Excursions in Siem Reap - North
Release your inner Lara Croft and join us for a spot of tomb raiding in Angkor, one of the worlds most fascinating archaeological complexes. This full-day tour takes in the must-see ancient sights of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Srah Srang and Ta Prohm.
Long before there was Angkor, there was Rolous, the remains of which offer an intriguing visit. Join us for this active full day trek to the temples known as the Rolous Group just a few kilometres away from the more famous site. Pick-up from 8am from centrally located hotels in Siem Reap, with return some time between 3pm and 4pm.
Discover Angkor Thom Complex starting at the South Gate of Angkor Thom, Bayon. There are more than 200 enigmatic smiling faces on the 54 towers of the temple. Then you will have a chance to visit the Pyramidal Baphuon, Terrace of the Leper Kings, where some exceptionally well conserved early carvings can be seen and the Terrace of Elephants, supported by sculpted stone elephants that served as the giant viewing platform for royal ceremonies. After lunch, you will visit Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world, its famous silhouette never fails to impress. The day will finish with admiring the sunset view at the Phnom Bakheng, the best spot over Angkor Wat and the outlying complex.
Early morning at 07:00 hrs, we will leave to Koh Ker temple that is located in the head north-east from the west of Kulen National park and it will bring you deep into the Cambodian countryside and way back in time. From there it's 85 km to the small village of Seong, passing through some remote villages and a beautiful forest populated by deer. This monument consists of five brick towers in a row and it is a very unusual style. Picnic lunch will be served on the site. In the afternoon around 13:30 hrs., we back to Siem Reap with stop en route with bumpy road to visit the Beng Melea Temple that it is still lost in the jungle and almost forgotten by the local population. You will drive through the beautiful countryside. The little explored temple of Beng Mealea (12th c) is waiting to be rediscovered by the adventurous travelers. The sprawling jungle temple covering over one square kilometer is largely overrun by vegetation.
Depart from the hotel to Chong Khneas at the base of Phnom Krom, take a 2-hours cruise through nearby fishing villages and the surrounding submerged forest and visit the Gecko Environment Centre in Chong Khneas. Then continue the trip to Prek Toal Birds Sanctuary, a home to 120 bird species. From January through June it is a breeding ground for dozens of species including storks, ibises, cormorants, pelicans and adjuncts. Picnic lunch will be served on site. It is recommended to visit the BirdsÂ´ Sanctuary from November to June only.
The experience starts with visiting Roluos Group which consists of three important temple ruins, such as Lolei, Preah Ko and Bakong. After lunch, you will continue to the Artisan dAngkor, wood and stone carving, and Banteay Srei, the rare pink sandstone. The last stop will be the Ta Prohm, where the jungle has reclaimed the ancient temples.
Depart to Angkor Village School; meet the group to join the 4 hours cooking class featuring 3 food items. The staff will bring you to the Old Market, near Angkor Village hotel. The chef will explain you about rice and how to choose seasoning products. Upon the arrival at Angkor Village Cooking School there will be a refreshing ice tea and a cold towel waiting for you before starting the class. The Chef will present a cookery demonstration of the dishes that you will be preparing. You will receive a booklet with the recipes of the day. After lunch at the school, we will continue to visit Prasat Kravan, the unique brick towers contain large wall sculptures of Vishnu and Laksmi and to East Mebon, located on an islet in the centre of the Eastern Baray. The base of the temple is guarded at its corners by stone figures of harnessed elephants. Other places which visiting the excursion includes are Pre Rup, architecturally and artistically superior temple-mountain and the Neak Pean, a small temple located in the middle of a reservoir, reachable only by boat. It is encircled by two nagas and surrounded by pools laid out in a lotus pattern.
Excursion to Kbal Spean, more commonly known to foreigners as the River of a Thousand Lingas, this is an area of riverbed carvings similar to Phnom Kulen, but more peaceful. Kbal Spean is about a half-hour walk up a pleasant path shaded by jungle to where the carvings begin. On the way back down there is a path which follows the river and along this stretch are hundreds of lingas, hence the name the River of a Thousand Lingas This tour can include the visiting of Banteay Srei since it is on the same direction.
Morning excursion to Phnom Kulen; the most sacred mountain in Cambodia and popular place of pilgrimage. There is a small temple at the summit of the mountain which houses a large reclining Buddha carved into a sandstone boulder. From the base of the mountain it is a long climb to the top, at least one-and-a-half hours even at a good pace. At the top a mostly shaded and flat path takes no more than 30 to 45 minutes before you reach a small river, into the bed of which are carved numerous lingas. From the top of Phnom Kulen, 461 metres at its highest point, the spectacular view spans right across the forested plateau. You will have picnic lunch on site before climbing down in the afternoon. This tour can operate in the morning only since the road to Phnom Kulen is one way and will allow climbing up in the morning and climbing down in the afternoon.
This dinner theatre venue presents nightly performances of traditional Khmer classical and folk dance, performed by its resident ensemble of 40 freelance dancers, singers and musicians while you enjoy the Cambodian cuisine. The souvenir booklet will help to guide you through every delicate hand gesture and the story behind each dance.
Its not all about archaeological complexes in Siem Reap! Just a few kilometres away is Tonle Sap, ones of the planets most productive ecosystems. Join us for this tour and watch the locals forage for survival in a veritable waterworld that evokes an almost pre-historic lifestyle.
Depart from hotel to visit Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world. Its famous silhouette never fails to impress. It covers a huge area of 1.6 square km and is surrounded by a wide moat. The god-king Suryavarman II ordered its construction in the 12th century and dedicated the temple to Vishnu, the Hindu deity he identified himself with. The 5 enormous towers have the same symbolic function as other temple mountains of Angkor: they represent Mount Meru, the mythical dwelling place of Hindu gods. In the outer galleries are some of the finest and best-preserved bas-reliefs of the Khmer Art. You will be ending the day with a view at the Phnom Bakheng, the best spot over the Angkor Wat and the outlying complex before returning to hotel. Angkor Wat is a great place to see sunrise. Phnom Bakheng should start early in the evening around 4 pm as there is always a huge crowd on top with sunset view on the top of hill.
Early wake up to leaving from hotel to seeing the sunrise at Angkor Wat before returning to hotel for a breakfast and leisure time.
Depart from hotel to visit Prasat Kravan; unique brick towers contain large wall sculptures of Vishnu and Laksmi. East Mebon; it is located on an islet in the centre of the Eastern Baray. The base of the temple is guarded at its corners by stone figures of harnessed elephants. Pre Rup; architecturally and artistically superior temple-mountain. Neak Pean; this small temple was located in the middle of a reservoir, reachable only by boat. The temple may have served an absolution function. It is encircled by two nagas and surrounded by pools laid out in a lotus pattern. If the water is low enough, check out the animal and human headwater spouts at the outside centre of each pool. Most photogenic in the wet season when the pools are full. Preah Khan; it means 'sacred sword'.
You can enjoy the experience of taking a remok in front of your hotel to seeing the sunrise at Angkor Wat. You can also take beautiful pictures of the amazing view while listening to an experienced guide before returning to the hotel for your breakfast and time at leisure. The view can last about one hour approximately.
The visit starts with the Roluos Group, which consists of three important temple ruins in the area of Lolei, Preah Ko and Bakong. Lolei is four brick towers in poor condition next to an active pagoda and some carving is in good condition. The name Preah Ko means sacred bull and perhaps it is the most artistically interesting temple in the Rolous group, while Bakong is the most impressive member of the Rolous group and very early use of stone rather than brick.
Depart from hotel to visit the Artisan d'Angkor wood and stone carving and Banteay Srei, located about 25 km from the central Angkor area. Exceptional in many ways, it is a small complex built in the 10th century by the spiritual mentor of King Jayavarman V and dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva. Unique to Banteay Srei is the rare pink sandstone on which is exquisite ornamental carvings of gods, demons, coiling serpents and floral garlands. Most of the bas-reliefs found on the walls depict scenes of Hindu episodes the Ramayana. Last stop will be the jungle, reclaimed Ta Prohm with giant tree trunks reaching through the ancient stone. This temple is dedicated to the mother of Jayavarman VII, constructed as a Buddhist monastery and enormously wealthy in its time. Recommended to visiting of Ta Prohm in the afternoon. The Artisan d'Angkor opens daily from 8:30 am until 5 pm and the approximately time to visit is around 1 hour or 1:30 hours.
Visiting Angkor Silk Farming, the National Silk Center (CNS) is an applied research and vocational training center for all silk-related jobs. It is located on an 8-hectare site in rural Cambodia (Puok, 16km away from Siem reap). Artisans working in silk-related jobs at Artisans d'Angkor were trained at CNS. Experienced guides from Artisans d'Angkor will enable you to discover CNS's workshops and understand their whole silk production process, from mulberry tree growing to silk weaving. Then you continue to the Artisan d'Angkor to discover the traditional Khmer techniques used for stone and wood carving, lacquering and gilding. A complete tour of the workshops will take you from raw materials to splendid craft-wares. The workshop opens from morning till 5pm daily. The visit lasts approximately 1hour to 1hour and 30minutes.
Depart to visit to the Angkor Thom. Jayavarman VII, Angkor's greatest king, constructed the fortified city of Angkor Thom in the 12th century. The city has 5 monumental gates decorated by the head of Avalokiteshvara, the Buddha of Compassion, facing in 4 directions. The Bayon is located exactly in the middle of former Khmer capital. There are more 200 enigmatic smiling faces on the 54 towers of the temple. The faces are said to represent the Buddha of Compassion but are assumed to have striking resemblance to the god-king. Other important sights within the city are the pyramidal Baphuon, currently being restored, the Terrace of the Leper Kings, where some exceptionally well conserved early carvings can be seen and the Terrace of Elephants, supported by sculpted stone elephants, it served as the giant viewing platform for royal ceremonies. Recommended: visiting of Angkor Thom in the morning from 8 am to 10am.
You will transfer to pier on Tonle Sap. It's 30 minutes south of Siem Reap, and it is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world, cyclically swelling from 2500 square km to more than 12,000 square km in the wet season. Floating fishing villages dot the semi-submerged forest that lines the flood plane rim of the lake, offering an excellent place to see lakeside rural Cambodia, and a unique ecosystem rich with birds wildlife. Take a boat trip on the lake to see the floating homes and villages who earn their livelihoods from the abundance of freshwater fish directly under their homes.