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This afternoon you will enjoy a scenic journey by Remork/TukTuk to explore other hidden gems of Angkor that major travelers overlooked. Starting with the encroaching jungle Ta Prohm, also known to be the undisputed capital of the “Kingdom of the Trees”, is a unique jungle temple that is captivated by the large trees and vines that have grown over it. Climb over its crumbling stonework and marvel at the tree roots dripping down the temple’s walls and see weathered Buddha faces appear in bas-relief and giant tree roots seem to flow over stone walls. Once home to 600 exquisite dancers, Ta Prohm is a wondrous site, with giant fig and kapok trees strangling the ancient stonework in a photogenic interplay of man and nature. This temple was built by King Jayavarman VII (1181-1219) as a Mahayana Buddhist monastery and university. It has been featured in several Hollywood movies such as Tomb Raider, Indiana Jones, and Two Brothers.
Then move to explore Neak Pean – the “coiled serpents”. H. C. Candee wrote; “Neak Pean is one of the temples that makes one dream of olden days of luxury and beauty. It was worthwhile to live then and to be a woman among a race that has never adored its women. It was at the tiny temple of Neak Pean that eager princesses laid their lovely offerings of wrought gold and pungent perfumes”. Today, there is only a central sanctuary surrounded by four ponds.
Wrap up today with one of the larger temple sites within Angkor, Preah Khan, or “Sacred Sword” until sunset, the best time to explore the ruins serenely. Constructed as a monastery and teaching complex in 1191 by Jayavarman VII, it is unique in its sense of religious tolerance, with sections dedicated to Buddhism, ancestor worship, and the Hindu gods Shiva and Vishnu. The World Monuments Fund has completed a project in preserving this temple with its myriad halls and pavilions, causeways and moats, and sculpted garudas and serpents on the exterior walls. Once inside the second enclosure, look for the delicate frieze of ‘apsaras’ or celestial dancers, in the Hall of Dancers.
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Full Day (8.00 am – 4.00 pm)
Explore the countryside with an ox cart ride and offer alms to a Buddhist monk
Discover Cambodia’s Golden Threads and pink sandstone temple of Banteay Srei
6 Hours (Morning / Afternoon)
Introductory briefing, Elephant meet and greet & observation trek. (2km)
Make enrichment and watch the elephants play by the pond