The Royal Palace of Angkor Thom is the ancient palace of King Suryavarman I, located north of the Baphuon. It is bordered by the Terrace of the Elephants to the east and Preah Palilay to the north. Within its compound is the step pyramid called Phimeanakas. However, the most noticeable thing about the Royal Palace is its absence.
As most of the buildings within the Royal Palace complex are for non religious purposes, they are constructed mainly of wood, which is perishable. Today only the religious structures and ponds are still visible reminders of the grandeur of ancient times.
One of the entrances into the Royal Palace at Angkor Thom.
The Royal Palace grounds are enclosed by a five-meter high wall that runs for 246m along on the north-south axis and 585m on the east-west axis. There are give sandstone gopuras on this wall - two on the northside, two on the south, and one on the east, which opens into the Terrace of the Elephants.
Within the Royal Palace grounds are the remains of buildings that used to stand there. Now only traces of these buildings remain. It takes a bit of imagination for us to picture how the place was like during the time of the ancient Khmer kings.
Construction DetailsBuilt between the 12th to the 13th centuries during the reign of King Suryavarman I onwards
How to reach the Royal PalaceRoyal Palace is located within Angkor Thom, about 200 meters directly north of the Baphuon, from where you enter the Royal Palace compound through a gopura in the southern enclosure wall.
If you are travelling on a packaged tour, then your itinerary is more or less decided, as is the amount of time in your hands to explore the grounds. However, if you are travelling independently, then the best option is to hire a tuk tuk. Ask him to wait for you at the food stalls opposite the Baphuon while you go and explore the sites.