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Angkor Thom

There are so many Angkor Wat attractions that it is nearly impossible to list them all… of our top picks, should we have to pick one would certainly be Angkor Thom……. 

The large walled city complex of Angkor Thom was the last capital of the Angkorian era, built by Jayavarman VII during his extensive building programme in the late 12th to early 13th century, Angkor Thom remained the capital of the Angkorian civilisation until the 17th Century. The city is one of the largest of all ancient Khmer cities, at 9 square kilometres and has a 12km moat around the perimeter, inside the walls lie the temples of Bayon, Bauphon, the Royal Palace compound, and the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King. Also there are a number of smaller buildings, the twelve nearly identical towers of Prasats Suor Prat, the North and South Kleangs, and the Preah Pithu Group in the north-eastern corner. The majority of the buildings within Angkor Thom were built in the 12th & 13th centuries by king Jayavarman VII. The temple-mountain of Bauphon, the Phimeanakas temple in the middle of the Royal Palace compound, and the North & South Kleangs all existed before the walls of Angkor Thom were erected.

There are five entrances to Angkor Thom, north, south, east, west and the final gate named the “Victory Gate” lies on the east wall, 500m north of the east gate. The most used is the South Gate, the causeways over the wide moat are lined by stone guardian gods on the left and asura demons on the right side (when looking at the gate from the south causeway), the southern entrance is the best restored and due to its constant use it has not been a target of thieves as much as more secluded areas of the temples.

Angkor Thom is a gateway to many temples, and a main attraction of a visit to the Angkor temples.

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Angkor Thom Temple, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia

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