Temples, Terraces and Angkor Wat
The cultural highlights of rural Thailand, Laos and Cambodia and the incredible Angkor Wat temples
Personalised journeys from start to finish
Save an acre of rainforest each time you travel
Every detail taken care of
- Completely private tours in Bangkok
- Luxury Mekong River cruise
- Private tour options in Chiang Rai, Luang Prabang, Siem Reap and Angkor Wat
- Luxury accommodation throughout
- Meet and greet airport service
- Full support from your Travel Concierge before, during and after your trip
At a glance
When it comes to ancient monunents, mesmerising landscapes and fascinating cultures, South East Asia has it in spades. This 13-day adventure takes you through Thailand, Laos and Cambodia and lets you experience its jaw dropping highlights as well as some much more off-the-beaten track destinations.
Your discovery starts in the vibrant city of Bangkok where temples and pagodas sit side by side with skyscrpaers and high-end restaurants. Take to the water and explore a different side to the city as you make your way along the canals, or klongs. As well as visiting the city’s famous Grand Palace, you’ll also witness the morning chanting ritual of the monks at Wat Pho – a very spiritual and moving experience.
From Bangkok you’ll fly to the northern province of Chiang Rai where you’ll spend three nights in your luxury hotel, exploring the beautiful landscape, interacting with majestic Asian elephants and exploring its wonderfully ornate temples. Crossing into Laos is a real adventure as you travel down the Mekong River in a traditional boat, stopping at some of the
Hmong, Yao and Khmu tribal villages. You’ll overnight in Pakbeng before heading to Luanag Prabang, via the remarkable Pak Ou Caves.
In Luang Prabang you’ll join the monks during their early morning alms giving procession, take part in a traditional Baci ceremony and head out to the beautiful Khouangsi Falls. You’ll also visit the MandaLao Elephant Sanctuary and spend time with these beautiful animals.
It’s then Siem Reap, your base for discovering the incredible temples of Angkor Wat. As well as visiting the more famous temples, you’ll discover some of the lesser known ones and head out into the forest on a hidden temple hike. You’ll also get a glimpse of life in rural Cambodia as you head into the countryside outside Siem Reap. A sunrise tour of Angkor Wat is the perfect way to end your epic adventure.
Example Trip Itinerary
Private transfer to your hotel in Bangkok
Accommodation in Bangkok
- 238 rooms and suites
- Rooftop restaurant and bar
- Infinity pool
- Fitness centre
The product of an innovative collaboration between an award-winning architect and five of Thailand’s leading designers, the Sofitel So Bangkok is a hotel that embodies the epitome of design and modern luxury. 238 rooms and suites come in a variety of sizes and four unique room design themes; Water, Earth, Wood and Metal. Each theme features a different lay-out and decor, styled by world renowned fashion designer Monsieur Christian Lacroix. Depending upon their location within the hotel, rooms offer views of Bangkok city, Chao Praya River or Lumpini Park and come equipped with the latest technology – think electronic curtains and Apple Mac Mini multimedia entertainment. When it’s time to dine, you’ll be spoilt for choice with three restaurants, a rooftop restaurant and bar, a lounge and a ‘Chocolab’ dedicated to tailor-made confectionary, while the 32-meter infinity pool on the 10th floor will give you the impression of swimming in mid-air, high above the bustling city streets. Step outside the comfort of this luxury hotel, and you’ll find yourself brilliantly placed to discover all of Bangkok’s main attractions such as temples, shopping malls, museums, parks, restaurants and street food.
- 393 rooms
- 8 restaurants
- Jazz bar & lounge
- Swimming pool & fitness centre
- Tennis & squash courts
- Running track
- Cooking school
- Trophy room where you can view items from the hotel's long history
- Cigar shop
Providing extraordinary service and overlooking the Chao Phraya river, the Mandarin Oriental is undeniably one of the city’s premier hotels. If you’re interested in history, a stay here is a must: it’s the longest established hotel in Thailand and became one of the Mandarin Oriental group’s flagship properties due to its distinguished history. Walk into the hotel’s magnificent lobby, and you’ll be greeted by a spectacular flower display, for which the hotel is famous throughout Bangkok. Choose between a variety of rooms from entry-level luxury in the Superior Rooms to the considerably more spacious State Rooms and Authors’ Suites. Each room is designed in a colonial style with white slatted doors, dark wooden features and light pastel shades. You’ll benefit from a butler assigned to your room during your stay. The hotel also has eight restaurants; take your pick between traditional Thai, seafood, fine French cuisine and many more options. Drink tea in the opulent Authors’ Lounge or enjoy some jazz and cocktails in the Bamboo Bar if you’re looking to unwind after a long flight. In a prime location overlooking the Chao Phraya river, the Mandarin Oriental is close to some of Bangkok’s most popular attractions. Cruise along the ‘Venice of the East’ and take a long boat out onto the city canals, threading your way towards some of the city’s cultural highlights, including the Grand Palace, various temples and the famous Floating Market.
- 370 Rooms and suites
- 3 restaurants and bars
- Spa & Gym
- Swimming pool
- Tennis courts
The vast W-shaped tower of The Peninsula Bangkok offers everything you would expect from a world-class hotel; exceptional hospitality, a great location and a huge range of facilities to keep you amused. The hotel’s unique shape ensures magnificent views across the river and cityscape from every room. Some of the largest in Bangkok, these are appointed in a traditional aesthetic – dark wood panelling, fine fabrics feature throughout and large, marble bathrooms – but contain all the vital amenities for the modern traveller. The premier suites include opulent details such as open-air terraces and outdoor Jacuzzis. During your stay, you’ll enjoy relaxing by the pool area, serviced by its own bar and dining at the numerous, fine in-house restaurants that serve a range of Cantonese, Thai and international cuisine.
- 39 suites
- 3 restaurants, café and bar
- Gym and infinity pool
- Cooking school
- Library and cinema rooms
- Spa and sauna
- The world's first hotel Muay Thai boxing ring
Championing bold contemporary design with Thai, Colonial, Jazz Age and Art Deco accents, the Siam hotel may only have 39 suites but provides some of the most spacious and fashionable accommodation in all Bangkok. It also sports three restaurants, where you can enjoy excellent Thai cuisine in Chon Thai Restaurant (which also hosts a cookery school), an international menu in the stylish art deco-themed Deco Bar & Bistro and indulgent private dinners at the Chef’s Table. The Bather’s Bar next to the hotel’s infinity pool is the place for light snacks and refreshing cocktails after a dip in the waters and to watch life on the river pass by. You can even enjoy a more secluded dining experience out on the hotel pier for a private bespoke meal. Commanding a prime location overlooking the Chao Phraya River close to the Krung Thon Bridge, all suites feature king-size beds, opulent Chinese antiquity, terraces, complimentary Wi-Fi and butler service. The Pool Villas are a perfect choice for those desiring that extra touch of privacy.
Bustling and energetic, Bangkok has something for everyone. A haven for shoppers, historians, foodies and culture seekers alike, the capital is an integral part of any Thailand itinerary. It has everything from awe-inspiring temples to bustling markets and high-end shopping malls. And, of course there's the food - some of the best in the world!
You'll make an early start to visit the revered Wat Pho and witness the morning chanting ritual of the monks. Most find the chanting ritual to be an uplifting and often quite a private experience. After the ritual, you'll get a tour of the temple grounds where you can't fail to be impressed by the mighty 45m famous statue of the reclining Buddha.
Visit Bangkok's former Royal Residence, the Grand Palace, which was home to the Kings of Siam and the King of Thailand from 1782 until 1925. One of Bangkok’s most spectacular attractions, it is made up of numerous buildings and pavilions set around immaculate gardens and courtyards.
Discover why Bangkok is often referred to as the ‘Venice of the East.’ Board a colourful longtail boat and cruise along the Chao Phraya River, admiring the Bangkok skyline. See glimmering modern skyscrapers standing alongside traditional wooden houses and fading colonial buildings.
After passing iconic Wat Arun, veer off the main channel and enter the ‘khlongs’ - canals. Zig zag through the Thonburi khlong, an intricate network of waterways oozing with charm. Catch glimpses of traditional teak houses and modern mansions which highlights how Bangkok's waterside communities have evolved through the years.
Stop to explore Wat Khun Chan, an interesting temple area rarely visited by tourists. Continue to Wat Paknam, another rarely visited temple, and admire its beautiful white stupa. Return to the boat and travel deeper into the khlong network. Arrive at a farm and take a walk through the orchid garden and fruit plantation. After stopping to feed the holy catfish that live in the khlongs, continue back down the Chao Phraya river and towards your hotel.
Private transfer to Bangkok airport
Flight from Bangkok to Chiang Rai
Private transfer to your hotel in Chiang Rai
Accommodation in Chiang Rai
- Fifteen open-air tents
- Riverside pool, whirlpool & spa
- Elephant camp
- Restaurant, bar & wine cellar
- Trading post boutique
If you’re seeking a combination of luxury, authenticity and adventure, then the Four Seasons Tented Camp is for you. Set in Thailand’s lush northern forests, the Four Seasons Tented Camp offers up a sort of extravagant sanctuary of fifteen beautifully adorned tents and a variety of unforgettable activities. You can even choose to turn down a car transfer in favour of arriving at the camp by traditional long-tail boat, before you are taken to your handsomely furnished tent. Adorned with a king-size bed, expansive decking and scenic views, the tents provide all the modern luxuries, boosting this accommodation a few notches higher than mere ‘glamping’. Dining at this Four Seasons encompasses a number of cuisines and locations. You can feast on Thai, Burmese and Western cuisine at the atmospheric Nong Yao, while laid-back drinks can be enjoyed at Burma Bar, an open-air lounge which overlooks the amazing Elephant Camp. During the day learn how to direct elephants and then experience an authentic Thai elephant trek. Various other excursions are also on offer including cruising along the Mekong River, visiting Chiang Saen town and hiking up verdant mountain trails.
- 84 rooms and suites
- The Health Club
- 34 metre pool
- High speed wireless Internet access plus broadband in each room
- Five minutes’ walk to the city
Sitting by the Mae Ping River is the Anantara Chiang Mai Resort & Spa. A peaceful and serene oasis in which to shelter from the busy streets outside, the Anantara Chiang Mai Resort & Spa is Chiang Mai’s only five-star riverside hotel, Its modern design creates a stylish flair, while all guestrooms have sleek interiors and spacious balconies. With 52 Deluxe Rooms and 32 Club Suites, you have a large choice of accommodation to suit your needs. As well as waterside balconies, the Anantara Chiang Mai also provides a riverside pool which is surrounded by sun loungers arranged under stylish umbrellas. From the pool and gardens you’ll have a riverside view of the Chiang Mai locals fishing and playing. And adding to the already substantial tranquillity of hotel’s location, its spa can take you to new heights of pampering and relaxation. For more active pursuits, the Health Club has a modern fitness centre with everything from yoga to weights, while the attentive staff are more than happy to organise any local excursions (of which you have many to choose from). Moreover, the restaurant, originally a British consulate building, serves up a dazzling range of cuisine from Indian to Western, to Thai and Korean.
Verdant and mountainous, Chiang Rai is located in the picturesque Golden Triangle region. This is a great base from which to experience Thailand’s more mountainous and adventurous landscapes by trekking, cycling or rafting. We can also arrange visits to the colourful and authentic hill tribe villages or a glimpse into life in Laos or Myanmar.
Enjoy spending some time in the company of the gentle giants. Asian elephants are truly beautiful and you can choose to spend your time walking with them through the forest, helping out at bathtime, or enjoying a picnic with these very special and unusual guests. You will also learn about elephant biology, behaviour and conservation from those that live and work alongside these majestic creatures.
Set out on a serene river adventure and experience the cultural blend where the three countries that make up the famous Golden Triangle - Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar - meet.
The day starts at the King Mengrai Monument. The monument pays tribute to the ruler who founded Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai and built the foundations of the Lanna Kingdom. From here, climb aboard a three-wheeled rickshaw, or 'samlor'. This classic vehicle is the perfect way to explore Chiang Rai’s quiet streets, traveling at a slower pace and soaking up the sights and sounds.
Stop at the local market for a visit and browse the stalls piled high with fresh produce, joining the locals as they chat with stall owners and bargain for the best prices. Continue by samlor to the Wat Phra Kaew temple, home to a beautiful brass and copper Buddha. Then it’s onwards to the Hilltribe Museum, which is operated by the Population and Community Development Association. Explore the impressive displays and gain a wonderful insight into the colourful ethnic communities that live in the hills surrounding Chiang Rai. Following this, continue by road for a visit to the stunning white temple of Wat Rong Khun with its unusual, and controversial, kanok architecture.
Following this introduction to Chiang Rai, stop for lunch at Chivit Thammada. Enjoy fabulous views of the Kok River while dining on traditional Thai dishes.
Private transfer to Chiang Khong on the Thailand/Laos border
Once you have crossed the border into Laos, your guide will be waiting for you after the check point. After completing border formalities, board a traditional boat for a trip down the Mekong River. The scenery along this part of the Mekong is arguably at its most beautiful. Enjoy lunch on board as your journey downriver, stopping at some tribal villages such as Hmong, Yao and Khmu.
On arrival in Pakbeng, you will visit a local market and witness colorful hill tribe traders exchanges their goods.
Private transfer to your hotel in Pakbeng
Accommodation in Pakbeng
- 17 pavilions
- Restaurant and Bar
Your peaceful and pleasant pitstop on your Luang Say Mekong River Cruise, this lovely yet modest riverside lodge is where you will overnight in comfort. After a full day cruising the Mekong, it feels good to put your feet on terra firma and even more so when staying in the delightful Luang Say Lodge overlooking the river and set against a wild jungle backdrop. Its seventeen teak and rosewood pavilions are typically Laotian in build and elevated for better views. Each one comes with a Western en suite bathroom, comfortable beds with mosquito nets and fans. The restaurant serves a buffet-style dinner using mainly organic produce sourced locally and there is a well-stocked bar for pre and post dinner drinks. If there are more than twenty guests staying than a special folkloric dance is usually put on. Continental breakfasts are served up in the morning along with great views of the river, and the perfect send off as you rejoin the boat to complete your cruise.
Explore the local market and experience the daily lifestyle of colorful hill tribe traders as they exchange their goods.
As you sail downriver, you will pass areas of unspoilt forest with little villages along the riverbanks and perhaps the odd elephant or two with his mahout. You will also visit a fishing village and a rice winemaking village and perhaps even taste some of the infamous beverage known as Lao rice wine. Enjoy lunch on board. You'll also visit the Pak Ou caves, where thousands of Buddha statues are stored.
Private transfer to your hotel in Luang Prabang
Accommodation in Luang Prabang
- 26 rooms and suites
- Restaurant & bar
- Swimming pool
Together with its great location in a peaceful corner on a confluence of the Nam Khan and Mekong rivers, set beside the Wat Xiengthong Temple, in the heart of Luang Prabang’s historic centre, the boutique hotel Victoria Xiengthong Palace is both ideally located and a stylish base to explore this city. Converted from one of the last residences of the Royalty of Laos, the 26 rooms and suites are steeped with history and grandeur without compromising on modern comforts. Most of them have balconies or terraces too. ‘Kitchen by the Mekong’ offers a fusion of carefully crafted Laotian and European cuisine, and meals can be taken in the gardens with atmospheric views overlooking the nearby Wat and the Mekong. Sink into the relaxing spirit of the locale with a whole menu of treatments at the hotel’s Ayu Spa.
- 34 luxury suites
- Restaurant & bar
- Freshwater swimming pool
- Spa & boutique
With pool, garden or mountain views, La Residence Phou Vao’s 34 spacious, zen-style suites are elegantly but simply furnished with polished rosewood and fresh linens. All suites offer a double bedroom, separate living area and a very high and attentive level of service throughout. The freshwater infinity swimming pool drops dramatically over a cliff edge overlooking the valley below with gold pagodas and shrines scattered across the hillside and views across to Luang Prabang (the hotel is 2 kilometres from the city centre). Set in lush gardens guests will enjoy the fragrance of flourishing bougainvillea, papyrus and frangipani trees. Meals can be taken al fresco in the gardens lit by the glow of lanterns and candles in the evening, or dine inside in sophisticated comfort on a blend of inventive Lao and French cuisine.
- 24 luxury suites
- Restaurant & bar
- Swimming pool
- Statues of explorers to be found in the gardens
The main residence and five white colonial pavilions house twenty luxury pioneer suites and four explorer suites. Gracefully furnished with polished wood floors, four poster beds and open terraces make the Luang Say Residence a relaxing and homely choice for your time in Luang Prabang. The library and lounge exhibit a selection of antique literature and original artefacts offering insight into Laotian and European history. From the lounge enjoy a stroll through a grapevine covered pergola to the tranquil pool and tropical gardens. The dining room and airy veranda of La Belle Epoque overlook the gardens where white bougainvillea, hibiscus and lantanas mingle with soaring palms. Much of the menu features produce from Luang Say Residence’s own organic garden. The hotel is a 10-minute drive away from downtown Luang Prabang.
A charming city, spend your time relaxing and soaking up the culture. Visit temples, trek through virgin rainforest to beautiful waterfalls and give alms to the monks. We can arrange a special and unique time in Luang Prabang.
Experience a Baci ceremony, which is an integral part of Lao culture. Held to celebrate a special event, marriage, a homecoming, or a departure, it is based on an ancient belief that the human being is a union of 32 organs and the 'kwan' (or soul) watches over each of them. The Baci ceremony is said to realign the kwan and the body. A village elder will wrap a white cotton thread, white is Laos' colour of peace, good fortune and warmth, around your wrist while chanting an invocation to strengthen the power of the blessing. Enjoy this authentic experience in a local house and feel refreshed and enlightened with this ancient practice. The ceremony will be followed by a meal in one of the local houses and washed down with a local cider, Lao Hay.
Wake up before dawn to witness and participate in offering alms to hundreds of saffron-robed monks. This early morning ritual dates back generations in Laos and is an awe-inspiring sight. The monks walk through the streets of Luang Prabang accepting offerings of food from local residents and businesses. Rising early also gives the chance to wander through the fresh market on the way back to the hotel for breakfast.
Drive out to the beautiful waterfalls of Tat Khouangsi. Below the 90m drop of the main cascade are a series of pools, connected by smaller falls and cascades. At low water levels, the water is an unbelievable turquoise, and swimming in the lower pools is a great way to cool off. On the walk through the forest to the falls, you will also pass the Free the Bears project – home to a group of rescued Asiatic Black (Moon) Bears and one Malayan Sun Bear. They are often searching for food hidden in their enriched environment enclosures, or simply sleeping. The route home offers the chance to stop at the villages of Ban Ou, Ban Ouay and Ban Thapene, home to some of the different Lao ethnic groups.
Explore the UNESCO -protected city centre to appreciate its unspoiled Laotian-colonial fusion architecture, taking in notable Buddhist temples. Visit the Royal Palace Museum, Wat Xiengthong, with its traditional roofs sweeping low to the ground, the impressive stupa of Wat Visoun, Wat Sene, the city’s oldest temple, and the shrines of Wat Aham and Wat Mai.
MandaLao Elephant Sanctuary is set on the banks of the Nam Khan river, near the village of Xieng Lom. Pioneering the non-riding elephant experience, MandaLao is the first camp of its kind, offering interactive and memorable interactions with the animals, where visitors have a chance to connect with the elephants in a more positive and natural way.
Starting with an in-depth introduction to elephant behavior, take a boat across the river to meet ‘Kit’, a 10-month old baby, and his mum. During this first meeting guests are encouraged to interact with and feed the elephants - one of the surest ways to form an instant friendship! Before an easy two-hour trek through quintessential Lao countryside, and up a small creek, join Kit’s handler in scrubbing the elephants down using natural materials found in the jungle. Walking alongside the animals, you will sense their pure joy at being in the water. Your guide will explain how MandaLao’s training techniques differ from traditional practices - techniques
that the sanctuary hope will be adopted throughout the region.
Returning to the camp, enjoy a delicious fresh Lao meal made from organically grown produce. Relax on the balcony, and enjoy the view over the river and hills before your short journey back to Luang Prabang.
Meet your guide at the hotel and take a short transfer to the pier where you'll board a local ferry that crosses the Mekong River towards Ban Xieng Man village. Continue walking through the village and visit some of the temples in the area, including Wat Chomphet, Wat Longkhoun and the Tham Sakhrine cave. Return back the same way by evening.
Private transfer to Luang Prabang airport
Flight from Luang Prabang to Siem Reap
Private transfer to your hotel in Siem Reap
Siem Reap and Angkor Wat
Accommodation in Siem Reap and Angkor Wat
- 45 private villas
- Swimming pool
- Two restaurants
- Two bars
- Spa temple
- Kids club
Meaning ‘green village’ in Khmer, Phum Baitang is set within eight acres of lush gardens and rice paddies away from the bustle of Siem Reap, yet still just minutes from the temples of Angkor. And indeed it does appear as a traditional Cambodian village on first sight, but you’ll soon notice intricate design touches and modern luxuries between the rusticity. There are 45 private stilted and thatched villas, each built in a traditional style with carefully considered contemporary touches, with extensive use of reclaimed wood, expansive terraces, handpicked furniture and wonderfully spacious bathrooms with egg-shaped baths carved from local stone. 20 of the villas have their own outdoor plunge pools. Two restaurants lie in the village, Hang Bay, which serves a fusion of cultural cuisine, and Bay Phsar, which has the feel of a local market and is the venue to try vibrant Cambodian flavours created using freshly picked ingredients including herbs from the organic garden and rice straight from the surrounding paddies. One of the bars sits alongside the scenic 50m infinity pool but our favourite is the cigar and cocktail lounge, housed within a reconstructed century-old farmhouse that has shelves bursting with vintage liqueurs, gin and whisky, surely one of the coolest bars in Southeast Asia. End a day of temple exploration at the spa, an ancient looking temple offering age-old healing techniques and beauty recipes using indigenous ingredients. Aside from temples, Phum Baitang offers a range of activities, including a kids’ club, private dining experiences and cooking classes, cultural excursions, trips to Tonle Sap and vintage jeep drives..
- 39 rooms
- Restaurant and bar
- Spa and fitness area
For an immersive experience while staying in Siem Reap, the Shinta Mani Angkor offers wonderful Khmer-inspired rooms and the chance to contribute to community programs in rural Cambodia as this luxury hotel proudly supports the Shinta Mani Foundation. Located just a five-minute walk from the Old Market and Pub Street, you’ll be perfectly placed to explore your surroundings at your ease. The boutique hotel offers just 39 rooms so you can be sure of warm, personalised service of the highest quality. Rooms offer city or pool views, and each has a flat-screen cable TV, private bathroom with luxury toiletries, bathrobes, and slippers. During your stay here, make sure to check out the sumptuous spa and spend some time in the outdoor pool. There’s also an art gallery and a library for you to enjoy and after a long day out visiting temples, replenish your spirits at the Indochinese Restaurant which offers a variety of Khmer and international dishes as well as Cambodian cooking classes. Drinks are served at the rooftop bar and café, Bonnalay.
- 108 rooms and suites
- Restaurant, bar and deli
- Two swimming pools
- Fitness centre
- Internet access
An elegant hideaway located close to the 12th century UNESCO ruins of Angkor in the heart of Siem Reap. With Khmer-inspired contemporary architecture and design touches, the Park Hyatt is a tranquil urban oasis, with cool, crisp white colonnades leading to the central swimming pool and ancient banyan tree in the main courtyard. There are 108 rooms and suites with custom-made furniture dress and modern luxuries. Some feature courtyard or downtown views plus a separate living room and an indulgent sunken bathtub for two. For further luxury, opt for a suite for your own private outdoor patio, plunge pool, balcony or sun garden. The Dining Room is elegant with black and white marble walls and floors, a cosy venue for intimate dining, while The Living Room bar lounge is a chic place for a cocktail. For comfort food, freshly baked goods and home-made ice cream, head to the Glasshouse Deli.
During your time in Siem Reap we can arrange privately guided specialist tours to show you the best of the city, Angkor Wat and the Khmer temples in the region.
Phare Circus works mainly with disadvantaged young people. They learn circus skills, theatre performance, music and a range of visual arts. It combines local traditions with new creative and innovative genres. Daring athleticism is combined with stories that speak powerfully to Cambodia’s not-too-distant history; for example, escape from tyranny is depicted through tightrope walking. The dark subject of a young girl trying to deal with memories of atrocities, is depicted by breathtaking acrobatics in which seemingly impossible goals are achieved. More than simply a circus, Phare is an amazing blend of traditional and modern theatre, music, dance, acrobatics, juggling and contortion beautifully choreographed and performed in a story about Cambodian lives and society.
Travel by road to Srah Srang and then continue to Ta Prohm, pausing to collect your entry passes at the Archaeological Park Entrance. Take your time to walk through the temple from the West entrance to the East entrance where you will rejoin our driver. From the Northwest of Ta Prohm, walk 15 minutes through the forest to the seldom visited temple of Ta Nei. There is a reasonable chance of having this beautiful Angkor temple all to yourself. Pause for a light breakfast around this peaceful area before exploring further. End the morning at Ta Keo temple, known as the 'mountain with bronze peaks', and admire its five-tiered pyramid structure.
Travel by road to the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom. You have the choice of either walking along the path along the city wall to the Death Gate or continuing around by road. En route to the Terrace of the Leper King, you'll stop briefly to see an imposing statue found in Bayon which is now displayed at Vihear Prampeilveng. Begin again at the atmospheric Preah Palilay and walk through the shaded parkland behind the terraces, past Phimeanakas with its beautiful lakes, and the imposing Baphuon to finally reach Jayavarman’s state temple of Bayon at the centre of the city. Explore this important temple with its many captivating giant stone faces. Your guide will point out the most interesting of the detailed bas reliefs illustrating everyday life in the Angkorian era.
Enjoy sunset drinks at Angkor Thom whilst sailing on the complex's vast moat.
Head into the rural countryside in the Angkor Archaeological Park on foot for a half-day country hike on flat terrain (around 9-10km) to some secret and secluded temples.
The walk begins along an ancient irrigation channel to the moat of Angkor Thom, the ancient city. Follow the walls in the shade of tall dipterocarp trees and pass through Angkor Krau village to reach Prasat Prei temple. This consists of a single tower plus a fire shrine, all enclosed by a laterite wall with gates to east and west.
Continue for a mile through bush and small paddy fields to the forest surrounding Prasat Banteay Thom temple. In the thirteenth century, it would have rivalled many of the temples in the main Angkor complex but time and looters have taken their toll on the carvings. There are no roads here so you will most likely have the experience of an atmospheric temple to yourself.
Today you will explore Siem Reap's rural landscape beyond its temples, which has changed little since the days of Jayavarman VII. After a short drive from Siem Reap visit a colourful contemporary pagoda to understand more of the importance of Buddhism in these rural communities and seek a blessing from the monks. Buy seasonal fruits straight from the tree, speak to families who have specialised in baking sticky rice in bamboo for over thirty years and gain a hands-on experience of the essential rural skills of the rice harvest, thatching, fishing, or even making a simple meal over an open fire.
Then, take an ox-cart ride through typical villages followed by an easy 20-minute walk to bring you to the vast Western Baray. An impressive engineering feat, this man-made reservoir was once integral to the complex Angkorian rice irrigation system which you will voyage by boat (depending on water level). This will be both an education and an adventure from a slower, more romantic era of travel. Then reach the villa, surrounded by rice paddies, across a stream to the north of a village where tourists are rarely seen and the greetings for visitors are warm and generous. This is a wonderful spot to relax in the quiet of the countryside and enjoy sunset drinks.
Visit Angkor Wat, one of the modern wonders of the world, and watch the sun rise behind this ornate temple. 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.
Private transfer to Siem Reap airport
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Temples, Terraces and Angkor Wat
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We create fully personalised trips from start to finish, working with you to pick locations, accommodation and guides that suit you.
Each time you travel with us, you preserve an acre of precious rainforest through our partnerships.
From in-depth private tours to restaurant reservations, we take care of every detail so you can make the most of your journey.