Siem Reap Vistior Guide 59th

the statue is known as the 'leper king' is a matter of debate. Some argue that when the statue was found, its lichen-eaten condition gave it the appearance of leprosy. Others have argued that it is a statue of the leper king of Khmer legend, or that the condition of the statue inspired its connection to the legend. The model for the statue is also a matter of debate. Suggestions include the Hindu god Yama and the Khmer kings Yasovarman I and Jayavarman VII. Recent scholarship favors a combination of Jayavarman VII and Buddha. The statue of the leper king on display at the terrace is a replica. The original resides in the National Museum in Phnom Penh. Thma Bay Kaek t R)asaTfµ)ayEk¥k Constructed: Early 10 th century C.E. Religion: Hindu (Shiva) King/Patron: Yasovarman I Style: Bakheng

The spare remains of a brick prasat, now disappeared, leaving only a door- frame, lintel and a bit of the terrace. A sacred relic of five gold leaves, one bear- ing the image of Nandi (Shiva’s bull), was discovered at this site. Combine with visit to Prasat Bei/Baksei Chamkrong.

Thommanon tt R)asaTFmµnnÞ Constructed: Late 11 th - Early 12 th century C.E. Religion: Hindu King/Patron: Suryavarman II Style: Angkor Wat

Small, attractive temple in very good condition, built at the same time as Angkor Wat . The Angkor Wat style is most easily seen in the style of the towers and carved devatas . Thommanon seems to stand in conjunction with Chau Say Tevoda across the street, but was built decades earlier. Thommanon is cur- rently in much better condition than Chau Say Tevoda , in part because archae-

ologists heavily restored it in the 1960's. But even before restoration, Thommanon was in better shape due in part to the lack of the stone-enclosed wood beams in Thommanon’s super-structure that were used in Chau Say Tevoda’s construction. Many of Thommanon’s carvings are in excellent condition. The colors of the age stained sandstone against the jungle are very photogenic, particularly in the wet season.

R)asaTvtþGt;TVar Religion: Hindu

Wat Athvea t

Constructed: Late 11 th century C.E. King/Patron: Suryavarman II Style: Angkor Wat Though lacking carvings, this laterite and sandstone temple is still in relative- ly good condition. It bears no inscriptions to allow precise dating but seems to have been constructed employing Angkor Wat architectural style, which is par- ticularly apparent in the towers, suggestive of late 11th century construction. This temple seems to have been left unfinished as evidenced in part by the lack of carvings. Some of the apsara carvings were abandoned half finished.

It is next to an active wat of the same name. Because it is well outside the regular temple complex, it is rel- atively untouristed. Located 7km south of town, 200m off the main road from town to the Tonle Sap. Look for a white concrete arch/sign at the turnoff to the wat. For a countryside sunset, follow the dirt road for a kilo- meter or two past the wat. Palm trees and small huts lining the road open to rice paddies and Phnom Krom on the horizon.

R)asaTembuNüxaglic Religion: Hindu (Vishnu)

West Mebon t

Constructed: Late 11 th century C.E. King/Patron: Udayadityavarman VII

Style: Baphuon Ruins of the central island temple of the West Baray . West Mebon is in poor shape, con- sisting primarily of a single wall displaying some carvings in fair condition. The carvings exhibit some of the first examples of carvings of animals in natural, non-mythological scenes, reminiscent of carving on Baphuon . West Mebon may have originally housed a renowned bronze Buddha statue which is now held at the National Museum in Phnom Penh. Also see ‘ Barays ’. The West Baray , though ancient, is filled with water year round and has become a local recreational area. Take Route #6 3 km past the airport turn. A short boat ride is necessary to visit the ruins.

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