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Welcome to the Cambodia! Upon arrival, you will be met by your tour guide and driver before being transfered to your hotel. A sight seeing tour of the city will take in the Royal Palace, the incredible solid silver-floored Silver Pagoda and the National Museum, a treasure chest of Angkorian and pre-Angkorian artifacts before ending our city tour with a visit to Wat Phnom pagoda and shopping at the Russian market.
After breakfast we travel southwest of Phnom Penh to Choeung Ek. The memorial just outside Phnom Penh was an orchard and a Chinese cemetery prior to 1975. During the Khmer Rouge regime, it became one of the killing fields, the site of the brutal executions of more than 17,000 individuals, most of who first suffered through torture and deprivation in Toul Sleng Prison. Choeung Ek is now a group of mass graves and a memorial stupa containing thousands of skulls. This evening, enjoy a boat cruise on the Mekong River and take in the local night life.
After breakfast we leave Phnom Penh and travel to Kompong Thom province. The province is large in size with some 13,814 km2 making it the second biggest province of Cambodia. It is one of the most popular historical and cultural sites to explore due to its pre Angkorian temples. Later visit Sambor Prei Kuk, the most impressive group of pre-Angkorian monuments in Cambodia.
Today we continue to Siem Reap to visit the Angkor Wat Temple. This architectural master piece was built in the 12th century, took 30 years to complete and represents the Khmer civilization at its grandest. Covering 81 hectares, it is one of the largest religious monuments ever built. Angkor Wat (the biggest Hindu temple in the world and one of the largest religious monuments in the world, was built between the 9th – 13th century. In the early evening climb to Bakheng Hill to enjoy the superb view as the sun sets over Angkor Wat.
Today is spent further exploring the Angkor Wat complex, entering the South Gate of Angkor Thom Temple marvel at the wonders of the eerie Bayon, the terrace of Elephants and the terrace of the Leper King. Afterwards, we continue to visit Ta Prohm temple, shrouded in jungle and left just it was founded by French explorers in 1850s. This afternoon we set out for a cruise on the beautiful Tonle Sap Lake passing a typical floating village observing the locals in their daily life.
Today travel to Banteay Srey, built largely of red sandstone, which is covered with elaborate and intricate carvings. Later visit Banteay Samre, consisting of a central temple with four wings preceded by a hall and accompanied by two libraries, the southern most of which is remarkably well preserved. The Srah Srang, a royal bathing Palace, located east of Banteay Kdei is our next destination. Next continue to the Banteay Kdei Temple, a massive Buddhist monastery from the latter part of the 12th century, surrounded by for concentric walls. Later take in Ta Keo, an incomplete temple in the Khleang style built as the state temple of Jayavarman V. Finally we finish with Thommanon Temple, one of a pair of Hindu temples built in the end of the 11th century.
After breakfast visit Beng Mealea Temple, a spectacular jungle temple around 60km drive to the north east of Siem Reap. It is one of the "new" highlights of Cambodia; having only been cleared of mines at the end of 2003. Built by Jayarvaman VII; in the style of Angkor Wat; its scale is huge. Being well over one square kilometer in area and all located within a moat. Approached by four causeways, Beng Mealea appears to be a huge pile of rubble partially hidden in the trees, it's not until you get closer to the high walls that the ancient Khmer Architecture reveals itself. Cloaked in vegetation the temple looks as it did when French explorers first stumbled across it.
Enjoy a leisurely morning today and perhaps visit the local markets in Siem Reap for some last minute souvenir shopping. Please note that hotel check out time is 12:00. Later this afternoon we will transfer you to the airport for your flight to Hong Kong (FLIGHTS AND HONG KONG ACCOMMODATION BOOKED BY YOUR RTW EXPERTS CONSULTANT).
Welcome to China and the start of your city break! Enjoy an arrival transfer to your hotel upon your arrival at Beijing's international airport. Remainder of the day at leisure.
Today a sightseeing tour takes in Tiananmen Square, a public square that also happens to be the world’s largest. Everything is large in China, including the former imperial residence of the imperial emperors of China. The Forbidden City, once forbidden to all but individuals on imperial business is a 720,000 sq m concoction dominated by vast gates, temples, halls and palaces replete with imperial yellow tiled roofs. Surrounded by a protective moat, it is said the Forbidden City comprises some 9999 rooms! At Silk Alley, there’s a chance to splash some cash in a retail haven that is a Beijing institution. Tonight enjoy a traditional Chinese dinner at a city restaurant.
Some say it can be seen from space, but unless you’re a top gun at NASA, perhaps you’ll never know. Instead, experience the real deal. Today, an excursion beyond Beijing to Badaling takes in an imposing section of the Great Wall. The sometimes steep walk is made all the more breathtaking by the stunning views and the realisation that this 2,200 year-old wall isn’t just a common or garden wall, but a 6700 kilometre wall that at one time served to protect the new China from marauding invaders from the north. Today’s excursion then continues to the imperial Ming tombs, where some 13 emperors were interred in elaborate mausoleums, a couple of which can be seen.
A free day to enjoy Beijing your way. Located in an area between Wanfujing and the east wall of the Forbidden City, perhaps head to the hutongs, where the hire of a rickshaw will take you through Beijing’s old back lanes that are lined with courtyard homes and offer a fascinating snapshot of the city’s traditional domesticity. In the Qianmen area, south of Tiananmen Square, you’ll find many shops with original facades, selling Mongolian hot pots, silks and other items, not to mention Chinese apothecaries offering a selection of traditional medicines comprising deer antler, fungus and other unusual ingredients. Also consider visiting Wanfujing Street, one of the busiest retail streets in the city.
Today marks the end of your adventure with On the Go Tours. After breakfast and hotel check out we will transfer you to the airport for your onward departure flight.