Angkor Thom

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Today's early morning entry into Angkor Thom starts at the South Gate.

Not all the heads are originals though. I noticed some of them looked obviously new, restored, and in a different colour.

The guidebooks I used recommend visiting the Bayon as early as possible since the light is best at sunrise. However, I was not prepared to greet the enormous crowds that thought an early visit would be a good idea. The Bayon was built in the 12th to 13th centuries and is the state temple. 37 towers stand today, although it was thought it originally had 49, many of which are carved with faces.

To reach the inner part of the temple, visitors need to climb a series of steep staircases. They are then greeted with the face-carved towers at the top.

A short walk in the shade from the Bayon is the Baphuon, a 5-tiered pyramid set behind a 172m-long approach causeway.

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