Discovering the Smiling Faces of Bayon Temple

Discovering the Smiling Faces of Bayon Temple. As we arrived at the Bayon Temple in Siem Reap, we were in awe of the impressive and recognizable faces that greeted us.

Unique Architecture

Bayon Temple is a famous temple in the Angkor Archaeological Park. It is known for its unique architecture and numerous smiling stone faces. These faces believed to represent a bodhisattva or the king himself are intricately carved with serene expressions, downcast eyes and enigmatic smiles.

There are over 200 of these faces each measuring several meters in height and they are strategically positioned to gaze in all directions creating an otherworldly atmosphere.

Simply Stunning

We entered the temple from the eastern side which is the traditional entrance and the best starting point. The size of the temple initially astounded us as we traversed the wide stone terrace. This was the Temple of Faces consisting of 54 towers and a total of 216 faces.

Impressive Temple

As we wandered through the temple, We were amazed by the intricate carvings and the sheer number of Buddha faces that were everywhere. The temple’s main tower was surrounded by two galleries both holding an extraordinary collection of bas-relief scenes depicting everyday life and historical events.

Ancient Temple with Spectacular Carvings

The outer wall of the outer gallery alone had over 11,000 carved figures and I was amazed at the vivid scenes of 12th-century Cambodia that were depicted there. The attention to detail was astounding and it felt like each carving was telling its own story.

Amazing Faces of Bayon

But what really made Bayon Temple stand out were the huge Buddha faces that were carved into each tower in the four directions of north, south, east, and west and were much larger than life. These faces look were so captivating that we had some of the best photo opportunities ever.

A Must See of Course

Discovering the Smiling Faces of Bayon Temple. The Bayon Temple in Angkor Thom is an amazing wonder to behold. The Buddist temple is one of the best examples of Khmer architecture in the world. The temple is very easy to navigate on foot with very little climbing. The smiling stone faces on the various peaks are incredible and there are photo opportunities around nearly every corner.

Bayon temple is memorable for the huge face sculptures and we couldn’t help but feel like we were transported to a different time and place during our visit.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is Bayon Temple?

Bayon Temple is a Buddhist temple located in the ancient city of Angkor Thom in Siem Reap. It was the last state temple built in the Angkor complex.

2. What is Bayon Temple known for?

Bayon Temple is a famous temple in the Angkor Archaeological Park. It is known for its unique architecture and numerous smiling stone faces.

3. How old is Bayon Temple?

Bayon Temple was built at the end of the late 12th or early 13th century during the reign of Jayavarman VII.

4. How many faces are there at Bayon Temple?

Bayon Temple consists of 54 towers each with four smiling faces which means there are a total of 216 faces at the temple.

5. How long does it take to visit Bayon Temple?

It usually takes about 1-2 hours to visit Bayon Temple depending on how much time you spend exploring the temple and taking photos.

6. What is the best time to visit Bayon Temple?

Early morning or late afternoon are the best times to visit Bayon Temple because the weather is cooler and there are fewer visitors. Its also a good idea to visit between November and March when there is a lower likelihood of rain.

Things to take note of when visiting Bayon Temple

1. Dress appropriately

  • As a religious site, visitors are expected to dress modestly. Wear clothing that covers your shoulders and knees.

2. Respect the site

  • Bayon Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage site and it is important to show respect and care when visiting. Do not touch or climb on the ruins or carvings and refrain from using flash photography inside the temple.

3. Bring sun protection

  • The temple complex can be quite hot and exposed to the sun. You may want to bring sunblock, a hat and sunglasses to protect yourself from the sun.

4. Wear comfortable shoes

  • Bayon Temple is a large complex with many stairs and uneven surfaces. Wearing comfortable shoes will make your visit more enjoyable.

5. Bring water

  • Staying hydrated is important when visiting any temple complex. Bring a water bottle with you and refill it at the water stations located throughout the site.

6. Hire a guide

  • Hiring a guide can greatly enhance your visit to Bayon Temple. They can provide valuable information and historical context about the temple complex and its significance.

7. Be aware of scams

  • Be wary of scams and unofficial tour guides that may approach you outside of the temple complex. Stick to the official guides or those recommended by your hotel or travel agency.

8. Visit at off-peak times

  • To avoid crowds and the mid-day heat, try to visit Bayon Temple early in the morning or later in the afternoon.