The Baphuon Temple is one of the quieter of the main Angkor ruins, despite being almost right next to the Bayon Temple, with the Terrace of the Elephants nearby. With large, open grounds, the temple is almost palatial, creating a peaceful place to enjoy the open air and a clearer view of the impressive architecture after the cramped corridors of Bayon Temple.

At 120 metres long, 100 metres wide and 34 metres tall, the main temple structure is roughly the same size as its famous neighbour, but in a worse state of repair, which may partially explain the comparative lack of popularity. Being at the end of a 225-metre-long elevated walkway – entirely exposed to the hot Cambodian sun – may also be a factor, putting off temple explorers who have already been worn out by The Bayon.

Overview of Baphuon Temple

The grandeur of Baphuon as described above by Zhou Daguan is unrecognizable today because of the poor condition of the temple. The French were in the process of restoring this temple when they were forced leave Angkor in 1972 because of war. Baphuon is situated inside the royal city of Angkor Thom but dates from the eleventh century and was built before the city was established. An interesting feature of Baphuon are the bas-reliefs which are scenes carved in small squares.

Unfortunately few of these are visible because of the poor state of the temple. The narrative themes are realistic depictions of daily life and forest scenes.

Below is the glimpse of Baphuon Temple in 360o viewing:

History of Baphuon Temple

This magnificent temple was built by King Udayadityavarman II in the middle of the 11th century, before the city of Angkor Thom was established. 

Originally a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, it was converted into a Buddhist temple in the late 15th Century, and a huge reclining Buddha (nine meters tall by 70 meters long) was added to the west side of the temple’s second level around this time.

Like the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Baphuon was built on a too-soft foundation of sandy soil which proved to be inadequate for such an immense structure. 

This shaky foundation caused the temple to be unstable for most of its history, and it is very likely that large portions had already collapsed by the time it was converted to a Buddhist temple. 

The stones from the collapsed portion of the structure were utilized in the creation of the reclining Buddha, which is one of the largest in Southeast Asia.

By the early 20th century, Baphuon was on the verge of complete collapse. A massive restoration project began in the 1960s, which involved dismantling the temple stone by stone, reinforcing the foundation, and then re-assembling the structure. 

300,000 blocks of stone were labelled and numbered, and carefully arranged in the 10 hectares surrounding the temple site, waiting to be put back together. Unfortunately, the project was abandoned when civil war broke out in 1970, and the plans identifying the stones’ intended location were destroyed by the Khmer Rouge.

A second restoration project, which came to be known as the largest three-dimensional jigsaw puzzle in the world, was launched in 1996 under the guidance of the architect Pascal Royère. Modern technology greatly aided in the process, but it still took 16 years to complete the puzzle. 

The lighter colored stones are the restored pieces. We are truly fortunate to be able to visit this remarkable site and owe a debt of gratitude to the hundreds of workers responsible for reconstructing this magnificent temple.

Architecture of Baphuon Temple

The Baphuon temple is the prototype for the Baphuon style of design which covers every available surface with intricate carvings. These carvings include both realistic and fanciful depictions of lotus flowers, wild animals, and hunters, devata figures, and men in battle. 

There are also carvings with indirect references to Hindu mythology and scenes illustrating epic poems such as the Ramayana. The sandstone temple-mountain symbolically represents the sacred five-peaked Mount Meru important in both Hindu and Buddhist cosmology. 

There are three enclosures in the Baphuon temple complex, and the main structure is situated on a high base. With the bronze tower that was part of the original structure it would have been roughly 50 meters high, but without this tower it stands 34 meters tall.

Layout of the Baphuon Temple

The main entrance facing East is a large structure of gopuras connected by galleries. It reminds of the main entrance of Angkor Wat. A number of devata statues decorate the gate. Behind the gate is a sandstone walkway, a little above ground level. 

About halfway the walkway, between the temple and the entrance gate is a pavilion, its walls decorated with panels containing several depictions of animals, hunters, and warriors. 

On the South end of the walkway is a large pool. On the Western side of the Baphuon is another entrance gate and an enormous reclining Buddha image that was build centuries later, but which was never completed.

Three enclosures

The walkway from the Eastern gate leads to the third enclosure, that has an entrance gate on all four sides. The enclosure was surrounded by galleries, most of which have disappeared. In the 15th century the stones were used to construct the giant reclining Buddha on the West end of the temple.

Inside the third enclosure past the East entrance gopura are the remains of two library buildings with vestibules on all sides.

The second enclosure has four entrance gopuras that are decorated with several depictions from Hindu mythology, including scenes from the Indian epics Ramayana and Mahabharata, as well as flower patterns, animals, warriors fighting battles and devata figures.

Single sanctuary prasat

The top of the structure is a platform measuring 42 meters long by 36 meters wide with a single sanctuary of which very little is left today. Inside was enshrined the most important linga, the representation of Shiva. The platform is surrounded by a gallery with an entrance gopura on each of its four sides.

Preparing your visit to Baphuon Temple

Temple Facts

  • Date: Mid 11th Century
  • Religion: Hinduism
  • Built By: Udayadityavarman II
  • Dedicated To: Shiva
  • Style: Temple Mountain (Baphuon)
  • Best Time to Visit: Anytime, but early morning is coolest.
  • Length of Visit: 30 – 60 minutes
  • Temple Pass: Required (included in the Angkor Complex pass)


Baphuon is located inside Angkor Thom at the end of a 225m causeway which starts at the end of the Terrace of the Elephants. It’s situated just to the north of Bayon temple and south of Phimeanakas.

Check the temple location on Google Maps as below for your reference:

Getting There

Baphuon is not far from the town and is easily accessible. Visitors use a variety of transport options with tuk tuks, taxis, and bicycle being the most popular.

Many tour groups also include Baphuon on the their itineraries, so you’ll often find many minivans and minibuses nearby.

To reach the temple, you can head north from Bayon temple for about 100m and then walk along the 225m causeway to the entrance of Baphuon.

Baphuon Temple Tours

Baphuon is often included on the Small Angkor Wat Circuit Tour. Most commonly, it’s visited when you’ve just finished at Bayon. You’ll start with the Terrace of the Elephants before walking along the 225m causeway.

On the way back, you’ll probably stop at the Terrace of the Leper King and explore other nearby temples including Phimeanakas.


Baphuon is located inside Angkor Thom and as such, you won’t find any accommodation nearby. Many guests will find a hotel in Siem Reap and then make the short journey to Angkor Thom to visit the temples here.

Here is our travel guide for Siem Reap

Why Visit Baphuon?

Actually, many guests tend to overlook Baphuon. This makes it a perfect place to explore because you can escape the large crowds which visit the other temples such as Bayon and Angkor Wat.

Most overlook this temple because they want to spend more time on their tour exploring the big three temples (Angkor Wat, Bayon, and Ta Prohm). There is also a long 225m walk which doesn’t offer any protection from the sun.

However, the view from the top of the temple and the relative peace and quiet make this an excellent choice for visitors.

Baphuon Temple Photos

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My name is Jolie, I am a Vietnamese girl growing up in the countryside of Hai Duong, northern Vietnam. Since a little girl, I was always dreaming of exploring the far-away lands, the unseen beauty spots of the world. My dream has been growing bigger and bigger day after day, and I do not miss a chance to make it real. After graduating from the univesity of language in Hanoi, I started the exploration with a travel agency and learning more about travel, especially responsible travel. I love experiencing the different cultures of the different lands and sharing my dream with the whole world. Hope that you love it too!


Taking a cruise on the fascinating Mekong River offers a unique and memorable travel experience. The Mekong River, one of the longest rivers in Asia, flows through several countries, including China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Each destination along the river offers its own distinct cultural, historical, and natural attractions. In this article, we will go over what you can expect when cruising the Mekong River. 


Preah Vihear Temple (Prasat Preah Vihear) is an ancient Hindu temple built during the period of the Khmer Empire, that is situated atop a 525-metre (1,722 ft) cliff in the Dângrêk Mountains, in the Preah Vihear province, Cambodia. In 1962, following a lengthy dispute between Cambodia and Thailand over ownership, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague ruled that the temple is in Cambodia.

Affording a view for many kilometers across a plain, Prasat Preah Vihear has the most spectacular setting of all the temples built during the six-century-long Khmer Empire. As a key edifice of the empire's spiritual life, it was supported and modified by successive kings and so bears elements of several architectural styles.

Preah Vihear is unusual among Khmer temples in being constructed along a long north–south axis, rather than having the conventional rectangular plan with orientation toward the east. The temple gives its name to Cambodia's Preah Vihear province, in which it is now located, as well as the Khao Phra Wihan National Park which borders it in Thailand's Sisaket province, though it is no longer accessible from Thailand.

On July 7, 2008, Preah Vihear was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Deep in the forests of Cambodia’s Siem Reap province, the elegant spires of an ancient stone city soar skyward above the sprawling complex of Angkor Archaeological Park.

The Khmer Empire’s various capitals thrived here from the 9th to 15th centuries, while their rulers presided over an empire that stretched from Myanmar (Burma) to Vietnam. Including forested areas and newly discovered “suburbs” Angkor covers more than 400 square kilometers.

Though just one of hundreds of surviving temples and structures, the massive Angkor Wat is the most famed of all Cambodia’s temples - it appears on the nation’s flag - and it is revered for good reason. The 12th century “temple-mountain” was built as a spiritual home for the Hindu god Vishnu. The temple is an architectural triumph laden with artistic treasures like the bas-relief galleries that line many walls and tell enduring tales of Cambodian history and legend.

In other parts of Angkor such art depicts scenes of daily life - offering scholars a precious window into the past.

Reading the below epic guide for Angkor Archaeological Park, you will have all the information you need from its history, maps, best time to visit and so on to have the best out of your Angkor tours


Banteay Kdei Temple (Prasat Banteay Kdei), meaning "A Citadel of Chambers", also known as "Citadel of Monks' cells", is a Buddhist temple in Angkor, Cambodia. It is located southeast of Ta Prohm and east of Angkor Thom. 

Built in the mid-12th to early 13th centuries AD during the reign of Jayavarman VII (who was posthumously given the title "Maha paramasangata pada"), it is in the Bayon architectural style, similar in plan to Ta Prohm and Preah Khan, but less complex and smaller. Its structures are contained within two successive enclosure walls and consist of two concentric galleries from which emerge towers, preceded to the east by a cloister.

This Buddhist monastic complex is currently dilapidated due to faulty construction and poor quality of sandstone used in its buildings and is now undergoing renovation. Banteay Kdei had been occupied by monks at various intervals over the centuries till 1960s.


Just east of Angkor Thom’s Victory Gate is Chau Say Tevoda. It was probably built during the second quarter of the 12th century, under the reign of Suryavarman II, and dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu. It has been renovated by the Chinese to bring it up to the condition of its twin temple, Thommanon.


Thommanon Temple is a Hindu temple site that's covered in intricate carvings and surrounded by forests in Angkor. The temple is in relatively excellent condition, thanks to extensive restoration work in the 1960s.

It was constructed about the same time as Angkor Wat. The style of architecture is quite evident in the towers and carvings, which are in very good condition. During the rainy season, the dampened sandstone offers great photo opportunities.

Part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the complex dates back between the 11th and 12th centuries. It is about 600 metres east of the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom, just opposite Chau Say Tevoda. Even before restoration, Thommanon was in much a better condition than Chau Say Tevoda. Unlike the latter, which was built using wooden beams enclosed in stone, Thommanon Temple's entire structure was made out of stone. 


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