Terrace of the Leper King
Terrace of the Leper King is located north of the ElephantsTerrace and right in the northwest corner of Angkor Thom, Cambodia.Built at the end of the 12th century by King Jayavarman VII, its modernname derives from a Khmer sculpture named the Leper King discovered at the site.
The terrace is enclosed bydouble walls. Both the exterior and interior are decorated with dramaticbas-reliefs. Though not as fine as those of Banteay Srei, they aredeeply carved into stone, more like statues than just reliefs. Some of thecarvings on the inner wall are left intact. Various fabulous figures wereshown, such as gods, giants, women with bare torsos, etc.. If you want to studythe exterior wall, start from the north side because it's the best preserved. Asword swallower and some followers wearing side-chignon are interesting to lookat.
As to the core of thetemple, the 15-century statue of the Leper King, the original is store at thePhnom Penh Museum. Still, the replica is worth a check out. He sits in theJavanese way with short legs and rounded forms, but is beautiful in theappearance. Some say that Jayavarman VII was a leper yet some hold that thefigure represents the god of wealth, both of whom were lepers according tostories, which gave the name to the statue.
Tourist attractions in thearea include Ankor Wat, Bakheng Hill, Tonle Sap Lake andmore. It's also easy to get to other Asian destinations by a flight from SiemReap. Take a 22-Day Explore Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos & Thailand tohave them all!