#1. Golf Vacation Package with PerryGolf
Vietnam & Cambodia 2014 (Escorted) ~
Golf, Temples, Tombs and the Secret of Cua Mang Tay
6 Rounds | 9 Nights | 12 – 21 February 2014
PerryGolf is thrilled to be offering a tour to one of the most fascinating and exciting areas of the world. Our nine night tour visits Vietnam & Cambodia, with a pretour option of a three night stay in Thailand. While the quality of courses has long been recognized in Thailand, Vietnam is the hot new golf destination having been voted Best Asian Golf Destination in 2012, and what could be more exotic than golf in Cambodia with the 1,000 year old 6th wonder of the world, Angkor Wat, lining the fairways of your championship golf course? Beyond golf there is much to see, including Hoi An a UNESCO World Heritage Site city where we will join a Vietnamese cooking class to learn the secrets of local spring rolls, salads and cua mang tay – crab and asparagus soup!
Our fully escorted and hosted tour is carefully crafted to ensure the best use of your time. It is naturally inclusive of all accommodations with breakfast plus all ground transportation, with golf green fees and carts plus caddies also included. A number of lunches and dinners are also provided.
Our tour begins in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam and concludes in Siem Reap, Cambodia. These entry and exit points provide convenient international air access, with your short inter-Asia airfares also included in the program price.
The following was originally published on Fodors Travel by Katie Goldstein.
The gateway to the stunning, bucket list-worthy UNESCO World Heritage site of Angkor is Siem Reap, an intimate and welcoming resort town bustling with tuk tuks and filled with the scents of traditional Khmer cuisine. And while Siem Reap often serves as merely a home base for many who come to explore the vast temple complex of Angkor, the town itself should not be overlooked. With fantastic restaurants, sophisticated stays, and a thriving nightlife (not to mention $1 foot massages at every turn), it is one of Southeast Asia’s most underrated destinations. Go for Angkor, but stay for Siem Reap.
#2. Temple Trekking
Angkor is most likely what brought you to Siem Reap in the first place, and we promise you won’t be disappointed. Ogle the ancient architecture, magnificent spires, and intricate carvings that have been preserved remarkably well. Do so at sunrise and at sunset. Although you will not have time to see every temple, the ones to prioritize are: Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm (also known as the filming location for Angelina Jolie’s “Tomb Raider”), and the most famous of all, Angkor Wat.
Angkor Wat is a photographer’s dream. The most popular time to visit Angkor Wat is at sunrise—the light is magical and the reflection of the temple on the lake is simply stunning. But prepare to brave the masses if you come early—you’ll be surprised by how many people are willing to wake up at 4:30 am for this. Arriving at sunset is a more relaxing experience, but just as magical. The day’s afterglow at Angkor Wat is an unforgettable sight.
#3. Stellar Cuisine
Cambodian cooking showcases Khmer culinary traditions, with plenty of French influences. For some reason, Cambodian cuisine is extremely underrated and does not get the publicity that its neighbors do. But rest assured, it’s fantastic. Be sure to try fish amok (a lightly spiced, yet flavorful curry), Khmer curry (a mild, red coconut curry), and lok lak, (a uniquely seasoned beef stir-fry). A few standout restaurants that serve great renditions of these dishes are Sugar Palm, Khmer Kitchen, and Viroth’s. And don’t overlook the food stalls outside the temple complex. They are quick, cheap, and delicious.
#4. The People and Their History
No trip to Siem Reap is complete without learning more about the country’s tumultuous past. Hire a certified guide to educate you about the country’s history—licensed guides are all formally certified and are extremely knowledgeable. Just ask at your hotel or even at the Angkor complex when you buy your tickets. It goes well beyond just recounting dates and names, though; these guides are incredibly passionate about telling their story and inviting you to learn about their culture. Be sure to see the Landmine Museum, which was founded by a former child-soldier whose parents were killed by the Khmer Rouge. It is a sobering but eye-opening experience. If you have time, visit the floating village on Tonle Sap Lake for a fascinating look into Cambodian fisherman culture.
#5. Unique Thrills
After you’ve had your fill of touring Angkor’s temples, catch a glimpse of the stunning countryside on an ATV tour where you’ll see rice paddies, traditional stilted houses, and even some monkeys and water buffalo. While you’re on the outskirts of town, visit a shooting range where you can actually fire an AK-47. When you return to Siem Reap, browse the Angkor Night Market, get a fishy pedicure where tiny fish gnaw at your toes, take in a traditional Apsara dance performance (Raffles Grand Hotel D’Angkor is a popular venue), or just people-watch on Pub Street while you sip an Angkor beer.