Visiting Angkor Wat was the main reason for our first trip to Cambodia, although the stop wasn’t originally on our Southeast Asia itinerary. We made a last-minute decision to visit the famous Siem Reap temples when traveling from Vietnam to Thailand. We had an entire week in Siem Reap and with the assistance of an extremely helpful hotel staff and conversations with fellow travelers, we sorted out the best way to visit the temples of Angkor.
Day 1: Siem reap Arrival
Upon arrival, welcome by tour guide in Siem Reap, transfer to hotel for check-in. Then visit West Baray Big Pond, a “baray” is a water reservoir built by the ancient Khmer people. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 2: Angkor tour full day (B)
Breakfast at hotel, explore South Gate of Angkor Thom known as Big Angkor, 3km2 walled and moated royal city and was the last capital of the Angkorian Empire, The famous Bayon Temple was an architectural muddle, in part because it was constructed in a somewhat piecemeal fashion for over a century. Terrace of the Elephants is an impressive, two and a half meter tall, 300 meter long terrace wall adorned with carved elephants and gradual that spans the heart of Angkor Thom in front of Baphuon - huge temple mountain in the heart of Angkor Thom, Royal Palace Area and Phimeanakas - impressive rite and sandstone pyramid. Terrace of the Leper King is at the north end of the Terrace of the Elephants, a double terrace wall with deeply carved nag as, demons and other mythological beings. Last you will visit Ta Prohm temple which is a wonderful combination of human genius and natural beauty. Giant trees have grown here for centuries.
Afternoon visit Angkor Wat temple, the founder of the temple was Suryavarman II who reigned Cambodia from 1113 to 1152 and built the five towers in the 12th century to dedicate to the Hindu God Vishnu. The plan of the pyramidal conception of the temple combined with spaces, alleys, ditches is an ancient masterpiece of architectural design and construction. It is time to visit Pre Rup temple for a romantic sunset view. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 3: Siem Reap visit (B)
Breakfast at hotel, morning visit Floating Villages, located 10 kilometers south of Siem Reap! Take a ride in a traditional wooden boat on the Tonle Sap, the "Great Lake" of Cambodia and the largest in Asia. Here you’ll see plenty of examples of the Khmer way of life on the Tonle Sap. Then visit Wat Bo founded in the 18th century, a highly respected pagoda contains very unique wall paintings of the Reamker (Ramayana) that are said to be late 19th century. We continue to one of the city’s lively open markets, Psar Chars, also called the “Old Market”, where anything and everything is for sale.
Afternoon visit Wat Thmei (Killing Field) contains a unique glass-walled stupa containing the bones of victims of the Khmer Rouge. Some of the bones were recovered from a nearby well while others are the remains of soldiers who died on a nearby battlefield. Come back to visit the "Les Artisans d'Angkor – Chantiers Ecole" the Finest Authentic Khmer Arts and Crafts. Overnight in Siem Reap.
Day 4: Departure (B)
Breakfast at hotel, free leisure on own arrangement until time transfer to airport for flight onwards! On the way if there is time we will visit Puok, the real and original place of the Artisans d’Angkor silk, where you will see the full process of silk producing, from the silk worms munch on the Mulberry leaves to spin their cocoons which used to make silk warp. You of course will see the weaving work and purchase the high-quality silk products as a beautiful Cambodia souvenir. Straight to Siemreap airport for your departure.