Visiting Siem Reap, Cambodia was probably one of the most amazing things I've ever done. And what was even more amazing was the ancient temple of Bayon.
Located in the center of the ancient city of Angkor Thom, Bayon rises majestically to greet its visitors with its 54 towers decorated with 216 smiling faces of Avalokiteshvara. However, it is said that these faces also bear a strong resemblance to the great Buddhist King Jayavarman VII, who built Bayon in the late 12th century as a shrine dedicated to Buddha. Also, according to sacred-destinations.com – “Bayon is surrounded by two long walls bearing an extraordinary collection of bas-relief scenes of legendary and historical events. In all, there are are total of more than 11,000 carved figures over 1.2km of wall”. And they really are a sight to behold!
Bayon is best visited after sunrise or late in the afternoon where one can take in the sun’s movement across these amazing faces. The fact that you can take your time, relax and sit around to take in the gorgeous surroundings just makes it all the more memorable. Sitting amongst those rocks, I couldn’t help but feel privileged to have seen this spectacular piece of history.