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Baphuon Temple

UNESCO World Heritage site near Siem Reap

Baphuon Temple just to the northwest of the Bayon. Its pyramid shape represents the mythical Hindu Mount Meru and marks the center of the city that was here before Angkor Thom. It's seriously big and only Angkor Wat itself is larger than Baphuon. A lot of it has collapsed in on itself because of hasty and over-ambitious planning and building a millennium ago but it still is a hugely impressive sight and not a little scary to see the crocodiles in the moat.

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The 'anastylosis' method used in restoring the Roman theatre of Cartagena, the temples of Petra in Jordon and Vietnam's My Son is being considered here but it will be a big job, considering there are some 300,000 pieces of carved stone to put back together. This has taken all day and, except for lunch, we have not stopped so it's a relief to finally settle in on the upper layers of the temple to watch the sun set over the beautiful Cambodian countryside then drive back to the hotel. What a day it's been; both exhausting and exhilarating.

Baphuon Temple

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