Mid-Voyage Land Adventure: Angkor Wat - Temples & Culture
Once the capital of the Khmer Empire, Angkor's magnificent temple ruins have been declared a World Heritage Site. The Angkor Archaeological Park includes the legendary Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom. Abandoned in the early 15th century, the site remained unknown to the outside world until 1860, when a French botanist stumbled upon it in the jungle overgrowth. Today, Angkor is rated among the world's premier archaeological sites. Apart from the temple ruins, a look at local and Buddhist cultures as well as a silk farm will round out your visit to Cambodia.
02MIDSGN-J Angkor Temples & Buddhist Culture
Departure: March 2, 2013
Duration: 2.5 Days / 2 Nights
Re-join ship: March 4, 2013 at Bangkok
Reserve by: December 20, 2012
This Mid-Voyage Land Adventure requires advance booking through Silversea Reservations by December 20, 2012. Requests received after this date may be accommodated on a space-available basis and the programme price is subject to change. Payment in full is due within 120 days prior to sailing. This programme is non-refundable if cancelled within 90 days of sailing.
Guests on this Mid-Voyage Land Adventure must bring two passport-size photos with them for their visa.
Experience the magic of Angkor's Temple City, acclaimed to be one of the most incredible ancient monuments and Asia's premier archaeological attraction. Combined with visits to a living Buddhist monastery and the excellent Angkor National Museum will provide a more complete perspective of Khmer and Buddhist culture. The Angkor Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, encompasses Angkor Thom, the former capital of the Khmer Empire, and the magnificent temple complex of Angkor Wat.
Optional: A helicopter flight over Angkor's amazing UNESCO World Heritage Site will make your visit the ultimate Angkor experience. An approximate 8-minute flight provides a bird's eye view of the spectacular Angkor Wat complex. Longer flights are available to cover more of the enormous Angkor site and the surrounding areas. Equipment used are French-built Eurocopter AS350 B2 and B3 helicopters with luxury seating and flown by experienced expatriate pilots. The price for the 8-minute flight was $90 per person at the time of printing. Flights depart daily from the VIP apron adjacent to the Siem Reap International Airport. Times and flight routes may vary with weather conditions and passenger weights. If interested, please contact ShoreConcierge@Silversea.com for additional details and to reserve space. Guests taking the flight will have to miss some of the regular programme.
DAY ONE - Saturday, March 2, 2013 - Ho Chi Minh City/Siem Reap
Depart the ship after lunch and transfer to the Saigon International Airport for a one-hour flight to Siem Reap. Upon arrival, the local tour operator will handle visa formalities and escort you to the transfer vehicle that will take you to the five-star Sokha Angkor Hotel. Following check-in, be ready to have your photograph taken for the temple pass which will facilitate admittance to the Angkor Archaeological Park the next day. A buffet dinner is served at the hotel.
Overnight accommodation at the Angkor Sokha Resort Hotel - Siem Reap.
DAY TWO - Sunday, March 3, 2013 - Siem Reap/Angkor Temple Sites
After breakfast, drive to the entrance of the Angkor Archaeological Park (be sure to carry your temple pass with you). Begin with a visit to Angkor Thom, once the capital of the Khmer Empire founded by King Jayavarman VII in the late-12th century. Your bus will enter via the narrow South Gate and continue to famous Bayon, which was the state temple of the city. The temple's stunning architecture features 49 towers and a terrace full of enormous heads with smiling faces. It is Angkor Thom's most recognised site. Other highlights include the Terrace of Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King, representing one of Angkor's many mysteries.
Next, a short drive takes you to the site from where you follow a wooden walkway to Ta Phrom, one of Angkor's most atmospheric and photogenic temples. Here, the power of the jungle has invaded the ruins of this 800-year-old temple and giant tree roots twist around and through the crumbling walls. This incredible sight makes Ta Phrom one of the most visited temples. If the place looks familiar - you may have seen it in the movie Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie. Since 2010, restoration work has been in progress, which may block some of the previously famous postcard photo opportunities. However, you may still have to walk an uneven path through the forest to reach the ruins.
Return to your coach and transfer to the Tara Hotel for a buffet lunch.
After lunch, return to Siem Reap for a two-hour visit at the Angkor National Museum. The state-of- the-art museum provides a brilliant picture of the golden era of the Khmer Kingdom. Artefacts are displayed in eight galleries, and interactive exhibits enhanced by multi-media technology convey a deeper understanding about the historical and cultural importance of the Angkor civilisation. The museum features also an excellent gift shop.
Leaving the museum, prepare to see your last and most famous site of the day - Angkor Wat, recognised as the largest religious monument ever built and the most celebrated of the Angkor temples. Constructed over a period of 35 years, the site spans an area of 500 acres (202 hectares), and is surrounded by a 660-foot-wide (201-meter-wide) moat. The temple remained covered by dense jungle growth until the late-19th century, when French archaeologists began a long restoration process. While some sections are still in ruins, other areas are occupied by Buddhist monks and used for worship.
Entrance to this majestic and vast complex is via a long causeway across the moat. Then begin your exploration, following your guide on a walking tour through corridors and courtyards. Many of the walls are covered with bas-reliefs featuring battle scenes, dancing deities and visions of punishment in hell and rewards in paradise.
The top level of Angkor Wat, known as Bakan, was closed for renovation in 2007. Recently reopened, the Bakan is now accessible via a wooden staircase (about 50 steps) with handrails. A sacred area, it features hundreds of lifelike portraits of Khmer goddesses, or Apsaras. With the new opening come certain regulations: No more than 100 visitors at any one time are permitted at the top; the time allowed is limited to 15-20 minutes; visitors must be dressed modestly; on Buddhist holidays the Bakan is closed to tourists.
After a two-hour visit to the temple complex you will return to the hotel. Dinner this evening is enhanced by a performance of lovely Apsara dancers.
Overnight accommodation at the Angkor Sokha Resort Hotel - Siem Reap.
DAY THREE - Monday, March 4, 2013 - Siem Reap/Bangkok
Depart the hotel after breakfast and drive to the Angkor Silk Farm, about 30 minutes out of Siem Reap. Nestled in a grove of bamboo and mulberry trees, a workshop supported by Artisans d'Angkor introduces visitors to the traditional techniques of silk production in Cambodia. Skilled workers demonstrate how silkworms feed on mulberry trees and how the silk thread is removed from cocoons. Artisans work the thread prior to traditional dyeing and weaving into distinct Cambodian patterns. In an attractive showroom visitors can browse for scarves, clothes, accessories and home-furnishing designed in beautiful hand-woven fabrics. Artisans d'Angkor, created in 1992, is instrumental in providing high-skilled training for young people and a vocation from which they can make a living and thus increase families' income.
From the Angkor Silk Farm head back toward Siem Reap and the Wat Damnak Buddhist Monastery. Buddhist temples and pagodas are the foundation of Cambodia's community focused lifestyle. Located east of the Siem Reap River, this living monastery used to be a royal palace during the reign of King Sisowath. Today it is known for an extensive academic library and as the Centre of Khmer Studies and Culture promoting a greater understanding of Khmer culture. Buddhist monks, students and teachers come to the library to research and study. Take a walk through the landscaped grounds, enter one of the temples (shoes have to be removed), and be on the lookout for saffron-robed monks making their way from one building to another. Catching sight of the monks depends on the time of day.
Conclude your visit to Wat Damnak with a ten-minute ride aboard a local tuk-tuk, ending at the Central Market. Take time to browse the wide range of handicrafts and souvenir items, tempting would-be shoppers before a coach transfer back to the hotel. Check out and enjoy a light brunch before leaving for the airport, where an afternoon flight takes you to Bangkok.
Following Passport Control and Customs formalities, board the transfer coach for the drive to the Klong Toey Pier where the ship awaits your return.
Please note: This Mid-Voyage Land Adventure requires an extensive amount of walking, mostly on uneven ground, and climbing of steps at all major Angkor sites. This overland excursion is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or those who utilise a wheelchair. A Cambodian visa is included in the tour price. Visa formalities will be handled by our ground operator upon arrival at Siem Reap Airport. The visa for Vietnam is issued on board the ship and the visa fee charged to your shipboard account. Guests on this Mid-Voyage Land Adventure must bring two passport-size photos with them for their visa in order to participate. A Thai Immigration/ Landing Card is distributed aboard the flight from Siem Reap to Bangkok. Lightweight clothing and comfortable shoes are recommended as well as a sun hat and sunscreen. Entry to the Buddhist temple at the Wam Damnak Monastery requires modest dress and shoes to be left at the entrance. Carry a small amount of cash for any local purchases; both local currency and US dollars are accepted. Bargaining is common at markets. The tour itinerary and order of sites are subject to change and airline alterations to the flight schedules may affect the tour content. Space is limited, but a minimum of participants is required to operate this excursion.
· Two-night stay at the Angkor Sokha Resort Hotel (or similar) - Siem Reap
· Scheduled flights: Ho Chi Minh City/Siem Reap/Bangkok (Economy Class)
· Business Class upon request at an additional charge and subject to availability.
· Two breakfasts, one lunch, one light brunch and two dinners (lunch includes choice of two local beers, soft drinks, bottled water; beverage at dinner also includes house wine)
· All sightseeing and transfers as per itinerary
· Angkor Temple Pass
· Cambodian visa
Any meals and drinks not specified above, Vietnamese visa (will be issued on board and charged to guests' shipboard account), gratuities to drivers and tour guide, charges incurred by the airlines for excess or overweight luggage, laundry, telephone calls, cancellation insurance, and other personal items.
All Land Adventures require a minimum number of participants in order to operate as described. If this minimum number is not met, Silversea reserves the right to offer the programme at a different rate based on private arrangements, or to cancel the specific departure. Silversea's published cruise cancellation policy will remain in effect. All Land Adventure fares are subject to change and are not guaranteed until payment is received in full by Silversea. Onboard Spending Credit may not be applied to the purchase of this programme. All Land Adventures are non-transferable and non-refundable for any reason, within 90 days of sailing and are recommended to guests 18 years of age and older. This description is a general overview of this programme. Our local operator reserves the right to substitute other sites if local situations, including holidays, airline schedule changes, and weather, require. The programme described in this brochure is provided by independent contractors. Silversea acts solely as ticketing agent. Silversea shall have no obligation or liability of any kind to guests for the business practices, acts or omissions in connection with or arising out of arrangements with independent contractors, including but not limited to airline carriers, ground-tour operators, and hotels since they are neither agents for nor employees of Silversea Cruises. Silversea's liability does not extend beyond the vessel.