Angkor Thom located in present-day Cambodia, was the last and most enduring capital city of the Khmer empire.
Angkor Thom was built in a nearly perfect square, the sides of which run north to south and east to west. It was surrounded by a square wall (jayagiri) 8m high and 12km in length and further protected by a 100m-wide moat (now dry), said to have contained ferocious crocodiles.
The vast area of the Angkor Thom ruins, over a mile on one side, contains many stone temples and other features to explore. The city has five monumental gates (one in each wall plus an extra in the eastern wall), 20m high and decorated with stone elephant trunks and the king's favorite motif, the four faces of Avalokiteshvara.
The south gate is the best restored and most popular, but also the most busy since it leads directly to Angkor Wat. The Terrace of the Elephants served as a viewing platform for royal parties and depicts elephants and garuda (a mythical bird-like creature).
The Terrace of the Leper King is a decorative platform topped by a statue surrounded by four lesser statues, each facing away from the central statue.
Bayon Temple (circa 1190) is a Buddhist temple but retains elements of Hindu cosmology and imagery.
Just north of the Bayon is the stalwart Baphuon, a temple built in 1066 that is in the process of being put back together in a way that gives visitors an idea of what original temple construction might have been like.
Phimeanakas Temple, located on the site of the now-disappeared royal palace, is another pyramidal representation of Mt. Meru.