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Baphuon Temple, Siem Reap Overview

Baphuon Temple is an ancient mountain temple located in Angkor archaeological park in Siem Reap in Cambodia. This sandstone monument is known for the magnificent views of Angkor Thom witnessed from the top of its pyramid-shaped towers reached by steep wooden staircases. It is also well-known for the incomplete sculpture of the Reclining Buddha.

King Udayadityavarman II built it before the capital city of Angkor Thom was established. Originally, Baphuon was a state temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. Later on, it was converted to a Buddhist shrine in the 15th century. The bird views of the surrounding Bayon and other temples in Angkor Thom in the early morning have become quite popular among the tourists recently.

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Ticket details

The entrance fee for admission to Baphuon is included with the temple pass for central Angkor. Foreigners are required to buy an admission pass, called the Angkor pass, which can only be purchased at the official ticket centre, located 4 kilometres away from Siem Reap town. It is open from 5:00 AM to 5:30 PM every day. The entrance ticket can be purchased either by cash (US Dollars, Cambodian Riel, Thai Baht or Euro) or by credit card. Tickets issued after 5:00 PM are only valid from the next day.

There are three types of admission passes available, depending on the number of entries:
1-Day: USD 37 for a day pass
3-Days: USD 62 valid for ten days
7-Days: USD 72 valid for one month

Best time to visit Baphuon

The best time to explore Baphuon is during the early morning around sunrise and after when the weather is excellent.

Baphuon History & Significance

Baphuon Temple was built approximately 100 years before the establishment of the ancient capital city of Angkor Thom. Baphon first functioned as a state temple and later on becoming one of the Buddhist shrines.

During the reign of King Jayavarman VII, parts of the temple including the outer gallery and causeway were demolished. Bas-reliefs consisting of Buddhist inscriptions and figurines were constructed. The most notable sculpture is that of a 70 meter reclining Buddha on the west side of the temple that was never completed.

Baphuon Architecture

The temple was the archetype of Baphuon style of architecture, a three-tiered structure consisting of intricate carvings at all levels. Baphuon consists of three enclosures. The main entrance is from the east, which can be reached by passing through a long walkway.  Earlier there was a gallery surrounding all the four gates. Within this enclosure, there were small temples with sandstone Gopuras. A striking 8-meter tall tower made of wood and plated with bronze adorned the centre of Baphuon.

The causeway leading to the second enclosure consists of several inscriptions describing the lives of Khmer people as well as scenes from Hindu mythology. There are several statues of Hindu Gods as well as some Buddhist deities. Within this enclosure are remains of two libraries. To the west in the second level is the statue of reclining Buddha. The inner enclosure consists of the sanatorium. It originally included a massive Shiva Linga, which was surrounded by a gallery composed of intricate sculptures.

What to wear

As with the other temples in Siem Reap, it is expected that tourists dress appropriately. Women need to cover their shoulder at all times and wear knee-length attire. Sleeveless shirts and shorts aren't also allowed for both men and women.

How to reach

When you buy your tickets, you get a tourist map which shows the various locations of temples, grouped into Grand circuit and small circuits for easy navigation. Baphuon is a part of the short course and is located just 200 meters away from Bayon. You'll pass through the Terrace of the Elephants before entering Baphuon.

The easiest way to reach Baphuon is by car or bus, and you’re typically looking at around a 30-minute drive from Siem Reap's city centre. A day’s hire of a tuk-tuk from the town around the major temples at Angkor and back should cost around USD 15-25. For a guided tour, expect to pay closer to USD 25.

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