Here is the ideal first-time Angkor Wat tour. Two nights and two intensive days sightseeing with a private car, driver and guide topped off with a night at the circus!
Essential Angkor is our basic two-day, two night introduction to Angkor Wat for first-toime visitors and those who can not afford to spend more time here. You get a great hotel, daily breakfast, airport transportation and two intensive days of days touring with a private car, driver, Purple Dragon guide and Angkor admission. Purple Dragon pioneered LGBT tours in Asia.
Our Basic "First Time" Angkor Wat Tour
The Angkor archaeological site is spread over 400 square kilometers of Cambodian countryside. While we recommend a stay of at least four days to get the most from a visit to Angkor Wat, you can see the most important ruins in two full days. We use private guides and late-model, air conditioned cars. Our guides are adept at avoiding the gigantic tour buses that all seem to arrive at a temple ruin simultaneously. If you have a bit more time, please consider our Angkor Adventure program, which includes more comprehensive sightseeing. We may adjust the itinerary below to accommodate your arrival and departure flight times. While Purple Dragon was founded to serve LGBT guests, you do not have to be gay to enjoy adventure of a lifetime. Our mainstream guests choose Purple Dragon because they know they will get something better from a gay tour company.
Day One: Legacy of the God-Kings
Arrive on an early morning flight and follow your personal guide through the south gate of Angkor Thom, a city-fortress of perfect proportions designed at the height of Angkor's artistic daring. Wander awestruck by the sheer magnitude of these haunting remnants of celestial cities modeled on Hindu cosmology. The jewel of this immense collection of temples and palaces is the temple of Bayon, with its sensational, towering stone faces and epic sculpture galleries. Beyond are the Terrace of the Leper King and the Terrace of the Elephants. The remainder of the day is devoted to Angkor Wat, epicenter of an empire that once stretched to present-day Burma. Centered within a mile-square moat, it is probably the largest religious monument ever built. The portico still resonates with visions of saffron-robed monks and muscled artisans carving a mile of stone reliefs depicting the Ramayana epic and the military conquests of the god-kings who built Angkor. If you like, climb the steep steps to the very zenith of the temple for a glorious view. End this most amazing day with a million riel sunset. (The riel is the national currency.)
Day Two: Off the Tourist Radar
Continue your adventure early to take advantage of the cool morning. You will no doubt see busloads of tourists being herded about and will appreciate having your personal guide all to yourself as you wander, awestruck, through the ficus root-engulfed temple of Ta Phrom, built to house the divine image of the Queen Mother, Ta Keo, where five towers rest atop a five-tiered pyramid, Srah Srang, a ritual bath large enough for a thousand women; and the Eastern Mebon, a terraced pyramid that was once an island on a man-made lake larger than all of ancient Rome. Tonight, why not enjoy a culinary adventure in one of Siem Reap's traditional garden restaurants, where a feast can be had cheaply? If you are a Club Sanook Memberyou get a night at Phare, the Cambodian Circus free.
Day Three: Stay Longer, See More
Your morning is free until your transfer to the airport. If you depart on an evening flight, consider delving deeper into the mysterious and un-touristy jungle to the unforgettable River of 1000 Lingas, or experience an unforgettable scenic flight by helicopter. Alternatively, there's plenty more to see and do in and around Siem Reap including Overlooked Angkor. Trained, licensed guides are in short supply and should be arranged in advance.
Prices and Hotels
Prices depend on your choice of hotel and when you want to travel. We offer eight different hotels in Siem Reap, ranging from three to five stars. All of the hotels we use are carefully chosen for location, amenities, quality of service, security and value. We use only hotels that are LGBT-friendly.
To see prices and compare hotels please click on the "$" button on the left. If you have questions or suggestions about the hotels we use, please email us.
Custom vacations are our specialty. If this travel package is not exactly what you are looking for, we may be able to modify it to make it a perfect fit.
Includes: round trip private airport transportation, LGBT-friendly hotel accommodations, tax, service, and daily breakfast beginning on day 2, two days of sightseeing with personal guide, private car and driver, 3-day admission pass to Angkor sites. Extra day option includes guide, car and driver. Not included: air tickets, other meals and drinks, other admissions, gratuities, features not specifically mentioned in the itinerary, or items of a purely personal nature.
Club Sanook Member bonuses: Members can get an instant discount when you combine Essential Angkor and our Phnom Penh package. See details on the Club Sanook website. You must indicate you are a Member when you reserve. You can join today free! Just click "Join the Club."