Enjoy a full-day excursion to the mysterious 11th-century temple of Beng Mealea in the sprawling jungle, and continue to the early Angkor temples of the Khmer Empire at the temples of the Roluos Group.
Pick-up from your Siem Reap hotel at 08:00, drive through the Cambodian outback for approximately 36 miles (60 kilometers) to the enigmatic 11th-century Beng Melea Temple, an Angkor-style temple where the vines and roots of ancient trees grow through the broken galleries.
The impressive “lost” temple complex is primarly made from sandstone and contains carvings of Buddhist motifs, along with carvings of scenes from Hindu mythology among the towers, courtyards, and piles of stones lying in heaps among the thick brush.
After lunch at a local restaurant, continue to the early Angkor temples of the Roluos group. You will visit Preah Ko to see the first temple built in the ancient city of Hariharalaya. Preah Ko (Sacred Bull) takes its name from the 3 sandstone statues that face the temple’s central towers, representing the white bull that served as the mount of Shiva.
Continue to the temple mountain of Bakong, the state temple of King Indravarman I in Hariharalaya, and admire fragments of the original bas reliefs. Next, view the carved lintels of the temple of Lolei, the last of the 3 temples of Hariharalaya.
Return to Siem Reap for a buffet dinner, and be dazzled by the costumed dancers presenting a graceful display of Cambodian folk stories during an Apsara dance show.