Explore the famed temples of Angkor and the surrounding countryside
6 Days (5 Nights)
This dynamic and varied itinerary combines temple explorations with soft adventure and authentic cultural experiences.
Discover Siem Reap, the temples of Angkor and the surrounding countryside actively and immerse yourself into Khmer culture as you experience the Cambodian lifestyle.
- Day 1 Transfer to hotel; Angkor Thom and sunset over the temples by bicycle
- Day 2 Bicycle tour to Angkor Wat and various temples of the Grand and Small Circuit
- Day 3 Uncover the hidden treasures on Phnom Kulen by mountain bike and on foot
- Day 4 Banteay Srei; picturesque countryside tour
- Day 5 Country life around Siem Reap including floating village
- Day 6 Check out und transfer or ongoing programme
Day 1: Arrive in Siem Reap, where you are picked up by our tour guide and transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon we begin our tour with a bicycle ride to the ancient walled city of Angkor Thom which also houses the Bayon with its mysterious four-faced towers, the royal palace and the Terraces of the Elephants and Leper King. In the evening we witness the scenic sunset over one of the temples.
Day 2: Take time to enjoy breakfast before visiting Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious building and the national symbol of Cambodia. With its perfect layout and unsurpassed bas-reliefs that depict tales from Hindu mythology, Angkor Wat is considered the masterpiece of Khmer architecture. After lunch we visit Ta Prohm which has been left to the forces of nature by archaeologists as it was rediscovered, many parts of its structure being embraced by the roots of gigantic trees that give the ruin a special atmosphere as well other structures on the Small and Grand Circuit.
Day 3: Early in the morning we transfer to the plateau of Phnom Kulen. With its numerous sacred places Phnom Kulen is Cambodia’s most revered mountain. It was here that Jayavarman ll was proclaimed god-king and the first capital of the Angkor-era that was to follow was founded. On our tour through the lush jungle and remote villages we explore Phnom Kulen’s treasures by bicycle and on foot:: the riverbed carvings of One Thousand Lingas, a spectacular 30-metre high waterfall with a natural swimming pool, a mountain pagoda housing a large reclining Buddha hewn out from the natural Kulen sandstone and mysterious animal sculptures hidden in the dense forest. After lunch at the waterfall and a refreshing swim we embark on an exciting descent by mountain bike to the foot of the mountain, from where we drive back to Siem Reap by car.
Day 4: Early in the morning we head to the temple mountain of Pre Rup, before driving further north to Banteay Srei. Compared to other structures, this Hindu temple almost seems petite, but is magnificently decorated with countless elaborate carvings which are the finest found in Cambodia. The name translates as “Citadel of the Women”, due to its intricate decoration. Banteay Srei is also the starting point of today’s bicycle tour. We ride along country paths and side roads through the picturesque countryside and idyllic villages. In one of the villages we prepare and enjoy a simple lunch with a local family. We continue to the hill of Phnom Bok. If we have enough energy left we climb to the top. On the last stretch we make a detour to the less frequently visited Banteay Samre. Built by King Suryavarman II, the same king who built Angkor Wat, the structure with its high temple tower has undergone extensive restoration.
Day 5: Today we learn more about Cambodian country life. We leave Siem Reap by bicycle before we continue by oxcart through paddy fields and picturesque villages to meet our hosts. Together we prepare and enjoy a typical Cambodian lunch. We continue to the nearby boat harbour from where a boat takes us to one of the floating villages on the Tonle Sap Lake. Every aspect of life takes place on water, and there are floating schools, floating petrol stations and even pigs are kept on rafts. Early in the evening we arrive back in Siem Reap.
Day 6: Time free at leisure until your check out and transfer or the beginning of your onward programme.
The above tours are therefore sample itineraries.
Tourist hub of Cambodia
As gateway to the temples of Angkor, Siem Reap is clearly the tourist hub of Cambodia. Accordingly, the town offers a vast array of accommodation options, ranging from boutique guest houses to some of the best hotels in the region.
The picturesque town centre hosts many speciality restaurants, lively bars, designer boutiques and a bustling night market.
Apart from temple visits, there are plenty activities that warrant a longer stay than just a couple of days, ranging from photography courses to cycling adventures to excursions to nearby bird sanctuaries or a homestay in a floating village on the nearby Tonle Sap Lake.
The area around the provincial capital of Siem Reap is dotted with dozens of temple complexes, most of them situated in the Angkor Archaeological Park to the North of the town.
Among the countless treasures first-time visitors should at least include Angkor Wat, believed to be the world’s largest religious building, the Bayon with its mysterious face towers and the complexes of Agnkor Thom, a walled fortress which was once the centre world’s largest city.
On the way to and back from these complexes visits of other temples are easily possible, above all of Ta Prohm which has been left to the forces of nature by archaeologists, many parts of its structure being embraced by the roots of gigantic trees.
At least two days are required for a relatively detailed exploration of Angkor Archaeological Park which can be reached conveniently by car, tuk tuk or bicycle. The area is too large to be explored on foot.
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