Jaya House RiverPark Hotel
Knai Bang Chatt
National Trust Tours is delighted to extend this unique opportunity to experience Cambodia on a tour offered with our friends at Architectural Adventures, the official travel program of the American Institute of Architects.
Take an in-depth journey to explore the architectural legacies of Cambodia. Marvel at modern architecture in Phnom Penh and traditional structures in Siem Reap; explore see the vast temple ruins of Angkor; glimpse the former grandeur of the seaside city of Kep; and learn about Khmer architecture, traditional cuisine and arts throughout this amazing country. This tour is being conducted in partnership with the Architectural Institute of America.
Jaya House RiverPark Hotel
Knai Bang Chatt
DEPART: Saturday, October 13
Depart the US on an overnight flight to Phnom Penh.
PHNOM PENH: Sunday, October 14
Upon arrival in Phnom Penh transfer to the Pavilion Hotel. (D)
PHNOM PENH: Monday, October 15
Spend the day exploring and discovering Phnom Penh’s architecture. Begin with a specially designed architecture tour looking closely at the work of Vann Molyvann, the father of New Khmer Architecture. Visit several of his projects and home. In addition, members of the Vann Molyvann Project will join the group for dinner featuring an introduction to Khmer cuisine. (B/L/D)
PHNOM PENH: Tuesday, October 16
Begin the day at the National Museum of Arts with its impressive collection of Khmer art. Continue on to the Royal Palace facing the Mekong River and the nearby Silver Pagoda and Wat Preah Keo. Enjoy lunch today at Friends the Restaurant which teaches street children restaurant skills. This afternoon learn about the traditional art of classical dance at the Khmer Art Center before enjoying a performance. End the day at the Tuol Seng Museum, a former high school used by the Khmer Rouge as a detention and torture center. The museum provides a harrowing account of the Khmer Rouge. This evening enjoy a dinner at Chinese House, built with a combination of Chinese and French colonial architecture. (B/L/D)
BATTAMBANG: Wednesday, Oct 17
Morning drive to Battambang, the origin of Lon Nol’s coup d’etat in 1970, which effectively marked the end of the New Khmer Architecture movement. Before arriving in Battambang stop at the 11th century Phnom Banan. Climb 358 shaded steps to admire a small complex of towers with some intricate carvings. Upon arrival enjoy lunch before exploring this charming colonial city that is really seeing a resurgence as an arts hub. Discover one of the country’s greatest collections of historic structures beginning at the Heritage Protection Area. Stop at the Phsar Naht, the old market in the center of town which is an Art Deco gem. Stop at Battambang University, designed by Ung Krapum Phka which draws from the university complexes in Phnom Penh. Continue to an abandoned jute mill designed by Molyvann. Check into the Battambang Resort. End the day with a ride on the Bamboo Train, one of the most unique rail journeys through rice fi elds and rural Cambodia. Set in an agriculturally-rich region, the city is one of the best places in the country to sample authentic renditions of Cambodian dishes. Dinner tonight is at Jaan Bai (rice bowl). After dinner walk along Street 2½, home to a handful of arty addresses, galleries, cafés, and exhibition spaces. (B/L/D)
SIEM REAP: Thursday, October 18
Early morning visit to Ek Phnom, a rarely visited site that has detailed carvings, a giant Buddha and a more modern pagoda. Continue on to Phare Ponleu Selpak, an arts school established in 1994 by a group of young Cambodians who met in a refugee camp during the 1980s. Explore some of Battambang’s new art spaces including Make Maek where artist Mao Soviet and his wife Phin host regular exhibitions and events. After lunch at a gallery drive to Siem Reap and take a boat to the Western Baray (reservoir) which was built to provide water for the intensive cultivation of lands around Angkor. Check in to The FCC – The Foreign Correspondents Club a small, upscale boutique hotel next to the Siem Reap River. Enjoy a reception and dinner at the hotel. (B/L/D)
SIEM REAP: Friday, October 19
Spend the morning learning about the area of Angkor, built between the 9th and 14th centuries, when Khmer architecture, language and religions had a vast sphere of infl uence extending over much of Southeast Asia. Begin at the most famous of all Angkor monuments, Angkor Wat, built in the fi rst half of the 12th century, this temple complex is unsurpassed in its artistic accomplishments. Angkor’s iconic fi ve towers have come to represent the Khmer cultural heritage and the country of Cambodia. Continue to Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Khmer Empire. Only the temples were built of stone; all other structures were built of wood and have perished. Visit the Bayon Temple which is decorated with 1,200 meters of extraordinary bas-reliefs incorporating over 11,000 figures. Enjoy a catered lunch at Srah Srang, an artifi cial pond used for ritual bathing, constructed in the late 12th century. After lunch visit Ta Prohm, which stands as a monument to the awesome power of the jungle. Over the years, tree roots have enveloped the site, the effect is stunning! Dinner tonight at the wonderful AHA Restaurant. (B/L/D)
SIEM REAP: Saturday, October 20
Morning visit to Banteay Srei, an architectural jewel dedicated to Shiva and considered by many to be the most perfect Khmer temple. End the morning at the well preserved Banteay Samre which has a fi ne collection of bas reliefs. After lunch visit the award winning Institute for Khmer Traditional Textiles (IKTT). Founder and director Morimoto Kikuo will show us how the “Wisdom from Forest” project is regenerating the landscape and village living conditions that once produced the beautiful fi bers and dyes of Khmer textiles. End the day at the wonderful Preah Khan temple complex, one of the most signifi cant buildings erected during the ancient Khmer empire. Dinner at the delightful Sugar Palm Restaurant. (B/L/D)
KEP: Sunday, October 21
Morning flight to Sihanoukville, a city planned, if not executed by Molyvann. Visit the Molyvann designed National Bank of Cambodia, which held up to Khmer Rouge bombs, and is part of a complex of accommodations for bank workers which included traditional Khmer designs in a modern home. Stop at the St. Michael’s Catholic Church, used as Khmer Rouge headquarters from 1975-79 and is now once again an active place of worship. Another Molyvann project is the Cambrew Brewery, built on stilts, a common feature of Khmer homes for protection from the elements. Continue by road to Kep, reminiscent of a French seaside town. After independence in 1953, the new King Sihanouk hailed Kep “the Saint-Tropez of the far east”, and the town enjoyed a brief period of opulent, high rolling glamour. As a playground for the wealthy, an estimated 150 villas in the style of the homegrown Modernist New Khmer movement appeared along the coast and most were abandoned when the country fell to the Khmer Rouge. Kep is a tantalizing combination of faded French Indo-China glamour, Asian and French cuisine, and tropical beachside framed by the jungle-covered hillside behind. There is a reviving interest in the villas and a call for preservation of the few structures that remain by a younger generation. Transfer to the luxury boutique resort Knai Bang Chatt where five of these villas were used to create a unique hotel. Enjoy a chance to sample the famous Kep crabs. (B/L/D)
KEP: Monday, October 22
Spend the day exploring the wonderful remains of villas that are somewhat of a Bauhuasian Angkor Wat. While some have crumbled completely, others sit relatively intact. Each villa is unique, and showcases an individual architectural flair. Visit the crab market and enjoy a fresh lunch at So Kheang Restaurant, the local specialty is crab with pepper and lime. Stop in at Villa Romonea which was recently opened as a 6-bedroom private villa. The villa was completed only eight months before the coup and was the last villa built before the Khmer Rouge took control of the country. Farewell dinner this evening. (B/L/D)
DEPART: Tuesday, October 23
Return to Phnom Penh for flights back to the U.S. (B)
Included meals indicated each day as B/L/D = Breakfast/Lunch/ Dinner.