Angkor Thom is the remains of the capital city of the great Khmer Empire. It literally means “the great city” in Khmer. This imperial compound lies on the west bank of the Siem Reap River, a tributary of Tonle Sap. It is a square walled area and was the last capital city of the Angkorian Empire. This complex was built by Jayavarman VII after recapturing Angkor from the Cham invaders in 1181. He built this around existing structures, like Baphuon and Phimeankas; he also constructed one of Angkor’s greatest temples, Bayon, set at the centre of the city. There are five entrances to the city, one at each cardinal point and the victory gate.
We drove by Angkor Wat and entered Angkor Thom through the South Gate by another bridge over another moat. On that bridge, the railings were sculpted into the Devas and Asuras, taking part in Sea-Churning. The gateway was crowned with four faces, while the fort walls extended on both sides.