CAMBODIA DISCOVERY 6 DAYS/5 NIGHTS (DTA/CD)

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Day 1: Phnom Penh

After arrival at the airport, welcome by our guide and transfer in. Proceed for a visits of Phnom Penh. Overnight in Phnom Penh.

Day 2: Phnom Penh-Kampot (B, L, D)

We start early on the drive to Kampot a charming riverside town, rich in colonial architecture. It is good based to explore Bokor Hill Station. On the way south, we stop to visit the old temples of Ta Prohm at Tonle Bati and Prasat Neang Khmau, also known as temple of the black virgin. Lunch at a local restaurant. Later in the afternoon, we enjoy a boat trip on Kamchay river to visit a Cham minority village. Dinner at a local restaurant. Accommodation at Bokor Mountain Club or similar.

Day 3: Kampot-Bokor-Phnom Penh (B, L)

After breakfast, we drive to Bokor Hill Station and enjoy a picnic at Popokvil Waterfall. Bokor is a one of the most atmospheric places in , a 1000m high plateau of steaming jungle, shy wildlife and abandoned buildings.  Built by the French as a casino resort in the 1920s, it was redeveloped by Sihanouk in 1959 before being abandoned to the elements in 1970. Off-limits until recent years, the empty buildings and majestic views give it a haunting, romantic quality. Nearby Popokvil Falls are impressive in the wet season. After visiting the abandoned hill station and taking in the views, we walk to the waterfall for a picnic. In the afternoon, we drive back to Phnom Penh. Overnight in Phnom Penh.

Day 4: Phnom Penh-Siem Reap (B)

Breakfast at hotel. Today we fly to Siem Reap. Arrival at siem Reap and transfer to hotel. Later, we visit some of the most beautiful temples on the small circuit, including the huge pyramid of Takeo, built in the 10th century. We continue to jungle-clad Ta Prohm. This temple was a monastery built by Jayavarman VII as a residence for his mother. Ta Prohm has been controversially left to the destructive power of the jungle by French archaeologists to demonstrate the awesome power of nature. It has been largely consumed by the jungle and as you climb through the dilapidated stone structures you see many giant trees growing out of the top of the temple itself. We continue to visit Sras Srang, the royal pool situated opposite the East Gate of Banteay Kdei. It is known as the King[chr:39]s bathing pond. Finally we take in Prasat Kravan, an elegant brick temple from the 10th century with some fine brick carvings in the interior. We continue our Angkor encounter with a visit to the spectacular temples of the grand circuit. We first explore Preah Khan or Sacred Sword, one of the largest temples at Angkor with huge corridors extending in every direction. Built by Jayavarman VII in the 12th century, this is a highlight of Angkor. We continue to Neak Poan, a delicate temple set in a square pool and surrounded on all sides by fountains and ponds. Next is Ta Som and its famous strangler fig tree smothering the eastern gate. We wind up at Pre Rup, built in the 10th Century by Rajendravarman. Pre Rup means turning the body and the Khmer people believe this temple was used for cremations. This is the perfect place for sunset over the beautiful Cambodian rice fields. Overnight in Siem Reap.

Day 5: Siem Reap (B)

We rise early today to catch the sunrise over the mother of all temples, the world’s largest religious building, Angkor Wat. We return to the hotel for breakfast and later in the morning explore Angkor Wat in more detail to view its architecture and bas reliefs. This temple is the largest religious buildings ever constructed and is truly one of the wonders of the world. Believed to have been undertaken as a temple and mausoleum for King Suryavarman II at the peak of the Khmer empire in the first half of the 12th century, Angkor Wat is the best-preserved of the Angkorian temples.

We visit the sites of Angkor Thom. This Royal city was first built under the reign of Udayadityavarman II in the 11th Century. It was destroyed when the Chams from Vietnam rose up against the Khmers and invaded, sacking the city, and was subsequently renovated by King Jayavarman VII at the end of the 12th Century. Its vast walls, some 6m wide, 8m high and 13km in length contain many monuments. We begin by visiting the South Gate, flanked by demons and gods engaged in a tug of war to obtain the elixir of immortality. We continue to the Bayon, a temple mountain built by Jayavarman VII. It is situated in the center of the city of Angkor Thom. It is a three-tiered pyramid with its entrance facing east. The central shrine is surrounded by 54 towers all crowned by gigantic faces, representing Avalokiteshvara but with the features of Jayavarman VII. We also visit other important sites in this immense walled city, including the pyramid of Baphuon, Phimean Akas, and the royal viewing stands known as the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King. Overnight in Siem Reap.

DAY 6: Siem Reap departure (B)
After breakfast transfer to the airport for your onward flight.