Drive brings you to Cambodia’s foremost wildlife sanctuary and zoo at Tamao Mountain. Known as Phnom Tamao
, this wildlife center is home to endangered species saved from poachers or otherwise orphaned. Be sure to have your camera on hand as you pass by tigers, sun bears, leopards, exotic birds, and countless other native species. Continue to travel through rural countryside, with a stop for lunch at a local restaurant or one of the popular lakeside picnicking spots along Tonle Bati.
In addition to being a favorite retreat from the city, Tonle Bati
is the site of two 12-century temples on the itinerary. The first, Ta Prohm, was once populated by over 12,000 people. Now it stands half-consumed by the jungle, enormous roots and tree trunks cascading over its walls, one of the area's most haunting sights. Although the temple itself has been stabilized to ensure safe passage, the striking images of Mother Nature repossessing what had been for so long forgotten will stay etched in your mind. In contrast, the second temple is situated beside a more recently added pagoda. Yeay Peau is a single sandstone tower covered by ancient, weather-worn carvings. Learn the histories of both of these once-rich and powerful temples before returning to Phnom Penh.