- Lao Tzu
Angkor Thom contains some of the most famous Angkor Temples. One of the most popular routes is to start at the South Gate, which is the best preserved of all five entrances. You approach the South Gate through a stone causeway across the moat that surrounds the city. The causeway has railings on both sides picturing 54 stone figures on each side: on the left side 54 gods pull the head of the naga (mythical snake) and on the right side 54 demons pull the tail of a naga. This scene is taken from the famous Hindu myth "churning of the Ocean of Milk". Cross the magnificent South Gate with its four 23m high faces and follow the path that leads to the exact geographical center of the city and the most famous of the Angkor Thom temples, Bayon. Allow yourself at least 2 hours to explore Bayon with its enigmatic faces.
Exit Bayon from the north and follow the path about 100 meters before turning left to Baphuon temple. Baphuon (as well as Phimeanakas temple) was constructed prior to the creation of Angkor Thom. A huge mountain temple, it is largely collapsed and it has undergone extensive restoration work. From Baphuon head towards the east and the turn to the north to reach the Elephant Terrace and Terrace of the Leper King parallel to the road. These two stuctures were originally part of the Royal Palace, of which only the substructure remains. The two terraces have now gained notoriety of their own mainly due to their exquisite carvings. You can finish the visit with the sunset over Phnom Bakheng just south of Angkor Thom.
Angkor Thom spreads over 9 square kilometers and the above described route and similar routes are designed to show you the biggest and most famous temples. However, there are other temples in the city that should not be missed, such as Phimeanakas or Preah Palilay to name a few. Our expert team at ABOUTAsia have designed alternative routes that will ensure that you see the gems of this city without the crowds of visitors that come here every day. If you are interested in exploring Angkor Thom at its best, please
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