In order to understand the history of Cambodia and Southeast Asia, a visit to Angkor Archaeological Park, site of Angkor Thom as well as iconic Angkor Wat, is a must. The temples Baphuon and Bayon are within the Angkor Thom complex, while much-photographed Ta Prohm lies to the east, an evocative ruin where trees once forced their way through intricately carved stone.
You can visit Angkor Thom as part of a full-day temple tour by tuk-tuk or air-conditioned vehicle: tours typically include a sunrise visit to Angkor Wat temple. Private tours can be customized according to personal interests, while a VIP helicopter tour offers a bird’s-eye view of the entire complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it ideal for visitors with limited time.
Recent reviews from experiences in Angkor Wat
Things to Know Before You Go
Angkor Thom is a must for history buffs and first-time visitors.
Wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of bug spray—mosquitos are rife.
Book your Angkor Archaeological Park admission ticket in advance to avoid waiting in line on-site—choose from 1-, 3-, or 7-day options.
How to Get There
The southern gate to Angkor Thom lies 4.5 miles (7 kilometers) north of Siem Reap, past Angkor Wat. Angkor Thom is best explored as part of a temple tour, which transports you between temples with ease.
When to Get There
If you want to feel like you have Angkor Thom all to yourself, head to the temple at sunrise, when the vast majority of visitors are admiring Angkor Wat. Then you’ll be able to explore the complex, which is home to two other temples, in relative tranquility.
How to Orient Yourself in Angkor Thom
Some elevation will help you make sense of the layout; head for the Terrace of the Elephants or nearby Terrace of the Leper King, both with intricate carvings, or the hilltop Phnom Bakheng, particularly popular at sunset. Among the myriad other points of interest are the temples of East Mebon and Pre Rup, built in the same temple-mountain style as Angkor Wat.
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