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West Baray (reservoir) is the largest man-made body of water at Angkor, measuring 7.8km long by 2.1km wide. It's thought to have been constructed in the 11th century, although some of it was probably built much earlier.
Visitors can hire a boat from the southern dam wall to take them to the island in the middle of the baray, where West Mebon, a Hindu temple, once stood. Today, only traces of it remain but the island is a pleasant spot for a picnic or just walking around when water level is low.
The hammock huts on the dam wall and along the small beach are popular picnic spots with local people especially on weekends. Swimming, playing on truck inner tubes, grilled fish and chicken, a few beers, and swinging in the hammock are the usual order of the day.
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