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From here, follow a single-track trail along the top of the enclosure wall surrounding the great city of Angkor Thom and through forested areas of the park exclusively visited by locals living and working in Angkor. Once reaching the North Gate of the city, follow the road to the expansive and jungle-clad Preah Khan, a 12th century complex name after the Sacred Sword of King Jayavarman VII.
Preah Khan, originally known as “the city of victorious royal fortune,” is now named after The Sacred Sword that some believe may have once been housed here. Built in the late-12th century in honor of the great King Jayavarman VII’s father, this massive temple complex originally had a population of 97,840 in its service. Less frequently visited than its counterpart Ta Prohm (which was built for the king’s mother), Preah Khan is similar in design but is larger and more complex, and features numerous unique structures and carvings. Enjoy the sounds of exotic wildlife that now make the forested compound their home as you venture into the crumbling corridors of the labyrinthian complex in search of hidden features: while Ta Prohm was once the setting of the Angelina Jolie film, Preah Khan offers more of a “Tomb Raider” experience for those willing to explore.
Another forested trail leads through past an ancient baray, over a swinging bridge, and past the Angkor Park plant nursery to the entrance to the crumbling ruins of Ta Nei, a temple that is generally unvisited, particularly in the morning hours. Continue through the forest to Takeo temple and then find a small track leading back into the forest towards the Gate of the Dead, the East Gate of Angkor Thom that is only accessible by dirt trails and roads.
From there, again follow the trail along the top of the Angkor Thom Wall, stopping at Prasat Chrung, which overlooks the corner of the city moat, before continuing your ride to the popular South Gate of Angkor Thom.
Exit Angkor Thom through the South Gate of the great city of King Jayavarman VII, an impressive stone entryway carved with elephants and capped by four giant faces of the Buddha. On each side of the entrance path, crossing the moat around the city, a row of 54 gods and demons stands holding a sacred naga snake of Hindu lore.
After exiting the South Gate of Angkor Thom, visit the impressive brick towers of Prasat Bei, built in the 10th century and then climb the pyramid temple of Baksei Chamkrong. Baksei Chamkrong, the first pyramid built at Angkor, is exciting to climb up to see the beautiful carvings of historical interest (the inscriptions on the door of the central sanctuary mention Kambu, the mythical founder of Kambujadesa, i.e. Cambodia). Tip: Be extremely careful climbing up the east staircase. The west stairs, on the back side of the temple, are less steep and less worn.
Return to Siem Reap town.
Our services include:
– Cycling English speaking guide
– Bike tour in Angkor area
– Bottled drinking water
-Admission fee to Angkor Temples
Our services do not include:
– Drinks and personal expenses
– Personal travel insurance
– Any other items not mentioned
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