After breakfast, we’ll head to the remote Angkor capital of Koh Ker. In 10th century, King Jayavarman IV (928-942) felt out with his family, stormed off to the Northwest and established the rival capital of Koh Ker. Although the capital was just for 15 years, Jayavarman IV had left a legacy of 30 major temples and gargantuan sculptures that are on display in the National Museum at Phnom Penh. We’ll visit Prasat Thom, a seven-storey step pyramid, more Mayan than Khmer, with commanding view over the surrounding forest, nearby Prasat Krahom or Red Temple, and other temples including Prasat Pram, Prasat Balang, Prasat Krachap, Prasat Damrei Krap, the five towers of Prasat Ling, each enclosing a giant Lingas or fertility symbol, the biggest and best found anywhere in Cambodia.
Continue to the big temple of Beng Mealea, a slumbering giant lost for centuries in the forests. It is the most accessible one amongst Angkor’s lost temples, but utterly consumed by the voracious appetite of nature. Constructed by King Suryavarman II in the 12th century, the builder of Angkor Wat, the forest has run riot and it is hard to get a sense of the monument’s shape amid the daunting ruins. After the visit, we continue our way and arrive in Siem Reap for the night. Lunch at local restaurant between visits. Overnight in Siem Reap.