excursion has you inspired to try again soon. Your private transfer meets you at the hotel and escorts you to Ngurah Rai International Airport when you are ready. You could always extend your time in Bali to explore the neighboring islands or bask in the seclusion of the northern shores.

What’s Included: breakfast, airport transfer 

Price

Starting Price 

$1,995
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.