Angkor Thom Orientation Walk, Siem Reap (Self Guided)

Siem Reap, the capital of the eponymous province in northern Cambodia, is a major tourist destination of South-East Asia, in large part due to its closeness to the ancient ruins of Angkor, dating back as far as the 9th–15th centuries, part of which is pictured on Cambodia’s national flag. Take this orientation walk to explore the top attractions of Angkor Thom.
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Angkor Thom Orientation Walk Map

Guide Name: Angkor Thom Orientation Walk
Guide Location: Cambodia » Siem Reap (See other walking tours in Siem Reap)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 12
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.9 km
Author: emma
1
Terrace of the Elephants

1) Terrace of the Elephants (must see)

The Terrace of the Elephants is part of the walled city of Angkor Thom, a ruined temple complex in Cambodia. The terrace was used by Angkor's king Jayavarman VII as a platform from which to view his victorious returning army. It was attached to the palace of Phimeanakas, of which only a few ruins remain. Most of the original structure was made of organic material and has long since disappeared. Most of what remains are the foundation platforms of the complex. The terrace is named for the carvings of elephants on its eastern face.

The 350m-long Terrace of Elephants was used as a giant reviewing stand for public ceremonies and served as a base for the king's grand audience hall. It has five outworks extending towards the Central Square-three in the centre and one at each end. The middle section of the retaining wall is decorated with life size garuda and lions; towards either end are the two parts of the famous parade of elephants complete with their Khmer mahouts.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Terrace of the Leper King

2) Terrace of the Leper King (must see)

The Terrace of the Leper King (or Leper King Terrace) is located in the northwest corner of the Royal Square of Angkor Thom, Cambodia. It was built in the Bayon style under Jayavarman VII, though its modern name derives from a 15th century sculpture discovered at the site. The statue depicts the Hindu god Yama, the god of Death. He was called the Leper King because discoloration and moss growing on the original statue was reminiscent of a person with leprosy, and also because it fit in with a Cambodian legend of an Angkorian king who had leprosy. The name that the Cambodians know him by, however, is Dharmaraja, as this is what was etched at the bottom of the original statue.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
3
Preah Pithu

3) Preah Pithu

Preah Pithu or Prah Pithu, is a group of five temples at Angkor, Cambodia. They're located in Angkor Thom, north-east of the Bayon, in front of Tep Pranam. The temples are near but they weren't built in the same period, except for two of them, so there is no apparent order. They're identified by letters: T, U, V, W and X. "X" is a buddhist temple, it remained unfinished and is probably the latest. The others are Hindu. The five temples are in bad conditions, upper levels are ruined, but their carvings are interesting and the site is rather peaceful, wooded and scarcely crowded. A moat, often dry, surrounds some of the temples. They were cleaned first by Jean Commaille in 1908, then by Henri Marchal from 1918 to 1920.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
4
North Khleang

4) North Khleang

The North Khleang (meaning the 'north storehouse') is a small cruciform structure located at the northeast side of the royal plaza behind the row of Prasat Suor Prat towers. Although termed a storehouse, its purpose is unknown; it may have been used as a reception hall for dignitaries or as a residence for princes or high-ranking court officials. However, the narrowness of the structures—they are only 4.7 meters wide—makes these hypotheses seem less plausible. North Khleang was built under King Jayaviravarman.
5
Wat Preah Ang Sang Tuk

5) Wat Preah Ang Sang Tuk

Wat Preah Ang Sang Tuk is a small monastery within Angkor Thom, not far from Victory Gate, just north of Vihear Prampil Loveng. During an Angkorian era, Wat Preah Ang Sang Tuk housed a laterite shrine with sandstone carvings, but nowadays only a pile of rocks remains of the original structure.
6
Victory Gate

6) Victory Gate (must see)

The Victory Gate is on eastern wall of Angkor Thom and is the second most used gateway into the Royal Square. Visitors entering or leaving Angkor Thom through this Gate will earn an opportunity to see many significant vestiges, including the Ta Prohm, Ta Keo and Banteay Kdei.
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South khleang

7) South khleang

The Khleangs are two buildings of unknown purpose on the east side of the Royal Square in Angkor Thom, Cambodia, located just behind the twelve towers of Prasat Suor Prat and separated by the royal route that leads from the Angkor Thom Royal Palace to the Victory Gate. They are oriented along the north-south axis. The two were not built at the same time—the northern building (North Khleang) was built under King Jayaviravarman and the southern (South Khleang) under his successor Suryavarman but they are of similar design (although South Khleang is slight narrower). They have given their name to the Khleang style, which is characterised by relatively simple lintels with a central kala. Other buildings in the style are Phimeanakas and Ta Keo.
Sight description based on wikipedia
8
Bayon Temple in Siem Reap

8) Bayon Temple in Siem Reap (must see)

The Bayon is a well-known and richly decorated Khmer temple at Angkor in Cambodia. Built in the late 12th century or early 13th century as the official state temple of the Mahayana Buddhist King Jayavarman VII, the Bayon stands at the centre of Jayavarman's capital, Angkor Thom. Following Jayavarman's death, it was modified and augmented by later Hindu and Theravada Buddhist kings in accordance with their own religious preferences.

The Bayon's most distinctive feature is the multitude of serene and massive stone faces on the many towers which jut out from the upper terrace and cluster around its central peak. The temple is known also for two impressive sets of bas-reliefs, which present an unusual combination of mythological, historical, and mundane scenes. The current main conservatory body, the Japanese Government team for the Safeguarding of Angkor (the JSA) has described the temple as "the most striking expression of the baroque style" of Khmer architecture, as contrasted with the classical style of Angkor Wat.

"(The above description is based on Wikipedia under Creative Common License)"
Sight description based on wikipedia
9
Angkor Thom

9) Angkor Thom (must see)

Angkor Thom ("Great City"), located in present-day Cambodia, was the last and most enduring capital city of the Khmer empire. It was established in the late twelfth century by King Jayavarman VII. It covers an area of 9 km², within which are located several monuments from earlier eras as well as those established by Jayavarman and his successors. At the centre of the city is Jayavarman's state temple, the Bayon, with the other major sites clustered around the Victory Square immediately to the north.
Sight description based on wikipedia
10
Wat Preah Ngok

10) Wat Preah Ngok

It features a large sandstone statue of the buddha sitting crossed leg with its eyes opened only slightly. From 13th to 15th centuries, it was one of the buddhist temples in angkor area.
11
Phimeanakas

11) Phimeanakas (must see)

Phimeanakas or Vimeanakas at Angkor, Cambodia, is a Hindu temple in the Khleang style, built at the end of the 10th century, during the reign of Rajendravarman (from 941-968), then completed by Suryavarman I in the shape of a three tier pyramid as a Hindu temple. On top of the pyramid there was a tower, while on the edge of top platform there are galleries. Phimeanakas is located inside the walled enclosure of the Royal Palace of Angkor Thom north of Baphuon.
Sight description based on wikipedia
12
Baphuon

12) Baphuon (must see)

The Baphuon is a temple at Angkor, Cambodia. It is located in Angkor Thom, northwest of the Bayon. Built in the mid-11th century, it is a three-tiered temple mountain built as the state temple of Udayadityavarman II dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva. It is the archetype of the Baphuon style. The temple adjoins the southern enclosure of the royal palace and measures 120 metres east-west by 100 metres north-south at its base and stands 34 meters tall without its tower, which would have made it roughly 50 meters tall. Its appearance apparently impressed Temür Khan's late 13th century envoy Chou Ta-kuan during his visit from 1296 to 1297, who said it was 'the Tower of Bronze...a truly astonishing spectacle, with more than ten chambers at its base.' In the late 15th century, the Baphuon was converted to a Buddhist temple. A 9 meter tall by 70 meter long statue of a reclining Buddha was built on the west side's second level, which probably required the demolition of the 8 meter tower above, thus explaining its current absence. The temple was built on land filled with sand, and due to its immense size the site was unstable throughout its history. Large portions had probably already collapsed by the time the Buddha was added.
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Create Your Own Walk in Siem Reap

Create Your Own Walk in Siem Reap

Creating your own self-guided walk in Siem Reap is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Shopping in Siem Reap

Shopping in Siem Reap

Siem Reap offers an exceptional shopping experience, thanks to the collection of Cambodian souvenirs, silks, contemporary art, and other goods offered. In the last few years, Siem Reap has witnessed an economic boom in new shops.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 km
Siem Reap Nightlife

Siem Reap Nightlife

Siem Reap is traditionally visited for its temples from the ancient civilizations. However, the city also offers a casual nightlife for tourists who stay out after dark. Cambodia is well known for its Apsara dances, and one can expect to enjoy this special art when experiencing Siem Reap's nightlife.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 0.8 km
Siem Reap Temples

Siem Reap Temples

Siem Reap is famous for ancient Hindu temples. These temples serve as proof of the ancient Khmer civilization. Angkor Wat, or Angkor temple, features several remnants from this civilization. Explore old Hindu mythology, traditions, and religion with the Siem Reap Temples.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 4.3 km

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Siem Reap for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Siem Reap has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Taking Care of Your Feet


To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Siem Reap, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device


Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.