Bayon Temple Angkor Thom Siem Reap Cambodia

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Walk with ChaMike in Bayon Temple Angkor Thom Siem Reap

After appreciating the sunrise at Angkor Wat, our tuk-tuk driver drove us to our second stop, Angkor Thom.

Angkor Thom which means Great City is the last capital city of the Khmer empire making it an important place to visit when you are in Siem Reap. At the heart of the ancient city you will see the Bayon Temple, it is also one of the most well-known temples in the Angkor Archeological Park

How to go to Angkor Thom
Almost all the hotels in Siem Reap offer tours/transportation going to the temples, in our case our hotel offers two options - via van or via tuk-tuk, we chose the latter as we wanted to try riding the local transportation plus it is way cheaper than renting a van as we are just two. 

Read: La Rose Blanche Boutique Hotel Siem Reap Cambodia

Because Mike and I wanted to finish all the temple exploration in one day, we availed of the following:

Sunrise in Angkor Wat
Small Tour -  Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm
Sunset at Phnom Bankeng

The entire tour costs $25 (Php 1,200++) only, included on this fare are side trips going back to our hotel,  going to Blossom Cafe and Cuisine Wat Damnak so it was really a good deal. I told you it's cheap here.

Temple Map from
Entrance Fee
1 day - $20
3 days - $40

We first stopped at the ticket office where we paid $20 (Php 960++) each for a one day exploration, one day was enough for us since we wanted to visit the main sites only. 

Ticket booth
This ticket is the entrance fee for all the temples in Angkor Archeological Park.
Printed ticket with our photo and date of entry
Angkor Thom South Gate
Our tuk-tuk driver stopped at the Gateway to Angkor Thom for some picture taking. The south gate is said to be the best preserved entrance going to Angkor Thom. We were welcomed by 54 statues that are lined up on the sides.

Gateway to Angkor Thom
Luckily there were no crowd
These statues are devas or guardian gods who are said to be the protectors of the city.

Devas or guardian gods
A picture with the devas, sitting and even leaning on them are strictly prohibited
Monkey Attack
From the gate we rode the tuk-tuk again and after almost a 5-minute ride we were in front of the Bayon Temple. Mike and I decided to have our breakfast first as we were both hungry. The hotel was gracious enough to pack our complimentary breakfast so that we didn't have to waste our money buying something to eat. 

Our packed breakfast is composed of bread loaf, croissant, spread and bananas
Before the catastrophe
While I was eating my first piece of banana, Mike saw a large monkey from afar walking slowly towards our direction. We were stunned, Mike loves animals so he was more of excited to see one, I on the other hand, was a bit wary. The monkey didn't stopped walking towards our direction, we both had this feeling that the monkey was keen enough to smell the bananas but both of us brushed the idea off our heads, I mean, monkeys don't have a bionic sense of smell, right? Or do they? When the monkey was near us it stopped walking and stared at us. It was scary!!! True enough the monkey jump inside our tuk-tuk, grabbed our breakfast and got the bananas, Mike even tried retrieving the box but the monkey didn't stop and instead snatched it for the second time! I was so frightened I even jump out of the tuk-tuk! Everyone was looking at us as if they were watching an animal channel or something. It was traumatizing! Even scarier than my experience in Bali (Read: Ubud Monkey Forest Bali Indonesia) that we had to take a breather before proceeding to the temple.

Bayon Temple
After composing myself from the unpleasant experience, we then started our Bayon Temple tour. Bayon Temple is located at the very center of Angkor Thom which represents the intersection of heaven and earth.

Bayon Temple
At first glance you would think it is just like any other baroque style Khmer temple. But when you see it in person you will notice how different it is from the other temples.

Upon entering
The other side
This temple's most distinctive feature is the great number of curious smiling stone images that closely resembles King Jayavarman himself which is dubbed by some as 'Mona Lisa of South East Asia'.
The face closely resembles King Jayavarman
Smiling stone faces
The stone faces occupy many towers
Bayon Temple is also called the temple of faces
South East Asia's Mona Lisa
Wear the Proper Dress Code and Mind your Actions
Before you enter any of the temples, keep in mind that you are entering a sacred place so  you have to wear proper clothing attire - no short shorts and no revealing top. However, you can wear a sleeveless top provided that you have sarong to cover it like what I did. You also have to respect the place by following certain rules - they don't allow sitting on some areas.

My temple OOTD
Mike wearing a polo shirt and shorts
Bayon Temple was the most striking baroque style of Khmer architecture as contrasted with the classical style of Angkor Wat. Windows and doors were a common thing in this temple, which is a good opportunity for picture taking.

Bayon Temple will make you have a thing for doors and windows
A picture sitting down
Standing up
Peeking through a window
The temple was not as huge as Angkor Wat and around 8:30am, tourists began swarming the temple that it became difficult appreciating it without the hoard of tour group stealing your moment. However, we didn't let this chance pass without taking quick snaps of us despite the huge crowd.

Let's travel the world together pose
Great timer skills
Last couple shot before we leave this temple
Pile of stone pieces collected from the ruins
We exited at the area where there is a stone buddha in the middle. I couldn't take a photo of it without the crowd around
Exit area
After our Bayon Temple tour off we went to our last temple stop which was Ta Prohm.

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