You’ll come away from this experience having sampled local cuisine, seen sights to amaze and learned of a fascinating history, but it’s the people who will make the biggest impression. Genuinely warm, good humoured and welcoming, the people of Vietnam and Cambodia are as much a treasure as the ancient temples of Angkor Wat, the Pagoda of Chau Doc and the wide far reaching banks and narrow canals of the Mekong itself.
Royal Palace – Phnom Penh
The Royal Palace, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, is a complex of buildings which serves as the royal residence of the king of Cambodia. Its full name in the Khmer language is Preah Barum Reachea Veang Chaktomuk Serei Mongkol. The Kings of Cambodia have occupied it since it was built in 1860s, with a period of absence when the country came into turmoil during and after the reign of the Khmer Rouge.
The palace was constructed after King Norodom relocated the royal capital from Oudong to Phnom Penh in the mid-19th century. It was built atop an old citadel called Banteay Kev. It faces towards the East and is situated at the Western bank of the cross division of the Tonle Sap River and the Mekong River called Chaktomuk (an allusion to Brahma).
Angkor Wat – Siem Riep
Angkor Wat is a temple complex in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world, with the site measuring 162.6 hectares (1,626,000 m2; 402 acres). It was originally constructed as a Hindu temple for the Khmer Empire, gradually transforming into a Buddhist temple toward the end of the 12th century. It was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century in Yaśodharapura, the capital of the Khmer Empire, as his state temple and eventual mausoleum. Breaking from the Shaiva tradition of previous kings, Angkor Wat was instead dedicated to Vishnu. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious center since its foundation. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the country’s prime attraction for visitors.
Elephant In Bayon – Siem Riep
As you take your journey, you will understand how the elephant has been so important in the creation of the fabulous Kingdom of Cambodia. The elephant has seen and served many kings and queens as they have travelled to and from the temples and has even helped to construct those same temples. Unfortunately, the elephant has also been used by soldiers in war time.
The elephant is a highly regarded and respected animal, and one of our main concerns, at Adventurous Asia, is to educate the people of Cambodia to preserve and sustain the elephant, and all wildlife, especially those that have become endangered because of warfare. We are committed to using our resources to help improve the quality of understanding in prese
An Elephant ride in Siem Reap is a great way to soak up the atmosphere under the shade of the huge trees and also offers a different view on the temples. The first elephant ride starts in the morning at 08:00 from the South Gate of Angkor Thom to the Bayon Temple. The elephants then are stationed next to the Bayon Temple for rides around Bayon temple. The last elephant ride is at 10:30 from Bayon back to the South Gate.
Apsara Performance – Siem Riep
No visit to Cambodia is complete without at least a quick glimpse of women performing the ancient art of apsara dance, as depicted on the walls of Angkor’s temples. Wearing glittering silk tunics, sequinned tops (into which they are sewn before each performance to achieve the requisite tight fit) and elaborate golden headdresses, performers execute their movements with deftness and deliberation, knees bent in plié, heels touching the floor first at each step, coy smiles on their faces. Every position has its own particular symbolism – a finger pointing to the sky, for instance, indicates “today”, while standing sideways to the audience with the sole of the foot facing upwards represents flying.
Buddhist Monk – Siem Riep
Take part in a sacred Buddhist ritual when you travel to the Wat Arang Pagoda outside Siem Reap and receive a water blessing. Travel through the countryside and, at the temple, choose from 2 types of blessings that will each bring you cleansing and luck.
Water blessings are a traditional Cambodian practice that date back to ancient times. The blessings take place in an ancient pagoda in the countryside, just south of Siem Reap. Receive a blessing of your own during this 1-hour water blessing experience at the Wat Arang Pagoda.
Choose from 2 forms of blessings from the monks living at the pagoda. The first begins with the monks chanting harmoniously as they wish you good luck, safe travel, and a long life. It is accompanied by a light sprinkling of water. The second is a longer ritual which involves vessels of blessed water being poured over your head while the monks chant. For this ritual, you will be provided with a sarong to change into so that your clothing remains dry.
At the end of the blessing, your wrist is adorned with special red ties that signify the blessing performed.
Opera House – Ho Chi Minh City
Located at the start of the famous Le Loi Avenue, the building still retails many lively evidences for the influence of French architecture in Vietnam.
At the turn of the 20th century, this magnificent building, designed by French architect Ferret Eugene, was built as a classical opera house with 800 seats to entertain French colonists. Anyone who has been to France can recognize many similarities between the Opera House and the Petit Palais. In fact, just like the Reunification Palace, the applied ornament, balustrades, cartouches, and roof were imported directly from France. After 1956, the house functioned as home of the Lower House Assembly of Southern Vietnam. It’s not until 1975 that the opera house was restored to its original purpose of use. Today, the theatre stands at the start of the famous Le Loi Avenue, just adjacent to Hotel Continental and Caravelle, right in the heart of the city.
Floating Market – Mekong River
The floating markets belong to the highlights of the Lotus Cruise. These markets are central markets where people can buy fruit and vegetables from local production. The goods are sold directly from the boats – the owners hang the available products on long poles, so that people can see what’s on offer from far away. Small sampans serve as mobile cafés, where you can buy soft drinks, an iced coffee or a strong noodle soup for breakfast.