Angkor Wat – Ascend to heaven

According to a Jan 15 article in The Phnom Penh Post, the top tier of Angkor Wat is once again open to visitors after several years of renovation work:

“As of today, tourists will once again be able to enjoy the view from the very top level of Angkor Wat. The top tier, called the Bakan, has been closed for restoration since October 2007 and restoration work was undertaken by Khmer, German and Italian teams. On December 31, Apsara issued a letter to various institutions, tour operators and tour guide associations saying that the Bakan will be opened but only temporarily. No dates have been given for when it will be closed again, or when it might be opened permanently.”

A local tour guide explained the significance of the Bakan: “The Bakan is considered a sacred place and it’s at the very top,” he said. “Tourists are always interested in visiting the Bakan, because it was considered heaven for the gods.”

There are restrictions on the visits that you should be aware of:

“Tough restrictions have also been imposed. Visitors must be in good health, wear “proper” clothes and be over 12 years old. They must register in order to visit, and just 100 people will be allowed at the top at any one time and only for 30-minute periods. The Bakan will also be closed for every Buddhist holiday.”

UPDATE: November 17, 2010 – I ascended the Bakan last week and I want to report that there was no registration procedure and no one was aware of any registration procedure, so don’t worry about that. I was there at early afternoon and there was no line and no time limit for the visit. Oh, it was fantastic and highly recommended to check it out. The views are stupendous and being so close to the inner towers and what is basically Angkor Wat’s holy of holies is quite spiritual (if you are lucky to catch it at a time like I did where there are very few people).

(Thinking of visiting the temples of Angkor Wat? Don’t forget to check out my friend Savuth’s tuk tuk services and all the handy information available on Angkortuktuk!)

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~ by Leonard on January 19, 2010.

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