Monday Temple Tour 12:30 – 17:30
Temple Tour of Angkor Thom, Bayon, Baphoun Temple, Phimeanakas, Elephants, Leper King, Preah Khan
Enclosed on all sides by walls and wide moats, the fortified, royal city of Angkor Thom covers 10 square km and houses many of Cambodia’s most popular sights. Entrance by the monumental South Gate leads you over a causeway lined on each side by giant statues of demons and gods.
The mysterious temple-mountain of Bayon stands squarely in the middle of Angkor Thom. Here you can explore galleries of beautifully preserved bas reliefs and ascend narrow stairs to reach the central sanctuary where giant stone faces smile down enigmatically from every angle.
At the heart of Angkor Thom lies the temple-mountain of Baphoun, said to have been constructed between 1049 and 1065. Unique animal carvings adorn the entrance and the large reclining Buddha on the west side welcomes all.
Built in the late 10th century, dedicated to Hinduism with a Kleang art style, Phimeanakas is reachable on foot from Prah Palilay or the Terrace of the Elephants.
Terrace of Elephants and Terrace of the Leper King
The Terrace of Elephants was the King’s grand audience hall for viewing public ceremonies. The famous elephant statues line both ends of the retaining walls. North of the Terrace of Elephants is a platform named ‘Terrace of the Leper King’ on which lies a nude statue – one of Angkor’s mysteries.
Set in a jungle, Preah Khan stands with towering enclosures and shoulder-hugging corridors. Preah Khan covers a very large area with the temple itself being enclosed within an 800 meter wall.
Tuesday Temple Tour 12:30 – 17:30
Banteay Srei Temple and Kbal Spean, t he River of 1000 Lingas
A Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, Banteay Srei was built in the late 10th century. Of primary interest are the three central towers decorated with male and female divinities and exquisite filigree relief work.
At Kbal Spean, the River of 1000 Lingas, are hundreds of carvings in the riverbed, many more of which have been lost to looters and the passing of time. Nearby, a waterfall can be reached by a short 2km hike.
Wednesday Temple Tour 12:30 – 14:30
Visit Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm, surrounded by lush, untouched jungle, is one of the most popular attractions of Angkor. It looks very much as most of the Angkor monuments would have appeared when European explorers first stumbled across them.
Wednesday Evening Cooking class in the Countryside 15:00 – 19:00
Discover the secrets of Cambodian cuisine guided by a professional chef. Our culinary master will introduce us to herbs and ingredients used for centuries in the typical Cambodian kitchen. Afterwards, relax in the local village while enjoying the food prepared in class.
Temple Tour to Ta Keo, Preak Dak, and Banteay Samre 12:30 – 17:30
Dedicated to Shiva and completed in 1001, Ta Keo was the first Angkorian monument built entirely of sandstone. The summit of the central tower is 50 meters high and is surrounded by four lower towers.
In Preak Dak you will visit a house and meet local people making Khmer Noodles.
Banteay Samre is a mid-12th century temple dedicated to the god Vishnu.
Floating Village Tour to Kampong Kleang 12:30 – 17:30
Kampong Kleang is located 50 km from Siem Reap town, situated on the northeast shore of the ecologically important Tonle Sap Lake. Via boat and shuttle, explore the floating villages that live at the edges of the lake, passing submerged forests and fishing farms.
Thursday Evening Phare Ponleu Selpak – the Cambodian Circus 20:00
Phare Ponleu Selpak blends contortion, juggling, acrobatics, balancing, and aerial arts with theatre, music, and modern dance to tell uniquely Cambodian stories. Through Phare, these young Cambodian artistes, from some of the most difficult social and economic backgrounds imaginable, have successfully transformed their lives. Before the performance, enjoy a delicious dinner, then sit back and experience the unique circus. The energy, enthusiasm and lust for life of the performers make this an inspiring encounter.
Friday Travel Excursion to Chantiers Ecoles (Artisan d’Angkor) 14:00 – 16:00
Les Chantiers Ecoles is a vocational center which trains 650 apprentices a year in fine arts and crafts trades united in the Artisan d’Angkor production network. Guided tours leading through workshops on stone sculpture, woodcarving, and polychrome provide the opportunity to watch the artisans at work.
Saturday Spiritual Buddhist Farewell 9:00 – 11:00
Undertake a spiritual journey and water blessing on this morning tour to a sacred shrine and a Buddhist temple. Start the tour at a beautifully decorated shrine containing the statues of two sisters, thought to have been Angkorian princesses. The tall one is known as Preah Ang Chek, the shorter one as Preah Ang Chorm. They are believed to be one thousand years old and have a colorful history of power and indestructibility. Join other pilgrims to make offerings and take photos at this sacred place of worship.
From here, you will continue to a Buddhist temple for a private ceremony, walking along garden paths surrounding the beautiful pagoda with its gilded spires. Enter the peaceful temple and take a seat in front of the saffron-clad monks. Listen as they quietly chant in the ancient Buddhist language of Pali and breathe in the aromas of lotus, jasmine, and incense as you offer your alms.
Then it is your turn to take part in an ancient Cambodian ritual by receiving a traditional water blessing. You can choose from two types of blessing. In the first blessing the monks will lightly sprinkle water over you as they chant harmoniously to wish you good luck, safe travel and a long life. The second blessing involves blessed water being poured onto your head while the monks chant. If you choose the second ritual you will be provided with a sarong to change into. After blessings, the monks will tie a thread around your wrist to bring good luck and prosperity.