“Au fond des forêts du Siam, j’ai vu l’étoile du soir se lever sur les grandes ruines d’Angkor. “ (Pierre Loti, Pelerin d’Angkor, 1905)
The Phnom Bakheng is a hilltop temple known for spectacular views on Angkor Wat, which lies amid the jungle about 1.5 km to the southeast. The large number of visitors makes Phnom Bakheng one of the most threatened monuments of Angkor.
Constructed more than two centuries before Angkor Wat, Phnom Bakheng was in its day the principal temple of the Angkor region, historians believe. It was the architectural centerpiece of a new capital, Yasodharapura, that Yasovarman built when he moved the court from the capital Hariharalaya in the Roluos area located to the southeast.