Travel to the provincial town of Battambang to see local lifestyles and explore the surrounding countryside. Continue across Lake Tonle Sap on a private boat to the lively city of Siem Reap, the gateway to Angkor.
Day 1: Phnom Penh to Battambang
Meet your guide and depart from Phnom Penh on the way to Battambang. Pass through the riverside town of Kompong Chhnang, stopping to see local silversmith and pottery production. Continue to the small town of Krakor, turning off the main road to visit the floating town of Kompong Luong. With almost 10,000 inhabitants, this is the largest floating community on the Tonle Sap Lake. Explore the town by boat, spotting schools, doctors, shops, and even the gas station all floating on the lake.
After lunch, drive to Pursat to see the artisan stone carvings. Later, continue to Battambang, the second-largest city in Cambodia. Located on a rich and fertile plain that serves as one of Cambodia's leading sources of rice, this beautiful riverside town features gorgeous agrarian landscapes. Check into your hotel, a Superior Room at La Villa Battambang, and spend the afternoon relaxing, traveling through town to discover beautiful colonial architecture.
Day 2: Battambang
After breakfast, drive along the Sangker River to Wat Slaket pagoda, the residence of the provincial Buddhist patriarch. Visit an ancient Khmer house and witness the production of rice paper used to make spring rolls. Continue to Wat Ek Phnom to vsee the Provincial museum and local market.
Arrive in a local village and take a ride on a simple bamboo train, composed of a platform on 4 wheels with a small motor. Travel 5 miles (8 km) on the train to the next village, zipping past rice paddies. Once in the village, attend a workshop on wooden sculpture.
In the afternoon, visit Phare Ponleu Selpak, a center for orphans and trafficking victims. It supports around 30 orphans and provides schooling for more than 1,200 pupils, many studying visual arts, music, circus, drama, and dance for leisure or vocational training. Continue to Phnom Banon. The winding road follows the Sangker River, passing many traditional wooden homes. Arrive at the temple, admiring its five sandstone towers and the magnificent hill-top view of the surrounding plains at sunset. Spend the night in Battambang.
Day 3: Battambang to Siem Reap
In the morning depart Battambang and drive to the port. When you arrive at the lake, board a private wooden boat to take a cruise to Siem Reap, crossing the Sangker River. Enjoy sprawling landscapes scenes of traditional daily life.
Stop at Cheur Khmao Pagoda in Bak Prier floating village, and cross the floating village of Prek Tuol. Continue by boat across the Tonle Sap Lake to Chhong Kneas floating village. Enjoy a packed lunch on board. From here, transfer to your hotel in Siem Reap and enjoy the afternoon at your leisure. Siem Reap is the base for exploring the fabled temples of Angkor, the ancient capital of the Khmer empire.