Journey northeast of Phnom Penh, stopping at a rubber factory and riverside Chhlong, with its rows of French trading houses. Launch from rustic Kratie to cruise in search of the Irrawaddy dolphin. Travel to Siem Reap, visiting ancient temples along the way.
Day 1: Phnom Penh, Kratie, and the Freshwater Dolphins
Drive from Phnom Penh to Kratie, enjoying incredible sights along the way. Pass through Kompong Cham, a trade hub and one of the largest provinces in Cambodia. Stop in Skuon to taste Cambodia's exotic culinary delights, including the deep-fried spider.
Continue your journey through Chhlong, a small and peaceful village on the Mekong River Bank, featuring Khmer and colonial architecture. Enjoy the diversity of landscapes in the surrounding countryside. Eat lunch at a local restaurant in Kratie. North of Kratie, visit Wat Phnom Sambok to see the Buddhist monasteries and enjoy views from the hilltop.
Further north, stop along a country road at a riverside vantage point to view the rare freshwater Irrawady dolphin, best seen in the late afternoon. Drive back to Kratie and take a small ferry boat to the island of Koh Trong, in the middle of the Mekong River, to check into your hotel and enjoy the evening at your leisure. Spend the night in a deluxe room at Rajabori Villas Resort.
Day 2: Kratie, Kompong Cham, Kompong Thom, and Siem Reap
Eat breakfast at the hotel and then take a ferry back to Kratie. Drive to Kompong Cham, along the way stopping at a pepper plantation and Chhup, a rubber plantation established by French tire maker Michelin. Visit Wat Nokhor, with its ancient temple and modern-style pagoda (12th century), taking a tour of Kampong Cham to view examples of colonial architecture.
Continue to Kompong Thom. Along the way, visit Wat Kohear Nokor, an 11th century pagoda. Stop at the Santuk Silk Farm, learning about the process of silk weaving from worm to weaving, and how the process contributes to the sustainable development of the community. Visit Samnak Village's stone sculptors, seeing them carve out giant Buddhas. The craftsmen use rocks from Phnom Santuk's foothills to craft spectacular statues of all shapes and sizes.
Continue your journey to Siem Reap. Along the way, visit traditional villages and stop at the ancient Naga Bridge, located 25 miles (40 km) from Siem Reap. Arrive in Siem Reap and transfer to your hotel to enjoy the evening at your leisure.