According to scholars, the date of construction of Phimeanakas is problematic. Construction was expected to begin around the end of the 8th century. The temple has an architectural form of the late 10th century, so under Jayavarman V. But it carries decorative elements of the ninth century, eleventh and thirteenth. As for epigraphy, there are inscriptions from the beginning of the 10th and 13th centuries.
Phimeanakas is to be found inside the Royal Palace of Angkor Thom, home to Angkor’s kings for many centuries. According to Zhou Daguan, a Chinese envoy who spent time in Angkor in 1296-97, the king was said to have had intercourse nightly in this temple with a woman who was the incarnation of a nine-headed serpent.