Bakong the largest and most interesting of the Roluos group temples, with his active Buddhist monastery just to the north of the east entrance.
Route: Siemreap – Angkor Complex – Siemreap
Day 1: Siem Riep – Rolous Group(-/L/D)
Day 2: Siem Riep – Angkor Wat – Angkor Thorm (B/L/D)
Day 3: Siem Riep – Angkor Complex (B/L/D)
Day 4: Siem Riep – Floating Village – Departure (B/L/-)
Arrive at Siem Reap International Airport and transfer to the hotel (rooms may not ready until the afternoon) Visit the Roluos Group. The monuments of Roluos, which served as the capital of Indravarman I (reigned 877-89), are among the earliest large, permanent temples built by the Khmers and mark the beginning of Khmer classical art. Preah Ko erected by Indravarman I in the late 9th century dedicated by the King to his ancestors in 880. Bakong the largest and most interesting of the Roluos group temples, with his active Buddhist monastery just to the north of the east entrance. Lolei built on an islet in the center of a large reservoir (now rice fields) by Yasovarman I, the founder to the first city at Angkor. Lunch is served at local restaurant.
In the afternoon, continue your temple tour. See the unique interior brick sculptures Prasat Kravan, the Srah Srang reservoir (known as “The Royal Baths” was once used for ritual bathing), Banteay Kdei (surrounded by 4 concentric walls), Eastern Mebon (guarded at its corner by stone figures of harnessed elephants, some of which are still in a reasonable state of preservation) and the mountain-temple of Pre Rup until sunset. Dinner is served at local restaurant and Overnight in Siem Riep.
Breakfast at hotel. In the morning, visit the most famous of all the temples on the plain of Angkor: Angkor Wat. The temple complex covers 81 hectares and is comparable in size to the Imperial Palace in Beijing. Its distinctive five towers are emblazoned on the Cambodian flag and the 12th century masterpiece is considered by art historians to be the prime example of classical Khmer art and architecture. Angkor Wat’s five towers symbolize Merua’ss five peaks – the enclosed wall represents the mountains at the edge of the world and the surrounding moat, the ocean beyond. Lunch is served at restaurant.
Visit the South Gate (with its huge statues depicting the churning of the ocean of milk), the ancient capital of Angkor Thom (12th century), Bayon Temple (unique for its 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara), the Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, the Elephants Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King. Sunset at Angkor Wat. Dinner is served at local restaurant and overnight in Siem Riep.
An early bird special: Transfer to the archaeological site for the sunrise from the Phnom Bakheng, one of two hills dominating the plain of Angkor, from where you will have a spectacular view of the Western Baray and Angkor Wat Or sunrise at Srah Srang. Return to the hotel for breakfast.
Morning, transfer to Banteay Srei temple (10th c), regarded as the jewel in the crown of Classical Khmer Art. Continue to Ta Prohm, one of the area’s most beautiful temples. Ta Prohm has been relatively untouched since it was discovered and retains much of its mystery. Lunch is served at local restaurant.
In the afternoon, you continue your temple visits to Preah Khan. Built by the King Jayavarman VII, Preah Khan is, like Ta Prohm, a place of towered enclosures and shoulder hugging corridors. Unlike Ta Prohm, however, the temple of Prea Khan is in a reasonable state of preservation and ongoing restoration efforts should maintain and even improve this situation. Neak Pean, a fountain built in the middle of a pool (representing the paradisiacal Himalayan mountain-lake), Ta Som and Banteay Samre, built in the third quarter of the 12th century. It consists of a central temple with four wings preceded by a hall and accompanied by two libraries, the southern example remarkably well preserved. Two concentric walls enclose the ensemble. Dinner is served at local restaurant and overnight in Siem Riep.
Breakfast at hotel. Visit the floating village of Chong Khneas, located 10 kilometers south of Siem Reap. Visit the village and take an excursion in a traditional wooden boat on the Tonle Sap Lake, the “Great Lake” of Cambodia, one of the largest in Asia.
Lunch is served at local restaurant. Visit to “Les Artisans d’Angkor – Chantiers Ecoles” of Siem Reap and time at leisure at a local market (if time permits). Transfer to Siem Reap International Airport for departure flight to the next destination.