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Imagine when London was but a village, the largest urban center on the planet was Angkor Wat and its surrounding temples, this was in the 12th century and this was the biggest empire on the planet in its heyday. It remains the largest religious structure in the world. Visitors today can see and experience the remains of this empire, whose inhabitants constructed an intricately beautiful series of temples to honor their Hindu and Buddhist priests and kings. The surroundings temples of Angkor, equally impressive but less well known will also be visited on this journey, introducing you to the many diverse splendors of this area. Our base is the modern town of Siem Reap, Cambodia, which is also full of surprises. Cambodian culture, arts, food, nature and entertainment will be significant features of this journey, and you will meet our many Cambodian friends as you explore their country. You will see and experience much more than just the archaeological marvels of Cambodia on this journey. Prepare to be amazed.



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DAY 1: MONDAY, Dec 16

Arrival in Cambodia

Arrive in Siem Reap from Bankgok or Luang Prabang, and check into our home for the next 5 nights, the renown Viroth's Hotel. After getting settled in, our guide will take us on walking tour to some of the nearby neighborhood temples, then stop for coffee and conversation at local cafe. Rest in hotel (or swim or have massage) then prepare to go into Siem Reap for welcome dinner at one of the many excellent restaurants.


Overnight at Viroth's Hotel (Lunch, Dinner)

DAY 2: TUESDAY, Dec 17

Begin our exploration of the wonders of Angkor

We start with a visit the the distant, less visited temples: Koh Ker and Beng Melea. Koh Ker was briefly the capital of the Angkor empire in the 10th century and is famed for its pyramid shaped temple, unique in Cambodia. Many other temples are semi-hidden in the forest and a visit here has a mystical feel to it. The phenomenal Beng Melea, constructed 2 centuries after Koh Ker was a Hindu temple, built in more traditional Angkorian style. Now largely in ruins in the forest, this is another seldom visited site and along with Koh Ker provides a fine introduction to the temples of Angkor.

Overnight at Viroth's Hotel (B,L)

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Visit to Kampong Phluk and Roluos Temples

Today we visit the remarkable flooded forest of Kampong Phluk, located in Lake Tonle Sap, the largest lake in southeast Asia. This village is set on stilts in the lake, next to a forest which during the rainy season floods. With the rains just ended, the flooded forest is reached via a boat ride across the lake to the village, and once in the village you will be paddled among the tree tops by villagers, who have developed a community eco-project that protects the forest while introducing visitors to this surreal forest. Serene and beautiful, you experience a forest while floating in a canoe at canopy level. We return to Siem Reap via the Roluos Temple complex, whose 3 temples date from the 9th century, the beginning of the classical period of Khmer civilization.

Overnight at Viroth's Hotel (B,L)

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More remarkable temples and a visit to Phare, Siem Reap's unique circus

The day is devoted to more of the splendors of Angkor, we visit Banteay Srei, often described as the most exquisite of all the temples, the brooding Pre Rup, funerary towers that reach high into the sky, the vast Preah Khan with its immense walls and bas reliefs and sculptures. Afternoon return to Siem Reap to relax. This evening we visit Phare, The Cambodian Circus, where young Cambodian acrobats will dazzle you with a virtuoso performance involving skills that need to be seen to be believed.

Overnight at Viroth's Hotel (B,L)

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DAY 5: FRIDAY Dec 20

The main event: Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Bayon

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We've saved the biggest and most famous temples for today. The majestic Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world, constructed in the 12th century and never truly abandoned, the devout still visit today to worship and you can feast your eyes upon this magnificent sight. Nearby Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Angkorian Empire is a splendid citadel. Bayon, a Buddhist creation appears as a mountain of smiling Buddha faces. And finally Ta Phrom, with mature trees growing out of the temples, the decision not to remove them leaves one with the impression you have just stumbled onto an ancient ruin.

Overnight at Viroth's Hotel (B,L)


Elephant Sanctuary and Cooking Class

Elephants were long used as beasts of burden in Cambodia, and there were a group of elephants formerly used to provide rides to tourists at the temples of Angkor. It is now recognized that this is not a humane policy for the elephants and has been discontinued. The Kulen Elephant Forest Sanctuary consists of 1100 acres of forest where these elephants now live. Visitors have the opportunity to walk and interact with these majestic creatures while learning about them, both in the wild state and at the sanctuary. Later today we enjoy a cooking class. Farewell dinner with group and guide tonight.

Overnight at Viroth's Hotel (B,L,D)

DAY 7: SUNDAY, Dec 22


Leisurely morning at hotel or in Siem Reap, then transfer to airport for onward flight.



(Inclusive of accommodations, meals noted on itinerary, ground transportation by private vehicle, entrance fees, services of licensed English and Khmer speaking guide and driver, services of USA based trip leader)

$2100. (Based on double occupancy)

$2500. (Based on single occupancy)

NOTE: Airfare, gratuities, alcoholic beverages, laundry, souvenirs, items of a personal nature and travel insurance are NOT included.



Siem Reap, Cambodia is most easily accessed from Bangkok, Thailand where there are daily flights to many points across the globe. It is highly recommended that participants arrive in Bangkok at least 24 hours prior to flight to Cambodia, to allow for any delays in flight to Bangkok. Fares are subject to change without notice.


Flights are with BANGKOK AIRWAYS.

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