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An experience we will never forget
March 24, 2012

Bayon


The Bayon is a well-known and richly decorated Khmer temple at Angkor archaeological site in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Built in the late 12th century or early 13th century as the official state temple of the Mahayana Buddhist King Jayavarman VII, the 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 religious preferences.


If your time does not allow you to visit the whole complex of Angkor temples, Angkor Wat and Bayon should be featured on top of your list. The imposing and mystical stone faces of Bayon are considered the finest example of classic Khmer architecture and art. The temple is also known for two impressive sets of bas-reliefs on exterior walls, which present an unusual combination of mythological, historical, and mundane scenes. Bayon temple is described as "the most striking expression of the baroque style" of Khmer architecture, as contrasted with the classical style of Angkor Wat.

 



The Bayon reveals its best in the time of sunrise and sunset. A moonlit night is also special moment (albeit not highly recommended) to visit the monument “when the lines and shadows become softened and the stone and its verdant background composed in a perfect unity of hue and tone - when the faces, mellow and subdued, take on an emotive expression from which radiates a sort of lyrical charm - where each becomes exaggerated in over-scale, doubled in profile and infinitely multiplied. You may soak in the serenity of this Buddhist tranquility, embryonic amongst the phantoms”.

(Part of this article is from The Angkor Guide)
 

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