Angkor Thom was built as the capital of Jayavarman VII's empire in the 12th century. It's name means "great city". Some of the monuments inside Angkor Thom were built in earlier eras. Bayon is the centerpiece; however, there are a number of other fascinating and photographic temples within the ancient city. One of my favorites is Baphuon which lies directly north of Bayon. Leading out the back entrance of Baphuon is a secluded trail leading to the temples of Phimeanakas and Preah Palilay. Just in front of them are the expansive Terrace of the Elephants and Terrace of the Leper King. One of the most photographed locations in Angkor is the south gate entrance to Angkor Thom with more than 50 giants holding Naga kings (cobra-shaped serpents). It's peaceful and relaxing to watch the sun set from the south gate bridge.