Exploring the Glories of a Bygone Khmer Civilization

Overview

With the haunting remains of temples and shrines scattered across a tropical landscape, Angkor is a lasting monument to the glory of a bygone Khmer civilization and one of the wonders of the modern world. With a private guide, discover majestic temples adorned with intricate bas-reliefs or entwined by encroaching vegetation, climb up towers for sunset views of the countryside, contemplate the past as you pause beside huge moats and man-made lakes, and pass through imposing gateways decorated with colossal sculptured Buddha images.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1
Bangkok / Siem Reap, Cambodia / Angkor National Museum

Morning flight from Bangkok to Siem Reap, Cambodia. After exiting through immigration, you are met by your guide for a transfer to the Angkor National Museum, with its wonderful collection of Cambodian artifacts showcasing the origins of Khmer art, culture, and architecture. After lunch at a local cafe, transfer to your hotel for check-in and enjoy the rest of your day at leisure. Overnight at hotel...L

 View Lodging
Day 2
Angkor Wat / Angkor Thom

We begin our explorations of the glorious temples of Angkor with a visit to Angkor’s grandest and most inspiring temple complex: Angkor Wat. This architectural masterpiece was constructed in the 12th century and covers an area of over 500 acres. We explore its many galleries with columns, libraries, pavilions, courtyards, and ponds full of water reflecting the temple. Intricately carved bas-reliefs extend the length of the outer walls and corridors, depicting mythological scenes of Hindu epics and day-to-day life at the time of Angkor’s construction. In the afternoon we visit the “Great City’ of Angkor Thom, whose centerpiece is the magnificent Bayon Temple, noted for its gigantic Boddhisattva sculptures and its remarkable bas-reliefs. We will see the South Gate with its impressive causeway flanked by gods and demons, the Elephant Terrace, and the Leper King Terrace, all within Angkor Thom (ancient city).  Overnight at hotel...BL

 View Lodging
Day 3
Ta Promh / Banteay Srei

Huge fig, banyan, and kapok trees have grown throughout the temple monuments of Ta Promh, their giant roots often splitting open ancient Buddha sculptures with surreal effect. The site has a mysterious and evocative “forgotten city” feeling and is a favorite with visitors. After lunch at a local restaurant in Siem Reap, we discover the enchanting 10th century Banteay Srei Temple, the “Citadel of the Women,” beyond the main Angkor complex. It seems as if the temple, which is in an amazing state of preservation, was designed to leave no space undecorated, and its extraordinary fine carvings in pink sandstone are quite unique. Overnight at hotel...BL

 View Lodging
Day 4
Preah Khan / Peak Nean / Bangkok

In the morning we visit Preah Khan, the “Sacred Sword,” a magnificent structure dedicated to the Buddhist religion by King Jayavarman VII. This huge temple complex is also largely overgrown with great trees and smothering roots still clinging to the sandstone and laterite walls, and is presently under careful restoration by the World Monuments Fund of NYC. We'll also visit Neak Pean, an artifical island in Preah Khan Baray with a Buddhist temple on it. Time permitting, visit “Les Artisans d’Angkor,” a school promoting the arts and crafts of Cambodia, before transferring to the airport for an afternoon or evening flight to Bangkok...BL

Details

Length: 4 days
Cost From: $755  
Arrive: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Depart: Siem Reap, Cambodia
Lodging: 3 nights hotels (first class or deluxe option)
Meals: Meals as indicated (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Cultural Adventures
Trip Level:

Walking tours and cultural explorations.

Visa Requirements

A visa is required for Cambodia. You can easily obtain this visa on arrival at the Siem Reap Airport ($30 and one passport photo required) or you may obtain your Cambodian visa online before departure at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs & International Cooperation of Cambodia website; follow the directions to the e-visa page ($37 and an uploaded passport photo are required).