Baphuon began life in the 11th century as a Hindu temple meant to represent mystical Mount Meru, like most temples in the region. It was later rededicated to Buddha but hasn’t weathered the intervening years as well as its neighbors, with much of the construction lying in countless pieces.
A vast reclining Buddha forms a wall of one of the temple’s three tiers, but you will have to exercise your imagination to visualize the divinity’s features. Despite – or maybe because of – its present state, Baphuon is one of the most magical Angkor sites, with shaded pavilions looking out on elaborately-carved stone pieces battling the jungle for supremacy.
Baphoun is within Angkor Thom, which lies 4.5 miles (7 kilometers) north of Siem Reap, past Angkor Wat. As the subject of major ongoing archeological work, much of the Baphuon site is inaccessible at any given time.