Angkor Wat & Beyond
The ultimate 5-days Angkor experience – visit the famous Angkor temples and interact with local communities and craftspeople, this tour takes you deep into Cambodian forest to discover 'lost' Beng Mealea and the mystical riverbed carvings of Kbal Spean.
Day 1: The Roluos Temple Group & Life on the Water
On arrival at Siem Reap/ Angkor International Airport you will meet your guide and be transferred to your hotel, where you can drop-off your luggage. After collecting your Angkor Conservation Area Pass you will drive the short distance to the Roluos group of temples, the oldest of all Angkorian temples. Here you will visit the temples of Lolei, Preah Ko and the pyramid of Bakong, the first of the great pyramid mountain. From Bakong you continue into Roluos town to visit a local market, untouched by tourism. You then follow the course of the Roluos river south to the nearest navigable point (N.B: depending on the water level you may have to use a motorbike taxi for the final section as it is not suitable for a vehicle). There you board a small wooden boat for the journey to the floating and stilted village of Kompong Phluk and witness this incredible floating community. Depending on the lake level you will also have the surreal experience of being paddled amongst tree tops as you explore the flooded enchanted forest and witness the vast expanse of the Tonle Sap Lake, the largest in South East Asia. Back in Siem Reap if you wish you can visit the holy mountain of Phnom Krom. After reaching the top you will be treated to a glorious sunset over the surrounding paddy fields and lake. You will then return to Siem Reap where the evening is free at your leisure.
Meals included: L (picnic lunch)
Day 2: The Small Circuit & Angkor Thom
This morning you will explore the Small Circuit. This tour allows you to explore some great temples such as: the huge pyramid temple of Takeo; the jungle-clad Ta Prohm made famous by the Hollywood blockbuster 'Tomb Raider'; Sras Srang known as the King's bathing pond; Banteay Kdei; and Prasat Kravan, an elegant brick temple. After lunch you discover the impressive Royal City of Angkor Thom, where you will find the Bayon, a temple famed for its many gigantic carved faces smiling beguilingly down at you. You will also visit other important sites in this immense walled city, including the pyramid of Baphuon, Phimeanakas and the royal viewing stands known as the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King. If you have the time your guide will take you to an excellent spot for watching a mesmerising Angkor Wat sunset. The evening is free at your leisure.
Meals included: B, L
Day 3: Banteay Srei & Kbal Spean
This morning you head 30 kilometers (19 miles) north to visit the captivating and beautiful temple of Banteay Srei or 'Fortress of the Women'. The journey allows you to experience the beautiful Cambodian countryside as you pass through small typical villages, on-route you will visit Banteay Samre. Banteay Srei is an elaborately decorated temple, embellished with floral motifs and scenes from the Ramayana, all carved from pink sandstone. Then you head further north into the jungle and foothills heading to Kbal Spean or the 'River of a Thousand Lingas'. This site was only 'rediscovered' in 1969 and is a tranquil, cool place with an attractive waterfall as a back drop. Here you will experience the magical sight of the river bed covered with glistening ancient sculptures of lingas. (N.B. there is a 45 minute moderate 1.5km uphill climb through lush jungle, it is best to wear stout shoes for this climb and some people may find the track leading down to the waterfall quite difficult).After relaxing and perhaps having a refreshing paddle it is a 50 kilometers (31 miles) drive back to Siem Reap. On the way, if you time left you may wish to stop off at the Cambodian Landmine Museum to learn more about these invisible killers. After freshening up you will enjoy dinner and a fascinating Apsara dance show at a local restaurant.
Meals included: B, L, D
Day 4: Discover a Temple in the Jungle & the Grand Circuit
An early start today as you travel the 75 kilometers (47 miles) to Beng Mealea, a sprawling mass of a temple hidden in the jungle which has only recently become accessible. Once again the journey to the destination is rewarding in its own right as you drive through the Cambodian countryside. Beng Mealea has been overrun by the jungle and has trees growing from its broken towers and galleries – not many tourists venture out this far. After fully exploring the ruins you will head back to the main Angkor complex and discover the spectacular temples of the Grand Circuit such as: Preah Khan or 'Sacred Sword', one of the largest temples at Angkor; Neak Pean surrounded by fountains and ponds; Ta Som and its famous strangler fig tree; and Pre Rup, a pleasant spot to experience another Angkor sunset if you wish. The evening is free at your leisure.
Meals included: B, L
Day 5: Angkor Wat & Local Crafts
You may choose to rise early today to catch the sun rising from behind Angkor Wat's five carved towers - after being awed you will return to your hotel for breakfast. Afterwards it is time to further discover the magnificent Angkor Wat, the world's largest religious building. You will return to town for lunch, after which you take a short 15km drive to the village of Puok to visit the Artisans d'Angkor Silk Farm. Artisan's d'Angkor creates the opportunity for young Cambodians to find gainful employment in their home villages by teaching traditional Khmer handicraft techniques, such as stone & wood carving, lacquering & gilding, and silk weaving. There is an on-site boutique which allows a great opportunity for finding those last minute quality souvenirs. On the return journey to Siem Reap you will stop-off at the West Baray, a vast Angkor Empire man-made reservoir that still contains water today, and is a popular recreational area. You will then be transferred to Siem Reap/ Angkor International Airport for your onward flight, leaving the home of the mighty Khmer Empire with many wonderful memories.
Meals included: B
• All sightseeing tour and transfer services as detailed in the above itinerary
• All accommodation based on two sharing a room
• Private air conditioned vehicles
• English speaking local guide
• All entrance fees for attractions included in the above itinerary
• Daily drinking water and cool face towels whilst sightseeing
• All meals as detailed in the above itinerary (B = Breakfast - L = Lunch - D = Dinner)
• Services not detailed in the above itinerary
• International flights to / from Cambodia
• Cambodian Visa fees
• Accommodation before / after the tour
• Drinks with included meals
• Expenditure of a personal nature
• Discretionary tips
• Travel insurance
• Any payment / money transfer charges
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