Cambodia Tours with YPT
After years of strife and civil war, Cambodia is fast becoming one of the top destinations for backpackers and package tourists alike.
At Young Pioneer Tours, we love Cambodia and have been arranging Cambodia Independent Tours, groups and weekend events here for many years.
Cambodia of course can be traveled independently, but if you need that extra bit of comfort and planning, or simply want to get really off the beaten track, then YPT can arrange bespoke trips to Cambodia for you.
Group Tours to Cambodia
YPT currently run one full group tour to Cambodia, namely our Cambodian Dark Tourism Tour, as well as passing through on our Ultimate South-East Asian Adventure, a 10-days epic trip that traverses Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam.
Cambodia Dark Tourism Tour – April 8th-14th 2024 – $795
South-East Asian overland tours – July 15th-26th 2024 – $1195
Independent Tours to Cambodia
Having ran tours to Cambodia since 2015, YPT are not only experts in the country, but can take you very much off of the beaten track, particularly with regards to dark tourism.
Below is our example Dark Tourism itinerary, which can be done in full, or in part, as well as our example bespoke itineraries.
Example of a Cambodia Itinerary
- Arrival in Siem Reap and meet the YPT guide.
- Explore the old French town and visit the night market before dinner in one of the many great restaurants on Pub Street – there will be Angkor beers and, for anyone daring enough to try, fried tarantula.
- Overnight in Siem Reap.
- Wake up nice and early to catch the sunrise at Angkor Wat for incredible photos.
- We grab breakfast and then begin exploring the remaining areas of Angkor archaeological park. Make sure to bring plenty of sun cream and water for the trip to this unique UNESCO heritage site.
- Drop by the Siem Reap War Museum, which houses a vast outdoor collection of Soviet helicopters, tanks and small weapons, all of which can be handled, so it makes for a pretty good photo op!
- The Landmine Museum and Relief Centre houses abandoned children who attend the school next to the museum. It gives an interesting insight to the still present effects of the Vietnam War.
- A visit to the Angkor Panorama Museum built and funded by North Korea. This museum boasts a 360° mural made by the North Korean painters of Mansudae Art Studio depicting the history of the Angkor era.
- Drinks on Pub Street.
- Dinner and overnight in Siem Reap.
- Breakfast and then head to the Angkor National Museum to have a better understanding on local art, culture and the architecture of the Khmer Kingdom.
- Begin our journey north towards the Thai border to Anlong Veng – the last hideout and retirement home of the Khmer Rouge (2 hours drive) – it doesn’t get much more dark tourism than the history of the Khmer Rouge!
- On arrival we grab a local lunch of noodle soup and check into our hotel.
- Driving tour of Anlong Veng, specifically visiting the former house of Ta Mok – a close comrade of Pol Pot.
- Drive up the mountains right along the border and visit the graves of Son Sen and Ta Mok before heading to the unkept grave of Pol Pot.
- Dinner and drinks in Anlong Veng.
- Overnight in Heng Hotel, built along the same road as Pol Pot’s grave.
- Breakfast and drive to Anlong Veng Peace Observatory for a spectacular view of the Cambodian plateau and the former mountain home of Ta Mok.
- You are then paired with a motorbike driver and drive completely off-road to the former home and bunker of Pol Pot buried deep in the Cambodian jungle. This is an amazing journey where you will see some incredible scenery.
- Head back into town for local seafood lunch.
- Begin the 4 hour car journey to Battambang city.
- Ride the famous bamboo train! This is literally a train built of bamboo sitting on wheels; it’s still used by the locals to transport rice on abandoned train tracks. We’ll ride a couple of stops and then visit a brick factory at the end of the line.
- Visit Phnom Sampeau cave, this was one of the killing caves of the Khmer Rouge. We climb to the top and watch as hundreds of thousands of bats exit the cave every evening at dusk.
- Dinner and check out the Battambang nightlife.
- Overnight at Sanctuary Villa.
- Breakfast and drive to Kampong Chhnang (3 hours).
- On arrival we check into hotel
- Visit the bustling market and floating village – Kampong Chhnang is one of the main rice production and fishing areas of Cambodia.
- Have lunch back in town
- Head out to the Khmer Rouge forced labour airport and mass grave.
- In the late afternoon we visit the 18th Century Khmer fortress of Udong, where we can climb to the top for stunning 360 degree views or enjoy a Khmer BBQ and some cold beers at the bottom!
- Overnight in Kampong Chhnang
- Breakfast and drive 3 hours to Phnom Penh – the capital city.
- Check into hotel and lunch.
- Stop by the Royal Palace, home to Cambodia’s kings since the 1860s. You’ll also be able to see the Silver Pagoda, made with over 5,000 silver tiles.
- Visit the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek – the largest mass grave in the country and a cruel reminder of the atrocities inflicted upon people during the Khmer Rouge period. This is one of the most haunting places in the world and the history is still recent.
- Tuol Sleng (S21) genocide museum where there is an opportunity to meet one of the last survivors of the prison. Prisoners tortured here were mostly transferred to Choeung Ek.
- Wander around the Boeung kak region of Phnom Penh. This used to be a bustling region of the central city, however the residents were all evicted to make way for property developments. Now the area is left barren, as the ground is too soft to build anything on. 4000 residents were evicted from this area and protests sometimes still occur.
- Make a stop to see the outside of the house of the Prime minister, which is located right next to the independence monument in the very centre of Phnom Penh.
- We recover from the long day with dinner and a pub crawl in Phnom Penh to party Cambodia style.
- Overnight at OK Boutique Hotel.
- End of tour and airport transfer
- YPT can arrange tours to Laos, Thailand, or Vietnam that link overland with your Cambodia tour.
Bespoke Cambodian Tours
As part of our travel packages to Cambodia, we are able to offer the following bespoke trips.
Fo more in formation on the following programs simply get in touch.
Historical Cambodia Tours
YPT can offer tour stop Cambodia that fit more with the ancient history of the country, as well as the contemporary. This includes not only exploring the entirety of Angkor Watt, but also lesser known places such as Koh Ker.
Extended Khmer Rouge Tours
As well as our standard Dark Tourism Tour, which takes in much of the Khmer Rouge history, YPT can also offer extended tours which also take in the southern theatre, including Bokar Hill in Kampot, as well as sites in Takeo. This can done as standalone, or combed with our main tour.
Eco-Travel in Cambodia
Young Pioneer Tours can arrange trips to the lesser seen places of Cambodia, such as Ratanakiri and Mondukkiri among others. Here we can arrange stays at eco-resorts, as well as approved trips to elephant sanctuaries, or camping with the gibbons.
Charter Railway Tours in Cambodia
YPT can arrange to charter our own train in Cambodia and travel throughout the country on it through both lines. It is possible to start in Poipet and go as far South as Sihanoukville. Said charter is done using one of the previous royal carriages.
Foodie Tours to Cambodia
Cambodia is a culinary heaven and offers some of the best street food, as well as weird food and restaurant experiences within the whole area, YPT can arrange an extra foodie element to a regular tour, as well as bespoke tours arranged fully around the cuisine of Cambodia.
Underground Phnom Penh City Tours
YPT can arrange extended city tours within Phnom Penh that go further than your usual tourist tours, showing the other side of this cool, but very dark city. This includes many sites related to the Khmer Rouge, as well as to more contemporary issues related to the country.
Football tours to Cambodia
While Cambodia might not be renowned for its football, there is a vibrant scene here, both domestically and internationally. YPT can arrange tours designed to watch live Cambodian Premier League matches, as well as for touring teams to play matches within the country.
South-East Asian overland tours – July 15th-26th, 2024 $1195
School trips to Cambodia
In 2019 YPT arranged our first school trip to Cambodia, with a focus on Khmer history and culture. These can be combined with Thailand, Vietnam and Laos, with us having full adaptability depending on your schedule.
Filming in Cambodia
Through our media arm Pioneer Media we can make arrangements for productions, journalists, or others to film within Cambodia from big budget to guerrilla productions. We can also arrange meetings in country, as well as correct visas for journalist wishing to do projects within Cambodia.
Frequently asked Questions about travel to Cambodia
Cambodia has a range of youth hostels to mid-range and luxury hotels. On an independent tour you can take your pick and on a group tour we use mid-range hotels.
For temples, it is sometimes required to have legs and shoulders covered and for jungle treks, it is best to keep skin covered with long trousers and sleeves to avoid mosquito or other insect bites.
Bring sun cream and insect repellent!
- Meals are $3-10 and can get up to $20 for Western-style meals. - Beers: $2-5. - Water is less than 50 cents
We encourage you to set aside a tip for the local guide(s) to give at the end of the tour, which is the custom and, as such, is somewhat expected
WIFI is readily available in restaurants and hotels. It might be harder to find a reliable connection in the smaller cities.
We can expect long and sometimes bumpy rides. While our cars will have AC and be as comfortable as possible, group members prone to motion sickness would be well advised to bring medicine.
Likewise for solo women (and travellers in general) it is a safe country but it is always best to avoid walking around cities in sparsely populated areas alone at night.
Although it is a relatively conservative culture, Cambodia is also safe for members of the LGBTQI community, see here for more info.
Ensure vaccinations are up to date. Below is an example of what you should be vaccinated for: Diphtheria & Tetanus
Hepatitis A & B Measles, Mumps & Rubella Polio Typhoid Varicella Rabies
The mosquito-borne diseases Malaria, Dengue Fever, Japanese Encephalitis, Zika Virus and Filariasis are endemic in many areas of Cambodia. We recommend you take measures to avoid mosquito bites, including using insect repellent at all times and wearing long, loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing.
Furthermore, in the case of serious treatment (such as surgery) being necessary, the United Nations recommends evacuation by air for treatment in a more developed country. This can cost upwards of 20,000 euro just for the airlift. Of course such situations are rare, but accidents or medical conditions can happen anywhere and it’s best to be prepared.
While Cambodians are often amongst the kindest and most hospitable people in the world, theft and other petty crimes against foreigners are common occurrence in the country so it doesn’t hurt to have your valuables insured. The right policy can also help you recover some of the cost if you need to cancel your trip at late notice, protect your valuable equipment, protect you from personal liability, provide emergency dental coverage and more.
YPT recommends using World Nomads to cover you for your trip. They provide a wide range of policy options, cover an incredible number of countries and they do it all at very reasonable prices. Last but not least, the subscription process can be done online entirely.
Why travel to Cambodia with Young Pioneer Tours
Cambodia might be an easy country to visit, but seeing the real side of it and getting off the beaten path is less easy to do. YPT guides live here and we are experts in the country through our own trial and error.
We can show you parts you would likely not see without our assistance while also providing a safe and fun environment.