Photo: One terrace, many elephants.

Terrace of Elephants

Our rating:

As the name suggests, The Terrace of the Elephants is carved with lots and lots and lots of elephants and along with the Terrace of the Leper King, comprises the Royal Terraces. Try to visit here in early morning, when the elephants catch the morning light nicely.

Travel better, travel smarter

Save money, receive our latest updates and get the most out of your travels.


Built during the reign of Jayavarman VII and added to by Jayavarman VIII, the Elephant Terrace makes for an interesting stroll, though during the monsoon the ground near the terrace is often flooded or at least sodden so you will want to stick to the top.

The elephant in the room. Photo taken in or around Terrace of Elephants, Angkor, Cambodia by Caroline Major.

The elephant in the room. Photo: Caroline Major

The three-metre high terrace includes five staircases: one at the north and south end and three running along its length, with the central set of stairs being the largest. In between the staircases, the wall is decorated with elephants and their mahouts in hunting scenes, along with a generous sprinkling of garudas and lion-like creatures.

The Elephant Terrace once supported the royal reception area and the many garudas and lion-like figures were intended to give the impression that the royal entourage, shaded by their parasols and gold-topped pavilions, were being held aloft in the heavens. It is understood that in front of the terrace events like army parades would have taken place which royals would have watched over. There would have once also been many wooden structures attached to the terrace, creating a very imposing sight.

Walking along the Terrace of the Elephants starting from the south end by Baphuon leads into the northern section which is located next to the Terrace of the Leper King, a shorter, elaborately decorated terrace; the northern section of the Terrace of the Elephants and the Terrace of the Leper King are best visited at the same time. Just remember not to walk along the entire length of the terraces and forget Phimeanakas and the Royal Palace hidden behind it, offering a ... Travelfish members only (Around 200 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

Don’t miss the boat!

Please subscribe to to read the rest of this article, or log in here.

Subscribing to Travelfish costs A$35 per year and it gets you access to more than 200 downloadable guides to specific destinations, fabulous discount coupons and 50% off our personalised travel planning service. Sign up here.


Terrace of Elephants
Immediately to the north of Baphuon

Location map for Terrace of Elephants

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.
 Browse the web securely while travelling with TunnelBear. Try with a 7–day free trial.

See below for more sights and activities in Angkor that are listed on

Top of page

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.

Top of page