Photo: Don’t mess with these demons.

Angkor Thom

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Jayavarman VII ruled the Khmer empire from around 1181 to 1220 during which time he decided to strengthen his capital and protect it from further attacks—leading to the walled city of Angkor Thom.

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Surrounded by moats, an imposing laterite wall and five gates to enter and exit from, the site remained in use for hundreds of years after his death. Work commenced on the city more or less as a rebuilding project after the previous state capital was sacked by marauding Chams.

No more crocs ...  Photo taken in or around Angkor Thom, Angkor, Cambodia by Caroline Major.

No more crocs ... Photo: Caroline Major

The vast majority of people would have lived outside the city’s walls—a huge low density population spread out towards the East and West Barays and Siem Reap river—though nothing remains of their wooden dwellings and the enclosure itself has been largely taken back by the forest. Research in 2013 using LiDAR laser scanning technology confirmed the walls did not enclose the downtown area and that in fact the entire landscape was more complex than ever before known by researchers, with satellite cities connecting to the central ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 800 words.)

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Popular attractions in Angkor

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Angkor.

What next?

 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Angkor.
 Read up on how to get to Angkor, or book your transport online with Camboticket.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Angkor? Please read this.
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See below for more sights and activities in Angkor that are listed on

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Angkor? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Cambodia.

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