Prepare for the divine inspiration! The temples of Angkor are the perfect fusion of creative ambition and spiritual devotion. The Cambodian god-kings of old each strove to better their ancestors in size, scale and symmetry, culminating in the world’s largest religious building – Angkor Wat, and one of the world’s weirdest – the Bayon. The hundreds of temples surviving today are but the sacred skeleton of the vast political, religious and social centre of an empire that stretched from Burma to Vietnam, a city that, at its zenith, boasted a population of one million when London was a scrawny town of 50,000. The houses, public buildings and palaces were constructed of wood – now long decayed – because the right to dwell in structures of brick or stone was reserved for the gods.
The temples of Angkor are the heart and soul of the Kingdom of Cambodia, a source of inspiration and national pride to all Khmers as they struggle to rebuild their lives after years of terror and trauma. Today, the temples are a point of pilgrimage for ails Cambodians, and no traveler to the region will want to miss their extravagant beauty.
- Stare in awe at the mother of all temples, Angkor Wat
Succumb to the enigmatic smiles of the 216 giant faces of the Bayon, Angkor’s strangest temple
Experience nature running riot at the mysterious ruin of Ta Prohm, the original Tomb Raider temple
Marvel at the exquisite carvings adorning the tiny temple of Banteay Srei, the finest seen at Angkor
Venture into the jungles of Cambodia to discover the River of a Thousand Lingas at Kbal Spean
THE POPULAR ROUTE
It is easy to spend as long as a week at Angkor, seeing the temples at a leisurely pace, returning to the principal attractions several times to see them at different times of day, and taking in newly emerging sites further a field. However, many travelers feel that four or five days is the ideal length of time to spend at Angkor. This is just about long enough to fit in all the highlights of the Angkor area, but even with only two days at your disposal you can pack in a lot (providing you make some early starts). One day at Angkor? Sacrilege! Don’t even consider it.
Day 1: Upon arrival in Siem Reap airport, you should shop around for accommodation. Then, starting visit to the world wonder of Angkor Wat. You first visit to South Gate of Angkor Thom, the famous Bayon, Baphoun. Continue to the Terrace of Temple, Elephants and Terrace of the Leper King. Complete the day with sunset watching from Phnom Bakheng Hill. Overnight in Siem Riep
Day 2: Today you continue to discover Angkor Wat. In the morning you will visit the fabulous Ta Prohm embraced by the roots of enormous fig trees and gigantic creepers. Visit to Pre Rup temple, East Mebon temple, and Neak Poan temple. In the afternoon you visit to Krovan temple, Royal Bath of Srah Srang and Banteay Kdei temples. Back to the hotel.
Day 3: You will take a short bus ride to Tonle Sap Lake. Board a motored boat and enjoy a cruise past a floating village. Visit to local schools in the floating village. Back to the town and enjoy free time to shop in local market. Transfer to Siem Reap International airport departure flight. Trip completes
WHEN TO VISIT
The best time to visit Angkor complex is any time. During the day, midday is one of the less crowded times at Angkor Wat, so if you’re looking to dodge the masses, consider this as an option.
Sunrise and sunset are both popular times and the tour buses descend on the site in swarms. With good reason – both times can be spectacular at the expansive temple. Few trees surround the area so the sun’s light progresses uninterrupted to the stones and the orange/yellow glow of the low sun gives additional life to the already impressive masonry.
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