"Angkor Thom - Last and Largest" Angkor Thum by AlbuqRay
Angkor Thum Travel Guide: 274 reviews and 981 photos
Angkor Thom was the last capital city of the Khmer empire. As you can see from a map, it covers 9 square kilometers. For comparison, Angkor Wat is 1.2 square kilometers, including the moat. Angkor Thom was established by King Jayavarman VII, who ruled for 38 years (1181-1219). The last temple known to have been constructed was Mangalartha, which was dedicated in 1295. Among many others, Angkor Thom includes the Bayon, Baphuon, and Phimeanakas temples. The central square is surrounded by the entrance to the Baphoun, the Terrace of the Elephants, the Terrace of the Leper King, the North and South Kleangs, and the 12 Towers of Prasat.
My tour started at the south gate. Of the five Angkor Thom gates, it is the most popular gate for tourists since the main road north from Angkor Wat (1.1 km south) goes through it. We parked the tuk tuk outside the gate and first toured Baksei Chamkrong, which is just a little southeast of the gate. After examining the south gate, we drove to the east side of the Bayon (BTW, where there are restrooms) to start our walking tour. While Peng Thai and I were touring the Bayon, it started to rain but not too hard. We exited the Bayon on the north side and walked to the causeway for the Baphuon, which is east of the temple in the southwest corner of the Central Square. By then it had pretty much stopped raining.
After touring the Baphuon, we exited on the east side and went north and west through a gate in the fence around the Royal Enclosure. After walking around the back side (west side) of Phimeanakas, we went north to the pools, then out the east gate of the Royal Enclosure to the Central Square and the Terrace of the Elephants. We then walked across the Central Square to the North Kleang. Sophen met us there with the tuk tuk and we drove out Victory Gate, the east gate of Angkor Thom. The total time spent at Angkor Thom was about three hours.
- Pros:Many things to see in one place
- Cons:Even though it is huge, the popular temples tend to be crowded
- In a nutshell:More than one hundred years of Khmer legacy
My typical scenario while visiting the Angkor Temple Complex was to start early (~7 AM), go back to town for lunch, stay... more travel advice
The Terrace of the Elephants is a 350 meter long terrace along the west side of the Central Square. It has five outworks... more travel advice
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