- G.K Chesterton
Bayon in Cambodia is one of the most famous Angkor temples and is renowned for possessing a unique architectural display of giant stone carvings of faces as part of its structure. The temple is located 10km from Siem Reap and the main UNESCO archaeological park, and has a privileged location right in the center right of the town of Angkor Thom. Bayon temple highlights include a dramatic array of architectural complexes to explore aside from the signature faces who will watch your every move. It has never been confirmed exactly who the faces represent, you can decide for yourself. Keen photographers can ascend to the top and will have a great view of the surrounding panorama.
10km away, by Tuk Tuk expect to be there in 25 minutes, by car 15 minutes, or an hour by bicycle. It is best to visit Bayon, Siem Reap in the afternoon to avoid the crowds, and 2 hours is a comfortable amount of time to spend in Bayon. The best way to get there is via the Charles de Gaulle Road, turn left at the Angkor Wat moat pass, continue pass the Angkor Wat temple and the Bakheng sunset point, and then go to the south gate of Angkor Thom where you will follow a paved road for 1.5km which will bring you to Bayon. Architecturally, the temple lacks perfect coherence, having been constructed in stages over a whole century, our Bayon map can be useful for orientation. A Siem Reap tour guide will ensure you get the very best from your visit and the journey from Siem Reap.
Bayon was built by King Jayavarman VII in the late 12th century and was believed to be his state-temple and a centerpiece for Buddhist Worship. After the Cham invasion of 1177AD, following a subsequent battle between the Khmer and the Cham in which the Khmer were victorious, The King ornately decorated the temple with intricate carvings to celebrate the victory. However, following Jayavarman's death, the temple was modified for Theravada and Hindu religious purposes, and suffered damage as a result which gives the temple a decadent form.
"Godliness in the majesty and the size, mystery in the expression"
"Bayon is an unmissable place. If Angkor Wat could possibly have a rival as the jewel in the crown of the Angkor Temple complex it would be this one. The carvings of the faces in the walls are dramatic and mystical, you feel your every move is being watched, and the separate carvings within the temple are wonderfully detailed. This could be where earth meets heaven, kiss the Buddha to experience genuine Nirvana! "
Cambodia travel information and Angkor Wat tour specialists ABOUTAsia are based in Siem Reap just 4km from Angkor Wat. At the heart of the organisation is a guiding research centre providing Cambodia vacation advice and industry leading tours planning.
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