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Temple watch: Off the beaten track

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ONE of the most mysterious and atmospheric

venues in Angkor is the West Gate of Angkor Thom, at the end of a

recently-improved gravel track.  It is used by locals as a route from

villages to the ancient reservoir of Western Baray, and tourists are a

rarity.

The old laterite road has been subject to wear, so new wooden ramps were constructed this month as further protection.

A pleasant diversion on this route is the small temple tower of

Prasat Top West. The temple, which can be accessed via a narrow track,

is a very peaceful spot and a great place to get away from the crowds. 

To help find it, watch for some Apsara Authority bollards on the left

of the main route about 800 metres from the Bayon.

For those who want a peaceful walk, the walls of Angkor Thom have a

wide path at the top, with a sloping earth bank forming the inner

wall.  You can easily take the route from any of the five main gates,

and see any of the four  Prasat Chrung  Corner temples.  The route from

the North Gate to the West Gate is best for the afternoons.  The walk

from the East, or Victory Gates, to North Gate is best in the mornings.

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