Banteay Chhmar Temple Safari

2 days / 1 nights

Temple Safari is our signature trip and the most popular of the safaris that Hanuman has created. Guests can be transported back in time to an era before mass tourism and enjoy the intimacy and privacy of a remote jungle temple all to themselves. Solitary sunsets, spiritual sunrises, the Temple Safari experience brings the magic back to travel. In the northwest reaches of Cambodia stands the fabulous 12th Century temple of Banteay Chhmar. Currently undergoing extensive renovations, this complex offers some superb examples of Jayavarman VII face temples. Our camp here is set by the walls of an atmospheric face temple smothered in jungle.

In brief

  1. Day 1: Siem Reap to Banteay Chhmar
  2. Day 2: Banteay Chhmar to Siem Reap

In detail

Day 1: Siem Reap to Banteay Chhmar

Today, we travel northwest from Siem Reap to the incredible jungle temple of Banteay Chhmar, famous for its signature faces of Jayavarman VII. We travel to Svay Sisophon. We then continue to the main temple of Banteay Chhmar for a thorough exploration. We see the magnificent carvings of Lokesvara with 32 arms, nicknamed lok sam-pee (Mr 32) by Khmers, as well as the beautiful Hall of Dancers, similar to the famous Preah Khan. After clambering about among this sleeping giant, we continue to explore the outer complex, including the outer gate of Ta Prohm, like a smaller cousin of the impressive Angkor Thom gates and protected by a moat. We spend the night in our safari tent under the shadow of a jungle-clad temple with four faces.

Day 2: Banteay Chhmar to Siem Reap

After enjoying an optional sunrise at beautiful Banteay Chhmar, we leave some free time to explore some of the more remote outer gates and temples around the main complex. We continue south to the enigmatic temple of Banteay Top. Here the central tower has collapsed, only to be rebuilt and resembles a precarious tower of building blocks. The interior includes original wooden supports, a rarity in this tropical climate. We then journey south to the provincial capital of Svay Sisophon where we have a local lunch. There may be time to take a look at the bustling market, which is crammed with goods from nearby Thailand. We then continue west to Siem Reap, where we enjoy some time to wind down in our hotel after our road trip.