Faces Everywhere!


Member Rating 5 out of 5 by dkm1981 on April 19, 2013

==Bayon Temple== was one of my favourites of the visit because it was unique in design to me. It is in the centre of the Angkor Thom temple which is about a kilometre north of Angkor Wat. Your driver will take you through one of the gates first that are lined with statues that are human like to an extent, although they seem to be a rather comedic human all the same.

Bayon Temple was built either in the late 12th or early 13th century and is very well maintained. It was built by King Jayavarman VII who was said to be a somewhat eccentric and egotistical king. Although the latter can be said for all of the kings in my opinion (just look at the sheer size of the temples they built for themselves), nowhere is it more apparent that at Bayon. The temple is covered in huge faces, said to bear a striking resemblance to the king who had them constructed.

The faces are everywhere and they are really quite something. The fact that they have stood for so long is absolutely amazing and the number of them is amusing. You can walk up and around the temple and so you can get quite close to the faces that adorn it to see how detailed they are. I also thought it felt a bit eerie to have so many of them looking down on you from a great height.

When you walk out of this temple, you come across ==Bauphone== which is a smaller temple but very well maintained. It was built around the same time as Bayon for the same king and is called a ‘three tiered temple mountain’. You can certainly see why, because it does look remarkably like a wedding cake. The stone on this temple is lighter and it looks a lot more summery and less imposing in a way.

There is a long, narrow walkway leading up to the temple and you can climb up to about three quarters of the way up it. At the top of it is what looks like a door frame, which apparently lead to heaven. The reason so many of the temples are so tall is that it was believed that they were closer to heaven as a result. Nowhere is that belief more apparent than in this temple.

The other interesting feature of this temple is the massive reclining Buddha at the back of it. It measures about nine metres tall by seventy metres long and is quite difficult to see due to the wear and tear on the place, but if you look hard enough you can see the huge head and then it is a simpler task making out the rest of it from there.
Angkor Thom
Siem Reap
Angkor Wat, Cambodia

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