This in depth tour will leave you speechless!
A pickup by a private vehicle at your hotel begins what is sure to be an extraordinary day. Your knowledgeable English-speaking guide will provide historical background and fascinating details designed to enhance your appreciation of the remarkable sites you're about to visit.
You’ll first visit the exotic Ta Prohm temple, built in 1186 as a Buddhist temple and one of Angkor's jewels. Ta Prohm was, as were other temples the area, completely overtaken by the jungle when it was "re-discovered" by French explorers in the early 20th century. While other temples were cleared from the entanglements of roots, branches, and leaves, Ta Prohm's otherworldly appearance of neglect has been kept intact and is carefully maintained. Its labyrinth of stone hallways is overgrown with the roots and limbs of massive banyan trees that envelop it like tentacles and is a testament to the struggle between man's creations and nature's tenacity.
The tour continues to the monumental Angkor Thom, not a temple, but an entire walled city of 9 square kilometers and the royal Capital beginning in 1181. With a population of 1 million, it was far bigger than any city in Europe at the time. It is best known for the Elephant Terrace, the Terrace of the Leper King, which houses almost perfectly preserved carvings and, lying at the center of Angkor Thom, the stunning Bayon Temple. This 12th-century masterpiece is a wonder of symmetry and grandeur. The exterior gallery walls have extensive bas reliefs but the highlight is the "faces"—more than 200 of them, with the famous half-smile playing on their lips.
You'll drive a short distance to Ta Keo, a massive, unfinished sandstone monument dedicated to Shiva, which would have been one of the finest temples in Angkor had it been completed.
Lunch will be provided by a local restaurant in Siem Reap, followed by a leisurely break.
Your exploration continues as you enter the rear gate of the ancient Angkor Wat. Surrounded by a 190-meter wide moat, it is claimed to be the largest religious building in the world and took 30 years to construct. The temple was inspired by 12th-century Hinduism and was built as the earthly representation of the universe, with its central tower symbolizing Mt. Meru which, Hindus believe, is at the center of the Universe.
After this fascinating tour, you'll be returned to your hotel room by late afternoon.
- Lunch is included in the tour cost. Beverages are available at an additional cost.
- Entrance fees are included in tour cost.
- Please note there is surcharge pricing for all National and New Year holidays as well as peak season. You will be notified of any increased costs prior to confirmation. Contact ShoreTrips with any questions.
Days offered: 7 days a week