Get a glimpse into Cambodia’s past in Phnom Penh then venture through captivating Angkorian temples. 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.
Arrive this afternoon at the Siem Reap International Airport where our English speaking guide and driver will be waiting to provide transport to the hotel.
After enjoying a pleasant breakfast this morning, start to visit Toul Sleng and the Killing Fields.
Return later to visit to the Royal Palace overlooking the confluence of the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers. Built in 1866 by King Norodom, the palace is now home to the reigning monarch. Within the palace grounds you will find the Silver Pagoda, its floor covered by 5,000 silver tiles each weighing 1kg. But that’s not all, there is a beautiful emerald and crystal Buddha sitting on top of a gilded pedestal, and life-sized Buddha made from solid gold weighing 90kgs and encrusted with 9,584 diamonds, the largest weighing in at 25 carats!
End you day on a lighter note at the city’s art deco inspired Central Market. This main market sells everything from fresh fish to flowers. You can buy gold jewellery, precious gems, silk, t-shirts, souvenirs and more!
Wake early for drive to Battambang. During the drive between cities, you will stop to visit two most beautiful cities of Cambodia. Head to Udong, it’s around 1 hour drive to the northwest of the city. Once a royal capital city, it was abandoned in 1866 after King Norodom relocated his entire court to the modern capital, Phnom Penh. You will then stop to visit a famous ceramic workshops and artisans - Kom Pong Chhnang. Then drive to Battambang for overnight.
Head to the Ek Phnom Temple, the site of some Cambodia most beautiful carvings at 11th Century. Following by lunch at the restaurant then heading off to Phnom Banan. You can have best views of the surrounding countryside from this place. Then off to Phnom Sampeau which were once used as “killing caves” during the rule of the brutal Khmer Rouge. It’s perched on a rocky hill and hiding a series of caves.
Follow by breakfast before your journey to the beautiful town of Siem Reap. Once you settled in, you will start with a half day tour to Banteay Srei. This is considered as the’ jewel in the crown’ of all the Angkor temples and is about a 1 hour drive from Siem Reap. This small delicately carved pink sandstone temple is also known as the Citadel of Women. The temple has hundreds of small, intricate figures and deities, cut into the walls and lintels that depict scenes from Hindu stories. Three rectangular enclosures make up the temple with the inner buildings comprising of a sanctuary and two libraries. Next, drive the short distance to Banteay Samre that is very similar to Angkor Wat, particularly the style of the towers and balustrades. The temples name is derived from the Samre people who live to the east of the baray. This is one temple with a tale to tell as according to legend, the temple was named after a farmer who killed the king and ascended to the throne!
After enjoying a pleasant breakfast this morning, mount up and head to the ancient city of Angkor Thom. This was the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII, of note for its eight meter high wall drawing a perfect square around the city. Enter through one of the main city gates, where stone faces look down with benevolent smiles. At the city’s center lays Bayon Temple. This 12th century masterpiece is a study in grandeur and is well-known for its fifty-four towers covered in enigmatic faces representing the fifty-four 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. Not far from Bayon lies the temple of Baphuon. This temple rises sharply from the ground and commands an excellent view over the surrounding landscape. The climb to the top may be a challenge for some, but it’s well worth the effort. Return later to the famous Angkor Wat. Built during the reign of King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century, Angkor Wat was constructed to represent Mount Meru, the Hindu/Buddhist home of the gods. Inside the temple, the walls are covered with stone carvings and bas-reliefs depicting Hindu mythology and the wars Suryavarman II fought during his reign. Angkor Wat is also well known for its more than 2,000 Apsara dancers decorating the temple’s walls. Now sitting at the heart of the Cambodian flag, construction of this iconic temple is thought to have taken around 30 years to complete.
Take advantage of the cool morning and wake early to head out for the famous Tonle Sap. Tonle Sap is Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake, with a size that varies greatly depending on the season (swelling to about four times its size during the wet season.) Explore this magnificent natural marvel by boat. Paddle through sunken fields and floating forests to the village of Kompong Khleang.. Then it’s back to shore where our tour ends. Note: during the late dry season and early wet season (February – July) this tour changes destinations to the perennial lake near the base of Phnom Bok. While there are no stilted homes here the area provides a secluded retreat to paddle through.
After your breakfast at the hotel, head out of Siem Reap for your short flight to Phnom Penh city. Upon arrival at the airport, you’ll be transferred immediately to your charming resort in Kep. Free time at leisure.
Day at leisure on the beach
Your guide will meet you at the hotel lobby for departure transfer to airport.
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