This guided tour will introduce you to the cultural highlights and most famous temples in the Ancient city of Angkor as well as a special focus on bird watching in the surroundings of this ancient capital. From must see attractions like the Angkor Wat to off the beaten path discoveries further afield, you’ll get the full experience of this stunning ancient marvel.
Join us a tour of the highlights of Angkor and discover the magnificence of this ancient kingdom.
At a glance
- Siem Reap Sightseeing
- Angkor Wat temples sightseeing
- Cycle Ride to Roluos and Kompong Phluk
- Bird Watching at Prek Toal with SVC
Itinerary in Brief
- DAY 1: Siem Reap Arrival – Afternoon tour
- DAY 2: Full day tour in Siem Reap
- DAY 3: Full Day visit Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom & Bayon Temples
- DAY 4: Full Day Cycle Ride to Roluos and Kompong Phluk
- DAY 5: Bird Watching at Prek Toal with SVC
- DAY 6: Transfer out
International flight: TBA
Visa information: Cambodian Visa can be applied on arrival Siem Reap International Airport at $30. Be sure to bring two passport photos and your valid passport at least 6 months before departure Cambodia and has at least 2 blank pages available for stamp the visa. Note that some nationalities are required to get visa in advance at Royal Embassy of Kingdom of Cambodia in their country like Afghanistan, Algeria, Arab Saudi, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Nigeria.
Private transfer: Upon arrival in Siem Reap you will be welcomed to Cambodia by your local guide and transferred to Hotel in a chauffeur driven car for a five-night stay.
Afternoon Tour to Preah Khan, Neak Poan and Pre Rup: This afternoon, we travel to the mighty temple of Preah Khan or ‘Sacred Sword’, built by King Jayavarman VII in the late 12th century. Sister temple to Ta Prohm, the cruciform corridors here are impressive and there are some wonderful carvings adorning the walls, including the spectacular hall of dancers. Look out for the curious two-storey structure that is almost Grecian in inspiration. This is one of the few temples originally dedicated to Buddhism and Hinduism. The original eastern entrance was for Mahayana Buddhists, while the other cardinal points represented the Hindu trinity of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma.
We then continue on to the elegant curves of Neak Poan. This petite temple is the ultimate ornamental fountain, its series of elaborate spouts including the heads of lions and elephants. Originally Neak Poan was on an island at the centre of vast baray (reservoir), known as Jayatataka or reservoir of Jaya.
We finish by experiencing sunset over the rice fields from the royal crematorium of Pre Rup, a classic view of the Cambodian countryside.
Evening Visit Phare Modern Circus Shows: In the evening we head out to the home of the innovative circus performers from Phare Ponleu Selpak. Their regular modern circus show under the Big Top is proving very popular in Siem Reap and in each show they display a variety of disciplines including acrobatics, choreography, juggling, clowning, live music and much more. A pre-show dinner can also be arranged.
Kbal Spean, Angkor Conservation Center of Biodiversity (ACCB) and Banteay Srei: We journey north to Kbal Spean. The original ‘River of a Thousand Lingas’, Kbal Spean is an intricately carved riverbed deep in the foothills of the Cambodian jungle only discovered in 1969. The Khmers venerated its limestone bed with a riot of carvings, including thousands of lingams. A trip to Kbal Spean is one of the easiest ways to experience a short jungle trek in the Angkor area, as it is a steady but scenic climb to reach the river carvings.
After lunch we visit the Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB), a rescue center for wildlife, which includes a range of monkey species, pangolin, civets, leopard cats and a boar. The tour lasts 1 hour 30 minutes. Regular guided center tour operates from Monday to Saturday, starting at 9:00 and at 13:00 sharp, from the ACCB entrance gate next to the car park at Kbal Spean. The tour lasts approx. 1 hour 30 mins
We then head to Banteay Srei, Angkor’s ultimate art gallery. This petite pink temple is the jewel in the crown of Angkor-era sculpture. The elaborate carvings here are the finest found in Cambodia and the name translates as ‘Fortress of the Women’, thanks to the intricate detail here, considered too fine for the hands of a man.
We also take the opportunity to visit the Cambodia Landmine Museum to learn more about the scourge of landmines and the shadow they cast over rural communities in Cambodia with a visit to this flagship museum promoting mine awareness and education.
Later we visit the 12th century temple of Banteay Samre. Built by King Suryavarman II, the genius behind Angkor Wat, this temple has been extensively restored.
We continue to Lanmine Museum. The Land Mine Museum displays a large collection of weapons of war, including guns, rifles, rocket launchers, mortars, bombs and landmines. The site includes a mocked up minefield and visitors can attempt to locate the deactivated mines. The museum is a rich resource of information about landmines and UXO with many educational displays detailing how certain mines are used and in what situations. There is also a DVD available telling the story of landmines and UXO in Cambodia and the disastrous impact they have had on the population. Not only a weapon of war, they are a weapon against peace. The Landmine Museum promotes land mine accident prevention awareness and public education; and provides educational facilities, programming and rehabilitation facilities for survivors of land mine injuries. It also provides education and support for dozens of at-risk, land mine-affected children who have suffered overwhelming hardships. The Cambodia Landmine Museum was created so that it might serve as a place of healing for bodies, hearts and minds.
Later we visit the 12th century temple of Banteay Samre. Built by King Suryavarman II, the genius behind Angkor Wat, this temple has been extensively restored. The temple is unique in that over-quarrying of sandstone led to the use of laterite for the roofed corridors. The pediments above the inner doors here include some of the most accomplished carving from the Angkor period.
Dinner with shows. Tonight enjoy dinner with Cambodian Traditional Dance Shows.
Meals: Dinner with shows
Angkor Wat sunrise and exploration: Rising at the crack of dawn, 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. Built in the 12th century by King Suryavarman II, this is most famous temple at Angkor. We stay at Angkor Wat to enjoy a picnic breakfast. As the crowds return to their hotels, we venture into Angkor Wat to enjoy its magnificence in peace and quiet. 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.
Lunch at Sala Kdei Khmer House: Enjoy a traditional Khmer lunch menu at Sala Kdei, an intimate location to eat and rest in the middle of the day while exploring the temples. Breakfast, sunset cocktails or a Khmer cooking class are also available at this gorgeous traditional wooden home on the banks of the Royal bathing pool at Sra Srang.
In the afternoon, we visit the immense walled city of Angkor Thom that was the masterpiece of King Jayavarman VII. Following the occupation of Angkor by the Chams from 1177 to 1181, the new king decided to build an impregnable fortress at the heart of his empire. 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.
We begin 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. We continue along the Terrace of Elephants, originally used as a viewing gallery for the king to preside over parades, performances and traditional sports. The Royal Palace complex, which was once home to the God-kings of Angkor; Preah Palilay, a Buddhist temple overshadowed by huge capok trees; Phimean Akas, a petite pyramid temple; At the southern end lies the Baphuon, once of the most beautiful temples at Angkor, dating from the reign of Uditayavarman 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. At the exact centre of Angkor Thom, this 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. These colossal Our climax is the enigmatic and enchanting temple of the Bayon. At the exact centre of Angkor Thom, this 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. These colossal heads stare down from every side, exuding power and control with a hint of compassion, just the mix required to keep a hold on such a vast empire. 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.
Meals: Lunch at Sala Kdei
After breakfast, we depart by tuk tuk to the drop off point near the bus station. From there, we ride past small rural villages towards Bakong temple. In the wet season, this ride provides magnificent views of endless paddy fields. The morning is the most beautiful time of the day to cycle here. Upon arrival at Bakong, the temple can be explored. The next temple, Prasat Preah Ko, is situated only a mere 300m away. After crossing Highway 6, Lolei can also be visited. These temples are called the Rolous Group and were built in the 9th century when the first capital, Hariharalaya, was located here. From the main entrance of Bakong the road continues to Psar Bakong, a very traditional country town market. A right turn onto a paved road will lead towards the most beautiful floating village on the Tonle Sap Lake, Kampong Pluk.
Lunch at Sala Roluos Khmer House: Sala Roluos is a beautiful traditional wooden house close to the 9th century capital of Hariharalaya and the rustic Cambodian town of Roluos. In a serene setting amid the rural atmosphere of its regal surroundings, Sala Roluos offers exclusive lunch and dinner encounters, which can be easily combined with visits to the Roluos temple monuments as well as the nearby stilted village of Kompong Pluk and its flooded forest. Our traditional Khmer lunch menu made using locally-sourced organic ingredients where available. Lunch is served between midday and 2pm.
At the harbour, a local boat is prepared and provides a wonderful tour through the floating village. Kampong Pluk is still quite unexplored and has an atmospheric submerged forest to explore. Lunch can be enjoyed in one of the floating houses in the form of a picnic. After this visit, the tuk tuk transfers back towards Siem Reap where a rewarding shower and cool drink awaits.
Today we travel to the pristine biosphere of Prek Toal, home to some of the most endangered birdlife on the planet. The immense Tonle Sap Lake is one of the most productive bodies of water in the world and millions of fish spawn here in the flooded forest. Prek Toal lies on the northeastern shore of the Tonle Sap, about one hour by boat from the port at Phnom Krom.
Prek Toal is a vast area of natural flooded forest that draws thousands of birds annually to breed during the dry season (Oct-Mar). This is one of the premier places in Southeast Asia to see rare birds such as storks, adjutants, pelicans and ibis. Birdwatchers will drift through their habitat and can observe large flocks of birds feeding on the lake shore, perched in the trees or soaring above the forest.
A trip to Prek Toal requires an early start at 5.30am. We transfer by boat from Phnom Krom to Prek Toal and enjoy breakfast along the way. The morning is spent bird-watching on a traditional wooden boat as we glide through the flooded forest with local specialists. After a local lunch, we experience local life in the floating village, learning about different fishing techniques and traditional water hyacinth weaving. We return to Siem Reap late afternoon.
International flight: TBA
Private transfer: At appropriate time today you will be transferred to Siem Reap International Airport for departure.
END OF SERVICES
Package Tour Price for Land Service only in US$ Per Person valid from 01 Jan 2017 – 31 Dec 2017
– All sightseeing and transfer services as detailed in our itinerary
– Meals as indicated in itinerary as: B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner, drinks not included
– English speaking guide (local guide, one guide one place)
– All entrance fees as detailed in our itinerary
– Ground transportation in private A/C vehicle
– 2 bottles of water and 2 refreshing towels per person on full day excursions
– All permissions and local taxes
– Hanuman arrival and departure gifts
– Public liability insurance
– Circus shows ticket
– Tour services not detailed in our itinerary
– All meals not specified and no drinks except complimentary water
– Visa for Cambodia (Visa issued on arrival, USD30/pax, please bring 1 passport photo)
– Overweight luggage
– Arrival/Departure flight to Cambodia
– Banking fees
– Early Hotel check-in
– Expenditure of a personal nature
– Tips and gratuities
– Other services not listed in ‘What’s In’
– Travel insurance (cover against all cancellation costs, medical expense, including repatriation in the event of accident or illness).
– Not including any additional charges from hotel during its peak season, the additional charge is to be advised up on the request of booking during peak season.
– Accommodation in double/twin shared room basis with daily breakfast as specified
NOTE: The regular hotel check-in time is @ 1400pm and check-out is before 1200pm
Modern city hotel in Yangon with excellent location. Jasmine Palace Hotel presents good value and high standards is the perfect base for exploring the city’s highlights.
- Private tours and transfers with air-conditioned vehicles as specified in our itinerary
- 2 bottles of water & 2 refreshing towels per passenger per day
- Lodging with breakfast as specified in the itinerary
- Luggage handling fees at airports
- Entrance fees or zone fees
- English speaking guide(other languages guide can be provide with additional charges)
What's Not Included
- Visa to Cambodia (note that pre-arranged visa is required for tourists)
- All entrance fees or zone fees
- Domestic Airfares (always quoted and mentioned separately from tour package price)
- International air fares
- Meals or any other item not described in the itinerary
- Peak season surcharges & Compulsory dinners during Xmas & New Year’s
- Early check-in, late check-out. Normal check out time from hotels in Cambodia is 11am or 12 o’clock noon
- Drinks during meals, hotel extras and expenses of personal nature
- Camera & video fees. Some of the sites visited may ask small fees for photographing and video recording.
Tips & gratuities
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