5. Angkor Wat: 2-Day Temples Tour with Sunset & Sunrise
Day 1: Angkor Thom, Bayon, Neak Pean, Bantreay Srei, Banteay Samre, and Pre Rup Temple
Visit the Southern Gate of Angkor Thom, flanked by a row of 54 stone figures on each side - gods to the left and demons to the right – and the fortified city of Angkor Thom. At ‘The Bayon’, you will see its beautifully crafted central towers, covered in more than 200 enormous faces, then explore the famous Terrace of the Leper King and the Terrace of Elephants. Move to Neak Pean, an artificial island with a Buddhist temple.
Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before visiting the intricately carved and well-preserved Banteay Srei. The detailed reliefs on this smaller sandstone structure are regarded as the finest, most skillfully crafted in Cambodia.
One the way back, enjoy a brief stop at the well-preserved Banteay Samre, a laterite structure that once featured internal moats. End your discoveries with an ascent for sunset at Pre Rub temple.
Day 2: Angkor Wat at sunrise, Preah Khan, Ta Nei, and Ta Prohm Temple
Begin with a pre-dawn departure for sunrise outside of Angkor Wat. Enter the great temple in darkness (please bring a torch) from the little-visited eastern side, and creep along hoary cloistered corridors past the longest stretch of bas-relief carvings in the world.
End your touring at Angkor with breakfast outside the temple. Continue by moving on to Preah Khan temple, a ruined but highly atmospheric mélange of tree roots and crumbling stone structures.
At the end of the morning, return to your hotel for lunch, and in the afternoon drive to Ta Nei, a late 12th Century stone temple located in Angkor. Move on to the jungle-enveloped Ta Prohm – one of the most atmospheric temples in Angkor, once home to 2,740 monks.