The Bakong is the first real pyramidal shaped temple built in Cambodia to take the form which researchers have come to call “temple mountain”. Before the Bakong, this architectural type had not fully emerged, and even at Ak Yum, on the southern dike of the Western Baray, the form is not yet totally achieved.
Before entering an enclosure measuring 400 by 300 meters which is surrounded by an exterior wall and a moat somewhat wider than it is deep, we find ourselves in a larger enclosure measuring 900 by 700 meters. In this outer enclosure, ruins and remains of at least 22 sanctuaries are found. These sanctuaries can perhaps be considered satellites of the central complex in that some of them, instead of facing east, turn to face the central pyramid. The naga (serpent) with seven heads found on the side of the entrance causeway appears here for the first time in the place which will be taken by future naga balustrades. The brick towers, located at the foot of the pyramid, still have their original wooden supporting beams despite the ravages of time.