Temples of Angkor (Cambodia, 4 nights)

HCM 502-102
Highlights
  • Historic sites in Siem Reap including famous Angkor Temples
  • Specific floating lifestyle at Kampong Khleang village on Tonle Sap lake
  • Hoi An ancient town and local communities interaction
  • Cooking class in Hoi An town with local chef
Program Overview
Country: Vietnam
Depart: 02/10/2017 1330
Return: 02/14/2017 1630
Duration: Overnight
Difficulty: Strenuous
Capacity: Min. 25/ Max. 30
Program Fee
$1562 (early booking: $1473)

Field Work Conflicts
  • Art 492A: Seminar: Art History
  • GR 330: Urban Geography
  • NR 355: Contemporary Environmental Issues
  • RRM 400: Food and Society
  • PHIL 172 500: Religions of the East
  • HIST 465: Pacific Wars: Korea and Vietnam
  • ECON 202: Principles of Microeconomics
  • MGT 475: International Business Management
  • NR 370: Coastal Environmental Ecology
  • JTC 430: Advanced Digital Documentary Photography

*Attention: 1 passport-size photo and $40USD cash is required for a Cambodian Visa. You may also need additional blank pages in your passport. 

Angkor is an incomparable temple complex built between seven and 11 centuries ago at the height of the Khmer civilization. Angkor’s 100 or so temples constitute the sacred network of spectacular administrative and religious center covering 200-square kilometers. The ruins represent successive capitals constructed by a dozen Khmer kings, which included massive stone temples, majestic causeways and imposing towers. You will visit the most famous temple complex, Angkor Wat.  With its soaring towers and extraordinary bas-reliefs, many consider Angkor Wat to be one of the most inspired and spectacular monuments ever conceived by the human mind. The largest religious building in the world, it was built by Suryavarman II, who reigned from 1112 to 1152, to honor Vishnu and for later use as his funerary temple.

Angkor Thom – the last capital of the great Khmer Empire. You will visit the sprawling Elephant Terrace, the Terrace of the Leper King and the enchanting Bayon. The Bayon Temple of the complex is an edifice of 54 towers, each carved with the four enigmatic faces of the Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara and bas-relief events.

Continue your exploration of the Angkor Temples at Ta Prohm, the temple that has been left largely in its natural state since its “re-discovery” by French explorers.  Surrounded by jungle, its labyrinth of stone hallways is overgrown with the roots and limbs of massive banyan trees, which envelop the stone like tentacles.   It is one of the largest temples at Angkor, dedicated in 1186.  Historians have noted its mystical charm.

Beng Melea Temple – The “Lotus Pond” Temple is an early 11th Century Hindu temple built by Suryavarman II. If there is one temple to explore resplendent with jungle engulfing it, it is Beng Mealea.  Clambering over large sandstone blocks to reach the inner sanctuary and eerie worship corridor is an exploration to remember. Garudas, held up an outer platform, is finer in detail than what is to be found out in the elements of the Elephant Terrace at Angkor Thom. Surprises of fallen lintels with intricate carvings lay amongst the fallen wall and roofs. This is truly a stunning temple that has been left largely unrestored which makes for some stunning photography. Not only is this large temple thought of as almost the blueprint for Angkor Wat, being virtually the same layout if a bit smaller, it also contains good semi-evergreen forest.

Tonle Sap Lake, the largest fresh water lake in South East Asia, is the heart of the Cambodian fishing industry and the lifeblood for millions of Khmers living on and around it. Visit the floating village at Kampong Khleang, the largest community on the Lake, located on the northern lake-edge about 35 km east of Siem Reap town, is more remote and less touristy than Kampong Phluk. Visitors to Kampong Khleang during the dry season are universally awestruck by the forest of stilted houses rising up to 10 meters in the air. In the wet season the waters rise to within one or two meters of the buildings. Kampong Khleang is a permanent community within the floodplain of the Lake, with an economy based in fishing and surrounded by flooded forest. You will also stop to visit local house and learn about their daily floating life. Then stop at a local school, you might want to bring some gifts for kids over there.

Next part is exploring Hoi An ancient town. Graceful, historic Hoi An is Vietnam’s most atmospheric and delightful town. Once a major port, it boasts the grand architecture and beguiling riverside setting that befits its heritage, but the 21st-century curses of traffic and pollution are almost entirely absent. Hoi An owes its easygoing provincial demeanor and remarkably harmonious old-town character more to luck than planning. Had the Thu Bon River not silted up in the late 19th century – so ships could no longer access the town’s docks – Hoi An would doubtless be very different today. For a century, the city’s allure and importance dwindled until an abrupt rise in fortunes in the 1990s, when a tourism boom transformed the local economy. Today Hoi An is once again a cosmopolitan melting pot, one of the nation’s most wealthy towns, a culinary mecca and one of Vietnam’s most important tourism centers.

Take a total 20-kilometre biking to Cam Kim island via the local ferry from Hoi An town. Here groups can take leisurely bikes through the villages and quiet paths on Cam Kim island and explore daily life in this authentic area. Stops can be made any time when interested and you may come visit some houses to see their daily local life. Continue to drive toward Cua Dai Bridge, which was just recently completed, that links Hoi An ancient town and remote districts of Quang Nam province. Continue to bike through Tra Que herb village to Cam Thanh and finally reach An Bang beach where students are free to relax on their own chair, enjoy a cool drink, or swim until lunch time. Continue to bike back to Hoi An town then have a cooking class to explore the local culinary. You might have this free night to walk along the ancient town or on the next day, your guide will escort you for a walk tour along the town then learn about making the traditional lantern with local people before leaving this beautiful town.  

Itinerary

Day 1

*All times are approximate and subject to change. Please be flexible. 

  • 13:30 Depart SGN port to SGN airport for flight to REP
  • 18:00 – 19:00 Meet your guide and transfer to hotel for check-in
  • 19:30 – 21:00 Have dinner at a local restaurant with Apsara dancing show

 

Day 2

  • Early breakfast at hotel
  • 07:00 Depart from hotel to visit the floating village at Kampong Khleang. Lunch boxed will be provided en route.
  • Free afternoon, to visit Beng Melea Temple.
  • Enjoy your free night in Siem Reap town – dinner on your own arrangement

 

Day 3

  • 05:30 Pick up by Remok for the sunrise tour at Angkor Wat (Optional)
  • 06:30 Back to hotel for breakfast
  • Breakfast at hotel
  • 07:30 – 12:00 Visit Angkor Thom temple and Ta Prohm temple (Approx. 2hrs visit Angkor Thom and 1 hr visit Ta Prohm)
  • 12:00 – 13:15 Check-out before 12:30pm then have lunch at hotel
  • 13:15 – 17:00 Transfer to visit Angkor Wat (Approx. 3 hrs visit Angkor Wat)
  • 17:00 – 18:00 Early dinner at local restaurant
  • 18:00 – 18:15 Transfer to REP airport for flight to Danang
  • 22:00 – 23:00 Meet your guide and transfer to hotel in Hoi An 

 

Day 4

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • 7:30AM: Depart from the resort for a total 20-kilometre biking to Cam Kim island, through Tra Que herb village to Cam Thanh and finally reach An Bang beach.
  • 11:30 Arrive An Bang beach where students are free to relax on own chair, enjoying a cool drink, swimming until lunch time. then head to An Bang beach.  
  • 13:00 – 13:45 Having a Vietnamese set lunch served at one of the family own restaurants located along An Bang beach.
  • 13:45 Group will depart for a short ride back to Hoi An town where they leave their bike then head to meeting point for cooking class.
  • 14:30 Meet the local chef for market visit and cooking class this afternoon.  
  • 19:00 At the end of the dinner, group is transferred back to the hotel by coach for the rest of evening is at leisure.

 

Day 5

Breakfast at hotel and check-out

  • 08:00 – 11:00 A guided walking tour through the ancient town and learn lantern making with local people
  • 11:00 – 12:30 Transfer to Danang airport for flight back to Saigon – lunch at local restaurant in Danang
  • Upon arrival in Saigon, transfer back to Nha Rong port

Meals Included

Meals: 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches & 3 dinners

Special Note

Children under 10 are not recommended due to biking tours included
Casual wear should cover shoulder and knees for pagodas and temples visiting
Hat, sunscreen, bug spray is recommended
Gifts for children at floating village are welcome