How many temples are in Angkor Thom?

Unraveling the Mysteries of Angkor Thom: A Guide to Discovering the Heart of Cambodia's Lost City

How many temples are in Angkor Thom?

How many temples are in Angkor Thom?

Welcome to a journey through the heart of Cambodia’s lost city, Angkor Thom. We’ll explore this ancient metropolis’s fascinating history, architecture, and culture and share insider tips and real-life experiences that’ll make your visit one for the books. So please sit back, relax, and let’s dive into the world of Angkor Thom!

The Enigmatic Angkor Thom: What is it Known For?

The Angkor Thom temples, which formerly served as the heart of the mighty Khmer Empire, stand as the finest examples of prehistoric Cambodian art and architecture. 

The Angkor Archaeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, cannot exist without them. You will be taken back in time as soon as you enter the walls of this ancient city to a time of mighty kings, revered ceremonies, and magnificent buildings that have lasted the test of time.

With notable buildings like the Bayon Temple and the Terrace of the Elephants, Angkor Thom is renowned for the size of its majestic and beautifully carved stone temples. But Angkor Thom is much than just its temples. The city also features spectacular gates, a palace, and many stone carvings of Hindu mythological themes and legendary creatures.

Now that we’ve got a taste of what Angkor Thom is all about let’s delve deeper into its captivating history.

Decoding the Temples: How Many Temples are in Angkor Thom?

With over 10 temples and monuments spread across a 9 square kilometer area, the Angkor Thom temples offer a treasure trove of discovery for history buffs and curious travelers alike. Some of the must-visit temples within Angkor Thom include:

  1. Bayon Temple: The crowning jewel of Angkor Thom, Bayon Temple is famous for its massive stone faces that gaze serenely in all directions. King Jayavarman VII built this architectural wonder as the centerpiece of his new capital.
  2. Baphuon Temple: A grand three-tiered temple mountain dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, Baphuon Temple was constructed in the 11th century and stood as a testament to the architectural prowess of the ancient Khmer Empire.
  3. Phimeanakas Temple: Located within the Royal Palace enclosure, Phimeanakas is an impressive pyramid temple that once hosted sacred rituals and ceremonies for the ruling elite.
  4. Terrace of the Elephants: An expansive terrace adorned with intricate carvings of elephants and other mythical creatures, this site once served as a viewing platform for King Jayavarman VII to observe his army’s triumphant return.
  5. Terrace of the Leper King: This intriguing terrace features a hidden passageway lined with intricate carvings of Apsaras, Hindu gods, and other celestial beings. It owes its name to a statue of the Leper King, which was discovered here.

This list barely scratches the surface of Angkor Thom’s many wonders. There’s no shortage of great sites to explore within the ancient city, making it an unforgettable experience for any traveler.

Popular TempleMain Characteristics
Bayon Temple216 Giant Smiling Stone Faces, Richly Decorated Galleries, Late 12th-century Buddhist Temple
Baphuon TemplePyramid-shaped, Panoramic Views, 11th-century Hindu Temple, Later Converted to Buddhist Temple
Terrace of the ElephantsRoyal Reception Area, Intricate Carvings, 350-meter-long Platform, 12th-century Construction
Terrace of the Leper KingHidden Double-layered Wall, Detailed Carvings of Apsaras and Demons, 12th-century Construction
Phimeanakas TempleRoyal Palace, Three-tiered Pyramid, 10th-century Hindu Temple, Golden Tower at the Summit
Preah PalilayPeaceful Atmosphere, Towering Trees, 13th-century Buddhist Temple, Surrounded by Lush Greenery
Preah PithuGroup of Five Temples, Serene Environment, Late 12th to Early 13th-century Construction, Combination of Hindu and Buddhist Elements
North and South KhleangsAncient Ceremonial Buildings, Rectangular Structures, Late 10th to Early 11th-century Construction
Prasat Suor PratRow of Twelve Towers, Intriguing History, Built during the reign of King Jayavarman VII
Thma Bay KaekSmall, Lesser-known Shrine, Brick Structure, Presumed to be a Buddhist Temple

These temples showcase the diverse history, artistry, and architectural genius of the Khmer Empire. As you explore the ancient city of Angkor Thom, immerse yourself in the captivating stories, enchanting landscapes, and awe-inspiring monuments that have withstood the test of time.

Does Angkor Thom City Have Gates? Unlocking the Secrets of the Five Gates to Angkor Thom

Discover the ancient mysteries behind the gates of Angkor Thom, the monumental temple city nestled in the heart of Cambodia. Join us as we unveil the enigmatic Five Gates to Angkor Thom and explore the awe-inspiring tales behind them.

Five Gates to Angkor Thom: The Pathways of the Ancients

The journey to the heart of Angkor Thom begins with passing through one of its five majestic gates. These enormous buildings, which are decorated with stone faces that have been painstakingly carved, act as gateways to the city’s extensive past and vibrant culture. So, let’s take a more in-depth look at each gate, shall we?

  1. Victory Gate: Located on the east side of Angkor Thom, this gate was used by the Khmer army to enter the city after a victorious battle.
  2. Death Gate: As the name suggests, this western gate was used for funeral processions, leading the deceased to their final resting place.
  3. Gate of the Dead: Also located on the west side, this gate was reserved for the exclusive use of the royal family.
  4. Elephant Gate: Found on the north side of Angkor Thom, this gate provided access to the royal palace grounds and was named after the elephant carvings that adorned its walls.
  5. South Gate: The most popular and well-preserved gate, this entrance leads directly to Bayon Temple and boasts some of the most stunning stone carvings in Angkor Thom.

Each gate offers a unique glimpse into the city’s history and architecture, so take your time and marvel at its exquisite details.

The Five Gates to Angkor Thom

The Five Gates to Angkor Thom: A Closer Look

Delving Deeper into the Five Gates of Angkor Thom

South Gate: A Portal to the Past

The South Gate stands tall and proud as the most renowned of the five gates. Often the starting point for Angkor Thom Half-Day Tours, it beckons visitors with its striking stone faces and commanding arch. 

As you approach the gate, you’ll traverse a majestic causeway lined with 54 statues of celestial guardians and demons depicting the epic Hindu myth of the Churning of the Sea of Milk. 

With its intricate bas-reliefs and the famous Bayon temple just beyond, the South Gate is an awe-inspiring introduction to the wonders of Angkor Thom.

North Gate: A Tranquil Escape

Tucked away from the hustle and bustle, the North Gate offers intrepid travelers a more serene experience. 

The perfect escape for those looking to stray from the beaten path, this gate is enveloped by lush foliage, creating an enchanting atmosphere. 

The statues lining the causeway have weathered the test of time, adding to the North Gate’s enigmatic charm. Immerse yourself in the whispers of history and relish the peaceful ambiance of this lesser-known gem.

East Gate: Unraveling the Mystery of the Gate of the Dead

Steeped in history and intrigue, the East Gate, also known as the “Gate of the Dead,” captivates the hearts of history buffs and curious travelers alike. This gate is shrouded in mystery, with intricate carvings narrating tales of ancient battles and mythical creatures. 

Amidst the overgrown vegetation and the peaceful silence, you’ll feel the weight of history as you marvel at the exquisite craftsmanship that has withstood the test of time.

West Gate: Capturing the Golden Hour

A true delight for photography enthusiasts, the West Gate transforms as the sun sets, bathing its ancient stones in golden hues. 

The ethereal glow of twilight breathes new life into this gate, casting long shadows that dance upon the ground. 

With the setting sun as your backdrop, you’ll find countless opportunities to capture that perfect shot, immortalizing the beauty of the West Gate for all time.

Victory Gate: Basking in the Triumphs of an Empire

A testament to the might and ingenuity of the Khmer Empire, the Victory Gate stands proud as a symbol of triumph. As you pass through its arch, you’ll be greeted by intricately carved depictions of historical victories and mythical scenes, reflecting the grandeur of a bygone era. 

The Victory Gate’s majesty is impossible to resist, inviting you to explore its hidden corners and soak up the palpable sense of accomplishment within its ancient walls.

A Journey Through Time The Significance of the Five Gates of Angkor Thom

A Journey Through Time: The Significance of the Five Gates of Angkor Thom

The Five Gates of Angkor Thom are not only architectural marvels but also serve as symbolic representations of the rich cultural and spiritual heritage of the Khmer Empire. 

Each gate has its distinct characteristics and stories, inviting visitors to journey through time as they explore the wonders hidden within the ancient city.

South Gate: A Testament to Harmony and Balance

As the most famous and frequented gate, the South Gate symbolizes the harmony and balance achieved by the Khmer Empire. The 54 statues lining the causeway, depicting celestial guardians and demons, represent the duality of good and evil, light and darkness. These opposing forces are united in the Churning of the Sea of Milk myth, illustrating the interconnectedness of all things and the importance of balance in life.\

North Gate: A Sanctuary for Reflection and Connection

The North Gate’s serene and tranquil atmosphere provides a sanctuary for reflection and connection with the past. As visitors meander through the gate, surrounded by lush greenery, they can contemplate the legacy of the Khmer Empire and the indelible impact it left on the land and its people. This secluded haven invites introspection and a deeper understanding of the complexities of history.

East Gate: A Gateway to the Afterlife

The East Gate, or the “Gate of the Dead,” is a gateway to the afterlife, connecting the mortal realm with the world beyond. The intricate carvings and haunting aura of the gate inspire awe and reverence, inviting visitors to ponder the mysteries of life, death, and the eternal cycle of existence. As a portal to the unknown, the East Gate captivates and intrigues, drawing travelers ever deeper into the mysterious world of Angkor Thom.

West Gate: The Marriage of Light and Shadow

As the sun dips below the horizon, the West Gate becomes a stage for the delicate interplay of light and shadow. The golden hues of the setting sun bathe the ancient stones in a warm glow, breathing new life into the gate and casting dramatic silhouettes that dance upon the ground. This transformation showcases the beauty and resilience of the Khmer Empire, a civilization that thrived in the face of adversity and left an indelible mark on history.

Victory Gate: A Celebration of Conquest and Ingenuity

The Victory Gate symbolizes the Khmer Empire’s triumphs, both in battle and architectural innovation. With its intricate carvings of victorious scenes and imposing stone faces, the gate celebrates the ancient Khmer people’s resilience, determination, and ingenuity. As visitors explore the Victory Gate, they are reminded of the power of human achievement and the lasting legacy that can be created through perseverance and skill.

Stories and Legends

The gates of Angkor Thom have long been the subject of awe, wonder, and a fair share of speculation. 

Tales of ancient battles and mythical creatures have been passed down through the generations, sparking the imagination of those who visit. 

One of the most famous legends concerns the Churning of the Sea of Milk, a Hindu myth beautifully depicted in the intricate carvings on the gates. This enchanting tale speaks to the rich tapestry of history and culture that is woven into the very fabric of Angkor Thom.

Case Studies: Memorable Moments at the Five Gates to Angkor Thom

South Gate Serendipity

On a sweltering summer day, a group of travelers embarked on a half-day tour of Angkor Thom. They couldn’t help but be awestruck by its imposing beauty as they approached the South Gate. As they crossed the causeway, flanked by stone giants locked in an eternal tug-of-war, they felt like they were stepping into another world where ancient gods and mortals coexisted.

East Gate Enchantment

A pair of history enthusiasts, armed with their cameras and guidebooks, decided to explore the lesser-known East Gate. As they ventured down the overgrown path, they marveled at the eerie atmosphere that enveloped them. The air was thick with mystery, and as they gazed upon the haunting visage of the “Gate of the Dead,” they felt a connection to the past that transcended time.

Victory Gate Vibes

A young couple celebrating their love with a 3-day Siem Reap adventure found themselves standing before the majestic Victory Gate. As they looked upon the ornate carvings and the towering stone faces, they couldn’t help but be inspired by the resilience and ingenuity of the ancient Khmer people. They vowed to carry that spirit with them as they embarked on their journey, hand in hand.

Are the Five Gates to Angkor Thom easily accessible?

The gates can be reached via tuk-tuk, bicycle, or foot. Remember that some gates, like the East and North Gates, are less frequently visited and may require a bit more effort to reach.

How long should I allocate for a tour of the Five Gates to Angkor Thom?

A half-day tour is sufficient to explore the South Gate and other nearby attractions. However, for a more comprehensive experience, consider a 2 or 3-day tour that will allow you to delve deeper into the history and beauty of the Angkor region.

Is there an entrance fee for the Five Gates to Angkor Thom?

Access to the gates is included in the Angkor Archaeological Park entrance fee, which also covers entry to other popular sites like Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm. Prices range from $37 for a 1-day pass to $62 for a 3-day pass.

A Journey into the Heart of History

As you pass these ancient portals, you’ll immerse yourself in a world of wonder, intrigue, and timeless beauty. Whether you’re a history buff, a photography enthusiast, or a curious traveler, visiting the Five Gates to Angkor Thom promises an unforgettable experience. So, what are you waiting for? 

Book your Siem Reap tour today and unlock the secrets of this enchanting ancient city.

What are the most famous temples to visit in Angkor Thom

What are the most famous temples to visit in Angkor Thom?

Welcome to a journey back in time, exploring the most famous temples in Angkor Thom, the enigmatic capital city of the ancient Khmer Empire. 

Brimming with history and culture, these ancient temples witness the majesty and power of a civilization that flourished for centuries.

Ready for an unforgettable adventure? Fasten your seatbelts and prepare to be blown away by the magnificence of these stunning temples. Let’s dive in!

Bayon Temple: A Maze of Smiling Faces

Imagine walking through a maze of stone faces, each seeming to peer deep into your soul. That’s what it feels like to visit Bayon Temple, the mesmerizing centerpiece of Angkor Thom.

King Jayavarman VII built this enchanting temple in the 12th century, and it is famous for its 216 giant, smiling stone faces. So who do these faces represent? Some say they depict the king himself, while others argue they represent the compassionate bodhisattva, Avalokiteshvara.

Bayon Temple is a must-visit spot during our Private Angkor Wat Mix Temples Photo Tour, where our knowledgeable guides will help you capture the perfect shot of these enigmatic faces.

Baphuon Temple: A Majestic Mountain of Stone

Standing tall like a mountain, the Baphuon Temple leaves visitors in awe of its grandeur. Constructed in the 11th century, this pyramid-shaped temple was dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva and later converted into a Buddhist temple. The massive sandstone structure can be challenging to navigate, but isn’t the view from the top worth the effort?

When you book our 1-Day Angkor Wat Small Loop Private Tour, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding temples and lush greenery from the summit of Baphuon Temple.

Terrace of the Elephants: A Royal Reception Hall

Have you ever wondered what being part of a royal procession was like? The Terrace of the Elephants offers a glimpse into the lives of ancient Khmer royalty. This 350-meter-long platform served as a reception area for King Jayavarman VII, where he would greet his subjects and review his troops.

Adorned with intricately carved elephants and mythical creatures, the Terrace of the Elephants is a testament to the artistic prowess of the Khmer Empire. Explore this captivating site during our Private Angkor Wat Mix Temples Photo Tour.

Terrace of the Leper King: A Secret World of Carvings

Nestled in the northeastern corner of the Royal Square, the Terrace of the Leper King is shrouded in mystery. This 25-meter-long platform features a hidden, double-layered wall adorned with detailed carvings of apsaras, demons, and other mythical beings.

The terrace gets its name from a local legend claiming that a leper king lived there. However, it’s more likely that the “Leper King” moniker came from the lichen-covered statue found atop the platform, resembling a leprosy person.

Don’t miss the chance to uncover the secrets of this enigmatic site during our 1-Day Angkor Wat Small Loop Private Tour.

Phimeanakas Temple: A Royal Palace Lost in Time

Deep within the ancient Royal Palace lies Phimeanakas Temple, once the heart of the Khmer Empire. Built in the 10th century by King Rajendravarman II, this Hindu temple boasts a three-tiered pyramid with a golden tower at its summit.

Phimeanakas Temple’s unique architecture and the fascinating legend of the “naga princess” make it a must-visit destination during our Private Angkor Wat Mix Temples Photo Tour.

Embark on an Unforgettable Journey to Angkor Thom’s Most Popular Temples

Now that you’ve caught a glimpse of the breathtaking beauty and fascinating history that await you in Angkor Thom, why not experience it all for yourself?

At, we offer top-notch private guided tours to the most iconic temples of Angkor Thom and beyond. Our expert guides, competitive prices, and unparalleled dedication to customer satisfaction make us the go-to choice for history and culture enthusiasts.

So, what are you waiting for? Book one of our exclusive tours, such as the Private Angkor Wat Mix Temples Photo Tour or the 1-Day Angkor Wat Small Loop Private Tour, and embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure through the majestic ruins of Angkor Thom.

Don’t just take our word for it – come and experience the enchanting world of Angkor Thom for yourself. We promise you’ll leave with memories that will last a lifetime.

Discover Angkor Thom’s Hidden Gems: Lesser-Known Temples Worth Visiting

So, you’ve decided to take the plunge and explore the rich cultural heritage of Angkor Wat, one of the most iconic architectural wonders in the world. Fantastic choice! But have you ever wondered, are there any lesser-known temples in Angkor Thom worth visiting? 

Trust me. There’s more to this historical sanctuary than just the mainstream attractions.

In this blog, we’ll uncover some of the hidden treasures of Angkor Thom, temples you probably won’t find on the usual tourist route but are worth your time. So let’s go temple hopping, shall we?

Preah Palilay: The Temple Lost in Time

Nestled amidst lush vegetation, Preah Palilay is a charming, peaceful oasis often overlooked by visitors. Its unique combination of Buddhist and Hindu elements makes it an architectural treasure waiting to be discovered.

As you wander through this temple, it’s like stepping back in time as nature intertwines with ancient stones. Preah Palilay is a hidden gem, offering a serene respite from the bustling crowds.

Why not include Preah Palilay in your 1-Day Angkor Wat Small Loop Private Tour? You won’t regret it!

Prasat Suor Prat: The Enigmatic Towers

Who can resist a good mystery? Prasat Suor Prat, a series of twelve enigmatic towers, is just that. These towers, built during the late 12th and early 13th centuries, have a rather cryptic purpose, with various theories surrounding their existence.

Wouldn’t it be amazing to unravel the stories behind these mysterious towers? So grab your camera and snap some fascinating shots of Prasat Suor Prat on your Private Angkor Wat Mix Temples Photo Tour.

First, visiting the popular temples in Angkor Wat is an experience of a lifetime. But how about going off the beaten path and discovering the lesser-known wonders of Angkor Thom? Now that is an unforgettable adventure!

A Map to the Past: Navigating the Angkor Thom Temples

While exploring Angkor Thom alone is possible, a map can be an invaluable resource for navigating the ancient city. 

You can find an Angkor Thom temples map at the park entrance or even download one online before your visit. This will help you plan your route and ensure you don’t miss any must-see temples and monuments.

Remember to stay hydrated and wear comfortable shoes, as there’s plenty of walking while exploring Angkor Thom. And don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the breathtaking beauty of this ancient metropolis.

Tips and Tricks for Visiting Angkor Thom

To make your visit to the Angkor Thom temples a memorable one, consider these handy tips:

  • Visit at sunrise or sunset: The soft light during these times casts a magical glow on the temples, making for unforgettable photo opportunities and a more serene experience.
  • Hire a local guide: A knowledgeable local guide can provide invaluable insights into the history, architecture, and culture of Angkor Thom, enriching your experience.
  • Dress appropriately: Be sure to wear modest clothing (covering shoulders and knees) when visiting the temples, as they are considered sacred sites.
  • Stay nearby: To make the most of your visit, consider staying in nearby Siem Reap, which offers easy access to Angkor Thom and a wide range of accommodations and dining options.

BONUS: Experience Angkor Thom with Guided Tours

For an immersive experience, consider joining one of the following guided tours:

  1. Private Angkor Thom Half-Day Tour: This tour offers an intimate exploration of Angkor Thom, covering key temples and monuments within the ancient city.
  2. Angkor Explore Live 2-Day Adventure: Delve deeper into the mysteries of Angkor with this two-day tour, which includes visits to both Angkor Thom and the iconic Angkor Wat.
  3. [Three Days in Siem Reap: Angkor Itinerary]. This comprehensive three-day itinerary covers Angkor Thom, Angkor Wat, and other key attractions in the Angkor Archaeological Park, providing an unforgettable journey through Cambodia’s ancient history.

By joining a guided tour, you can benefit from the expertise of local guides who can bring the stories of Angkor Thom to life and share insider tips for a more rewarding experience.

Key takeaways: The Outstanding Universal Value of Angkor Thom

With its awe-inspiring temples and rich cultural history, Angkor Thom represents the pinnacle of ancient Cambodian civilization. By exploring its magnificent gates, intricate carvings, and towering monuments, you’ll gain a deeper appreciation of the artistic and architectural achievements of the Khmer Empire. 

Whether you’re a history enthusiast or a curious traveler, the Angkor Thom temples promise an unforgettable journey through the heart of Cambodia’s lost city.

As a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Angkor Thom stands as a testament to the Outstanding Universal Value of Cambodia’s cultural heritage. By visiting this ancient metropolis, you’ll be taking a journey through history and supporting the ongoing preservation efforts that safeguard these treasures for future generations. 

So pack your bags, gather your sense of adventure, and embark on a once-in-a-lifetime exploration of the mysteries of Angkor Thom.

For more information on Angkor Thom and other key attractions within the Angkor Archaeological Park, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Centre’s website.

Happy travels, and may your journey through Angkor Thom be filled with wonder and discovery!


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