22A brief introduction to Cambodia's ancient city of Siem Reap with a visit to the famous world heritage site of Angkor Wat which represents the spiritual and mystical grandeur of the Khmer civilization. Visit the Lolei, Bakong and Preah Ko temples all built in the pre-Angkor period (850-893) to see the precedents of the great Angkor period temples. Banteay Srei, Ta Prohm, Angkor Thom and the great monument of Angkor Wat.

Route: Siem Reap, Cambodia

check16Inclusive:

• 3 nights hotel accommodation with daily breakfast
• 2 lunches and 2 dinners (one with show)
• Boat fare on the Tonle Sap
• Tours to the Roluos group of temples, Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Banteay Srei, Kbal Spean, and the Tonle Sap
• Entry Pass of 3 days to the Angkor temple complex
• Use of van for 4 days for tours and transfers
• English speaking guide
• For Thai, French, Chinese, or Japanese speaking guide add USD25
• For German & Spanish speaking guides add USD30

stop16Exclusive:

• Airfares
• Airport departure tax of USD25 for adult and child
• Visa upon arrival fee of USD20
• Drinks at meals other than what is served at table
• Use of hotel minibar, laundry, phone-calls.

 

noteItinerary:

Day 1: Siem Reap - Roluos Temples (Dinner)

Arrive in Siem Reap, meet your guide to transfer to the hotel for check-in. Orientation tour of Siem Reap, visiting the Old Market square for handicraft and souvenirs, and get acquainted with the town. Drive to the Roluos group of temples (Lolei, Bakong and Preah Ko) all built in the pre-Angkor period (850-893) to see the precedents of the great Angkor period temples. Walk up Bakheng Hill at about 5pm to watch the sun sets over Angkor Wat and the plains below from the ruins of Bakheng Temple to end the day. (There is a daily quota for this which if filled no one else can go up the hill.) Dinner at Tonle Sap Restaurant with apsaara show.
Overnight in hotel, Siem Reap.

Day 2: Siem Reap - Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm & Lesser Temples (Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner)

Breakfast at the hotel. Morninng pick up at 8.30am for sightseeing of Angkor Thom, the great city located next to Angkor Wat. Angkor Thom was the greatest achievement of King Jayavarman VII (r.1181-1218). Built in the late 12th century, it extends almost 4 square miles and is enclosed by a wall 26 feet high, 7.5 miles long and surrounded by an originally crocodile-infested moat. This great city contains many structures built to honour the Buddha and had amenities for the king and people to enjoy. The area is surrounded by five monumental gates more than 65 feet high, each dominated by 4 huge carved faces of the king himself represented as the Buddha Avalokitesvara, facing north, south, east and west. In front of the south gate are giant statues of 54 gods on the left, 54 demons on the right. In the centre is the Bayon, a massive cluster of towers carved with 216 faces of the king as a boddhisatva. More great carvings are found on the 4000 feet of interior walls that are covered with bas-reliefs showing 11,000 figures engaged in battles, ceremonial pageants and everyday life of 12th century Angkor. Visit Phimeanakas, a 10th century temple built by Jayavarman V; the Elephant Terrace, a viewing platform from which the kings of Angkor watched military processions; the Terrace of the Leper King, supposedly named after the founder of Angkor whom legend says was afflicted with leprosy and died of it. See the Baphuon of the mid-11th century dedicated to the Hindu god, Shiva, from a distance as restoration work is still going on here. Lunch at Sampheap Restaurant and rest a while at the hotel. Visit also Ta Prohm that is unrestored and left to the elements with giant trees embracing its stoneworks, giving Ta Prohm its unique character. Visit Preah Khan dedicated to Buddhism, and Neak Pean, both built by Jayavarman VII, the latter a healing place, and a couple of the lesser temples like Pre-Rup the funerary temple of Angkor kings, Prasat Kravan and Sras Srang if there is time for them. Dinner in a restaurant near the small but interesting night market. Overnight in hotel, Siem Reap.

Day 3: Tour of Banteay Srei, Kbal Spean & Angkor Wat (Breakfast/ Lunch)

Breakfast at the hotel. Pick up at 8.30am to drive to the temple of Banteay Srei, 38 km from Siem Reap. It is the only pink sandstone temple exquisitely carved dated before Angkor Wat. Also visit the "River of a Thousand Lingas" (Kbal Spean) to see the hundreds of stone phalluses carved on the river bed and boulders, a cultual and religious symbolism of fertility in ancient Angkor. Lunch at Borey Sovann restaurant. After lunch, tour Angkor Wat located seven kilometres north of Siem Reap. Angkor Wat represents the spiritual and mystical grandeur of the Khmer civilization. The kingdom was founded in the early 9th century by King Suryavarman II as a microcosm of the mythical world in which he identified himself with the god Vishnu. At the heart of the city was a mountain temple, traditional home of the Hindu gods and also the centre of an earthly kingdom in which the king was regarded as sacred. The temple served as a funerary for the king and was in use until 1431 when the kingdom was eliminated by the Siamese. The lost city was re-discovered by French explorers in the mid-19th century and worked on by archaeologists in the late 19th century. The temple complex of Angkor covers 200 acres, enclosed by a massive rectangular-shaped wall and surrounded by a moat. The wall contains gates on all four sides, with the main entrance richly decorated with carvings and sculptures. The temple comprised of five distinctive towers with 72 major monuments and an irrigation system that together portrayed the harmonization of Indian roots in a Cambodian context - which was the very foundation of Khmer art and architecture. This place is probably the largest religious monument ever built on earth, and is considered one of the most inspiring.
This evening go to the Old Market-Pub Street area for your own dinner and entertainment.
Overnight in hotel, Siem Reap.

Day 4: Great Lake - Departure (Breakfast)

Breakfast at hotel. Morning boat trip on the Tonle Sap which is the largest fresh water source in all Southeast Asia - an ecological wonder, as the water of the Mekong River reverses itself during the height of the rainy season to flood the lake and re-fertilizes the land, thereby ensuring a food source of fish for the people. As the rains receded, the water from the lake flows out and down the Mekong River carrying in its load tons of fish that take weeks to harvest, whereupon they are dried and salted. See the floating gardens, floating villages complete with school, police station and fishing boats at work. Visit a local village on the way back from the Great Lake to see traditional rural life. Transfer to airport for your departure flight.

End of Programme