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Angkor Private Tour
"After meeting our tour guide then we drive to Angkor Thom that was the masterpiece of King Jayavarman VII. Following the occupation of Angkor by the Chams from 1177 to 1181 the new king decided to build an impregnable fortress at the heart of his empire. The scale is simply staggering and we are immediately overwhelmed by the audacity of Jayavarman on arrival at the city’s gates. We begin to visit Bayon Temple. At t this is an eccentric expression of the creative genius and inflated ego of Cambodia’s most celebrated king. Its 54 towers are each topped off with the four faces of Avalokiteshvara (Buddha of Compassion) which bear more than a passing resemblance to the king himself. These colossal heads stare down from every side exuding power and control with a hint of compassion just the mix required to keep a hold on such a vast empire.We continue to visit Terrace of the Leper King. This intricately carved platform was the royal crematorium and the statue that was originally thought to be the leper king is now believed
From $81.00
 
Angkor Wat Helicopter Flight with Private Tour of Temples
"After hotel pickup by private air-conditioned vehicle see the sunrise at Sra Srang Baray then transfer to Wat Svaylamiet for a picnic breakfast. Then start your full-day private tour of the Angkor complex at the South Gate of Angkor Thom where 54 stone gods and demons line the road. Next view the centerpiece of this walled citadel the mysterious Bayon temple which holds 54 towers decorated with more than 200 smiling stone figures. You’ll spend approximately two hours discovering the many temples within Angkor Thom with your private guide offering a flexible itinerary
From $583.00
 
Private Sunset Cruise at Angkor Thom
"Your tour begins with pickup by private vehicle from your Siem Reap hotel. When you reach the South Gate of Angkor Thom embark on a boat cruise with your guide over a small baray a type of reservoir typical of ancient Khmer water management. Glide gently along in an Angkor gondola a replica of a traditional Khmer boat also known as a kongkear which is propelled with a wooden paddle by an experienced oarsman. Without any motor to disturb the calm you can admire the sunset over Angkor Archaeological Park while you meander past the southwest corner of the ancient walled city of Angkor Thom. Here disembark near one of the four temples called Prasat Chrung and hike with your guide to the ruined building
From $50.00

Angkor Thom Tips (128)

Bas Relief - 2nd level, Bayon

As you ascend those steep, narrow staircases and gloomy corridors, the bas-reliefs of everyday life and victorious battles give way to more courtly, gentle imagery, with dancing courtesans a much more common sight.

leffe3's Profile Photo
leffe3
Mar 23, 2012

Bas Relief - Bayon II

Dancing courtesans as well as regal, statuesque courtesans are featured in the outer walls of the Bayon.

You could easily spend hours checking them all out - and this is before you even get to the main 'highlight'.

leffe3's Profile Photo
leffe3
Mar 23, 2012

Bas Relief - Bayon I

The Bayon is covered with some 120 metres of bas-reliefs incorporating an extraordinary 11,000 figures.

The outer walls of the first level are stunning, providing a record of everyday life (and death) in 12th century Khmer. Battles, prayer, animals, hunting, entertainment all feature and most are in remarkable condition.. (although occasional repairs and over-eager tourists touching the stones have resulted in varied colourings of the stonework).

leffe3's Profile Photo
leffe3
Mar 23, 2012

Bayon II

As you first approach it, the monument has been eroded to an extent that it looks almost like a massive rock formation.

Visitors approach it from the south gate, but the main entrance was the east gate, a colonaded gateway (now containing this buddha) which also provides a slightly more harmonious view of the monument as a whole.

leffe3's Profile Photo
leffe3
Mar 23, 2012
 
 
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Hotels Near Angkor Thom

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Vithei Charles De Gaulle, Khum Svay Dang Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia
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No. 297, Blvd. Charles de Gaulle, Daun Pa Khum, Siem Reap, 998888, Cambodia
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Phum Traeng, Siem Reap, Cambodia
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No. 555, Phum Krous,, Khum Svay Dangkum, Siem Reap, Cambodia
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National Road No. 6, Chong Kaosou village, Siem Reap, Siem Reap, 0000, Cambodia
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National Road No 6A, Khum Srornge, Siem Reap, Cambodia
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Bayon

The 12th century Bayon is something of an enigma.

Its purpose is still being debated (although it is accepted that it is the State Temple of the new capital of Jayavarman VII, away from Rolous, away from Angkor Wat). But it is also quite difficult to get a full sense of the place, mainly because with its collection of some 54 towers (apparently the Khmer kingdom was made up of 54 provinces), many different levels, dark and uneven corridors, almost vertical staircases and those 200 enigmatic carved faces of Avalokiteshvara greeting you at virtually every turn at the higher levels, all add up to create a somewhat disorientating 'feel' to the place.

Unlike the central temple in Angkor Wat, the Bayon is spread out vertically AND horizontally. It is also huge - 8 metre high walls surrounding a 3km square inner moat before the inner sanctuaries are reached!

leffe3's Profile Photo
leffe3
Mar 23, 2012

Angkor Thom

Also built in the 12th century, Angkor Thom is one of the largest ancient city temples of Khmer period. It is located just a few minutes tuktuk ride from Angkor Wat. We entered through the south gate with a cosway lined by statues of gods (left) and demons (right) leading through the entrance. The entrance has a tower with four faces pointing on four directions and three headed elephants. This temple complex includes Bayon temple which is known for the tower with four faces. This temple represents the intersection from heaven and earth.

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schurman23
Sep 27, 2011

Victory Gate

The Victory Gate is one of two gates located on the eastern side of the wall that surrounds Angkor Thom. It provides access to the Royal Square and the Palace and, like other gates, is 75ft (25m) tall and surrounded by a turreted structure consisting of four faces of the Bodhisattva Lokeshvara.

Willettsworld's Profile Photo
Willettsworld
Apr 27, 2010

North Gate

After visiting Angkor Thom, you can exit via the northern gate in order to visit Preah Khan. Like the South Gate it features a bridge which is flanked by two sets of statues recreating a scene taken from the legend of the Churning of the Sea of Milk. As for the gate itself, like all five, it is 75ft (25m) tall and surrounded by a turreted structure consisting of four faces of the Bodhisattva Lokeshvara.

Willettsworld's Profile Photo
Willettsworld
Apr 27, 2010

Top 5 Angkor Wat Writers

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o00o

"Angkor Wat"
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bpacker

"Angkor Wat Rediscovered"
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Jmill42

"Angkor"
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dfactor

"Angkor What?"
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ukirsari

"Facing to the west and stairway to heaven"
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Terrace of the Leper King

Commencing where the Elephant Terrace left off, and believed to date to the 13th century, the 6m-high Terrace of the Leper King is so named for the statue of Yama, the God of the Underworld, atop it. Stark naked, Yama sits with one knee raised, surveying the Royal Square. Because it is tainted by discolouration and lichen, the statue was believed to be one of a leper, and the name stuck. The statue is a replica, with the original now held in the National Museum in Phnom Penh. The terrace is decorated with seven levels (the top level is almost all gone) of bas relief carvings. Three of the four walls (east, north and south) are carved with very deep bas reliefs.

Willettsworld's Profile Photo
Willettsworld
Apr 27, 2010

Phimeanakas

In the centre of the Royal Palace compound stands the Phimeanakas (described as a "Tower of Gold") which rises on three levels to over 30m high. Legend has it that King Suryavarman used to sleep here with his lover, a serpent woman.

Willettsworld's Profile Photo
Willettsworld
Apr 27, 2010

Royal Palace

The construction of the Royal Palace was probably begun by Rajendravarman in the 10th century, enlarged by Suryavarman I in the 11th century and totally rebuilt by Jayavarman VII in the 12th century-13th century. This 34-acre area is bounded by a laterite wall - 16ft (5m) high, 807ft (246m) long from north to south and 1920ft (585m) from east to west - that in turn is surrounded by a moat. The main east entrance is from the Terrace of the Elephants from a gopuram (gateway). In the centre of the compound stands the Phimeanakas (described as a "Tower of Gold") which rises on three levels to over 30m high. Legend has it that King Suryavarman used to sleep here with his lover, a serpent woman.

Sitting to the north of Phimeanakas is Srah Srei (Women's Bath), a large pond worth more than a cursory glance. Look for the detailed sea life carved into the walls of sandstone that form the edge of the pond. Creatures include crabs, giant lizards and fish, along with the mandatory crocodiles.

Willettsworld's Profile Photo
Willettsworld
Apr 27, 2010

Khleang

The Khleangs are two buildings of unknown purpose on the east side of the Royal Square in Angkor Thom, located just behind the twelve towers of Prasat Suor Prat and separated by the royal route that leads from the Royal Palace to the Victory Gate. While the two appear to have been constructed as a set, that isn't the case. The northern Khleang was built first, by Jayaviravarman, with the southern following later during the reign of Suryavarman I, but was never finished.

Their actual purpose is a bit of a mystery, though given the name means "storeroom" it has been suggested that they were used to, well, store things — perhaps even people in the form of visiting foreign dignitaries.

Willettsworld's Profile Photo
Willettsworld
Apr 27, 2010

Things to Do Near Angkor Thom

Things to Do

Angkor Wat

Angkor is the capital of the Khmer Empire from the ninth to the fifteenth centuries AD. It is the largest city in the world in the twelfth century AD and the tourist capital of Cambodia since ancient...
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Neak Pean

This is a small island temple, The central Temple sits at the centre of a cross, or lotus pattern of 8 pools. Constructed late 12th century C.E. - Buddhist. You cannot get to the actual temple, just...
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Things to Do

Angkor Wat

On the second day we visited Angkor Wat. This temple dates from the 12th century and the image of the temple is so famous it even appears on the Cambodian flag. The city of Angkor first attracted the...
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Things to Do

The Bayon

The Bayon is located in the centre of the ancient remains of Angkor Thom. The Bayon was built in the late 12th to early 13th century, by the King Jayavarman VII. He was a devout Buddhist. Even today...
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Things to Do

Ta Prohm

This was my favourite of all the temples. Unlike the other temples much of it has been left covered with jungle. Huge trees sprout out of its walls. Giant roots smother its stones. Many of its walls...
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Things to Do

Angkor Thom

Angkor Thom was the last capital of the Khmer Empire. It was a fortified city. Within its walls stood the royal palace and at its centre stood the Bayon with its enigmatic smiling faces. The city of...
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Getting to Angkor Thom

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