Cambodia Trip: Angkor Thom Gate, Bayon Temple and Elephant Terrace

We took advantage of the 2 days/3 nights package of our guesthouse wherein we paid for our room (which includes free breakfast) as well as a tour of the temples in Siem Reap, Cambodia. My friend was the one who booked the reservations in advance as I didn’t really give the whole trip much thought except for the expenses. I give props to her for ensuring that we were settled properly.

Siem Reap Temples Tour
January 20, 2011

Angkor Thom Gate
Bayon Temple
Elephant Terrace

bayon temple

Woke up late in the morning as we were still tired from the travelling during the previous day. Rode the Tuktuk and we started our tour. At around 10:30am, the weather was cold even if the sun was high up. There were a number of trees surrounding the road to the temples which explains the cool atmosphere.

buddha statue
one with the statues

Pon, our tuktuk driver, brought us to the ticketing booth for the temples. In Siem Reap, for you to go inside the temples, you need to purchase Temple Passes. They come in 1-day, 3-days and 7-days tickets wherein you’ll have your picture taken and you can use this pass to enter the temples. This is only good if you want to go inside as guards will check them before you can enter the temple premises.

temple pass
a three-day ticket pass to the temples at 40 USD: don’t forget to smile for the camera

20 USD – 1 Day
40 USD – 3 Days
60 USD – 7 Days

First stop was the South Gate of Angkor Thom. Ankor Thom is also known as the “Great City” which was the the last and most enduring capital city of the Khmer (Cambodian) empire. (Wikipedia – Angkor Thom).

buddha siem reap
statues at the South Gate of Angkor Thom

view from the top
view from the top of Angkor Thom Gate

Saw elephants after entering the South Gate and wanted to ride them but it was too costly for us during that time since we were on a budget. I was able to touch them which was nice. One was yawning and the other was smiling. Glad to have captured it on camera.

15 USD – Elephant Ride

elephant cambodia
elephants – gentle creatures

Went to the Bayon Temple next. Bayon (Prasat Bayon) stands at the center of Angkor Thom. Its 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. (Wikipedia – Bayon).

bayon temple siem reap
Bayon Temple

A number of people already flocked the area. Tourists with guides and travellers who just wanted to explore the rich history of the Khmer empire roamed around.

Carvings on the wall represents the history of armies in battle. There are a lot more carvings on each side which shows how these stones were carefully designed by Khmer people and leaves one in awe.

intricate carvings

face temple temple bayon
faces at the Bayon Temple, Siem Reap

Upon further exploring, some parts of the temple were being renovated to preserve the structure and its form. This was after all built in the 12th century so you can just imagine how long the structures have been standing.

temple construction
renovation on some parts of the temple

Khmer locals in full traditional costume were also present. Pay a fee to have your picture taken with them. This is one of their ways to earn income from tourists who are also willing to pay a price. I didn’t bother asking how much the photo was.

temple tourists
pose with a fee

Going out of the Bayon temple, we exited at the right side wherein we saw a number of stones on the ground. Not sure if the stones were going to be used as foundation for another construction, we proceeded to another area of Angkor Thom.

bayon temple cambodia
Den on stones

The elephant terraces was used as a giant reviewing stand for public ceremonies and served as a base for the king’s grand audience hall. (Wikipedia – Terrace of the Elephants).

elephant statues siem reap
Elephant Terrace

Was enjoying the different temples but we haven’t even reached half of the tour. Every temple, though they look the same, has its own history. I just couldn’t figure out right then and there what each location represented.

temples bayon temple in siem reap
couldn’t help myself

bayon temple entrance
already high and it started at the gate

I couldn’t hide the excitement I felt because of seeing these temples. Will be writing about Ta Phrom, which is famous for the Tomb Raider movie scenes, next.

Here’s a couple of comprehensive guides about Siem Reap:

Check out my other adventures here:

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Please don't forget to confirm your subscription by checking your Inbox. is a travel blog by Edcel Suyo. He enjoys performing headstands and crazy stunts during his trips in the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Now based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and working to earn a living, he takes time to enjoy the city and travel during weekends.
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9 thoughts on “Cambodia Trip: Angkor Thom Gate, Bayon Temple and Elephant Terrace”

  1. reminds me of my BKK trip too! (para hindi OP)  πŸ˜€
    seriously, reminds me how hot it is in SR. ubos energy! nilagnat ako ng bongga! pero ang ganda ng tourism nila jan, buhay na buhay. imagine there's a thousand tourists everyday, and everyone should pay $20 each. ang yaman nila! kaya may budget for improvement. their guidebook is awesome! free pa!

  2. wow how does it feel to be there? such a nice place. Though haven't seen live elephants in my entire life.. wish i could see one haha bring one for me Ed… haha lols

  3. @lakwatsera de primera: they have tuktuk their more temples and ruins on my next posts! at least may puno na sunod. hehe.

    @dyanie: haha. yun lang naman talaga magawa natin pag tourist. hehe. more pictures coming up on my next entries! πŸ˜€

    @chyng: haha. lol about being OP. hehehe. yep, mainit talaga sa Siem Reap, pero mabuti na lang malamig ang panahon!  labo noh? hehe. hope to go back there and actually learn more about Cambodia πŸ˜€

    @frox: it was a calm an simple place. you should check it out one of these days.

  4. Hi Ed, Im going there in 2 weeks. Where did you have lunch while touring the temples? Are there places where we could eat (near the area)?

    • @James: yes, the tuktuk driver can take you to small eateries and restaurants near the temples so you don’t have to search hard to find one. hundreds or thousands of tourists pass by everyday so you’re not alone. good luck on your journey! πŸ™‚


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