Angkor Thom has to eastern gates, the East Gate in the narrow sense at the cardinal point and one more, 500 m further north. The latter is the Victory Gate. The cardinal East Gate is sometimes called "Death Gate", maybe because of its solitude or as it is not the starting point of a major route any more.
There is no paved road to the East Gate, only a straight and wide treck through the jungle starting at the Bayon temple in 1.5 km distance. This is why the East Gate sees not many visitors and is a completely silent and restful impressive monument located right in the middle of the tourist hub Angkor. Thus, the East Gate offers best chances to experience the magic of Angkor off the beaten track.
There is an easier and more scenic way to visit the enigmatic Buddha face towers at this structure hidden in the jungle. You can park at the Victory Gate and walk only half a kilometre on the city ramparts.
All five city gates of Angkor Thom are similar in size and design. The 23 m high Gopurams have three aligned towers, the central main tower with two opposing faces to the fronts. Each of the two smaller lateral towers has a single face directed towards the the city walls. The openings, 7 m high and 3.5 m wide, were originally furnished with double wooden doors. They had closing bars, the holes for which are still visible at the jambs. The pavement of the doorway shows traces of ancient oxcarts. At the basis, the four inward corners seem to have three pillars. Actually, they are trunks of three-headed elephant sculptures pulling lotuses.
The causeway with giant railings is in a very poor condition and unrestored at the East Gate of Angkor Thom, almost unrecognizable.
Different times of the day have different advantages and disadvantages. The view from inside Angkor Thom is slightly more impressive than from the east. Thus, afternoon hours are good for photos. A ticket is required for using the access roads from Siem Reap to Angkor Thom, even if you drive a bicycle or come as a pedestrian (which would not be recommendable for the distances in Angkor).