Angkor Wat Sunrise Tours
This is a typical itinerary for this product
Stop At: Angkor Wat, Sangkat Nokor Thum, Siem Reap Cambodia
Angkor Wat(The world Angkor Wat is a combination of the words Angkor and Wat. Angkor, according the dictionary of Khmer language teacher Pau Savros, is derived from the Sanskrit word Nokor, meaning city, capital or kingdom. Wat means a pagoda for Buddhist monks. Therefore, Angkor Wat is the city of Buddhist pagodas.)is located about 7 kilometers north of Siem Reap provincial town along Komai or Charles De Gaul Road. The temple was built in the early 12th century during the reign of King Suryavarman II (AD 1113-1150) is unrivaled in its beauty and state of preservation. It is an expression of Khmer art at its highest point of development.
Some believed Angkor Wat was designed by Divakarapandita, the chief adviser and minister of the king, dedicating to Vishnu Brahmanism. The Khmers attribute the building of Angkor Wat to the divine architect Visvakarman. There has been considerable debate amongst scholars as to whether Angkor Wat was built as a temple or a tomb.
Angkor Wat, according to Coedès, is a replica of the universe in stone and represents an earthly model of the cosmic world. The central tower rises from the center of the monument symbolizing the mythical Mount Meru, situated at the center of the universe. Its five towers correspond to the peaks of Meru; the outer wall to the mountains at the edge of the world; and the surrounding moat to the oceans beyond.
Originally, the temple was called Prasat Paramavishnuloka. However, the evolution of the name Angkor Wat can be drawn by history. The first proof existed in the 16th century, when the temple became a well-known Buddhist place. According to a 16th century inscription, its name was Mohanokor Indrabrat Preah Visnuloka. In a 17th century inscription, it was called Indrabratnokor Sreisodhara Visnuloka(Indrabrat is a Sanskrit word that has been transformed to the pali word Indrabat. This reflects a hift Brahmanism to Theravada Buddhism. Indrabrat refers to the city of god Indra. It is rooted in Brahman belief that the god Indra has a place on land. This word usually refers to holy places. For example, the names of the two pagodas at Angkor Wat are North Indrabat Borei and South Indrabat Borei. The name Visnuloka is derived from Paramavishnuloka, posthumous name of the king who built this temple. Later it was named Sreisodhara after Srei Yasodharapura, an old city in Angkor). Angkor wat is a simple name to refer to this holy place. Khmer people, especially those living in and around Siem Reap, often refer to Angkor Toch. However, European authors decided on a common name, Angkor Wat. Nevertheless, its original name has not been forgotten and is known by many people.
Angkor Wat covers a rectangular area of about 200 hectares defined by a laterite rampart which is surrounded by a moat that is 200 meters wide. The perimeter of the rampart measures 5.5 kilometers. The moat is crossed by a huge causeway built of sandstone blocks 250 meters long and 12 meters wide. The temple is 65 meters high. With its massive size and splendor, Angkor Wat was believed to have been built by the gods rather than by man.
The temple begins with a sandstone terrace in the shape of a cross. Giant stone lions on each side of the terrace guard the monument. End of the causeways at the gopura (gateway) with three towers of varying heights, of which much of the upper sections have collapsed. A long, covered gallery with square columns and a vaulted roof extends along the moat to the left and right of the gopura.
The causeway leads to the cruciform gopura or entry tower. The gateways at ground level on each end of the gallery probably served as passages for elephants, horses and carts; whereas the other entrances are accessed by steps and lead on to the central promenade. From the central entrance turn right and walk along the columned gallery coming to the end, where the quality of carving and intricacy of decoration on the false door is of exceptional beauty.
Continue eastward along the raised walkway of equally imposing proportions which is 350 meters long and 9 meters wide. A low balustrade formed by short columns supporting the scaly body of a naga borders each side. Along the causeway, the ceremonial stairs with platforms are always in pairs to the left and the right. The naga balustrade also flames the stairs. There are two buildings, so called libraries, stand in the courtyard left and right, just past the middle of the causeway. In front of the libraries are two pond, which are 65 meters long and 50 meters wide, ingeniously placed to capture the reflection of the in the water. The one the left is filled with water, whereas the other one is usually dry.
The architectural triumph on the walkway is cruciform-sharped Terrace of Honor, just in front of the principle gopura of Angkor Wat. Ritual dance were performed on this terrace and it may also have been where the king viewed processions and received foreign dignitaries. From the top of this terrace there is a fine view of the famous galleries of bas-reliefs on the first platform level.
The cross-shaped galleries provide the link between the first and second levels. The unique architectural design consists of covered cruciform-shaped galleries with square columns forming four courtyards each with paved basins and steps.
Many of the pillars in the galleries of this courtyard have inscriptions written in Sanskrit and Khmer. At both ends of the north and south galleries are two libraries of similar form, but smaller than the ones along the entrance causeway. There is a good view of the upper level of Angkor Wat from the northern one.
The gallery of 1, 000 Buddhas, on the right, once contained many images dating from the period when Angkor Wat was Buddhist, but only a few of these figures remain today. The Hall of Echoes, on the left, is so named because of its unusual acoustics. Return to the center of the cruciform-shaped galleries and continue walking eastward toward the central towers. The outer wall of the gallery of the second level, closest, is solid and undecorated, probably to create an environment for meditation by the priests and the king. The starkness of the exterior of the second level gallery is offset by the decoration of the interior. Over 1, 500 apsaras(Celestial dancers) line the walls of the gallery, offering endless visual the spiritual enchantment.
Only the king and the high priest were allowing on the upper or third level of Angkor Wat. This level lacks the stately covered galleries of the other two, but as the base of the five central towers, one of which contains the most sacred image of the temple, it has an equally important role in the architectural scheme. Like all of Angkor Wat, the statistics of this level are imposing. The square base is 60 meters long, 13 meters high, and rises over 40 meters above the second level. Twelve sets of stairs with 40 steps each-one in the center of each side and two at the corners-ascend at a 70 degree angle giving access to the topmost level.
The central sanctuary soars 42 meters above the upper level. Its height is enhanced by a tiered plinth. This central sanctuary originally had four porches opening to the cardinal directions and sheltered a statue of Vishnu. Today it is possible to make an offering to a modern image of the Buddha and light a candle in this sacred inner sanctum. The central core of the temple was walled up some time after the sacking of Angkor in the middle of the 15th century Nearly 500 years later French archaeologists discovered a vertical shaft 27 meters deep with a hoard of gold objects at its base.
Duration: 1 hour
Stop At: Angkor Thom, Angkor Wat, Siem Reap 17259 Cambodia
Angkor Thom, the last capital of Angkor Period (AD 802-1432) until the 15th century, was indeed a Great City as it name implies, and it served as the religious and administrative center of the vast and powerful Khmer Empire. The capital of King Jayavarman VII (Posthumous name: Mahaparamasangata) (AD 1181-1220), Angkor Thom, is a microcosm of the universe divided into four parts by the main axes. Bayon temple stands as the symbolic link between heaven and earth. The wall enclosing the city of Angkor Thom represents the stone wall around the universe and the mountain ranges around Meru. The surrounding moat suggests the cosmic ocean. This symbolism is reinforced by the presence of god Indra on his mount, the three-headed elephant.
Angkor Thom is encloses by an 8-meter-high laterite rampart that is laid out on a square grid of 3 kilometers long on each side. A moat with a width of 100 meters surrounds the outer wall. The city is accessed along five great causeways, one in each cardinal direction-Death Gate (east), Dei Chhnang (It is called this because according to local people, clay found at that gate makes Gate on the east aligned with the Terraces of good pots.) Gate (north), Takeo Gate (west), and Tonle Om (According to local legend, it was called Tonle Om because this was where boats were raced) Gate (south)-plus an additional Victory the Elephants and the Leper King. A tall gopura distinguished by a superstructure of four faces bisects the wall in the center of each side.
Four small temples, all called Chhrung (corner) temple, stand at each corner of the wall around the city of Angkor Thom. Made of sandstone and designed in a cross plan, the temple built by King Jayavarman VII to worship Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara(Cambodia calls Lokeshvara which mean Lord of the Word).An Inscription tells about its construction.
The stone causeways across the broad moat surrounding Angkor Thom with their unique gopuras, are one of the great sights at Angkor, never ceasing to fill visitors with wonder. The causeways leading to the gopuras are flanked by a row of 54 stone figures on each side-god on the left and demons on the right-to make a total of 108 mythical beings guarding each of the five approaches to the city of Angkor Thom. The demons have a grimacing expression and wear a military headdress, whereas the gods look serene with their almond-shaped eyes and conical headdress. The gods and demons hold the scaly body of a naga on their knees. This composition defines the full length of the causeway. At the beginning of the causeway, the naga spreads its nine heads in shape of a fan.
The five sandstone gopuras rise 23 meters to the sky and is crowned with four heads; one facing each cardinal direction. At the base of each gate are finely modeled elephants with three heads. Their trunks are plucking lotus flowers, in theory out of the moat. The god Indra sits at the center of the elephant with his consorts on each side. He holds a thunderbolt in his lower left hand. Stand in the center of the gopura, visitors will see a sentry box on each side. Also remains of wooden crossbeams are still visible in some of the gopuras. Beneath the gopura visitor can see the corbelled arch, a hallmark of Khmer architecture.
Duration: 1 hour
Stop At: Bayon Temple, Angkor Thom, Siem Reap Cambodia
The Bayon temple is located in the center of Angkor Thom. The temple is one of the most popular sites in the Angkor complex. It was built in the late 12th and early 13th centuries by King Jayavarman VII. The architectural composition of the Bayon exudes grandness in every aspect. Over 200 large faced caved on the 54 towers give this temple its majestic character, which at that time represents the 54 provinces in Cambodia. The iconography of the four faces has been widely debated by scholars and some think they represent the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, in keeping with the Buddhist character of the temple, it is generally accepted that the four faces on each of the towers are images of King Jayavarman VII and signify the omnipresence of the King.
The plan of the Bayon is presented on three separate levels. The first and second levels contain galleries featuring the bas-reliefs. The A 16-sided central sanctuary dominates the third level, which is cruciform in plan. Despite this seemingly simple plan, the layout of the Bayon is complex due to later additions, a maze of galleries, passages and steps, connected in a way that makes the levels practically indistinguishable and creates dim lighting, narrow walkways and ceiling.
Besides the architecture and the smiling faces, the highlight of Bayon is undoubtedly the bas-reliefs. The bas-reliefs on the inner gallery are mainly mythical scenes, whereas those on the outer gallery are a marked departure from anything previously seen at Angkor. They are unique and contain genre scenes of everyday life-markets, Fishing, festivals with cockfights and jugglers and so on-and historical scenes with battles and processions. The bas-reliefs are more deeply carved than at Angkor Wat, but the representation is less stylized. The scenes are presented mostly in two or three horizontal panels. The lower one, with an unawareness of the laws of perspective, shows the foreground; whereas the upper tier presents scenes of the horizon. They both exhibit a wealth of creativity. Descriptions of the bas reliefs in this guide follow the normal route for viewing the Bayon. They begin in the middle of the east gallery and continue clockwise. Visitors should keep the monument on their right.
Duration: 45 minutes
Stop At: Ta Prohm, National Road #6 Angkor Archaeological Park, Siem Reap 17252 Cambodia
Ta Prohm Temple (the temple was originally called Reach Vihear) is located about 1 kilometer east of the Victory Gate, Southeast of Ta Keo temple. Its rampart is near the northwest corner of the rampart of Banteay Kdey temple. The temple was built in AD 1186 by King Jayavarman VII, dedicating to his mother. Shrouded in jungle, Ta Prohm temple is ethereal in aspect and conjures up a romantic aura. Trunks of trees twist amongst stone pillars. Fig, bayan and kapok trees spread their gigantic roots over, under and in between the stones, probing walls and terraces apart, as their branches and leaves intertwine to form a roof above the structures.
The Sanskrit inscription on stone tells something about its size and function. Ta Prohm owned 3, 140 villages. It took 79, 365 people to maintain the temple including 18 high priests, 2, 740 officials, 2, 202 assistants and 615 dancers. Among the property belonging to the temples was a set of golden dishes weighing more than 500 kilograms, 35 diamonds, 40, 620 pearls, 4, 540 precious stones, 876 veils from China, 512 silk beds and 523 parasols.
The monastic complex of Ta Prohm is a series of long, low building standing on one level connected with passages and concentric galleries framing the main sanctuary. A rectangular, laterite wall, which is 700 by 1.000 meters enclose the entire complex. The east entrance is signaled by a gopura in the outer rampart of the temple. There is a sandstone hall just north of the gopura known as the Hall of Dancers which is distinguished by large, square pillars. The central sanctuary itself is easy to miss and stands out because of its absence of decoration. The stone has been hammered, possibly to prepare it for covering stucco and gilding, which has since fallen off. This accounts for the plainness of the walls of this important shrine. Evenly spaced holes on the inner walls of the central sanctuary suggest they were originally covered with metal sheets.
Duration: 45 minutes
- English Speaking Guide
- Air-conditioned vehicle
- Mineral water and cold towel (3 bottle of water each)
- Temple pass (1-day = US$37, 3-day = US$62, 7-day = US$ 72
- Personal expenses
- Not wheelchair accessible
- Not recommended for travelers with back problems
- Not recommended for pregnant travelers
- No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
- Most travelers can participate
- This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
- This tour/activity will have a maximum of 16 travelers
- Confirmation will be received at time of booking
You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.
For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours in advance of the start time of the experience.
Just returned from twelve days driving around Cambodia with Merry Travel Asia . We stayed in Siem Reap , Kratie, Phnom Penh and Battambang . What a great experience , the dolphins in Kratie and the Wats of Angkor were special highlights , topped off with a (totally organic) dinner on a local fa...Just returned from twelve days driving around Cambodia with Merry Travel Asia . We stayed in Siem Reap , Kratie, Phnom Penh and Battambang . What a great experience , the dolphins in Kratie and the Wats of Angkor were special highlights , topped off with a (totally organic) dinner on a local farm in the country side outside Siem Reap with Sam and friends. Thanks to Sam and his team all went smoothly and according to plan with good accommodation and friendly service throughout the trip. Lots of wonderful memories. Hope to see you again soon Sam. Steve Lever
Sam and the entire Merry Travel staff organized an amazing journey and adventure for my school group through Cambodia and Vietnam, during which we learned a lot and had life-changing experiences. Sam accompanied us through Cambodia and was there to help us at every turn. We visited Angkor Wat for...Sam and the entire Merry Travel staff organized an amazing journey and adventure for my school group through Cambodia and Vietnam, during which we learned a lot and had life-changing experiences. Sam accompanied us through Cambodia and was there to help us at every turn. We visited Angkor Wat for the first two days (and got to do some awesome biking through the temples), Tuol Sleng Prison and the Killing Fields on the second day (which was an emotionally challenging experience), and did service (painting murals) at a school in Kampot for the last three days. We were very lucky to have Sam, who is one of the kindest human beings I have ever met, and the rest of the Merry Travel staff with us as they showed us the wonderful culture and rich history of Cambodia. I definitely hope to revisit in the future!
With Sam we were able to bike around Cambodia to experience the local culture as well as visit various beautiful temples and learn more about the history of the country. One highlight from the trip was watching the sunrise over Angkor Wat with our group before visiting the temple later that day a...With Sam we were able to bike around Cambodia to experience the local culture as well as visit various beautiful temples and learn more about the history of the country. One highlight from the trip was watching the sunrise over Angkor Wat with our group before visiting the temple later that day and admiring the architecture of the temple. With Sam and his team we always felt safe and they were always ready to help with bikes and making sure we had everything we needed. Sam also coordinated the second half of our trip to Vietnam and we knew we were well cared for by the people he choose because of our trust in Sam.
Sam was genuinely one of the most kindest and generous people that I have ever met. While leading us through the backroads of Cambodia and the temples of Angkor Wat, Sam and his team were compassionate and knowledgeable and I couldn't have asked for a better experience. We spent the first couple ...Sam was genuinely one of the most kindest and generous people that I have ever met. While leading us through the backroads of Cambodia and the temples of Angkor Wat, Sam and his team were compassionate and knowledgeable and I couldn't have asked for a better experience. We spent the first couple of days off-road biking to the temples and witnessed monkeys on the side of the road, a beautiful hot-air balloon filled sky at sunset, a sunrise at one of the seven wonders of the world, and eating delicious Cambodian food every day. Sam also planned the Vietnam section of our trip exceptionally well and the transfer between Cambodia and Vietnam went without a hitch.
Sam was an incredible part of our experience in Cambodia. He accompanied us on a trip through Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, and Kampot that included some biking. He was professional without sacrificing kindness and understanding, and his relentless positivity brightened every day we had with him. Merry ...Sam was an incredible part of our experience in Cambodia. He accompanied us on a trip through Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, and Kampot that included some biking. He was professional without sacrificing kindness and understanding, and his relentless positivity brightened every day we had with him. Merry Travel Asia made our experience unforgettable, and they knew exactly what sites to take us to so we could have the best experience possible. We saw beautiful and awe-inspiring temples, a sunrise over Angkor Wat, countless rivers and lush forests, and great cities with vibrant culture and markets. Our group then continued to Vietnam for a week, and Sam was unable to come with us, but he made sure we would be with incredible people, most notably Thai of Mr. Biker Saigon. I did not get the chance to meet Merry Travel's Cambodia tour guides besides Sam, but if he trusts them, I have full confidence that they are great people who will do everything they can to make your time in Cambodia incredible. Sam is a truly special person who runs a truly special company that will give you a truly unforgettable adventure.
Had an amazing time biking around Cambodia with Sam and his team! Great way to see Angkor Wat and tour a beautiful country.Had an amazing time biking around Cambodia with Sam and his team! Great way to see Angkor Wat and tour a beautiful country.