Temple Hopping

Day1: Arrival PhnomPenh

Warmly welcomed at Phnom Penh International airport and you are met by our Tour guide and led to your hotel.
Firstly, visit to the Royal Palace compound build in 1866 by the Predecessors of King Norodom, is the most conspicuous feature and also one of impressive colorful Khmer-style Palaces. Nearside the Royal Palace is Silver Pagoda (The Emerald Buddha temple), display plenty of Buddha Statues that were decorated and made by diamond, emerald, gold and silver, continuing visit to National Museum, the distinctive red building with a beautiful Khmer architecture was build since 1917 and contains more than 5000 art objects made of sandstone, bronze, silver, copper, wood and others. Visit to Independence Monument which was constructed in 1954 after Cambodian took their country back from French colony, continuing. Visit Tuol Sleng prison (Genocide Museum) was the most secret organ of the Khmer Rouge regime. S-21 stands for “Security Office 21.” was Angkar’s premier security institution, specifically designed for the interrogation and extermination of anti Angkar elements. Continue to visit Choeung Ek museum, between 1975 and 1978 about 17,000 men, women, children and infants detained and tortured at S-21 prison were transported to the extermination camp of Choeung Ek.

Day 2: Phnom Penh – Tonle Bati – Chiso – Phnom Penh
Morning departure by A/C car from Phnom Penh direct to Phnom Chiso on National Road Number 2, climb up the top of the hill for visiting a fine Angkorian-era temple, visit weaving village nearby – Lunch en route.
On the way back to Phnom Penh, visit Prasat Neang Khma u (the black lady), Ta Prohm and Yeay Peou at Tonle Bati. Depart to Phnom Penh in late afternoon.
We will enjoy a cruise for view sunset on the Mekong and Tonle Sap River (1 hour). Situated at the “Four Arms” where the Mekong meets the Tonle Sap River before splitting into tow branches, Phnom Penh offers the ideal location to discover the mighty Mekong. Board a nicely restored wooden boat for a day cruise, enjoy the unspoiled landscapes along each bank and visit the traditional villages with their old pagodas on the islands.

Day 3: Phnom Penh – Udong Stupas – Battambang
En route, visit a Cham Muslim village. Drive to Udong where a picnic lunch will be served. Then, visit the various temples and the three large stupas where the ashes of three former Kings are preserved. Next, visit the most impressive structure of the site, the “Vihara of the 18-Cubit Buddha”.
Continuation by the same road through the village, the rice field to Kompong Chhnang province, arrival around 11:30, city tour, visit the fishing village on Tonle Sap, the potteries – Lunch at the local restaurant. Then continue to Battambang via Pursat city with a brief city tour, arrival at Battambang in the last afternoon.

Day 4: Battambang Exploration
Discover the city of Battambang, a charming big city where you can watch the elegant houses in the French colonial style along the river. You then visit the Provincial Museum and the pagoda before heading to the 11th century temple of Wat Ek Phnom. You pass through traditional villages along the route where you can attend the manufacture of family rice cakes and contacting people about their daily lives. Click and clack on Bamboo train through the countryside. In the afternoon, then, an hour’s ride to the hill of Phnom Bannon (337 steps) and its temple, Prasat Bannon, 7th century, which stands atop mountain that reach by a long staircase. From there, you can also admire the beautiful scenic landscape of villages, plains, pagodas. We stop at local family graph farm, where Cambodian grape wine being produced.

Day 5: Battambang – Banteay Chhmar temple – Home-stay
Morning we depart for Banteay Chhmar via Sisophone. Welcome in Banteay Chhmar Community-Based Tourism center. Lunch will be served and prepared by women group under the straw hut and settling in your Home-stay. We continue to visit Banteay Chhmar temple by walking. Banteay Chhmar temple is vast and remote, has been repeatedly looted over years and many of its treasures carted off to private collections around the world. Kuyon ride to visit the killing Baray and watch fishing with net as well as admiring the sunset from a small wooden platform. After a stop at your home-stay, dinner in the temple place with the traditional wooden torches.

Day 6: Banteay Chhmar – Siem Reap (B/L)
Breakfast in your home-stay prepared and delivered by Community-Based Tourism center Walk in the Banteay Chhmar local Market Ox-cart tour to discover the Banteay Chhmar way of life (rice fields, vegetable gardens along the west moat, visit silk center Soieries du Mekong Last lunch at Community-Based Tourism center Say goodbye to community and we drive to Siem Reap
Arrive in Siem Reap free at your own time.

Day 7: Siem Reap – Anglong Veng – Preah Vihear (B/L)
This morning, we drive toward Anlong Veng, it’s known as Khmer Rouge Cultural Site, the last strong hold of Khmer Rouge leaders. We visit the house that once owned by former Khmer Rouge Commander Ta Mok (1979 – 1997) some remaining statues describe the way the rebels lived and how they arranged their troops during their bloody struggle again the government. We take a half an hours walk to a pile of tires which is believed to be the funeral pyre and burial site of Pol Pot, the leader of the Khmer Rouge. Then we continue to Preah Vihear by new branch road. If time permit we will drive up Preah Viear mountain to witness sunset over the ancient land of Khmer empire.

Day 8: Preah Vihear – Koh Ker temple (B/L)
Early morning we awake for sunrise, then we continue to Koh Ker, the remnant of the capital city of the Khmer Empire from 828 AD – 944 AD of a unique period in the Age of Angkor. Visit surrounding Koh Ker temples area such as Rahal Baray, Balang temple, Thneng temple, Linga Shrin, Prasat Andong Kok, in which big lingas still in place. Enjoy a bird’s eye view from the top of Prasat Thom (big temple) that overlooking Dangrek Mountain Range and surrounding forest. We continue to explore the many temples at this incredible site, including the beautiful Prasat Krahom, covered by jungle, and some of the smaller structures such as Prasat Neang Khmau. Overnight in Koh Ker.

Day 9: Koh Ker temple – Peong Komnor – Beng Mealea (Our new program)(BLD)
Today we have a long journey west to the Beng Melea district. Beng Mealea lies at the foot of the southern cliff of Phnom Kulen, 40kms east of Angkor, on the road to the great Preah Khan. It was the starting point of canal which led to the great lake, “Tonle Sap Lake”, which probably used to float the sandstone blocks from nearby quarries downstream to build many of the Angkorian monuments. On the way we stop and get on motorbike about twenty-minute ride into the bamboo forest from the village is a series of Angkorian reliefs carved into the southern cliff of Phnom Kulen, the quality of the work and their preservation is remarkable and the danger of inevitable of the site makes them all the more precious. It is undiscovered tourist site in Angkor areas. We continue to visit Beng Mealea temple, this 12th century temple is enclosed by a moat that is nearly the size of Angkor Wat, but utterly subsumed by jungle. Many of the carvings have recently been plundered due to the temple’s isolation, but that doesn’t detract from the atmosphere.

Day 10: Phnom Kulen Exploration (BLD)
Phnom Kulen hidden mountain temple, our journey to Phnom Kulen is for the serious adventure travel only. The first capital of the Angkorian civilization and the location for Jayavarman II ‘s coronation in 802, the journey take you through thick jungle in search of lost monuments, including Upaorng, Neak ta and Thma dop – all brick and late rite towers that were built between the 7th and 8th century – a disregarded ancient kiln site where shards of pottery littler the forest floor; a massive stone sculpture of the king-god of elephant and Sras Dumrei, four stone animal carved from rock which are lager than life. Trekking along the pilgrim path up to the summit of the Phnom Kulen, the sacred mountain of the Khmer, we trekking across the jungle, the plain of limestone and high grasses to discover deep in the jungle the exceptional site Srah Dumrei, imposing monoliths (elephant and lion) of 6 m height made of sandstone, dating 10th century. Visit Holy mountain of Phnom Kulen visit Liga carving, a legacy of the God-kings who ruled Cambodia in the ninth century, one of the eight water sources, Sleeping Buddha, and the Waterfall of Phnom Kulen, where we will enjoy swimming. Overnight on the top of Kulen Mountain or nearby village or pagoda.

Day 11: Siem Reap Exploration (BL)
Morning, drive to Kbal Spean. Walk 45 minutes through the forest to the top of the hill to reach Kbal Spean, the “Thousand Linga River.” Discover the 10th-12th century sculptures chiseled into the rocky riverbed, the Royal Bath and the waterfall. We continue to the Cambodia Landmine Museum to learn more about these enemies within. This museum has eye-opening displays on the curse of land mines in Cambodia. The collection includes a mock minefield so that visitors can attempt to locate the deactivated mines. Banteay Srei: nearly everyone’s favorite site. The special charm of this temple lies in its compact size, remarkable state of preservation, and the excellence of it decorative carving Banteay Samre: Its rose-colored sandstone walls are decorated with carvings and bas-reliefs, which are among the most accomplished Angkor has to offer.
Enjoy 1 hour foot massage before transfer to your hotel.

Day 12: Siem Reap Exploration (BL)
After breakfast and continue to visit:Visit Eastern Mebon used to be in the middle the waters of the large Oriental Baray that is presently filled with rice-fieldsNeak Poan was supposed to be a symbol of the UniversePreah Khan built in 1191 according to the tradition on a spot where the king fought a crucial battle against the Cham.
Banteay Kdei: surrounded by four concentric wallsSrah Srang: The Royal Baths” was once used for ritual bathing Ta Prohm: has been controversially left to the destructive power of the jungle by French archeologists to show how nature can destroy man’s work.

Day 13: Siem Reap Exploration(BL)
We start on our bike and cycle to world heritage areas on the roads less travelled. Ride among the jungle passing local village and local shop. It’s a very special and acting day as you will explore some of Angkor’s most beautiful temples. You will visit the West Gate of Angkor Thom – undiscovered by mass tourist.The ancient capital of Angkor Thom (12th century)See the South Gate, Bayon Temple- unique for its 54 towers decorated with over 200 smiling faces of Avolokitesvara. The Royal Enclosure, Phimeanakas, The Elephant Terrace and the Terrace of the Leper King. The tour start with the visiting to the famous temple: Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat is a World Heritage Site since 1992, famous for its beauty and splendor. Angkor Wat features the longest continuous bas-relief in the world, which runs along the outer gallery walls and narrates stories from Hindu mythology, visit Bakheng Temple and enjoy a romantic sun set view form Bakheng hill.

Day 14: Siem Reap – Bird watching (BLD)
Drive to the fishing village of Chhong Kneas near Siem Reap and board a private boat. Cruise through the fishing villages of the Tonle Sap to the Biosphere Reserve of Prek Toal: discover the natural splendor of the country as well as the centuries-old lifestyle of the inhabitants of the Lake. Visit Prek Toal floating village and enjoy bird watching in the Bird Sanctuary. Discover the incredible variety of water birds and endangered species such as storks, pelicans and ibises. Picnic lunch provided during tours. Return to Siem Reap port and drive back to your hotel. Farewell dinner with Apsara Dance show at local restaurant will be provided.
Note: The best time for visiting the Bird Sanctuary of Prek Toal is from December to June. Later, as the water level rises, most of the birds scatter away.

Day 15: Siem Reap – Departure (B)
Transfer to Siem Reap International Airport for departure to next destination. Say goodbye to your Cambodian driver. Goodbye Cambodia!!!!

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