Bayon Temple, Angkor, Cambodia

many carved faces with trees in the background

Bayon Temple is well know for the many (216 actually) smiling faces adorning the temple.

wide shot of Bayon Temple with tourists dwarfed by the size of the temple

I was living in Siem Reap for a few months and took these photos during a bike trip from the city to visit the temples. It is a nice bike ride (very flat the entire time). You can also rent tuk-tuks or taxis to tour the sites (I have done that also). I most enjoyed biking myself around. If I remember right it is between 12 and 20 km journey depending on what you decide to see and where start from in Siem Reap.

Tourists taking photos in front of many carvings of faces

Bayon temple was built in the late 12th or early 13th century as the official state temple of the Mahayana Buddhist King Jayavarman VII.

bas-relief art carved on the stone walls of Bayon Temple

Bayon stands at the centre of Jayavarman’s capital, Angkor Thom. Following Jayavarman’s death, it was modified and augmented by later Hindu and Theravada Buddhist kings in accordance with their own religious preferences.

a wide view of the temple

This photo I took on a separate visit.

Bayon was the last state temple to be built at Angkor, and the only Angkorian state temple to be built primarily as a Mahayana Buddhist shrine dedicated to the Buddha, though a great number of minor and local deities were also encompassed as representatives of the various districts and cities of the realm.

Covered stone walkway with art relief on the walls at Bayon

Related: Bayon on WikipediaTa Prohm temple, AngkorAngkor WatNeak Poan Temple, Siem Reap, CambodiaBorobudur in Java, Indonesia (Buddhist temple built in the 9th century)

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