Sunrise Alms Giving – 04:30
Awaken and prepare for an ultimately evocative start of your Temple Touring, journeying deep into the Angkor Complex to a small village community and its monastery with 200 Monks for the ancient tradition of Alms Giving at Sunrise. Witness the Monks pay respects to their elders, before you join the local community in preparing a Monk’s breakfast, as part of the Alms offering. Receive a blessing from the Monks, in this truly South East Asian tradition. As you are guided around the community, you will hear & feel the vibrations of their morning traditional chanting to finish this exclusive experience before continuing onwards to the magnificent Temples.
Transfer by private vehicle to Ta Prohm, this beautiful temple, built in 1186 as a Buddhist temple dedicated to the mother of Jayavarman VII, is one of Angkor’s jewels and is overgrown with fig trees, giving a haunting yet exotic atmosphere. One of the largest temple sites in Angkor it took almost 80,000 people to maintain the temple.
Continue to Angkor Thom, not a temple, but an entire walled city of 9 square kilometres and the royal Capital from 1181. With a population of 1 million, it was far bigger than any city in Europe at the time. The centre piece is Bayon temple crowned with 216 giant, smiling faces of King Jayavarman VII.
Lunch at Malis restaurant
Return to your hotel to relax
Visit Artisans d’Angkor Workshops
Start by a visit to the Angkor Silk Farm. Located 20 minutes away from downtown Siem Reap, the silk farm is an extensive and well documented foundation that gives excellent insight into how silk is traditionally made in Cambodia. The farm supports vulnerable women to make a living for their families.
Visit the Silk Farm and follow each step of the silk process, from growing the mulberry trees to providing the essential ingredients to grow and feed silkworms. There are craftswomen at work allowing you to observe how silk is processed traditionally. They remove the silk thread from the cocoons and work the thread prior to weaving. An on-site shop allows you to bring home some memorable souvenirs or gifts for your loved ones back home.
Then, head to Artisans d’Angkor, back in Siem Reap. The focus is on training unschooled rural youth in traditional handicraft skills. Here you can discover traditional Cambodian handicraft skills and observe the artisans at work. Ancient techniques are still practiced such as wood and stone carving, lacquering, gilding and silk painting. A guided tour will provide you with more insight into this organization and you may direct any questions to one of the artisans through your guide. Learn about the overall operations and their goals for the future. You will also learn more about the artisans’ backgrounds and how this training has helped them to get a head start in life.
Return to your hotel in the late afternoon.