This morning guests will discover some of the other main Angkor sites with a tour by local ‘remok’ (tuk tuk). First, head to the ancient city of Angkor Thom - the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire under the reign of Jayavarman VII. This city is surrounded by an eight-meter-high wall drawn in a perfect square. Guests will enter the city from the ancient South Gate, an impressive stone gate carved with elephants and four giant faces.
From here, continue to Bayon Temple in the exact center of the city. This 12th Century masterpiece is a study in grandeur and is well known for its 54 towers with enigmatic faces representing the 54 provinces of the Great Khmer Empire. The ‘Terrace of the Elephants’ and ‘Terrace of the Leper King’ are also must-visits as they are both known for their intricate bas-reliefs. Stroll through the grounds of the former Royal Palace to discover some small hidden temples that are rarely visited.
Afterwards, visit Ta Prohm temple – a site children will probably enjoy the most; the ‘Tomb Raider’ movie was filmed here. Ta Prohm is unique in that it has been left largely as it was found: overgrown by jungle trees and vines, with many parts of the temple crumbling to the ground. This makes Ta Prohm one of the most picturesque and memorable of the Angkor temples.
Return to Siem Reap for lunch at HAVEN, a training restaurant for young adults (orphans, half-orphans and abandoned children)
This afternoon guests will be picked up from their hotel by remok, taken off the main tourist track and into the seldom-visited surrounding countryside. This will allow guests to practice the basics of the Khmer language under the helpful guidance of a native Khmer teacher/guide.
The first stop will be at a local market where guests will see the daily life of the local tradesmen and have the opportunity to practice some basic Khmer words and greetings.
From here, the journey continues to Phnom Bok Mountain, 25km from Siem Reap. Arriving at the foot of the mountain guests will prepare to ascend the 635 steps to the top, making sure to have plenty of water for the 30-minute climb!
At the top of the mountain guests will have a short rest and enjoy the views before having an introductory Khmer language lesson with the native Khmer teacher/guide.
After the lesson guests will explore the ruined temple at the top of the mountain, a Buddhist pagoda and enjoy the expansive views across the province before descending back down, where they will enjoy a fresh coconut and practice some more basic words and phrases.
Leaving the mountain. Guests will be driven back through the scenic countryside, past little villages and rice fields to see the daily life of the Cambodian countryside and learn about the rice harvests. On arrival back near to town, guests will make a final stop at an evening street market and fairground where locals go to relax and have fun.
Overnight in Siemreap
Meals: Breakfast / Lunch