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.
Route: Phnom Penh Siem Reap – Angkor Complex – Siem Reap
Day 1: Arrival – Phnom Penh (-/L/D)
Day 2: Phom Penh – Siem Riep (B/L/D)
Day 3: Siem Riep – Angkor Wat (B/L/D)
Day 4: Siem Riep – Angkor Complex (B/L/D)
Day 5: Siem Riep – Departure(B/L)
Transfer from Phnom Penh International Airport to the hotel (rooms may not be ready until the afternoon). Lunch is served at local restaurant.
Phnom Penh city tour: Visit the Victory Monument, and the National Museum, also called Musee des Beaux-Arts. A French archaeologist and painter, Georges Groslier, designed it in Khmer style in 1917. The museum contains a collection of Khmer art – notably sculptures – throughout the ages. Visit the Royal Palace, built by King Norodom in 1866 on the site of the old town, and the Silver Pagoda.
Located within the grounds of the Royal Palace, the Silver Pagoda is so named because of its floor, which is made up of 5000 silver tiles. The treasures found inside include a solid gold Buddha encrusted and weighing 90kilograms and a small 17th century emerald and baccarat crystal Buddha. End your afternoon with the visit of the Wat Phnom Temple, Phnom Penh’s namesake, from where you can enjoy views over the tree-lined avenues of Phnom Penh during sunset. Dinner is seved at local restaurant and overnight in Phnom Penh.
Breakfast at hotel. Transfer to Phnom Penh International Airport and departure by Siem Reap Airways International or similar to Siem Reap. 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 Meru’s five peaks – the enclosed wall represents the mountains at the edge of the world and the surrounding moat, the ocean beyond. Lunch is served local 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 century), 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.
Day 5Siem Riep - Departure(B/L)
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 de 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.
Visit to the Dance school of Aspeca where you can watch young children learn the ancient traditional Khmer dances. Visit Wat Inkosei built on the site of an ancient temple, which still remains. Continue to Wat Bo pagoda to view its well-preserved paintings. You will also observe monks making the various moldings, which adorn the pagodas. Visit a workshop where traditional shadow play puppets are made.