- Watching sunrise from early morning and visit the heritage temples of Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm, Angkor Thom including Bayon, South Gate, Baphoun, Leper King, and Elephant Terrace …
- Walking around the ruin of Angkor is an amazing view.
- Listen to the history of Khmer empire is very interesting part of the trip.
Day 1: Siem Reap
(Meals included: -/L/- | Overnight at your own)
Today we immerse ourselves in one of the most astounding archaeological sites in the world. The magnificent Angkor complex of temples is scattered over an area of 200 square kilometers, with only Egypt's Nile Valley providing any kind of comparison in terms of such a vast array of monuments. The Khmer kings ruled from this ancient seat, reigning over the largest, most prosperous and sophisticated kingdoms in the history of South East Asia. At the height of their power, the kings of Angkor controlled territories that extended from the tip of the Indochina peninsula, northward to Yunnan and from Vietnam, westward to the Bay of Bengal.
We start early and head out to the awe inspiring Angkor Wat to view the sunrise. Erected in the 12th century, Angkor Wat stands as a powerful symbol of Cambodia, and built in the high classical style of Khmer architecture will perhaps form the centerpiece of your memories, long after you have returned home. The sun rises from behind the 5 towers of the temple and even though it's a busy time we can always find our own little quiet corner to escape the crowds and appreciate the moment. We bring a packed breakfast and stay at Angkor while the majority of visitors return to their hotels for breakfast. We then take a detailed tour of Angkor Wat, one of the largest religious monuments anywhere in the world.
* Note: During the Monsoon months June-Oct sunrise viewings are less reliable. Of course, anytime of year we cannot guarantee fantastic sunrises. However, we strongly believe that making the effort to get up that little bit earlier is very rewarding. Imagine being among the first visitors at Angkor Wat. Walking down the courseway under the moon and the stars with only the sound of the crickets and frogs (and your guide) to keep you company. It may only be 10-15 mins, but having Angkor Wat all to yourselves for just a few minutes is worth getting up early for!
Leaving Angkor Wat behind we drive towards the main temple complex we stop at Ta Prohm. Ta Prohm is one of the highlights, giant trees spread their roots across the temples giving the impression that nature is very much in control. It is definitely one of the most atmospheric temples in the country! We then break for lunch to try famous Khmer food at nearby restaurant.
Our exploration of Angkor continues in the afternoon as we visit the ancient city of Angkor Thom, built by the most prolific of all temple builders King Jayaverman VII. Having expelled the marauding Chams from Angkor, the king set about building a huge walled city, surrounded by a wide crocodile infested moat and entered through 5 enormous ornate gates. Within the great walls were numerous temples, palaces and residences. We enter at the best preserved South Gate and take an in depth look at the Bayon is perhaps Angkor’s most moving temple. The base reliefs are among the most interesting in Angkor and offer an insight into the past. They show re-enactments of the war against the Chams and also scenes of daily life depicting childbirth, pig fights, drinking and farming. There are also 54 standing towers each bearing four faces of a figure believed to represent both Loksvara (the Bodhisittva of compassion) and the great King himself. These faces literally come to life with the changing light of the falling sun. We time our visit when most other visitors have departed to encourage a truly magical experience! Move on to Baphoun, the Terraces of the Elephants and the Leper King, the Royal Palace before transfer back to your hotel.
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- Meals code: B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, D. Show = Dinner with performance dance show, - = No meal.
- Tour starts and ends will be discussed and recommended by our expert team upon request depending on the season, weather and the current updated.
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