new heights on holiday in cambodia

angkor wat cambodiaMany travellers have the amazing temples of Angkor high on their must-see list, but Intrepid’s Anna Harvie chose to set her sights even higher on holiday in Cambodia

“Sunrise at Angkor Wat in Cambodia is always amazing, as you hear the monks chanting their morning mantras and see the golden rays of sun lighting up the thousand-year-old temples. It doesn’t matter how many times I visit, I could never tire of this sight.

But one of my best sunrises was when I went up in a balloon to see this spectacular event. The balloon is certainly cheaper and more accessible than helicopter if you want to witness Angkor by air – and from the sky is the perfect vantage point for a fresh perspective on how it all fits together. At ground level it’s sometimes hard to grasp the size and extent of the Angkor Empire and the waterways they built between temples.

There’s no chance of drifting towards Vietnam, as the giant balloon is attached to a guide rope on the ground. As the sun rises you look out in one direction to see the Angkor temples surrounded by jungle, with the formidable Angkor Wat in the centre framed by its massive moat. To the other side is the Cambodian countryside – rice paddies, wooden houses and buffalos sprawled out to the town of Siem Reap and the giant lake of Tonle Sap in the middle of the country.

Waking up in the dark is never fun, and there are always a few group members who nearly pull out of the adventure when their alarm goes off at 5.00am, but no-one ever regrets making the effort and sunrise at Angkor is so often a holiday highlight.”

Tour Cambodia with Intrepid on trips like these great small group adventure holidays:
Road to Angkor Westbound – 9 days
Cambodia Basix holiday – 15 days

* photo by Courtney Goddard – Intrepid Photography Competition

About the author

Sue Elliot - Like many of us, Sue contracted a serious travel bug at an early age. She's visited over 90 countries in search of a cure, but her wanderlust just seems to get worse. Thankfully at Intrepid Travel she's amongst people who understand the affliction and since 1998 Sue has enjoyed being our blog and newsletter editor. Here you'll find helpful travel advice and inspiring tales from Sue and other Intrepid travellers.

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I’ve never wanted to part with the cash required to do a hot air balloon, however reading this makes me want to head back to Angkor and get another perspective – maybe next time I will!

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