Angkor Thom was the capital city during the Jayavarman VII’s empire. This ‘Great City’ was the last capital city of the Khmer Empire and should be on your list of temples in Siem Reap. It was established in the late 12th century and covers about 9km squared.
The city was separated by a moat, and also closed behind a wall this Bayon centered city was made this way to keep our
It can be busy, and tiring to walk around- I went there at about 11am. Take water with you, and wear comfy shoes. You need a couple of hours here- and definitely a tour guide!
The statues on either side as you walk in, the devas and asuras represent the tug of war and the popular Cambodian myth of the Churning of the Sea of Milk.
It’s at Angkor Thom that you can see the Bayon Baphon, Phinmean Akas, Terrace of the Elephants, Terrace of the Leper King. I recommend starting here around 11am and continue through to Ta Prohm- the real history buffs might dedicate a full day but I spent a couple of hours here and that was enough for me.
From here we went for some lunch and then went inside Angkor Wat (enter from back entrance to skip crowds).