Bayon Temple is well know for the many (216 actually) smiling faces adorning 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.
Bayon temple was built in the late 12th or early 13th century as the official state temple of the Mahayana Buddhist King Jayavarman VII.
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.
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.
Related: Bayon on Wikipedia – Ta Prohm temple, Angkor – Angkor Wat – Neak Poan Temple, Siem Reap, Cambodia – Borobudur in Java, Indonesia (Buddhist temple built in the 9th century)
Neak Pean (or Neak Poan) (in Khmer: ប្រាសាទនាគព័ន្ធ) was built by Jayavarman VII in the 12th century as a Buddhist temple.
The site is within a large reservoir (which measured 3500 meters by 900 meters). The walkway takes you to the man made island that contains the Neak Pean temple.
The temple is within the Angkor archaeological park area. I rode my bike between the many large and small temples while living in Siem Reap, Cambodia for a couple months. You can easily see 10 of these small temples and few large ones by bike in one day.
You do get some exercise (which for me was a plus) and it isn’t very hard as the entire area is very flat. Of course the area is also usually hot. You can rent bikes in town for a few US$ a day. You can also rent a tuk tuk or electric bikes.
Related: Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia – Ta Prohm Temple (Banyan trees) – Borobudur, an amazing Budhist temple built in the 9th century in Indonesia – Wat Lok Moli, Chiang Mai, Thailand
I really like the mosaic artwork on the walls of buildings at Wat Xieng Thong in Luang Prabang, Laos.
Luang Prabang is full of interesting temples and is a great place to walk around. The old city has been designated a World Heritage Site by the UN and I highly enjoyed staying in Luang Prabang.
Buddha statues in front of a mosaic wall inside a Wat Xieng Thong temple building.
Grand Mosque of Shadian in Gejiu City, Yunnan, China is one of the largest mosques in China. The mosque can hold 10,000 people for prayers. It is patterned after the Nabawi Mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia.
One of the things I enjoy about traveling is the exploring local areas and finding interesting sites that were not what drew you to an area. All the photos are by me during my visit in 2013 (see more photos by John Hunter).
The Mosque of Shadian was established here during the Ming Dynasty (1488-1505). According to the plaque it has remained in service since, though with several destructions of the buildings. The version of the mosque seen in the photos was completed in 2010.
Grand Hall, prayer room
Chiang Mai, Thailand is home to many ancient Buddhist temples. Wat Lok Molee (or Wat Lok Moli) sits just North of the moat surrounding the old city.
The “zip line” is to bring something up to the Buddha in the Chendi. I don’t know what, but maybe offerings. I have seen the at some other temples but not many.
Although it is know this temple was originally built in the 14th century the architecture of the Chendi (also called stupa or pagoda) dates to the 16th century.
I had very positive memories of the photogenic nature of the Grand Palace in Bangkok. But my photos from my last trip were not digital and I haven’t seen them in over 10 years. I was worried I would be disappointed. I wasn’t.
Emerald Buddha temple, Grand Palace
See my video of the Grand Palace, Bangkok, Thailand:
Angkor Wat is the largest Hindu temple complex in the world, situated at Angkor, Cambodia, built by King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city.
As the best-preserved temple in the Siem Reap area, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation – first Hindu, dedicated to the god Vishnu, then Buddhist. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture.
As you would expect this UNESCO world heritage site is amazing. It is very large with a huge temple. The carvings are exceptional and numerous. I was there in the slow part of the season and while there were lots of people, there was plenty of room.
I went to Angkor Wat on 3 days. I was going elsewhere for a sunset visit (on my first day) but as it was cloudy I decided to go to Angkor instead (saving the sunset for another day) and get some photos in the nice light late in the day. I went to see the sunrise and continued on with my guide. Then I went back late in the afternoon on one of the other days – there was a bit more sun so I hoped for better photos and also it is huge, there is plenty to see.
Looking at my photos now they don’t convey the size of Angkor Wat. This last photo is taken inside the building several floors up above ground level. Angkor Wat is an absolutely wonderful destination and is surrounded in the larger temple complex (over a site 400 km square) by several other world class sites.