Prasat Suor Prat is a series of twelve towers spanning north to south lining the eastern side of a royal square in Angkor Thom, near the town of Siem Reap, Cambodia. The towers are made from rugged laterite and sandstone. They are right in front of Terrace of the Elephants and Terrace of the Leper King, flanking the start of the road leading east to the Victory Gate, on either side of which they are symmetrically arranged. Their function remains unknown. 

The current tower's name in Khmer means "The towers of the tightrope dancers," a romantic idea derived from the local belief that they were used to support a high wire stretched between them for acrobatics during royal festivals. This belief, however, is irrelevant. Zhou Daguan describes in his records that the towers are used to settle disputes among Angkorian people.

The temple was possibly built during the reign of Indravarman II.

Overview of Prasat Suor Prat

At the Royal Square in the core of Angkor Thom, there is a group of twelve simple Prasats called Prasat Suor Prat, sometimes spelt "Sour Prat", and pronounced "Sor Prot". The modern Khmer word "Suor Prat" means "tightrope walking" or "cord dancing". The associated assumption is that ropes were stretched from one tower to another for artists when they were performing their acrobatic shows on festival days.

Indeed, the royal platform, called Terrace of Elephants, is at the opposite west edge of the Royal Square, which is also called "Victory Square", but that platform is a little bit far for viewing acrobatic performances. There is no other historical evidence for this interpretation of the towers.

Another legend has it, that similar to a Buddhist Jataka tale, an ogress imprisoned twelve young wives of the king in the twelve towers. This is the origin of the alternative name "Prasat Neang Pi Dandap", meaning "Towers of the twelve young women".

The famous 13th century Chinese envoy to Angkor, Zhou Daguan, gives another dubious account of their function. According to his report the towers were used to settle legal disputes by ordeals. The two belligerent parties were kept in the towers. After a few days one was healthy and the other one suffering from fever or catarrh or an ulcer. This way the sick one was declared guilty by divine decree.

Ten of the twelve Prasats are aligned on a north-south axis. The group of twelve towers is symmetrically divided by the so-called "Victory Alley", now part of the Small Circuit road, that begins at the Royal Square and leads eastwards, crossing the Victory Gate. Two more towers not on the same line as the others flank the victory road a little bit further to the east. Behind them there are the North and South Khleangs, much older structures.

All twelve towers are almost identical. They are built of laterite, with bays, frames and lintels made of sandstone. They are undecorated. Only few stone pediments show carvings, they depict Nagas and hermits. The architectural style of the towers is quite unique, as they have windows with balusters on three sides, instead of the common false doors, and two levels in the interior. Each upper level has a cylindrical vault with two frontons.

As with many monuments in Angkor Thom, the construction of Prasat Suor Prat may have been begun under Jayavarman VII, the city founder, and finalized later on in the first half of the 13th century under his successor Indravarman II. But strikingly, the twelve towers do not display Bayon-style characteristics. It has been claimed both that they are pre-Bayon and that they are post-Bayon. Thus neither the function nor the date of Prasat Suor Prat is known.

The towers underwent restoration recently, some of them are still enforced with wooden beams.

The best time to visit Prasat Suor Prat is the afternoon. A ticket is not to be presented to enter the temple area and the inner rooms. But you should have a valid Angkor ticket available when exploring this central part of Angkor Thom.

Below is the glimpse of Prasat Suor Prat in 360o viewing:

Planning Your Visit to Prasat Suor Prat

Temple Facts

  • Date: Late 12th or Early 13th century
  • Religion: Unknown
  • Built By: Jayavarman VII or Indravarman II
  • Dedicated To: Unknown
  • Style: Post-Bayon
  • Best Time to Visit: Anytime
  • Length of Visit: 15 - 30 minutes
  • Temple Pass: Required (Included in the Angkor Temple Pass)


Prasat Suor Prat is located in Angkor Thom in front of the two terraces – Terrace of the Leper King and Terrace of the Elephants. The collection of towers are around 500m from Bayon temple and nearly all visitors to the park will pass by them at some stage during their visit.

Check the location of Prasat Suor Prat on below Google Maps for your reference

Getting There

Take the road north from Bayon towards the Royal Enclosure in Angkor Thom and you will see the towers on the right side. As the towers are directly opposite one of the most popular places in the Angkor Park, there are plenty of transport options. You will see large buses, cars, tuk tuks and bicycles jostling for space in this area.

Prat Suor Prat Tours

Most tours of Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples will pass by Prasat Suor Prat at some point. However, it is unlikely that you will get the opportunity to stop and explore unless you explicitly ask your guide or driver.

The most popular tours including the Angkor Wat Small Circuit and Grand Circuit tours will pass by here.


Most visitors will stay in Siem Reap town and then travel to the Angkor Park. There are many hotels in Siem Reap town to suit all tastes and budgets. is one of the world’s largest online travel agencies and often has many special offers and deals available for visitors coming to see the temples at Angkor.

Why Visit Prasat Suor Prat?

This is one of the busiest areas of the Angkor Park and a popular place to stop for a picnic. You can find a nice spot under one of the nearby trees and stop for a bite to eat. You can also sit back and relax while watching the terraces and imagining what the view would have been like for the visiting dignitaries.

History of Prasat Suor Prat

Their exact use is a matter of discussion for most historians. Even the date when they were built is not 100% clear. It’s thought that the 12 towers of Prasat Suor Prat were built at some point in the late 12th century or the early 13th century by King Jayavarman VII.

However, some historians suggest that they could have been built by King Indravarman II.

What exactly were they for?

Used for acrobatic performances?

Several theories exist as to their purpose. According to local legend ropes connected the top of the towers during festivals. Acrobats performed acrobatic acts on the ropes watched by the King from the Elephants terrace.

...Or to resolve legal conflicts...

Another possible purpose is given in the accounts of Zhou Daguan, the Chinese diplomat who spend a year in Angkor until 1297. He says the towers were used to resolve legal disputes. In case a conflict between two men could not be resolved, both men were locked up in one of the towers guarded by their relatives. When after four days the men would be let out of the towers, the guilty party would have developed some kind of disease, while the other would be healthy.

...Or as reception hall for the King’s guests

A more likely theory is the Prasat Suor Prat towers were used as reception halls to receive important guests of the King. From the terraces in front of the towers the guests would have great views of the parade grounds, where festivals, games and army parades would be held.

Modern History

The twelve towers were rediscovered in the 19th century by French explorers. It is thought that they would have been abandoned at some point in the 16th century like most of the temples in the region.
In 2001 reconstruction work began as a number of the towers were in danger of collapsing. This work was completed in 2005 by the Japanese government and the local Apsara authority.

Layout and Design

The twelve towers all sit in a north south line. They are square at the base and have two upper floors. There were terraces built to the west of each tower which would overlook the palace grounds. This is one reason why it’s thought that these “guest houses” were for visitors to watch royal parades and parties.

There are windows on the north, east, and south sides of each temple. On you will see nagas and lions carved into the sandstone.

Nowadays, the road which takes you to the Victory Gate on the east side of Angkor Thom divides the temples.

Photos of Prasat Suor Prat

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Taking a cruise on the fascinating Mekong River offers a unique and memorable travel experience. The Mekong River, one of the longest rivers in Asia, flows through several countries, including China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Each destination along the river offers its own distinct cultural, historical, and natural attractions. In this article, we will go over what you can expect when cruising the Mekong River. 


Preah Vihear Temple (Prasat Preah Vihear) is an ancient Hindu temple built during the period of the Khmer Empire, that is situated atop a 525-metre (1,722 ft) cliff in the Dângrêk Mountains, in the Preah Vihear province, Cambodia. In 1962, following a lengthy dispute between Cambodia and Thailand over ownership, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague ruled that the temple is in Cambodia.

Affording a view for many kilometers across a plain, Prasat Preah Vihear has the most spectacular setting of all the temples built during the six-century-long Khmer Empire. As a key edifice of the empire's spiritual life, it was supported and modified by successive kings and so bears elements of several architectural styles.

Preah Vihear is unusual among Khmer temples in being constructed along a long north–south axis, rather than having the conventional rectangular plan with orientation toward the east. The temple gives its name to Cambodia's Preah Vihear province, in which it is now located, as well as the Khao Phra Wihan National Park which borders it in Thailand's Sisaket province, though it is no longer accessible from Thailand.

On July 7, 2008, Preah Vihear was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Deep in the forests of Cambodia’s Siem Reap province, the elegant spires of an ancient stone city soar skyward above the sprawling complex of Angkor Archaeological Park.

The Khmer Empire’s various capitals thrived here from the 9th to 15th centuries, while their rulers presided over an empire that stretched from Myanmar (Burma) to Vietnam. Including forested areas and newly discovered “suburbs” Angkor covers more than 400 square kilometers.

Though just one of hundreds of surviving temples and structures, the massive Angkor Wat is the most famed of all Cambodia’s temples - it appears on the nation’s flag - and it is revered for good reason. The 12th century “temple-mountain” was built as a spiritual home for the Hindu god Vishnu. The temple is an architectural triumph laden with artistic treasures like the bas-relief galleries that line many walls and tell enduring tales of Cambodian history and legend.

In other parts of Angkor such art depicts scenes of daily life - offering scholars a precious window into the past.

Reading the below epic guide for Angkor Archaeological Park, you will have all the information you need from its history, maps, best time to visit and so on to have the best out of your Angkor tours


Banteay Kdei Temple (Prasat Banteay Kdei), meaning "A Citadel of Chambers", also known as "Citadel of Monks' cells", is a Buddhist temple in Angkor, Cambodia. It is located southeast of Ta Prohm and east of Angkor Thom. 

Built in the mid-12th to early 13th centuries AD during the reign of Jayavarman VII (who was posthumously given the title "Maha paramasangata pada"), it is in the Bayon architectural style, similar in plan to Ta Prohm and Preah Khan, but less complex and smaller. Its structures are contained within two successive enclosure walls and consist of two concentric galleries from which emerge towers, preceded to the east by a cloister.

This Buddhist monastic complex is currently dilapidated due to faulty construction and poor quality of sandstone used in its buildings and is now undergoing renovation. Banteay Kdei had been occupied by monks at various intervals over the centuries till 1960s.


Just east of Angkor Thom’s Victory Gate is Chau Say Tevoda. It was probably built during the second quarter of the 12th century, under the reign of Suryavarman II, and dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu. It has been renovated by the Chinese to bring it up to the condition of its twin temple, Thommanon.


Thommanon Temple is a Hindu temple site that's covered in intricate carvings and surrounded by forests in Angkor. The temple is in relatively excellent condition, thanks to extensive restoration work in the 1960s.

It was constructed about the same time as Angkor Wat. The style of architecture is quite evident in the towers and carvings, which are in very good condition. During the rainy season, the dampened sandstone offers great photo opportunities.

Part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the complex dates back between the 11th and 12th centuries. It is about 600 metres east of the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom, just opposite Chau Say Tevoda. Even before restoration, Thommanon was in much a better condition than Chau Say Tevoda. Unlike the latter, which was built using wooden beams enclosed in stone, Thommanon Temple's entire structure was made out of stone. 


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