Best known as the gateway to the ruins of Angkor – a symbol of Cambodia’s tourism, the resort town of Siem Reap lies in northwestern Cambodia. Angkor Wat (or Capital Temple) is the world’s largest religious monument originally constructed as a Hindu temple for the Khmer Empire, which was then gradually transformed into a Buddhist temple towards the end of the 12th century.
This 3-day Siem Reap adventure offers you a chance to witness the Khmer Kingdom’s symbol including the Bayon, Ta Prohm and Pre Rup. Another worthy place to visit in Siem Reap is the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Tonlé Sap (by boat), after enjoying a jungle hike to the River of a Thousand Lingas.
Our group is limited to 12 people, which means each of you can get special attention from our professional tour guide. You’ll have 02 overnight stays including breakfast and lunch. As you discover the Angkor, you’ll also have some time to savour the appetising Khmer cuisines.
Day 1 - Siem Reap – Angkor
At 8 in the morning our guide will pick you up from your hotel before joining the group to the Angkor Archaeological Park. Upon arriving at the Angkor temple complex, located approximately 5.5 km north of Siem Reap, let’s take a deep look at Angkor Wat, the capital best-preserved temples of Angkor.
After visiting around 100 stone temples survived at Angkor while every of its surroundings had all disappeared, you’ll go on to the old capital city of Angkor Thom to see the Bayon Temple, of which 54 towers are decorated with more than 200 smiling stone faces. Contemplate Phimeanakas, Baphuon, the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King before stopping for some photographing at the magnificent South Gate.
Besides providing knowledge of the ruins and the Khmer Kings who used to rule over a vast domain, our experienced guide also shares with you some interesting folktales about the lost civilisation.
At noon, we’ll stop at a local restaurant surrounded by rice paddies for a traditional Khmer lunch. Then you can choose either to take a nap in a hammock or to chat with the local residents to know more about their daily routines.
In the afternoon, we’ll take you back to Angkor Thom, where you can explore the stunning beauty of Ta Prohm Temple prior to climbing up the terminal pyramid of Pre Rup, one of the oldest buildings in the Angkor complex (if time permits).
How to spend the rest of the day is totally up to you. Our suggestions are experiencing Siem Reap’s vibrant nightlife or trying some more of the local specialities before returning to your hotel.
Transport: Private Car
Day 2 - Siem Reap – Banteay Srei
After breakfast, go on a trip with your small group through the countryside to the small village of Kbal Spean. En route, stop for local snacks like sugar palm candy and take a deep look at rural Cambodian life as you watch villagers plant or harvest rice, or engage in other seasonal activities.
Reaching the base of the nearby mountains, our guide will lead you to a 40-minute jungle trek to the River of a Thousand Lingas, where you’ll be surprised with the unique Hindu sculptures carved into the river's granite banks more than 1000 years ago.
Upon returning to the base of Kbal Spean, let’s visit the Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (closed on Sundays and public holidays) – home to a variety of wild animals including gibbons, monkeys, anteaters, snakes, turtles and the bright-eyed loris which have been saved from illegal trafficking,
Afterwards, enjoy another superfine Khmer lunch and head back to the Angkor temple complex to explore a small sandstone Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, which’s considered the jewel in the crown of Angkor art: Banteay Srei. If the weather is fine, we’ll continue to explore the gorgeous Banteay Kdei temple constructed by the same architect as the Pre Rup temple. Enjoy sunset at the picturesque reservoir Srah Srang, where during the dry season, the remains of a temple in its centre can be seen.
In the evening, it’s your choice whether to participate in a Khmer cooking class or indulge yourself with a traditional massage (expense excluded), or simply take a self walking tour around the city.
Meal: Lunch, Breakfast
Transport: Private Car
Day 3 - Siem Reap – Tonle Sap
Having breakfast with your small group and then enjoy a little more of Siem Reap before leaving it behind for Tonle Sap, one of the world’s most productive bodies of fresh water, which feeds into the Mekong during Cambodia's dry season and forms a large lake during its monsoons.
Classified as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, the ecosystem supports millions of fish that come to spawn each year in the seasonally flooded forest, and attracts a variety of water fowl. Take a boat trip around the lake to the floating villages, where Cambodian people have settled along the shores, and get a sense of the water-based agricultural life shaped by monsoonal rains and the water’s rhythm.
Later on, jump back in the remork, watch more seasonal agricultural activities along the way such as cricket catching, smoking fish, fish paste-making and duck farming. Stop in a local village to pick up some Khmer snacks before paying a short visit to a modern Cambodian Buddhist monastery.
End your 3-day tour around noon heading back to Siem Reap.