West Mebon Baray – a vast man-made lake
As we were staying a few days in Siem Reap we took a trip to see the West Baray reservoir. This is one of the largest man-made lakes in Cambodia. It looks extremely natural and measures 8 by 2.1 kilometres. It was constructed east-westerly and is close to Angkor Thom. It's water is contained by high wide dyke's and both the baray/ reservoir and the island were built by the Khmer soldiers and on it stands the West Mebon Hindu Temple.
The French believed that the West Baray was built to hold large tanks of water with irrigation pipes to feed the rice fields. After careful architectural research it was found that on the base of the lake, walls, steps and pottery objects were found with an inscription on them with 713 AD showing signs of early day settlements.
The east dyke runs down and around the Angkor Thom the capital city of King Yasavarman with the Bethang temple at its centre. There were some places submerged beneath the water. The south dyke partially covered a brick section of the A K Tung temple.
The water is clean and the local people visit to swim and sail the boats.