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Racing through Angkor

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People attending this weekend's cycle and marathon road races around Angkor will use roadways built by the French at the turn of the 20th century. These form the small and grand circuits, with the small being the basis of the main marathon route starting at the west entrance of Angkor Wat.    

 

The first notable temple on the small circuit route is Pasta Kravan, which has unique interior carvings. Continuing anti-clockwise, the circuit passes the reservoir of Sra Srang (Royal Baths) with the Banteay Kdei (Citadel of the Cells) directly opposite. Heading west, the route passes the Famous Ta Prohm and turns north to Ta Keo. This temple is in an incomplete state because, apparently, it was hit by lightning - a very bad omen - so, construction was abandoned.

Crossing the Siem Reap River is the old bridge, Spean Thma, which can be seen close to the road. It is a picturesque tree-clad ruin that was left high and dry after the river changed its course. Nearby is a pair of temples, namely Chau Srey Thevoda to the north and Thommanon to the south of the road.

The route continues to the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom, heading directly to the famed Terrace of the Elephants, the 350-metre stage for the magnificent shows that were put on at the height of the Khmer Empire. Heading south, the route passes the multi-faced towers of the Bayon and continues to the South Gate of Angkor Thom and back to Angkor Wat and the finish line.

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