Acouple of lesser-known sites beyond the famous Terrace of the Elephants in Angkor Thom are worth a short detour from the road north of the Leper King Terrace.
Tep Pranam is a low platform with a modern Buddhist shrine at the end. While not in itself of much interest, it leads to a small pagoda where the wooden prayer hall has great atmosphere and the monks are usually happy to meet visitors. The head monk can often seen carrying out ritual ablutions, pouring water over the heads of the devotees.
Within sight of the pagoda is Preah Palillay, one of my favourite sites within Angkor Thom. It's a single tower in a peaceful location surrounded by trees. From Preah Palillay, it's a pleasant short walk south through forest to the old Royal Palace gateway. The route passes the Royal Baths, the pyramid temple of Phimeanakas, and back through the gate.
This week, work commenced on scaffolding at the temple. Workmen told Temple Watch they were going to remove the trees growing out of the temple base. So, for three months, the sound of birds will likely be replaced by the sound of chainsaws. While the preservation and safety of the temples is the primary object, it is very sad that these trees have to go.