Behind-the-scenes Angkor temple tours
Ever wondered what secrets lie hidden behind the ancient stone walls of Angkor’s temples? We’ll explore Cambodia’s temple legacy beyond the usual pathways. Behind-the-Scenes Angkor Temple Tours from MySiemReapTours reveal the untold history of a civilization long gone. Discover these on our unique tours:
- Exclusive Insights: Explore areas of Angkor that remain unseen by most tourists.
- Cultural Riches: Delve into the historical and cultural significance of each site.
- Architectural Marvels: Witness the intricate artistry and engineering feats of the Khmer Empire.
- Personalized Experiences: Enjoy tours tailored to provide an intimate connection with Angkor’s history.
- Sustainable Tourism: Learn how we contribute to preserving these magnificent sites for future generations.
The magnificent Angkor temple complex in Siem Reap, Cambodia, rivals the greatest historical sites on earth. Over 1,000 years old and spread across 150 square miles, Angkor served as the thriving capital of the ancient Khmer Empire. Today, it attracts over 2 million visitors annually who come to marvel at anchor temples like the iconic Angkor Wat.
But most tourists only scratch the surface of Angkor’s wonders. Very few gain access to restricted areas for a behind-the-scenes look at the complex’s hidden secrets and ancient mysteries.
As an experienced Siem Reap tour operator and lifelong Angkor scholar, I’ve had the rare privilege of going deeper through special permissions and relationships built on trust.
In this blog post, I’ll guide you through planning the insider temple tour of a lifetime, revealing the layers of history and beauty that go beyond the ordinary. You’ll discover:
- What exactly do behind-the-scenes Angkor tours unlock, and why they’re worth the effort
- Where you can access off-limits temple regions as part of guided small group or private tour packages
- When is the ideal time to visit for in-depth adventures beyond the standard routes
- How to identify reputable tour organizers and specialized guides to lead your journey of discovery
Let’s uncover the most intriguing parts of Angkor that most visitors never get to witness!
The Magic of Venturing “Behind-the-Scenes”
Behind-the-scenes Angkor temple tours open up a gateway to areas within the sprawling complex that are normally restricted and hidden away beyond barriers or signs marked “Staff Only.”
By adventuring into these off-the-beaten-path places with expert local guides, you’ll get to:
- Examine intricate bas reliefs and carvings up-close that the public can’t access
- Enter ancient shrines and chambers still being restored and conserved
- Climb up steep stone steps to towering temple peaks
- Explore atmospheric tunnels and galleries
- Discover overgrown ruins being reclaimed by nature’s creep
- Witness master artisans practicing traditional methods of preservation
- Learn directly from our local experts who are actively at the ruins each day
In essence, you’ll see a vastly more raw and nuanced version of Angkor beyond the more commonly toured sites.
One fascinating example is being able to climb the central tower of the iconic Bayon temple within the walled city of Angkor Thom, which has been off-limits to visitors for over a decade. But on special tours I’ve led, we ascended into Bayon’s uppermost peak to take in the breathtaking vistas and gaze over dozens of the giant stone faces for which Bayon is known.
Moments like those stick with you forever!
Of course respecting these ancient sanctuaries is paramount so responsible guidence by those granted access is key. But the rewards of journeying into the lesser seen sides of the 12th – 15th century Khmer Empire capital – especially temples, shrines and sites still enduring repair – offers an unparalleled window into history.
Embracing Angkor’s Mystique
Angkor, a name that evokes a sense of mystery and grandeur, has long captivated the hearts of travelers and history enthusiasts alike. As the guardians of these ancient treasures, we at MySiemReapTours understand the significance of a well-curated tour.
Top Angkor Areas Tours Can Unlock
Many sections around Angkor Wat itself as the world-famous centerpiece imply aren’t included on ordinary tours. But behind-the-scenes experiences can incorporate:
- The uppermost peak of Angkor Wat’s central towers
- Secluded western-facing spots perfect for watching the sunset
- Quiet halls and únfinished wall carvings in more isolated areas
- Access to active restoration efforts like the northern libraries
- Stairways and viewpoints along the exterior walls and hidden corners
In Angkor Thom, the fortified inner city enclosing temples like Bayon, tours can take you:
- To the striking Terrace of the Leper King and Elephants rarely included on standard circuits
- Up Bayon’s off-limits central towers mentioned earlier
- Inside archaeological digs within structures still being unearthed
Outlying ruins with limited access like:
- Beng Mealea – an overgrown 12th century temple 60km from Siem Reap surrounded by nature running rampant
- Koh Ker – a 10th century pyramid temple and once rival capital 100km from Siem Reapclaimed by the jungle
- Banteay Chhmar – a sprawling, partially collapsed 12th century temple near the Thai border undergoing painstaking restoration
Visit Beng Mealea and our private Beng Mealea Siem Reap tour
All offer one-of-a-kind glimpses of Angkor less trodden by tourists.
Even more options open up by arranging custom private tours through reputable guides with special authorizations. This might include rarely explored corners of:
- Jungle-entangled Ta Prohm made famous in Tomb Raider
- The ancient walled city of Angkor Thom with entrances like the Gate of the Dead
- Preah Khan temple and the surrounding forest
- 12th century stone temples like Banteay Srei or Banteay Samre undergoing conservation
The possibilities span far and wide – only limited by imagination, timing and responsible caretaking of these sacred sites.
A Glimpse into Our Exclusive Tours: What We Offer
Our Exclusive Tour Experience: Our behind-the-scenes tours are designed to offer an intimate experience. We take pride in showcasing Angkor’s hidden corners and sharing stories that bring these stone walls to life.
Testimonials from Satisfied Visitors:
“The behind-the-scenes tour was a revelation. It felt like we were stepping into a hidden world that few get to see. Absolutely unforgettable!” – Emily R.
Discovering Angkor’s Hidden Face: Ideal Timing & Booking
With strategic planning using an experienced tour organizer, remarkable behind-the-scenes temples experiences are within reach on custom itineraries.
The annual rainy season from May to October brings lusher jungle scenery but heavier crowds during clearer days. November to March sees less visitors so access may be easier to negotiate. Peak summer months tend to be busiest.
Aim for morning hours starting just after dawn when lighting is optimal and before most large tour buses arrive. Late afternoons are also good for cooler temperatures.
Embark on an Unforgettable Quest of Discovery
Very few fortunate travelers get to pull back the veil shrouding Angkor’s hidden beauty. By embarking on behind-the-scenes temple tours guided by trustworthy stewards, you’ll uncover the true heart of this ancient wonderland.
Additional Exciting Inclusions of every Private Tour
These personalized temple tours led by experts go beyond normal tourist routes to show you hidden temples and insights into Angkor as an advanced cosmology replicated on earth. Additional exciting inclusions of these exclusive behind-the-scenes excursions include:
- Professional guides lead tours deciphering intricate symbolic carvings and navigating the temples as a 3D cosmological model – Learn about the temples mirroring star patterns, functioning as calendars marking solstices and equinoxes, and sophisticated engineering integrating water management
- See ongoing preservation efforts like anastylosis revealing damaged carvings and stabilization securing unstable structures for the future
- Local perspectives from guides offering a window into modern Cambodian life interwoven with enduring temples
- Transport in premium air-conditioned vehicles, an enriched experience limited to 6 or fewer to allow personalized attention from your expert guide
- Luxury indulgences like refreshments, cold water towels, reclining seats, keeping you refreshed during temple explorations
- The flexibility of setting your own pace whether preferring to linger over details or see an expansive overview customized around your interests
- Contextual primers before temple visits highlighting key details to understand the advanced celestial alignments, symbolic artistry and archaeological wonders
- Engaging interpretation of cosmological layouts, inscriptions on hidden passageways, intricate apsara depictions and water engineering integrated across the sprawling sacred landscape
I hope this insider overview has sparked inspiration to plan your own journey of revelation among Angkor’s secluded sanctuaries! Let me know in the comments if you have any other questions.
For personalized help crafting a custom Angkor Wat small group or private tour delving into secret corners beyond the tourist track, get in touch with me here. My team and I would be thrilled to start co-creating your dream Southeast Asia vacation.
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