Flanking the road to the east of the Victory Gate at Angkor Thom, the small adjacent temples of Thommanon and Chau Say Tevoda may have served as models for the roadside ‘rest houses’ built throughout the Khmer Empire by Suryavarman II and later by Jayavarman VII.
Both follow a rectangular, flat plan and although their dates remain unknown since they lack inscriptions, stylistic features suggest that Thommanon was built near the beginning of the 12th century while Chau Say Tevoda dates to the end of Suryavarman II’s reign in the mid- 12th century.
These two temples have both been restored using the anastolysis method whereby the temples are dismantled so that the central cores can be re-enforced before the temple is fully reconstructed. Chau Say Tevoda was completed in 2009. This temple in particular raises an in one of the debates surrounding conservation and restoration projects, namely how far should restorers go? As you move through the temple, notice parts of the lintels, colonnettes and pilasters that are incongruously new, clean and a completely different colour and texture from the original surrounding stonework. Personal taste determines if this is a good idea or not.