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Bayon Temple, Siem Reap

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Built around the turn of the 13th century by Khmer emperor Jayavarman VII, Bayon Temple looms peaceful and crumbling over its surrounding grounds. The Mahayana Buddhist temple features 216 large, serenely smiling faces carved into its towers, which many believe represent Jayavarman himself. Within the temple, various galleries bear stone relief scenes of religious pilgrimages, battles, and everyday street life. Be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes to navigate the uneven ground of the maze-like temple complex. Before you head to Siem Reap, plan trip itinerary details with our user-friendly Siem Reap itinerary planner, to make sure you see all that Siem Reap has to offer, including Bayon Temple.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Again truly a magnificent structure, but we would recommend splitting the 3 main temples into 3 days, as it is a lot to get around in the heat. We suggest early morning visits before the crowds arrive...  more »
  • The faces temple was pretty cool. It has a mote around the outside, not very clean though. You can take some pretty cool pictures with the faces. It is very hot here and a lot of tourists.  more »
  • Stunning. Try to visit when there are slightly less tourist groups so that it may be easier to appreciate the sights. There is also an elephant riding platform near the North gate. It may help if you ...  more »
Google
  • This is the central jewel of Angkor Thom, the capital of Jayavarman the seventh. It shows. The two outer galleries are filled with quasi 3D relief of battles at sea and in land, of scenes from day to day life and mythology. Take time to walk around and see the panels, at least at a glance. The top terrace puts you on level with the gigantic smiling faces for which Bayon is known for. It's a surreal and humbling experience to walk amongst them and imagine them in their full glory in the past.
  • In Cambodia’s Angkor Thom, a Buddhist monk looks upon Bayon Temple—and possibly considers its secrets. This monk, who goes by the name of, "Annmon", quickly became a new friend. I can’t put into words how amazing his insights on life were. By the end of our conversation, I noticed my face starting to hurt because of how much I had been smiling.
  • The temple itself is a master piece of art. Come here and you will know where the Smile of Khmer comes from. Jayavarman VII was a compassionate and capable king. Take a moment to look at the relief in the galleries, not only will you find the vivid depiction of the life of Khmer people 1000 years ago, but you will also find very interesting cross-cultural information. Take a test: can you find the image of BBQ, woman delivering a baby, and a Chinese businessman marrying a Khmer wife? If you can't find them, take a look again! :) Slow down and look carefully!
  • Impressive, I immersed myself in the details of this amazing piece of art. I didn't take a tour, but I read a lot about the history. Also, I had the privilege to go during a non-busy day/hours, I think I made my day setting my order of visit and times, just to avoid the tourist groups overcrowding the most impressive views and areas.
  • This place left me in awe! The contrast of the strong vibration and the calmness of the countless faces of Buddha so greatly magnificent yet so delicately carved with precision. I had to put my earphones on to switch off the tourist noise and fully embrace what this place is really about - immersion into silence and honour... ✨