Pets allowed
Not Allowed
Elevation Gain
178.00 ft (54.25 m)
Trail type
Loop
Distance
7.60 mi (12.23 km)
Please respect the outdoors by practicing Leave No Trace. Learn more about how to apply the principles of Leave No Trace on your next outdoor adventure here.

Once you have seen the majestic temples of Angkor Thom, consider a hike around the entire ancient city if you are looking to extend your exploration of the area. You can start the hike from the South Gate and travel in a clockwise direction. After passing through the South Gate into Angkor Thom, have the Tuk Tuk driver drop you off, and ask him to meet you back in three hours. Then, as you are looking south at the gate, ascend the right side up a short hill. Once you are on top, the trail is obvious. You will have a clear view of the moat around Angkor Thom and the South Gate causeway.

Follow the trail with the moat on your left. You will be traveling west. After less than 1 mile, you will reach Chrung Temple. This is a small outpost temple and probably one of the least visited sites at Angkor Thom along with the other corner temples you will encounter along the wall. Turn right and continue to follow the obvious trail with the moat to the left. The trail is flat and a joy to hike. After about 1 mile you will reach the West Gate to Angkor Thom. This gate, again seldom visited, is the only major gate at Angkor that is a dirt road, making for more great photo opportunities.

Descend from the trail to the right and cross the road. Take a moment to enjoy the peace of the West Gate typically absent of tourists. Pass through the West Gate for a different view. To get back atop the wall, cross the road and ascend a short but steep hill and continue on the trail. This northwest section is the most shaded along the hike. The trail curves through the forest like hiking in a fairy tale. After another mile you will reach the northwest corner temple called Prasat Chrung. It is a surreal feeling coming upon this small temple.

Turn the corner and continue to the North Gate. As you approach the North Gate from the trail, you wil be nearly eye level with the west facing Buddha atop the Gate, which has amazing detail and presents a unique photo opportunity. The North Gate is more photogenic from different angles than the other four gates. Descend the trail to the right. As you approach the road, be sure to look back up at the North Gate for another unique view of the west and south facing Buddhas. Once on the road, pass through the gate and turn right to follow the trail, and after a short distance there is a break in the wall and a short steep hill where you can gain access to the trail again. Be sure to look back behind you before ascending the wall for another unique view of the North Gate.

The trail continues to the northeast corner and another Chrung Temple, which is in more disrepair.  Soon after turning this corner you will reach the Victory Gate. The Victory Gate will have many tourists as they stop along their tour for photos. Descend to the right, cross the road, and ascend back onto the trail. 

After a shorter distance you will reach the East Gate, also known as Gate of the Dead. The distance is short because the Victory Gate and the East Gate are both on the east side of Angkor Thom. The trail between the Victory Gate and the East Gate is amazing. The East Gate is different from the other gates because it is a dead end road just past the gate. Hardly anyone travels back here.

The southeast corner is the last on the trail and the location of the Hendrix Temple, which is in the best condition of the corner temples. After turning this last corner, the trail opens up a bit and you'll have excellent views of the Angkor Thom moat. The trail ends at the South Gate, where you started. In total, the trail is a little less than 8 miles, with the only elevation change being from descending and ascending the gates. Your Tuk Tuk driver should be there waiting.

Logistics + Planning

Preferable season(s)

Winter
Spring

Congestion

Low

Parking Pass

Park entrance fee

Open Year-round

Yes

Pros

Solitude. Shade. Unique views.

Cons

None.

Trailhead Elevation

104.00 ft (31.70 m)

Highest point

175.00 ft (53.34 m)

Features

Historically significant
Wildlife
Wildflowers

Access

Vehicle

Typically multi-day

No

Permit required

No

Location

Field Guide

Comments

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