In the late 12th century King Jayavarman Vll established Angkor Thom which means The great city. It was the last and most enduring capital city of Khmer empire. At the centre of the city is Jayavarman’s state temple: Bayon which means Magic.
Bayon is a Buddhist temple but retains elements of Hindu cosmology and imagery. It is known for its enigmatic stone faces and it’s extraordinary bas-reliefs . The serenely smiling faces depicted on Bayon are believed to be Jayavarman Vll portraying him in semi divine form of a bodhisattva
Reading is one thing, standing next to 49 towers with 4 faces looking into each of the cardinal directions is another. We wandered around, exploring and taking in every inch of this temple. A wealth of information about Angkor history is seen on the bas-reliefs. Each gallery is well detailed and tells a story. Stories of battles. Stories of daily life. Stories of King Jayavarman VII. Stories worth reading about.
On our first day we hired a tuktuk and headed off to discover the legendary temples of Bayon and Angkor Wat. Absolutely a must-see. We had such a fantastic experience. And took plenty of memorable photos. If you can, try to avoid the crowd and the scorching heat. The earlier the better. Bring a hat, loads of water, enough memory space and your comfortable shoes.
There are different temple passes. Since we were only interested in the major temples we got a 2/3days pass that costed us 40$ each. A one day pass is 20$ per person. There is also a 7 days pass which if I remember well is 80$. Our tuktuk driver charged us 10$ for a round trip.