Angkor Thom Tour Guide:
True to its name, Angkor Thom or a Great City in Khmer was a grand city with five gates, a magnificent royal palace, stunning temple architecture and a population of almost a million. Not much remains of this grand city, which underwent constant remodelling and restructuring over a course of 5 centuries, with King Jayavarman VII making the last changes in the 12th Century. The ruins that did survive the ravages of time give a glimpse of the splendour that the city must have enjoyed in its heyday.
Explore the ruins yourself for a personal sense of the city’s majesty. Right from the causeways leading to the gates to the gates themselves, the city within with its royal palace and temples to the terraces and the city layout, Angkor Thom leaves you in jaw-dropping amazement!
Walk through causeways lined with statues of gods and demons on either side, each holding the body of the serpent whose head greeted you at the entrance of the causeway; enter the city of Angkor Thom through city gates topped with magnificently sculpted faces looking towards the four cardinal points and framed with elephant faces sculpted on the stonewalls. The wooden doors that once guarded the city, have now given way to grand open arches.
Venture further inside and explore the many ancient wonders contained in this walled city. Visit the Prasat Chrungs, the small shrines located at each corner of this square-shaped city; explore Baphuon, renowned for its 16th Century Giant Reclining Buddha; and revel in the magnificent architecture of Bayon, which is famous for its monumental faces in each of its towers and remarkable bas-reliefs depicting historical events and scenes from day-to-day life.
Trace the footsteps of monarchs bygone at the Royal Palace, which is now in ruins; marvel at the exemplary artwork of the two Royal Terraces: the Elephant Terrace and the Leper King Terrace; and just as the sun begins to set, head to Phnom Bakheng, the first mountain temple to be constructed in Angkor Thom, for magnificent sunset views. Phnom Bakheng is on the outskirts of Angkor Thom complex and offers great views of Angkor Wat and the setting sun just beyond.