ANGKOR WAT & WORLD MONUMENTS FUND
This morning depart at 7:30am (timing remains flexible) to visit to Angkor Wat, one of the modern wonders of the world. You will be guided around by one of the foremost archeological experts on the Angkor temples. Be amazed by the sheer size of the temple and learn how the Khmer Empire prospered between the 9th and 13th centuries, around the time when Angkor Wat was built. Stroll through the intricately carved hallways that show hundreds of fine carvings and discover small shrines still in use today by the local people.
Later this morning, meet with our World Monuments Fund expert archeologist at the top of Phnom Bakheng’s hill for an educational insight into temple restoration, in particular Phnom Bakheng. We have exclusive access, be invited behind the scenes (off limits to the general public) to one of the camps dining tables, where you can oversee the sites progress. Once settled, be briefed by your expert host on the history of the WMF organization and its work in Angkor, as well as the uncovered temples’ history and religious importance.
See the archeologist’s personal photos taken over their many years on the project, before walking up to the temple’s terraces and taking a closer look at the ancient craftsmen’s work. If visiting on a working day, you’ll have the chance to see the team at work restoring the temple.
Discuss the sustainability and the impact of tourism with the archaeologist, as well as the challenges faced during the project. This is a truly unique experience and ideal for those wishing to dig deep into the archaeology behind this magnificent structure.
Return to your hotel for relaxation and a leisurely lunch.
ANGKOR THOM AND TA PROHM TEMPLES
Visit to Angkor Thom Temple, the ancient royal city of the Khmer Empire with its centrepiece; the Bayon temple. As you approach, you will notice the enigmatic faces of former King Jayavarman VII facing in every direction. Your expert guide will take you to the Terrace of the Elephants, which served as a platform from where the King could welcome back his victorious army and the Terrace of the Leper King, which holds detailed carvings winding along a narrow passage way that leads to the Baphuon complex.
Continue by vehicle to Ta Prohm Temple (made famous by the movie Tomb Raider) – one of Angkor’s jewels which is overgrown with fig trees and lush jungle, giving a haunting yet exotic atmosphere. The magnificent roots of the trees have merged over the centuries with the temple’s huge stone blocks, emphasizing a ‘forgotten city’ feeling. The temple was built by King Jayavarman VII to commemorate his mother. Take your time to walk through the temple from the East entrance to the West entrance (walk 1-2 km) where your vehicle will be waiting to return you to your hotel.
This evening take the time to relax at your hotel and perhaps enjoy a spa, alternatively you may wish to get adventurous and head out to explore the nightlife of Siem Reap and its famed Pub Street.
Stay at 5 star Luxurious Phum Baitang, Siem Reap