This morning, visit less crowded temples, The Jewel Temples of King Jayavarman VII, an exclusive Sidecar-bike tour
Be picked-up at your hotel by amazingly well restored classic sidecar-bikes, for a memorable experience, and start your morning journey to discover some of the smallest yet remarkable and magnificent temples built by King Jayavarman VII in the second half of the 12th century.
King Jayavarman VII was generally considered the most powerful of the Khmer monarchs by historians. Over the 30 some years of his reign, Jayavarman embarked on a grand program of construction that included both public works and a large number of monuments. As a Mahayana Buddhist, his declared aim was to alleviate the suffering of his people.
You will ride approximately 30 minutes from your hotel, to Preah Khan temple while passing by Angkor Wat, entering through Angkor Thom's South Gate, get a glimpse of Bayon, the terraces of the Elephants and Leper King before exiting through the North Gate to reach Preah Khan.
Preah Khan Temple is located in the Angkor Archaeological Park and is still largely unrestored. Its aesthetics are very similar to nearby famous Angkor temple Ta Prohm, with vegetation and trees seeming to swallow the ruins. Preah Khan translates to "Holy Sword" in Khmer, named by Jayavarman VII in honor of his battle victory against the invading force of Chams, who belonged to a kingdom in what is now Vietnam, in the year 1191.
Continue your ride around Jayatataka to visit the surrounding temples of Kro Ko, Neak Pean and Ta Som
Kro Ko, which means "the shed of the oxen", is a single tower monument with two enclosing walls built of laterite with an entry tower at the east and a moat with steps. There is a library built of laterite and sandstone opening to the west on the left of the interior courtyard. The Central Sanctuary stands on a terrace in the shape of a cross.
Neak Pean is small and a collection of five ponds with unique features. Some historians believe that it represents Anavatapta, a mythical lake in the Himalayas whose waters are thought to cure all illness. Neak Pean was originally designed for medical purposes (the ancients believed that going into these pools would balance the elements in the bather, thus curing disease and is based on the ancient Hindu belief of balance with four connected pools representing Water, Earth, Fire and Wind.
Little is known about the purpose of Ta Som temple, but it may have been dedicated to the King's father or one of his teachers. Ta Som was swallowed up by the jungle until the 1930's, when it was cleared out enough for visitors to access the site, but left in its mostly unrestored state. Ta Som depicts both Hindu and Buddhist icons, as the official Angkor religion switched back and forth over the centuries.
Note1: a side-car bike takes 2 persons, 1 on the back-seat of the bike, 1 in the side-car. If you wish to have each your side-car please let us know
Note1: if you wish your official guide to come along, a supplement for the tour will be quoted separately
Lunch at Malis restaurant
Take an afternoon away from the city, away from the crowds and enjoy a local wooden boat ride through the charming floating & stilted village of Kompong Phluk, switch to a pirogue on the way to go through the enchanted flooded forest (approx. August to January only), or walk through this very original village (approx. February to July) and stop to visit a peaceful temple before watching the sunset from atop.
Travel 38 km away from Siem Reap town, you can explore the remarkable stilted village of Kompong Phluk on the Tonle Sap Lake, where the houses are built a minimum of five meters above dry ground to account for the rise and fall of the lake's waters. This unique architecture has been nicknamed "bamboo skyscrapers".
This out-of-time village has 2 very different faces depending on the season. During the dry season (approx. February to July) you can drive to and walk through the village. During the rainy season (approx. August to December) the water has risen so high you cannot drive all the way to the village anymore and must start your boat ride earlier. During this rainy season also, the surrounding forest becomes flooded and instead of exploring the village by foot, you will explore the forest by pirogue.
Once you have finished exploring Kompong Phluck and its flooded forest, continue to Prasat Bakong, located approximately 10-15min away. Bakong was built in the latter part of the 9th century and was the state temple for King Indravarman I is named after the famous pyramid temple of Bakong, dating from before the time of Angkor and the most important temple of the Roluos Group that was once a capital of the Khmer Empire known as Hariharalaya. As this Temple is considered remote, it is not a temple crowded with tourists and watching the colours of the sunset from up-top, sometimes with no one else around, is simply an amazing experience
Return to your hotel
Evening and dinner at leisure
Accommodation at hotel.