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Bayon Temple, Siem Reap

(4.8/5 based on 13,000+ reviews on the web)
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
  • All ten temples are great, and this is no exception. It gets very packed so try to arrive really early or late to beat them. Bring water!  more »
  • this temple was beautiful and fun to walk through, there were not very many people there when we arrived in the afternoon (it was hot so everyone tried to get things done in the morning so we went in ...  more »
  • This is an amazing place to visit. However, we were there on our own and heard bits and pieces of privately guided tours. Those seemed well worth it to us - we ended up hiring a private guide at Angko...  more »
Google
  • Located at the north of famous Angkor Wat temple, Bayon temple is a Buddhist temple which was built around 1190A.D by King Jayavarman VII, but it incorporates elements of Hindu cosmology as well. This temples present the intersection between the heaven and the earth. It is well-known for its amazing huge smiling face. Entering from the east side, you will see a gallery of Bayon's styles characteristics. According to the galleries of this temple, you can see the views of everyday life-markets, fishing, festivals, cockfights and jugglers, and battles.
  • My most favourite temple in Siem Reap. Love the Bayon's smiles, it's beautiful and unique. It's crowded with tourists when going up floor and there were some locals wearing costumes that visitors can pay and take a few pictures with them.
  • just one word, amazing!!! coming in the early morning or late in afternoon should be great to look at all the faces here and think of your own world.
  • The Bayon (Khmer: ប្រាសាទបាយ័ន, Prasat Bayon) is a well-known and richly decorated Khmer temple at Angkor in Cambodia. Built in the late 12th 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 own religious preferences. The Bayon's most distinctive feature is the multitude of serene and smiling stone faces on the many towers which jut out from the upper terrace and cluster around its central peak. The temple is known also for two impressive sets of bas-reliefs, which present an unusual combination of mythological, historical, and mundane scenes. The current main conservatory body, the Japanese Government Team for the Safeguarding of Angkor (the JSA) has described the temple as "the most striking expression of the baroque style" of Khmer architecture, as contrasted with the classical style of Angkor Wat.
  • Beautiful temple ruined by elephant rides. Please do not take any elephant rides. I personally watched a mahout hit an elephant on the head violently with a solid wooden stick and another mahout throw a full water bottle at the elephants face. I'm no expert but saw nothing from the animal to warrant this kind of animal cruelty. The elephants also have ripped ears which indicates some kind of abuse. Please do not support elephant rides!