For your first day in Siem Reap I would recommend waking up bright and early for a sunrise tour of Angkor Wat. It is the most magical way to see the temple as the morning begins I will take you around the complex teaching you about Cambodia’s great history and the great Khmer Empire. After seeing the site and a meal we will utilise the iconic tuk tuk to explore the other temples of Angkor. Angkor has so many temples within the area from the many faces of Bayon to Ta Prom’s jungle setting, I know all the temples within the area and can take you to the most popular to the lesser known spots. We will also feed an elephant a coconut (but no riding on my tours).
Angkor is a huge area with so much to see but within one full day I will be able to take you to all the best temples and return you to your hotel in the afternoon.
In the evening I would recommend visiting the performance of Apsara dancing and the other traditional dances. The experience is a must while in Cambodia and a good way to finish a big day of temple exploring.
I will always recommend to my guests taking my time to visit the sacred hilltop range Phonm Kulen (but mostly known as Kulem Mountain). It is a holy mountain in Cambodia and Hindu and Buddhist monks come to the mountain in pilgrimage but also locals love coming here to swim, picnic and be with family. In the morning we will go to see the reclining Buddha on a natural rock, the largest Buddha in the country built in the 16th century. I always will take my guests to the 1000 lingas under water built in 802AD. After that we will stop for lunch trying some of the local favourite food in stalls (if you are brave). In the afternoon we will go to secret waterfall, a local favourite to relax and unwind.
After returning to Siem Reap, if time permits I always recommend guests to visit the war museum to learn about the civil war and killing fields in Cambodia to understand more about the people of this country and what they have been through.
Last but not least, my favourite temples to take my guests to. We will go out further to visit the lost kingdom of Koh Ker built in 921AD (older than Angkor Wat). Many tourist do not stay long enough to see these sites and they are just as magnificent as temples in the Angkor area. We will climb the 7 floor pyramid and explore untouched temples taken over by the rainforest. We will have lunch out near the temples and then return back to Siem Reap for the Floating villages.
The floating villages are a completely unique experience to Siem Reap. The people who live in these villages built their houses there are built on floating objects so they can move with the current and live off the biggest freshwater lake in Asia. It is a perfect location to enjoy sunset and end the day off in a special, authentically Cambodian way.