In Siem Reap, the Angkor Thom complex has a much larger area than the Angkor Wat complex spreading over 900 hectares. But unlike Angkor Wat, it got several ‘smaller’ temples instead of the complex. It is the second most visited temple after Angkor Wat, with an area of 9 sq km. The complex is surrounded by 100 meters wide and 12 km-long moats. Angkor Thom, in Khmer, is ‘Great City’; definitely no understatement, Angkor Thom is undoubtedly one of the most amazing archaeological sites in the world today. It is a must-visit temple along with Angkor Wat.

Angkor Thom, Cambodia
The moat around the Angkor Thom Complex in Siem Reap

Temples inside the gate of Angkor Thom

Some of the temples inside the Angkor Thom were interesting to visit. However, it was a vast area, so I had to hire a taxi for the day from my hotel to get there and also to move around inside the complex. Moreover, it was a hot and humid day, so I was not in a position for a long walk or even a bicycle.

Angkor Thom, Siem Reap
West gate of Angkor Thom – build late 12th – Early 13th. century

First Stop At Bayon Temple

It is located at the center of Angkor Thom. It was interesting to visit and see the unique architecture of the 214 smiling faces of the towers. See the picture below (Smiling faces of Bayon Temple)

Bayon Temple, Angkor Thom
Smiling faces on the towers of Bayon Temple
Bayon temple, Angkor
Ancient stone faces of Bayon temple, Angkor, Cambodia

Next – Visit Baphuon Temple

This temple was in much better condition than any other in the complex—such a fascinating pyramid-like structure. I climbed up to the upper floor and enjoyed the site.

Baphuon Temple, Angkor Thom
A view of Baphuon Temple from the entrance of the complex

The Elephant Terrace

I was so impressed to see the work they had done such a long time ago. The craftsmanship is so interesting. I needed to spend a little extra time going into details and taking pictures. But believe me, it looks much better than you see in the pictures—lots of stone elephants curving on the terrace walls and statues.

Elephant Terrace, Angkor Thom
Elephant Terrace and the statues in Angkor Thom

Visit Phimeanakas Temple

It was built in the second half of the 10th. Century, the phimeanakas belonged to the family of temple mountains. Five-meter-high walls surround it; surprisingly, most are still intact and standing.

Phimeanakas, Angkor Thom
Phimeanakas is surrounded by walls, most of them still standing intact

Prasat Suor Prat

The twelve towers of temples look beautiful from the Elephant Terrace. It is known as the ‘Temple of the Rope Dancers.’ The towers are all lined up next to each other.

Prasat Suor Prat (Temple of the Rope Dancers)
A view of Prasat Suor Prat (Temple of the Rope Dancers) from the Elephant Terrace

Lunch Inside Angkor Thom Complex

It was a long day of walking and visiting the ancient temple city. I needed a well-deserved lunch break. I found a few restaurants inside the complex and had lunch in one of those restaurants run by local Khmer people.

Khmer lunch
Having lunch at a makeshift restaurant
Angkor Thom
Having my lunch at one of the local restaurants

Where to stay in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Hotel Somadevi Angkor Resort & Spa, Siem Reap

Hotel Somadevi Angkor Resort & Spa is just 10 minute drive from the world-famous Angkor Wat Temple and a 5-minute walk from the famous Pub Street. Siem Reap International Airport is only 15 minutes away. It takes 5 minutes on foot to the Night Market and various dining and shopping options. Rooms have hardwood floors and a private balcony, and the bathroom is fitted with a bathtub and a separate shower. A buffet breakfast is served daily. In addition, Somadevi Café offers Khmer, Asian and European dishes.

Mane Boutique Hotel & Spa, Siem Reap

Nestled within lush green gardens, Mane Boutique Hotel & Spa offers peaceful and elegant accommodations with free WiFi in its public areas. In addition, it features an outdoor saltwater swimming pool, fitness center, and spa facilities. The hotel is about 2,650 feet from Angkor Trade Center and 0.6 mi from the famous Pub Street. Siem Reap International Airport is within 5.6 mi away, while the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat is 4.4 mi away. The property offers complimentary airport transfers by property car.

My Opinion and Last Word

Have you been to Siem Reap, Cambodia? Any cool tips to share?

loved being in Siem Reap, Cambodia, and want to go back again. I hope my story has motivated you to visit Cambodia.

Please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you to improve my knowledge. 

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Hasan Mahmud

Traveler, Blogger, and Travel Photographer!

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