5 Days / 4 Nights
Explore the highlights of Angkor in a 1960's military jeep, visit some of the off-the-beaten-track temples in a tuk-tuk, discover the Kbal Spean Waterfall, Beng Mealea, a prototype of Angkor Wat overgrown by vegetation, visit the Tonle-Sap Lake, and bicycle through some remote villages, visit local homes, and experience a once in a lifetime adventure interacting with the locals, enjoy a monk blessing on a short tour suitable if you are travelling to other destinations before of after your trip to Angkor.
Our itineraries are suggestions and are fully customisable according to your needs, interests and budget.
Treat these itineraries as inspiration and one of our experts will create your uniquely tailored holiday with your requests in mind so that you can truly experience Cambodia with Seven Senses.
Day 1. Arrive Siem Reap, the Gateway to Angkor (-/-/-)
Meet your guide and driver upon arrival and be transferred to your hotel. Time to freshen up and rest.
In the afternoon meet with your guide and visit a small temple, where you meet with a local monk and receive a traditional monk blessing. The blessing is a traditional local ritual that is specially adjusted to bless your travels through Cambodia. Walk around the compound of the pagoda and learn more about the architecture and Buddhism. Continue afterwards with a short tuktuk ride to the local home of Sombai where a very special concept has been created that also happens to be delicious! Meet with the team of Sombai and learn more about the Infused Rice Wine and how this is being created. Taste the different wines and enjoy this special treat and festive welcome to Cambodia!
Day 2. Angkor Highlights by Jeep/Tuk-tuk or Bike (B/L/-)
Start in the early morning with a 1960’s Military Jeep Ride to Ta Prohm. Constructed in the Bayon style between the late 12th and early 13th century, Ta Prohm was left pretty much untouched by archaeologists. The trees that grow out of the ruins allow for a mysterious feeling filled with photogenic opportunities. Leave the temple at the backside and enjoy a short hike to the back entrance of Banteay Kdei, which is known also as the “Citadel of Monks”. Exiting the temple at the east side will bring you to Sras Srang. Continue with a nice walk of 30 minutes from Sras Srang to Batchum temple. Pass through a typical Khmer village with its wooden houses on stilts and observe the daily activities of its people. The jeep waits at this small temple that dates back to the middle of the 10th century. An early lunch is served nearby at a local home.
Continue by jeep to Angkor Wat, and enter from the East Gate. Around this time of the day, most people head back for lunch in town, leaving the masterpiece relatively quiet for exploration. King Suryavarman II constructed this magnificent temple and built it to become the largest religious monument in the world. Leave Angkor Wat through the West Gate and continue by jeep to the South Gate of Angkor Thom. Take the opportunity to photograph the impressive entrance to Angkor Thom, which translates to “Great City”. The jeep will drop you at a small temple, beautifully overgrown with trees called Palilay. From here walk through the forest to the Phimeanakas and the Baphuon, both structures built in the pyramid style in the 11th and 10th century respectively. Continue to the centerpiece of the city; the Bayon, which served as a Mahayana shrine dedicated to Buddha. Its most distinctive features are the 216 serene stone faces that seemingly face all directions. Visit the Terrace of the Elephants, which is a 300 meters long terrace. The south stairway is framed with three-head elephants gathering lotus flowers with their trunks. The central stairway is decorated by lions and garudas in bas-reliefs in a stance of support for the stairways. Likewise, the Terrace of Leper King was constructed in the 12th century. The curious name of this terrace refers to a statue of the Leper King that is on the platform of the terrace. Finally, visit the Victory Gate from where a short hike brings you to the East Gate, also known as the Gate of the Death. This gate remains beautifully untouched in a very quiet part of the complex surrounded by forest. It is the perfect place to end the day with a snack and cool drink before you return to town where you enjoy a free evening.
Note: Above temples are standard temples most people see. Not all temples we visit are mentioned. The program and timings are flexible depending on weather conditions.
Day 3. Kbal Spean - Banteay Srei - Beng Mealea (B/L/-)
After breakfast drive to Kbal Spean, at the slopes of the Kulen mountains. Start a 1500m hike uphill through beautiful forest. The stunning carvings in the sandstone river bed and river banks are identical to the ones found at Phnom Kulen. A small waterfall and the serene environment invites for a refreshing swim. Continue afterwards to one of the jewels in the Angkor area, Banteay Srei, which dates back to the late 10th century. The enchanting temple is nearly everyone's favourite site. The special charm of this temple lies in its remarkable state of preservation, small size and excellence of decoration. It was built by a Brahmin of royal descent who was a spiritual teacher to Jayavarman V, which is unique as this makes Banteay Srei the only major temple built by a non-King. A special feature of the exquisite decoration was the use of hard pink sandstone. Drive to a small pagoda afterwards, where a special lunch arrangement awaits. The pagoda's crew are waiting for you and will serve you a delicious meal, which is prepared on spot. Continue afterwards to Beng Mealea, which was built between the late 11th and the first half of the 12th century. It is assumed that King Suryavarman II ordered the construction of Beng Mealea, maybe even as a prototype of its larger brother; Angkor Wat, but no actual prove can be found in its depictions. The ruins of Beng Mealea are overgrown with vegetation, allowing a real “wilderness experience.” In recent years a wooden pathway has been constructed throughout the temple to allow people to observe the beauty of the temple in ease. However, most people venture of the beaten track and find their own way through the temple allowing them to experience the feeling the first explorers must have felt when they uncovered this magnificent structure.
Day 4. A Countryside Adventure (B/L/-)
Most people forget the real reason of traveling abroad, which is simply to get away from the daily bubble and experience and see something new. Climb aboard a tuktuk and visit Wat Svay Romeat on the Western Baray. Meet with the local monks and be guided around their sanctuary to learn more about Buddhism in Cambodia. Continue by tuktuk to the Tonle Sap Lake. Drive over small dirt roads through the heart of Cambodia’s countryside to Me Chhrey, a small floating fishing village on the north-eastern tip of the Tonle Sap. This village allows for an authentic floating village experience and is home to families who unlike other floating communities still live in wooden house boats. By visiting a local home you get a better understanding of life on the lake and your guide would be more than happy to translate your questions to your hosts. After returning to the port, the tuktuk awaits for a short transfer to a small pagoda where a simple picnic lunch is set up for you. Enjoy lunch on the compounds before continuing by bicycle back to Siem Reap. The bicycle ride is about 25km and leads over small dirt roads passing authentic villages and plenty of rural activities to lend a hand to. See how rice is harvested or planted (depending on the season) and how people care for their cattle. Make several stops on the way to visit people’s homes and taste fresh coconut juice and other delicacies prepared locally. Interact with the local people and even though you may not speak the same language, facial expressions, body language and with the help of your guide you surely can make yourself understood. End your trip at Wat Ang Kau Sai, where a modern day pagoda and ancient structures from the Angkor Empire harmoniously blend. The nearby school provides an opportunity to interact with the school kids and end the day with a broad smile.
Day 5. Siem Reap - Departure (B/-/-)
Transfer to the airport to board your flight to your next destination.
The itinerary may be subject to change depending on circumstances.
PRICES AND INCLUSIONS
5 DAYS / 4 NIGHTS FROM £599 per person + flights
based on 2 people travelling together
The price includes:
4 nights 4 star hotel accommodation in twin/double rooms:
River Soul Residence Angkor or similar
Private vehicle with driver as described in the itinerary for the full duration of the tour
All tours mentioned in the itinerary with private English speaking guide
Meals: breakfast in the hotels, lunches according to the program
All entrance fees and permissions to the sites visited
The price does not include:
Return flights from the UK to Cambodia
Anything not specifically mentioned above
Visa fee for Cambodia
Tips to the guide and driver
Personal costs such as drinks, laundry, etc.
Projects you support while traveling this program:
A local family: As part of our commitment to help the local community, we always pay a small contribution when we visit a local home, have a lunch at a family’s home or when the family allows us to make use of any service or equipment they are able to offer us.
The Pagoda: A Pagoda is a community institution. If you had lunch on the grounds of a pagoda, or visited a pagoda and met with a local monk, we donate to that pagoda. The Pagoda usually uses the money for development of its grounds, which benefits the entire community they are located in as everyone is allowed to make use of the pagoda, its facilities and its guidance.
Kok Dong Community School: Even if you haven’t visited the Kok Dong Community School, we still support the school with materials, computers, and donations and any other materials and advice needed for the school to continue to develop the young minds of Cambodia.
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