The greatest of all the shrines created by the Khmers – in fact, the single largest religious building anywhere in the world – is Angkor Wat. Dedicated to Vishnu (the Hindu deity of whom King Suryavarman II considered himself a reincarnation), the temple is a vivid testament to the power, ambition and unbridled narcissism of the region’s ancient rulers. Early morning, before the tour buses arrive, is the best time to admire its colonnaded galleries of exquisite stone-carved apsaras (celestial dancers) and soaring corn-cob towers, reflected to sublime effect in the lotus-dappled moat.

Overnight Temple Safaris

A wonderful way to explore ancient Angkor is to join one of our popular Temple Safaris out of Siem Reap. As well as taking you to several less well-known archaeological sites, this soft adventure involves a night under canvas at a specially erected forest camp, where you can enjoy the vivid atmosphere of the Cambodian jungle at night. Typical of the locations visited on the safari is Beng Mealea, an impressive complex almost as large as Angkor Wat, but which has not yet been restored. Clamber among the blocks of collapsed masonry, where fertility goddesses and finely carved cobra heads peer from arched niches, and sinuous kapok roots smother intricately sculpted walkways. Our camp is also sited within easy reach of Koh Ker, the spectacular, but little visited

Typical of the locations visited on the safari is Beng Mealea, an impressive complex almost as large as Angkor Wat, but which has not yet been restored. Clamber among the blocks of collapsed masonry, where fertility goddesses and finely carved cobra heads peer from arched niches, and sinuous kapok roots smother intricately sculpted walkways. Our camp is also sited within easy reach of Koh Ker, the spectacular, but little visited ruined capital of Jayavarman IV, renowned for its colossal statues and weed-choked, 7-storey, pyramidal sanctuary tower of Prasat Thom. Among the highlights of the safari is seeing these remote ruins and its surrounding jungle canopy at sunrise from the top of the tower – a magical experience.

Plan your 2021 Adventure

With the world beginning to open up again, now is the time to begin planning your 2021 holiday to Asia. Our Travel Specialists are ready to take your call and discuss the adventure you have spent 2020 dreaming of.

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