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Angkor Thom, Siem Reap
(4.8/5 based on 5,500+ reviews on the web)
Angkor Thom features the epic remains of the last "great city" of the Khmer Empire. Founded in the 12th century by King Jayavarman VII, the city was a true administrative, military, and religious center of the kingdom. The wooden structures have long collapsed, but the stone walls, five gates, and terraces adorned with elaborate carvings still remain, with some portions completely restored--such as the popular south gate. To approach this gate you need to walk through a moat between two rows of statues holding the seven-headed Naga (giant serpent)--symbolizing the passage from the world of people to the world of goods. A Buddhist temple sited at the center inside the walls represents the connection between heaven and earth. Do not miss the terrace decorated with elephant carvings where royal parties took place. Using our international travel planner, Siem Reap attractions like Angkor Thom can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • It was a treasured experience that will remain with us forever as we walked through the great gates , walking through the history of the great khmer kingdom. The south gate was particularly awesome. W...  more »
  • I think this was the most impressive temple complex for it's sprawling footprint with lots of undisturbed and quieter areas. This is a must-see. 
  • Smaller than Angkor Wat I feel this site exhudes much more of a spiritual presence than it's sister location. While physically much smaller I feel it contains a great deal more detail and feeling. Tic...  more »
Google
  • Angkor Wat, Preah Khan and Neak Pean are my pick of the area. Angkor Thom has the famous Buddha faces but the reality is that most of the area is grass and trees. Caveat: If you are into the temples, go for the others in the area but those mentioned above are better. If you can, go late morning or early afternoon, as this seems to be when the tourist busses are moving their hordes to meals and shops. Like me, feel free to tell the Chinese language guides to keep their voice down - really not necessary to be heard 50 metres away. Be warned: in 2017, the government is doubling and maybe tripling the entry ticket prices. Would be nice to see the tens of millions of USD raised going to more restoration and conservation.
  • Angkor Thom (Khmer: អង្គរធំ; literally: "Great City"), located in present-day Cambodia, was the last and most enduring capital city of the Khmer empire. It was established in the late twelfth century by King Jayavarman VII.:378–382:170 It covers an area of 9 km², within which are located several monuments from earlier eras as well as those established by Jayavarman and his successors. At the centre of the city is Jayavarman's state temple, the Bayon, with the other major sites clustered around the Victory Square immediately to the north. Map of Central Angkor Thom Angkor Thom was established as the capital of Jayavarman VII's empire, and was the centre of his massive building programme. One inscription found in the city refers to Jayavarman as the groom and the city as his bride.:121 Angkor Thom seems not to be the first Khmer capital on the site, however. Yasodharapura, dating from three centuries earlier, was centred slightly further northwest, and Angkor Thom overlapped parts of it. The most notable earlier temples within the city are the former state temple of Baphuon, and Phimeanakas, which was incorporated into the Royal Palace. The Khmers did not draw any clear distinctions between Angkor Thom and Yashodharapura: even in the fourteenth century an inscription used the earlier name. :138 The name of Angkor Thom—great city—was in use from the 16th century. The last temple known to have been constructed in Angkor Thom was Mangalartha, which was dedicated in 1295. Thereafter the existing structures continued to be modified from time to time, but any new creations were in perishable materials and have not survived. The Ayutthaya Kingdom, led by King Borommarachathirat II, sacked Angkor Thom, forcing the Khmers under Ponhea Yat to relocate their capital southeast:29 Angkor Thom was abandoned some time prior to 1609, when an early western visitor wrote of an uninhabited city, "as fantastic as the Atlantis of Plato":140 It is believed to have sustained a population of 80,000–150,000 people.
  • HUGE! Awesome! The 10 kilometers of ruins/temples is astounding. Highly recommended. Gets super hot so bring water and also if you can spread your exploration over a couple of days might be a good idea. SO much to see!
  • Angkor Thom temple is one of the most popular and nice temple in Siem Reap. Come to explore by yourself to see her beauty in reality.
  • Very beautiful place!! Don't forget to dress up properly - long skirt /trousers, cover your shoulders.