Angkor Thom


  • Location: Angkor Wat, Siem Reap 17259, Cambodia
  • Recommended reason: One part of Angkor Wat and the last capital of the Khmer Empire
  • Opening hours: 5:00-18:00
  • Recommended time to visit: 4-5 hours
  • Internet site:
  • Tickets: No tickets are required, including tickets for the Angkor Wat scenic spot: $20 for a 1day ticket, $40 for a 3 day ticket (any three days of the week), and $60 for a 7 day ticket (available for any seven days in a month); Children under the age of 12 and Cambodian residents are free. The fee includes a photo taken on site and the photo will be printed on the ticket.

Angkor Thom, Siem Reap

Where to visit in Siem Reap? As one part of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom is the last capital of the Khmer Empire, the “heart” of the Angkor monuments. Famous ruins such as the Bayon Temple are left in the ancient Angkor Thom. Angkor Thom is a place must visit in Siem Reap.


Angkor Thom facts:

Angkor Thom, Siem Reap

There are five gates in the Great Angkor City. There are Buddha statues on all sides of the door. There are long rows of stone statues on both sides of the door. It is already a famous attraction. There are many ruins of Angkor in the Angkor Thom. The more famous ones are Bayon, Baphuon, Phimeanakas, Terrace of the Elephants and Terrace of the Leper King.


Angkor Thom map:

Angkor Thom, Cambodia

Angkor Thom is the last capital of the Khmer Empire. It is 3 kilometers long and wide, and has a 100-meter wide trench on the outside. It can accommodate millions of people and is comparable to the Roman city.

The city center is cross-shaped and meets at the Bayon Temple. The entire Angkor Thom was designed and constructed in accordance with the Hindu cosmology: The Angkor Thom is square. The center is the Bayon Temple, which represents the center of the universe and is the place where the gods live. The surrounding buildings represent the entities of the world, and the four gates represent the four basic directions of the universe. Therefore, the greatest Hindu architecture is not in India but in Cambodia.

Each of the four sides has a city gate. There are two in the East Gate, one is called the Victory Gate, which is used to greet the returning soldiers. The other is the gate of the deceased. After the death, the remains are sent to cremation and burial.

West Gate is the gateway to the perpetrators. The losers of the war only return from the West Gate and are known as the unlucky gates. The North Gate is the door to the general public. Tourists mainly go to the Angkor Thom from South Gate.


Angkor Thom history:

Angkor Thom, Siem Reap

Angkor Thom is also known as the Great Angkor. It was built in the 9th century and covers an area of nearly 9 square kilometers. It is the capital of the King Jayavarman VII, and the last capital before the end of the glorious era of Angkor civilization. According to historical data, the city of Angkor in the late thirteenth century was full of bustling.


How to visit Angkor Thom?

Angkor Thom, Cambodia

The tour of Angkor Thom is generally from the south gate. There are 27 stone statues on both sides of the moat bridge outside the gate. The stone statue is about 2.5 meters high. These have a row of devas on the left and asuras on the right, each row holding a naga in the attitude of a tug-of-war. This appears to be a reference to the myth, popular in Angkor, of the Churning of the Sea of Milk. 

From the south gate to the north, you can see the Bayon Temple, which is the most magnificent and important building in the Angkor Thom. The top of the stupa of the Bayon Temple is the famous "Khmer smile", and the relief on the cloister wall is also worthy of careful appreciation. It is recommended to spend more time to visit here.

The northwestern side of Bayon Temple is Baphuon Temple. This common three-story platform building in Angkor was once the center of the old Angkor Thom. The bottom is carved with various animal statues, but the top has collapsed.

To the north of the Baphuon Temple is the Phimeanakas. Although it is called a palace, it is actually a temple in the palace. A gold pagoda was built on the top platform, but it is no longer visible. The real palace is about 200 meters northeast of the Phimeanakas. Because it is a wooden structure, it is no longer there, leaving only the entrance.

There are symmetrical Terrace of the Elephants steps and Terrace of the Leper King in the east of the original palace. If you enter the Angkor Thom from the Victory Gate, you can see it straight ahead. The Terrace of the Elephants is the king's review desk and the venue for the celebrations and the fights. The surviving giant elephant stone carvings are its greatest feature. The Terrace of the Leper King was the seat of the royal crematorium at the time, and was named after a statue of “Leper King” with no gender at the top of the platform.

In addition to these well-known ruins, there are other buildings such as the Zodiac Tower in Angkor Thom. If you have plenty of time, you can visit them one by one.


How to get Angkor Thom?

Angkor Thom, Siem Reap, Cambodia

  • No.1 It takes about 5 kilometers from Siem Reap Airport, about 8 dollars by taxi, and about 6 dollars by tuktuk.
  • No.2 From the urban area, it is usually a chartered car. The tuktuk is about 18 dollars a day, and the car is about 27 dollars a day. You have to talk to the driver about the price in advance.


Tips for visiting Angkor Thom :

It takes a long time to visit the Angkor Thom. You can bring your own food to eat in the Angkor Thom, then take the garbage away. Of course, you can also enter and exit the Angkor Thom many times, and each time you look at some of the attractions, it will be more casual.


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