- Martin Buber
South Gate in Cambodia is not one of the Angkor Temples in itself but one of the five main gates into ancient Angkor Thom, and it is the best preserved and most commonly visited by tourists. Its stature and significance make it feature in our list of small temples, given its religious symbolism and close similarites to the Bayon. Built under Jayavarman VII as part of the majestic
Distance from Siem Reap to Angkor Thom is approx 8km (10-15 mins by car, 20-25 by tuk-tuk, or close to an hour by bicycle). Take Charles de Gaulle Road to
South Gate is one of the 5 gates which guard the ancient city of Angkor Thom, and is the best preserved of all the gates. It was built by King Jayavarman VII in the late 12th Century, serving as 1 of the 5 holy Buddhist gateways to Angkor Thom. Some of the initial heads from the 'naga avenue' are now kept in Angkor conservation museum.
"...devas on one side and asuras on the other [...] suggest the myth of the churning of the ocean in unison by the gods and the demons to extract the elixir of life. The representation of the churning, with the moats for the ocean, and the enclosure wall for the mountain, is a kind of magic device destined to assure victory and prosperity to the country.."
"Here you can feel the religious significance of the Naga Balustrades, and the importance of the spiritual welcome into Angkor Thom. If you haven't got time to see Bayon, come here to 'cheat' a look at the wonderful carved stone heads!"
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