2 nights, 3 days from Siem Reap
Pick up from your Siem Reap hotel at 7am, a/c car
The Kampong Kdei Bridge in the Kampong Thom province (approximately 1 hour drive from Siem Reap) is a reminder of times gone by in a bustling provincial town. We will stop briefly to see this imposing bridge built by Jayavarman VII in the 12th Century, today devoid of all but small local traffic. We will then continue on to Sambor Prei Kuk, the capital of the Chenla Kingdom dating back to the 7th century. Scattered over a large forested area and partially covered by vegetation, these pre-Angkorian structures with a fairly simple external plan and mainly built with bricks and sandstone see very few visitors. You will have the unique opportunity to add this location to your temple check-list.
The remote and mystery-shrouded Bakan, also known as Preah Khan of Kompong Svay is our next stop. Located about 100km east of Angkor in the Preah Vihear province it is the largest single religious complex ever built during the Angkorian Era. Its isolated, remote location keeps this temple off the itineraries of most visitors and by the end of the day you will have won yourself some serious bragging rights! We will spend the night in a nearby village with a local family.
After breakfast with our host family we will set off on another day’s adventure. It will take us approximately 3 hours to reach our next destination. Through remote rural provinces with only a handful of settlements along the road we will reach the iconic Preah Vihear temple nestled atop a 525 meter cliff in the Dangrek Mountains forming the natural border between Cambodia and Thailand.It is not unusual for this Hindu temple to be covered in mist and fog but on a clear you can enjoy an expanding view for many kilometres across the plain.On July 7th 2008 Preah Vihear was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.You will have enough time to explore this sprawling complex and the town settlement before nightfall. We will spend the night in a hotel in Preah Vihear town.
Waving goodbye to Preah Vihear we will slowly start heading back to Siem Reap but not without stopping at two significant sites along the way.The temples of Koh Ker, the 10th Century Angkorian capital, are scattered over a large area, the most impressive and photogenic of them being the pyramid-like Prasat Thom.Later we will continue to the mysterious and jungle-clad Beng Mealea temple which is thought to be the blueprint for Angkor Wat. Here you can marvel at the stone labyrinth covered in a carpet of moss while enjoying an elevated view from a wooden platform snaking its way around the fairly dilapidated structure.On our way to Siem Reap we will pass several villages and you will soon find your bearings again when we wind up back on the National Route 6 and “home” by the late afternoon.