A visit to the temples of Angkor is a profound experience, as few sights on earth can match the immense majesty of Angkor Wat, the overgrowth of nature run amok at Ta Prohm, or the mysterious faces of the Bayon. A visitting to Roluos group, which was one of the earliest Angkor capitals, are available. After that, Kompong Pluk is a step into another world; this remote village is home to the fabled bamboo skyscrapers and fascinating people. Its exploration is part of our journey on the mighty Tonle Sap lake.
• Siem Reap and the uniquely magnificent temple complex of Angkor
• A full day dedicated to the complex exploration, main temples are on our list
Option 1: Around Angkor full dayMeals: N/A | Accommodation: N/A
Rising at sunrise, we journey out to the mother of all temples, Angkor Wat. 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. We continue to the 'Indiana Jones' temple of Ta Prohm. This temple has been abandoned to the elements, a reminder that while empires rise and fall, the riotous power of nature marches on, oblivious to the dramas of human history. Left as it was when rediscovered by French explorer Henri Mouhout in 1860, the tentacle-like tree roots here are slowly strangling the surviving stones, man first conquering nature to create, nature later conquering man to destroy.
In the afternoon, we visit Angkor Thom, an immense walled city that was the masterpiece of King Jayavarman VII. We begin our visit at the Terrace of the Leper King. We continue along the Terrace of Elephants, originally used as a viewing gallery for the king to preside over parades, performances and traditional sports. At the southern end lies the Baphuon, once of the most beautiful temples at Angkor, dating from the reign of Uditayavarman 1 in the 11th century. It has undergone a massive renovation by the French and is now once again open for viewing. Our climax is the enigmatic and enchanting temple of the Bayon. Its 54 towers are each topped with the four faces of Avalokiteshvara (Buddha of Compassion), which bear more than a passing resemblance to the king himself. These colossal heads stare down in each of the compass directions, exuding power and control with a hint of compassion - just the mix required to keep a hold on such a vast empire.
Note: Pick up at 6.00 am
Option 2: Exploring the Temple of Rolous group and Tonle Sap lakeMeals: N/A | Accommodation: N/A
We depart Seem Reap by remorque motor, a charming carriage hitched onto the back of a motorbike, the famous local transport of Seem Reap, similar to the famous tuk tuk. For the more adventurous we offer the option of making the journey by Trek mountain bike. We follow small back roads through rural landscapes and picturesque villages. Our first stop is the temple of Bakong in the Roluos group, the first of the great pyramids which later kings were to copy. From Bakong, we continue into Roluos town to visit a very local market, untouched by mass tourism. After some refreshments, we follow the course of the Roluos river to the nearest navigable point where we board small wooden boats for the trip to Kompong Pluk. Cruising down a narrow waterway, we enter this medieval floating village, where the houses stand atop stilts as much as seven meters above the water! Everything lives on the water, pigs, dogs, crocodiles, and people, all jockeying for space in this incredible floating town. We explore the local wat here, before boarding a bigger boat to take us through the sultry flooded forest and across the Great Lake to Chong Kneas and the holy mountain of Phnom Krom. We climb Phnom Krom for a glorious sunset over the endless Tonle Sap before heading back to Seem Reap by road.
Note: Pick up at 7.30 am
PRICE PER PERSON
• Drinking water during sightseeing• Travel in an appropriate air-conditioned vehicle with an experienced driver• The services of an experienced English-speaking guide• Boat trip on Tonle Sap• All entrance fees
• International flight tickets and airport tax, currently $25 per person• Visas, currently $20 per person• Accommodation• Meals• Beverages, gratuities and personal expenses.• Camera fees (if any)• Surcharge in peak season (Christmas & New Year)• Insurance
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