- CAR RENTAL
- Siem Reap car rental
- Phnom Penh car rental
- Airport Transfers
- Cambodia Day Tours
- Package Tours
Meal: Dinner | Accommodation: N/A
On arrival, we transfer to the hotel and enjoy some time to relax before our encounter with Angkor.
This evening we can enjoy a classical dance performance, where we will see many of the most popular Cambodian dances, including the graceful Apsara dance, scenes from the Ramayana (known as Reamker in Cambodia), the coconut dance and more. The classical dances include elaborate costume and date back to the time of Angkor, while the folk dances are connected to the harvest and the cycle of the seasons.
Meal: N/A | Accommodation: N/A
In the morning, we visit the immense walled city of Angkor Thom that was the masterpiece of King Jayavarman VII. The scale is simply staggering and we are immediately overwhelmed by the audacity of Jayavarman on arrival at the city’s gates. The causeway is lined by an intricate bridge depicting the Churning of the Ocean of Milk from Hindu mythology in which the devas (gods) and asuras (devils) play tug of war with a naga (seven-headed serpent) to obtain the elixir of immortality. From here we clamber aboard some elephants to make our way to the Bayon temple at the heart of the walled city.
Located at the exact centre of Angkor Thom, the Bayon is an eccentric expression of the creative genius and inflated ego of Cambodia’s most celebrated king. Its 54 towers are each topped off with the four faces of Avalokiteshvara (Buddha of Compassion), which bear more than a passing resemblance to the king himself. Before clambering upwards, we unravel the mysteries of the bas-reliefs, with their intricate scenes of ancient battles against the Chams and their snapshot of daily life during the Angkor period.
We continue along the Terrace of Elephants, originally used as a viewing gallery for the king to preside over parades, performances and traditional sports. We finish our visit at the Terrace of the Leper King. This intricately carved platform was the royal crematorium and the statue that was originally thought to be the leper king is now believed to be Yama, the god of death.
The afternoon is free to relax by the swimming pool or for those children that are seeking some more activities, there is the option of spending some time at Jungle Junction, a children’s play centre in Siem Reap. Activities include trampolines, a bouncy castle, indoor and outdoor playgrounds and a mini cinema. For parents, there is an international menu and a well-stocked bar
Meal: N/A | Accommodation: N/A
This morning we enjoy a round of mini golf at the Angkor Wat Putt. Mini-golf or crazy golf is a fun, family-friendly alternative to the more expensive world of 18-hole golf courses. This 14-hole course includes many miniature temples as obstacles around the course, including headliners such as Angkor Wat and the Bayon, as well as temples further afield such as Banteay Srei and Preah Vihear.
We journey out to the Mother of all temples, Angkor Wat in the afternoon light, the best time to take iconic photos of the famous western side of this monumental temple. Believed to be the world’s largest religious building, this temple is the perfect fusion of symbolism and symmetry and a source of pride and strength to all Khmers. Built in the 12th century by King Suryavarman II, this is most famous temple at Angkor. After taking in the exterior we venture into Angkor Wat to enjoy its magnificence. We begin by unraveling the mysteries of the bas-reliefs that tell of tales from Hindu mythology and of the glories of the Khmer empire. Stretching for almost one kilometre, these intricate carvings are a candidate for the world’s longest unbroken piece of art.
Following in the footsteps of the devout and the destructive before us, we then continue to the upper levels of the inner sanctuary. The final steps to the upper terrace of Angkor are the steepest of all, as pilgrims of old were to stoop on their pilgrimage to encounter the Gods. Finally the pinnacle, the sacred heart of Angkor Wat, a blend of spirituality and symmetry so perfect that few moments will measure up.
Meal: Lunch | Accommodation: N/A
We to travel to Ta Prohm which has been abandoned to the elements, left as it was ‘discovered’ by French explorer Henri Mouhot in 1860, the tentacle-like tree roots here are slowly strangling the surviving stones.
After soaking up the unique atmosphere of Ta Prohm, we head to Flight of the Gibbon Angkor, a zipline adventure through the treetops of Angkor. Family‐friendly and boasting international safety standards, flying through the air above the jungle canopy is an exhilarating experience along its 10 ziplines, including a ‘honeymoon’ tandem line, rope bridges, a tree house and a 15m abseil descent. They also have a nature trail and wild gibbons.
In the evening we head out to the home of the innovative circus performers from Phare. Their nightly modern circus performance is a big hit with visitors to Siem Reap and they display a variety of disciplines including acrobatics, juggling, clowning, live music and much more.
Meal: N/A | Accommodation: N/A
Taking a break from the temples, we travel out to the mighty Tonle Sap Lake to visit the floating village of Chong Kneas. Nestled under the hill of Phnom Krom, this floating community moves location with the waters of the lake. During the wet season when the lake swells to five times its size, the village is near Phnom Krom, but during the dry season, it moves as much as 4km from the hill. Everything floats on water in this living fishing community. There are floating schools, floating shops, floating petrol stations, even floating karaoke bars. Many of the houses are floating fish farms with large pens of fish underneath. For those that are interested, we can also make a stop at the Gecko Environment Centre to learn more about the lake, which is like the heartbeat of Cambodia, providing sustenance to millions of Khmers.
On the way back to town, we visit the Chantiers Ecoles school which trains young Cambodians in the art of traditional handicrafts, including woodcarving, stonecarving, lacquerware and painting. We make a tour of the school with a former student and learn about the different techniques. At the end of the visit, we can browse the Artisans d’Angkor boutique with a superb selection of keepsakes and gifts. The project offers skills training and employment opportunities for young disadvantaged Cambodians and is part-owned by the artisans themselves.
Later we transfer to the airport for our onward flight.