This compact four-day itinerary is designed to introduce visitors to the main highlights of the Angkor World Heritage site, taking in the magnificent ancient temples and vestiges of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom (Baphoun, Bayon, Terrace of the Elephants, Terrace of the Leper King, Pimeanakas), Ta Prohm, Banteay Srei and Kbal Spean. It also offers a glimpse of how the Khmer classical arts are being preserved for posterity and a chance to observe daily life in floating villages on the Tonle Sap Lake. 

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Discover the magnificent temples of Angkor, including Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and the famous overgrown sanctuary of Ta Prohm.
  • Marvel at the beautiful carvings of the 10th-century “Citadel of Women.”
  • Discover the extraordinary riverbed of holy lingas (phallic symbols) at Kbal Spean
  • Visit floating villages and learn about the daily life of Cambodian fishermen on the Tonle Sap Lake.
  • Watch a Khmer classical dancing and musical training class at the School of Arts, Siem Reap and interact with both teachers and students, learning about dance body language.

Day 1: Arrive Siem Reap - Angkor Wat (L)

Today you will take the morning flight to Siem Reap, capital of Siem Reap province and gateway to the Angkor World Heritage Site, which contains over 100 temples and other structures built by successive Khmer kings between the 9th and 14th centuries. You will be welcomed by our guide as soon as you come out of the airport building and transferred to your hotel for check-in. After lunch you will visit the famous 240-hectare Angkor Wat, considered one of the great wonders of the world. Built in the 12th century by King Suryavarman II, it is visually, architecturally and artistically breathtaking, with a massive three-tiered pyramid crowned by five beehive-like towers which rise 65 meters from ground level. This temple is the centrepiece of any visit to the temples of Angkor. Return to the hotel to freshen up before dinner and a special Apsara show at Angkor Village. Afterwards you can explore the night life in Siem Reap, which has numerous bars, cafes and shops.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

Day 2: Siem Reap - Angkor Thom (Baphoun - Bayon - Terrace of the Elephants - Terrace of the Leper King - Pimeanakas) - Ta Prohm - boat ride on Tonle Sap Lake (B, L)

Your second visit to the Angkor complex starts in the morning with a visit to the 900-hectare walled city of Angkor Thom, built in the late 12th and early 13th centuries by King Jayavarman VII, whose face adorns several of the city gates. Here you will view the spectacular 12th-century Bayon, the 11th-century Baphoun, the intricately-carved bas-reliefs of the Terrace of the Elephants and Terrace of the Leper King and the Pimeanakas royal temple. Next you will visit the famous Buddhist monastery of Ta Prohm, another of Jayavarman VII’s construction projects, parts of which have been photogenically overgrown by jungle and were immortalised by Hollywood movie star Angelina Jolie in the action movie “Tomb Raider 2.” In the afternoon you will take a boat trip on the Tonle Sap Lake, visiting interesting floating fishing villages and experiencing the beautiful sunset over South East Asia’s largest fresh water lake.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

Day 3: Siem Reap - Banteay Srei - Kbal Spean - Siem Reap (B,L)

After breakfast you will visit one of the jewels of Angkor – the 10th-century temple of Banteay Srei, which means “Citadel of Women.” Dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, the temple was built of pink sandstone and contains some of the most beautiful and intricate carvings of any Angkorian temple. After a picnic lunch near the site, you will take a moderately easy 45-minute uphill walk through the forest to Kbal Spean, the “River of a Thousand Lingas,” where phallic symbols of the god Shiva are carved into the riverbed. Return to Siem Reap for your last night in Cambodia.

Overnight in Siem Reap.

Day 4: Siem Reap - School of Arts - Depart Siem Reap (B)

After breakfast, you will visit the School of Arts, Siem Reap, which focuses on Khmer classical dancing and musical training for poor and disadvantaged children from Siem Reap and surrounding areas. You will not only observe the training process but will also be invited to join them on the stage during the performance. The interesting interaction with the children and their teachers will give you a deeper understanding of classical Khmer dance and music. After this visit you will return to your hotel and get ready to transfer to the airport for departure.