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If you’ve visited Angkor Wat the last couple of years, you might have been disappointed in being unable to climb into the top terrace of Cambodia’s iconic temple. Now there’s a reason to go back to Angkor – the authorities have reopened the top tier (the Bakan) after the completion of restoration works, but with some health and time restrictions. I managed to climb up to the top tier when I was there a few years ago and I must say the stairs are s-t-e-e-p! You literally had to climb (as in hugging the steps) up and down the staircase and the guide said that at least one tourist had died falling off it. I wonder if the restoration works have incorporated improved access up the steps.

Steps up to the Bakan, Angkor Wat

Angkor’s top tier reopens

Phnom Penh Post, 15 January 2010

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.

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