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Banteay Srei, Kbal Spean & Landmine Museum
Spend the day exploring two of Siem Reap's most impressive historical sites; Banteay Srei and Kbal Spean. You will also visit two educational centres, firstly to learn about wildlife conservation in Cambodia, and then to the poignant Landmine Museum.
We suggest starting early to try and reach Banteay Srei before anyone else even arrives. Whilst the temple is much less visited than the likes of Angkor Wat, it is arguably the best preserved of all the Angkor temples, and so very much worth a visit. Built from pink sandstone, Banteay Srei is often referred to as the 'Women's Temple', as it is believed only the daintiest of hands could have carved the intricate bas-reliefs which adorn the walls.
Continuing further into the countryside, you will reach Kbal Spean. This is one of the oldest Hindu sites in Cambodia, and wonderfully unique. Trek around three kilometres through the jungle to reach the ‘River of 1000 Lingas’. Here you will find a stone riverbed carved with images of animals, Hindu deities and some slightly more suggestive images!
Have lunch at a local restaurant before heading to the Angkor Centre for Conservation of Biodiversity (ACCB). Here you will learn about the threats to Cambodia's wildlife, and the centre's work to promote conservation through education, and to protect the local environment.
Your final stop of the day will be at the Landmine Museum, which was set up by Mr Aki Ra. Aki was a child soldier during the Khmer Rouge regime and has now dedicated his life to helping de-mine Cambodia, and assisting those injured by landmines. Whilst the museum has moving and often tragic displays, which cover the country's history during wartime and the damage that has been caused by landmines, there are also uplifting stories of survivors.
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