Bayon Temple is the most significant temple inside Angkor Thom which used to be the City with Angkor Complex.If Angkor Wat is where the Royalties live, it is in Angkor Thom where Royalties and ordinary people interact.Ito yung downtown kung baga. Angkor Thom actually means "Great City".
THE ENTRANCE TO ANGKOR THOM
The guides usually know where to take you even if you are just hiring a tuktuk.I didn't research much on Angkor Complex prior to going here.It was more of an "I want to surprise myself" mode for me. But we were lucky with our tuktuk driver who took good care of us. He drove us to Angkor Thom via South Gate where Buddha statues line up the the bridge to the main gate.Unlike in other gates where Buddha statues have long gone. At Angkor Thom, gate palang , jaw-drop moments na.
The gate itself is 23 meters high,composed of three towers and has four faces.I noticed that the opening could only accommodate one vehicle at a time as it is too narrow.
My friends and I were of course wowed.Talk about 'Grand Entrance' again.And the gate sets a thematic mood of Angkor Thom culminating in the grandest structure in the city ---BAYON TEMPLE.
This is also where one can hire for an elephant ride for $20/hour.
Forest of Face Towers
Bayon Temple is very distinct among the temples of Angkor Complex because of its "face towers". You can hardly make sense of it from afar but the closer you get to Bayon, the faster your heart beats.It's mysterious.From a total of 49 original face towers, 39 are still standing today.Most towers are carved with four faces facing the four cardinal directions.
We came here at around 10am and the crowd was as expected already too thick.If you are thinking of having a photo with only the stone faces, forget about it.It is difficult to compete for space actually,that includes space when walking up and down stairs.
Restoration is ongoing as many sections of Bayon are already ruined.This temple though is proof that there is beauty in chaos.I honestly think the temple looks fragile in contrast to Angkor Wat which is very solid.Both have a different appeal but as I said, on photographs,Angkor Wat will be the darling but in person,Bayon would win the heart of most visitors.A pile of rubble from afar, but a beauty up close.No wonder why it's one of the most loved temples in Angkor Complex.
What you need to Know:
How much is the Entrance Fee?
Single day pass is $20 per pax.
That includes all the temples in Angkor Complex. 1 to sawa!
3 days visit (1 week validity) -- $40
7 days visit (1 month validity) --$60
Ticket Office opens as early as 5am. Don't feel like cheating coz photos are taken on site and they are very efficient with the id system.Instant ID with your photo in less than 3 minutes. How I wish we can have that efficiency here.
This was part of our Day Tour of Angkor Complex which lasted from 5am-2pm.
Tuktuks are everywhere so it's pretty easy.You can randomly call one and negotiate.As long as you don't go far from $20, that's ok. If you arrive at night (like we did) I would suggest you contact the tuktuk driver who will take you to your hotel.Especially if you are planning for an early departure for sunrise.
**GOLDEN TEMPLE VILLA Siem Reap: Small hotel with a BIG Statement
**KHEMER SOUR SOUP, Cambodian Noodle w/ Curry at PAI SAN RESTAURANT Siem Reap
**the "Mother of All Temples" that is ANGKOR WAT