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Terrace of the Leper King

Terrace of the Leper King is located north of the Elephants Terrace and right in the northwest corner of Angkor Thom, Cambodia. Built at the end of the 12th century by King Jayavarman VII, its modern name derives from a Khmer sculpture named the Leper King discovered at the site.

The terrace is enclosed by double walls. Both the exterior and interior are decorated with dramatic bas-reliefs. Though not as fine as those of Banteay Srei, they are deeply carved into stone, more like statues than just reliefs. Some of the carvings on the inner wall are left intact. Various fabulous figures were shown, such as gods, giants, women with bare torsos, etc.. If you want to study the exterior wall, start from the north side because it's the best preserved. A sword swallower and some followers wearing side-chignon are interesting to look at.

As to the core of the temple, the 15-century statue of the Leper King, the original is store at the Phnom Penh Museum. Still, the replica is worth a check out. He sits in the Javanese way with short legs and rounded forms, but is beautiful in the appearance. Some say that Jayavarman VII was a leper yet some hold that the figure represents the god of wealth, both of whom were lepers according to stories, which gave the name to the statue.  

Tourist attractions in the area include Ankor Wat, Bakheng Hill, Tonle Sap Lake and more. It's also easy to get to other Asian destinations by a flight from Siem Reap. Take a 22-Day Explore Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos & Thailand to have them all!

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