Bayon Temple, Siem Reap

4.8
#3 of 1,390 in Things to do in Cambodia
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. Using our international travel planner, Siem Reap attractions like Bayon Temple can form part of a personalized travel itinerary.
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Bayon Temple Reviews
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4.8
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  • October 5, 2017
    This temple is so nice with the beautiful smiling face when I went up all faces looked and smiled at me. Weather was wet on the day I visited but still enjoyed this great temple  more »
  • October 5, 2017
    Bayon is crazy. It’s a “mountain temple” type. It has a pyramid shape and you have to climb as when you get to the center. Some other are like that as well, but this one is huge, beautiful carvings an...  more »
  • October 5, 2017
    Shapes of Buddha faces all around the temple towers and walls, simply beautiful. Just try to come very early in the morning or before dawn, as it is packed with tourists and makes it very difficult to...  more »
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  • July 10, 2017
    The Bayon is probably the most impressive site in the Angkor Thom complex. For photography the best time to be there is obviously 5 PM but that also happens to be the time when it is the most crowded due to the fact there is no shade at the site. During the day it is stifling hot. To beat the crowds, visit at 8 AM while the light is still great for some nice shots. For a more in-depth report go to my travel blog: megaworldasia dot com
  • July 4, 2017
    I am also mesmerized with the beauty of Bayon Temples. These are scattered set of temples which have unique architectural designs each. This is my 2nd most favorite part of Angkor after Angkor Wat. Every spot is really worth the picture. I am also glad that there are paved walkways and stairs within the complex.
  • June 2, 2017
    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.
  • July 16, 2017
    Dating from the 12th century, Bayon Temple is the spectacular central temple of the ancient city of Angkor Thom. The complex is located just to the north of the famous Angkor Wat.
  • June 17, 2017
    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.

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Where to stay in Siem Reap

Siem Reap offers attractive accommodations on every budget. Inexpensive family-run guesthouses provide clean, private rooms with access to the host's wealth of information. Hostels catering to backpackers cluster around the old market squares. Four- and five-star resorts welcome guests to retreat from the city into sleek modern interiors or rustic village havens, while mid-range hotels with sparkling pools fill in the spectrum. All can be booked online in advance, but with the abundant options at hand you shouldn't have much trouble finding a room upon arrival.
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