Day 1: Arrival – Siem Reap. Meet upon arrival at Siem Reap airport and transfer to hotel. Visit 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, the four brick towers, a replica of the towers of Preah Kho, 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. Afternoon, visit Takeo, Thomannon, Chau Say Thevoda and Ta Prohm, one of the most beautiful temples in the area, as it has been relatively untouched since it was discovered and retains much of its mystery. Its appeal lies in the fact that, unlike the other monuments of Angkor, it has been left to be swallowed by the jungles, and looks very much the ways most of the monuments of Angkor appeared when European explorer first stumbled upon them. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 2: Siem Reap. Breakfast at hotel. Watch the sunrise from Phnom Bakheng hill. Visit the antique capital of Angkor Thom (12th century): the South Gate with its huge statues depicting the churning of the ocean of milk, the Bayon Temple, unique for its 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara, the Phimeanakas, the Royal Enclosure, the Elephants Terrace, and the Terrace of the Leper King. Afternoon 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 Cambodia 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 enclosing wall represents the mountains at the edge of the world and the surrounding moat, the ocean beyond. Sunset from Phnom Bakheng, one of the two hills dominating the plain of Angkor, from where you will have a spectacular view of the Western Baray and Angkor Wat. Overnight Siem Reap. Includes: (B)
Day 3: Siem Reap. Breakfast at hotel. Visit to Banteay Srei temple (10th c), regarded as the jewel in the crown of Classical Khmer Art then continue your visit to 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. Afternoon, visit the floating village of Chong Khneas, located 10 kilometers south of Siem Reap. Visit the village and take a boat trip in a traditional wooden boat on the Tonle Sap Lake, the great lake of Cambodia, one of the wonders of Asia. Note: During the dry season (March-July), the low level of the Tonle Sap Lake does not permit visits to the floating village. This excursion will be replaced with a visit to the Pagodas of Siem Reap. Overnight in Siem Reap. Includes: (B)
Day 4: Siem Reap – Departure. Breakfast at hotel. Visit Neak Pean, a fountain built in the middle of a pool and representing the paradisaical Himalayan mountain-lake and Preah Khan, built by the King Jayavarman VII and, like Ta Prohm, a place of towered enclosures and shoulder-hugging corridors. However, the temple of Preah Khan is in a reasonable state of preservation and ongoing restoration efforts should maintain and even improve this situation. Visit to "Les Artisans d'Angkor - Chantiers Ecoles" of Siem Reap or the Silk Farm of Puok. Transfer to Siem Reap airport for departure flight to the next destination. Includes: (B)
Also see tour packages in:
Asia Cambodia History Whiz Archeology/History Cultural Journey