• Departure: Early morning
• Return: Afternoon
• Remarks: Basic level of fitness required, walking on uneven terrain, sturdy shoes recommended
• Sites you will visit: Angkor Thom, South Gate, Bayon, Baphuon, Phimeanakas, Terrace of the Elephants, Terrace of the Leper King, Ta Prohm, Angkor Wat, Phnom Bakheng
• Highlights: Architecture, history, nature, people, sunset views
This full day tour comprises the “best of” from the ancient walled city of Angkor Thom with addition of some other iconic temples. Departing the hotel early will ensure a cool start to the day. You will enter the ancient city through its South Gate. In the very centre lies the temple of Bayon – silent witnesses of time, the 216 enigmatic faces gaze over the horizon and one can only wonder what they have seen throughout the ages. Your guide will point out the best angles for photography here and give explanation of the many intricate carvings on the walls of the galleries. You will then continue to Baphuon with its long causeway and an impressive giant Reclining Buddha, a jigsaw puzzle only put back together in 2011 following a 37 year-long disruption caused by the war. Phimeanakas is hiding in the shaded jungle and offers a decent over-the-tree-tops view to those who conquer the steep steps to the top. Continuing further, you can admire the Esplanade of the Royal Palace more commonly known as the Terrace of the Elephants and Terrace of the Leper King.
Having gained its 21st century fame from the Tomb Raider movie, the charming and iconic Ta Prohm features on most visitors’ itineraries and rightfully so. Here nature takes over ancient man made structures and golden Spung tree (Tetrameles Nudiflora) roots wrap themselves around mossy stones in a tight embrace.
You will travel back to town for you to enjoy lunch at the hotel and rest during the hottest part of the day.
Your afternoon adventure will commence at the largest religious monument ever built – Angkor Wat. One can simply spend hours wandering in awe at the grandeur of this temple, its many levels and intricate carvings adorning the many galleries. The stories told by your guide will bring ancient Angkor times back to life. Sunset atop of Phnom Bakheng with stunning vistas and tips of the five lotus-like Angkor Wat towers visible in the south-east direction.