Khiri Travel Cambodia has created a flexible 10-day luxury trip for millionaire travellers seeking immersion in Khmer culture. Highlights include helicopter visits to spectacular 11th century mountain temples away from the crowds, a personal dinner with a view of Angkor, and a private jet to an exclusive island retreat on the Cambodian Riviera.
Khiri Travel's "Cambodia Immersion for Millionaires" trip mixes engagements at luxury hotels and restaurants with dining at privately-run local restaurants that Khiri knows produce nuanced high quality dining in evocative Khmer settings. Along the way, guests also eat and talk with teachers and children at a foundation and a local school.
In Phnom Penh, guests visit the Apsara Arts Association which aims to help disadvantaged children and preserve Khmer culture by teaching young people traditional Khmer dance.
Khiri Travel CEO and co-founder, Willem Niemeijer, said that the creation of the luxury trip may surprise some travellers and travel agents who are not aware of the "sophistication and variety" of what Cambodia offers today.
"Guests should prepare for glorious Khmer temple complexes, innovative dining, but also to see the journey this country has made since the murderous years under Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge. Conversations with teachers and kids as well as small-business owners, all proud Cambodians, are highly inspirational," he said. "For example, the commitment made by the foreign owners of Song Saa Private Island is indicative of the new spirit in the country."
The Khiri CEO said guests to Song Sa would be able to enjoy "quality ecotourism" in a nature reserve, or "complete relaxation" on an immaculate tropical island retreat.
He added: "Khiri's philosophy is to be flexible and present the most rewarding elements of a wonderful country that deserves to be treated as a standalone destination."
The "Cambodia Immersion" journey uses hotels such as Amansara Resort, Raffles Hotel Le Royal and overwater villas at Song Saa Private Island. Dining venues include the restaurants at these luxury hotels, but also gems such as Viroth's in Siem Reap, Malis, Topaz and FCC in Phnom Penh and a pleasant picnic lunch at the Cambodian-Dutch Organization, a non-profit help centre and school in Siem Reap.
Apart from off-peak insights at Angkor Wat, two additional, and perhaps more rewarding, temple engagements are by helicopter to Banteay Chhmar in northwest Cambodia and to Preah Vihear on a 525-metre cliff in the Dangrek Mountains.
The trip includes an excursion to the ruins of Sambor Prei Kuk, the capital of the Chenla Kingdom which predates Angkor by up to two centuries. Khiri Reach runs a community project there.
Transport throughout the 10-day trip includes a Cessna Citation or Gulfstream private jet, a Eurocopter AS35OB3 helicopter, a 4x4 Toyota Land Cruiser, a speedboat, and even a public "cyclo" in Phnom Penh.
Jack Bartholomew, Khiri Cambodia General Manager, said: "For all the beauty and attractions of Cambodia that guests will see on this trip, I believe it is the character and warmth of the Khmer people that will create the greatest impression."