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Terrace of the Leper King
Terrace of the Leper King

Terrace of the Leper King

Angkor Thom , Angkor, Cambodia

The Basics

As with other signature Khmer Empire sites, your Angkor Archaeological Park admission ticket gains you access to Angkor Thom, including the Terrace of the Leper King. Choose between 1-day, 3-day, and 7-day passes, and be aware that multi-day passes can be spread out over longer periods.

Visit the Terrace of the Leper King as part of a dedicated Angkor Thom tour or a more general Angkor tour that includes temples such as Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm. Expect to tour the Terrace of the Elephants, Bayon Temple, and the Royal Enclosure when you explore Angkor Thom.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • The Terrace of the Leper King, well worth visiting if you have time to investigate Angkor Thom in depth, is particularly of interest to history buffs.

  • Modest dress is required throughout the Angkor Archaeological Park: Cover shoulders and thighs.

  • The exterior carvings at the Terrace of the Leper King are fully wheelchair-accessible. The interior path is narrow, and access to the top of the platform is by stairs.

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How to Get There

The Terrace of the Leper King lies north of Bayon Temple, Baphuon, and the Terrace of the Elephants in the ancient city of Angkor Thom, about 7 miles (11 kilometers) north of downtown Siem Reap. Angkor Thom is around half a mile (1 kilometer) north of Angkor Wat. There is no public transport to or within the Angkor Archaeological Park, so most travelers opt to join a tour or arrange a private driver/guide.

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When to Get There

While the Terrace of the Leper King is less busy than Bayon Temple or the Terrace of the Elephants, Angkor Thom is one of the Khmer Empire’s big three. It’s open from early morning until late afternoon seven days a week, and it’s worth planning your visit for an afternoon, with Bayon Temple the last sight on your itinerary.

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Who Was the Leper King?

The statue that gave the Terrace of the Leper King its name is a replica, with the original in a Phnom Penh museum. Some believe it represents a Khmer king with leprosy, but there’s no evidence either that Khmer kings lived with the condition or that the statue was sculpted to depict it. It likely represents either Yama, god of death, or Shiva, the Destroyer, suggesting the platform may have been used for royal cremations.

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