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Today rise early to catch the spectacular sunrise over the world’s largest religious ruins of Angkor Wat. Discover this mighty temple at dawn and watch the play of golden light on the stones and sculptures as the sun gently rises regarded by many as the quintessential Angkor experience. Afterward, explore the wonderful ruins in detail led by your professional tour guide while the temperatures are still cool and low.
The religious citadel of Angkor Wat is the “crowning jewel” of Khmer architecture and one of Asia’s most magnificent archaeological ruins. Constructed under the reign of Suryavarman II (1113-1150), Angkor Wat is covering an area of 480 acres encircled by an enclosure wall nearly four miles long. Angkor Wat is a representation of Hindu cosmology and is dedicated to the god Vishnu. The five towers of Angkor Wat are the representation of the five peaks of Mount Meru, home of the gods and the center of the Hindu universe. The temple’s greatest sculptural treasure is its 1-mile-long bas-relief that wraps around the walls of the outer gallery along with the 2000 figures of Khmer Devas and Apsaras.
Then move away from the crowds to enjoy a relaxing Champagne breakfast in a beautiful traditional Khmer wooden house overlooking the picturesque royal bathing pool of Srah Srang – a luxurious and peaceful conclusion to a perfect Angkorian morning. In a serene setting amid the rural village atmosphere of Angkor, the traditional wooden house is the perfect private escape and the complement to the majestic temples.
Wrap up this morning with the magical 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.
Or you may conclude this morning with the giant smiling faces of the Bayon temple. The structure of Bayon is staggering in its construction and most Angkor specialists agree that it is one of the finest examples of classic Khmer architecture. Its third level is stunning – 49 towers are adorned with 172 smiling faces of the omnipresent Avalokitesvara. Sixteen chapels inside the structure indicate its religious importance, while on the outer perimeter over 1,200 meters of exquisite bas-relief record scenes of daily life from 11th-century Angkor. Constructed during the reign of King Jayavarman VII, this temple marks the exact center of Angkor Thom, thus it is the most venerated of the city’s temples and also the most mysterious.
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Full Day (8.00 am – 4.00 pm)
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