Day 1: Siem Reap (D)
Upon your arrival at Siem Reap airport, you will be picked up and driven to your hotel.
In the afternoon, you will enjoy a cruise on a lake to visit floating villages and admire the sunset.
Overnight at your hotel in Siem Reap.
Day 2: Siem Reap – Angkor Thom & Angkor Wat (B, L, D)
After breakfast, visit the ancient capital of Angkor Thom – a vast architectural complex accessible by five monumental gates and housing the Bayon temple, famous for its towers with faces of Avalokitesvara. You will stroll through the grounds of the Royal Palace where the Phimeanakas is located, and discover the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King.
Lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, visit Srah Srang temple before going to Ta Prohm temple, a fascinating tangle of vegetation and sculptures. Later, you will go to Angkor Wat. Considered the largest religious edification ever built, this gigantic temple is a model of symbolism and symmetry, and the pride of an entire population. Erected in the 12th century under King Suryavarman II’s reign, it is widely recognized by experts as the eighth wonder of the world, and is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992. Eventually, you will have the chance to admire the sunset from the top of Phnom Bakheng hill.
Later, you will have dinner at a local restaurant.
Overnight at your hotel.
Day 3: Siem Reap – Banteay Srei – Preah Khan (B, L, D)
On today’s schedule: a visit to Banteay Strei – a small temple made of pink sandstone and beautifully sculpted. Banteay Srei is located at 32 km from Siem Reap and is considered a jewel of Khmer art. This temple is the expression of refinement of the sculptural Angkorian art. The delicacy of its sculptures makes it one of the most remarkable site in all Angkor. Its name, which means “Citadel of Women”, derives from its delicate engravings, considered too subtle to have been made by men.
Originally believed to be dating from the latest period of the Angkorian era, the inscriptions found on this site suggest that this temple was built by a Brahman in 967. However, architects and historians agree that these inscriptions may actually date from a former structure that already existed on this same location during the construction of Banteay Srei.
After the lunch break, you will visit Neak Pean, Preah Khan, Pre Rup, and the East Mebon (Mebon Oriental).
Day 4: Siem Reap – Koh Ker – Beng Mealea (B, L, D)
After breakfast, you will go to Koh Ker, an ancient Khmer city known to be the former capital of the Khmer Empire from 928 to 944 under the reign of Jayavarman IV. You will go to Prasat Thom, a “mountain-temple” offering a wonderful view on the plain and the surrounding forests. You will also see Prasat Bram, Prasat Krachap, and Prasat Banteay Pichean.
After a picnic lunch, you will visit Beng Mealea temple - a giant edification that has been nestled for centuries in the heart of Cambodia's forests. This is the most accessible of all the temples buried in the jungle, mirroring the beauty of Angkor Wat but today largely devoured by the voracious appetite of nature. Also built by King Suryavarman II (1113-1150), it is hard to exactly guess the shape of the monument from these ruins that are swallowed by the massive and invasive vegetation.
Later, you will return to Siem Reap and have dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight at the hotel.
Day 5: Siem Reap - Departure (B)
Enjoy your free time before being picked up at your hotel and driven to the airport for your departure flight.