Step back in time to the grandeur of the prosperous Khmer kingdoms of yore. Take an in-depth tour of the temples of Angkor, marvelling at the grandeur of historic thousand-year old temples. Encounter towering monuments of Hindu and Buddhist origins and explore a traditional culture unlike any other.
Visit Angkor Wat in the early evening, when the crowds have dispersed and the evening light enhances its intricate carvings.
Take a traditional ox cart ride through the Rolous Group, a set of impressive monuments built before Angkor Wat.
Taste the exquisite flavours of Cambodian cuisine and explore colourful local villages to get in touch with Khmer culture.
Angkor Discovery - 4 Days / 3 Nights
Welcome to Siem Reap! Upon arrival, our driver and English speaking guide will be waiting to provide transport into the city for hotel check in.
After a short relaxing break, pay a visit to the famous Angkor Wat complex by car. Built in the early 12th century, this iconic temple was constructed to represent the Hindu/Buddhist home of the gods, Mount Meru. Inside the temple, the walls are covered with stone carvings, bas-reliefs, and more than 2,000 Aspara dancers. Today, Angkor Wat is figured on Cambodia's national flag. Enjoy soaking in the temple during sunset- one of the most beautiful (and less visited) times of the day.
Return to the hotel, to enjoy the evening at leisure.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
After breakfast, head out to the early-Angkor era temples of the Roluos Group, about 15km outside of Siem Reap. Roluos is the site of the first town built by the Angkorian kings in the 8th and 9th century and consists of three main temples: Bakong, Lolei and Preah Ko. The beautiful surrounding countryside with its paddy fields and sugar palm trees is very typical for Cambodia – enjoy the beauty on an ox cart ride to Roluos Pagoda, a great and fun way to get in touch with rural Cambodia and its friendly people. Here, in a small contemporary pagoda, Buddhist monks will celebrate a private blessing ceremony for you, wishing your health and a safe journey – a very special experience! Return to the hotel for a break during the midday heat.
Return to Siem Reap where you have some time at leisure for lunch (own expense) before this afternoon, explore the highlights of the Small Circuit. Start your tour with a visit to Ta Prohm temple, built in the mid-12th to early 13th centuries. Ta Prohm is unique in that it has been left largely as it was found: overgrown by jungle trees and vines, with many parts of the temple crumbling to the ground. This makes Ta Prohm one of the most picturesque and memorable of the Angkor temples. Your visit will also include Banteay Kdei, a Buddhist monastery from the late 12th Century, and Srah Srang, also known as the “pool of ablutions”.
Continue to the ancient city of Angkor Thom. Angkor Thom was the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII. This city is surrounded by an 8 m high wall, drawing a perfect square. Enter the city through the ancient South Gate, an impressive stone gate carved with Elephants and four giant faces.
From here, continue to Bayon Temple in the exact center of the city. This 12th century masterpiece is a study in grandeur and is well-known for its 54 towers with enigmatic faces representing the 54 provinces of the Great Khmer Empire. The Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King are also must-visits as they are both known for their intricate bas-reliefs.
Dinner this evening will be at Marum restaurant set in a delightful wooden house with a spacious garden, featuring a winning mix of creative local cuisine. This visit not only provides an incredible dining experience, but also helps build a new life for the students in training there! Part of the Tree Alliance group of training restaurants, they provide vocations into the hospitality industry for local street kids and disadvantaged youths.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Begin the day with an early visit to the “gem” of the Angkor area: Banteay Srei. Also known as the “Citadel of the Women,” this remains the best preserved temple in Cambodia. It displays some of the finest examples of classical Khmer art and is noted for its truly remarkable bas-reliefs.
Heading back from the temple, stop in the villages to enjoy some interaction with the local community (with some assistance from the guide.) Among other things, see how Palm Wine and Palm Sugar are made and get the chance to sample them!
Enjoy lunch at Viroth’s Restaurant, before embarking on an interesting boat trip on Tonlé Sap, Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake. Board a local boat and visit Kampong Phluck, a village where houses are built on stilts to avoid complete flooding during the wet season (when the lake swells to four times its size.)
(Note: Due to low water levels during the dry season, the boat trip is only possible from June to March. However an alternative floating village at Chong Kneas can be arranged instead).
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Depending on the departure flight, there may be some time to explore Siem Reap’s colorful markets. Visit Artisans d’Angkor, established to support Cambodian arts and crafts, and to help young people find work in their local villages by continuing the practice of traditional arts. Discover how wood and stone carvings, lacquering, gilding, and silk paintings are created.
Transport will then be provided to the airport for the departing flight.
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