Bayon Temple History
When you visit ancient Angkor on a one day ticket, you will get to the few most famous en biggest temples. Angkor Wat is the most well known, but the Bayon temple is at least as impressive. Bayon temple was built during the late 12th century all the way till late 13th century under the reigns of Jayavarman VII and Jayavarman VIII. A good and detailed visit can take you 2 hours, but if you have a one day ticket only, then you might opt for a quicker visit in order to see some more temples.
Bayon towers and faces
Bayon was a part of many of Angkor Thom temples. Angkor Thom was a complete fortified city which included several other temples, structures and places. It makes it all part of the complexity of Bayon. The one and foremost eye catching thing of Bayon are the towers with the faces. There is actually some dispute about the number of towers that are to be found in Bayon. There were originally 49, although now only 37 are still standing. In case you count another number, the authorities ask you to inform them as there is still some confusion apparently.
Almost each tower has four faces in them, carved in the rocks. You will surely find some towers with only three or two faces, but the majority has four faces. The whole Bayon has an immense overwhelming impact. All those faces, the history, the towers, etc. Bayon has two walls, or terraces. It’s almost a square shape as the outer wall measures 156 m by 141 m. The inner walls are 72 m long. You will find stone lions and galleries, and much more. Like with all other Angkor temples, there is simply too much info to write about on this site about the history, archaeology, meanings, carvings, restorations, etc. There are plenty of books and sites to find information about Bayon.
Beware, not really for pickpocketeers, as far as our knowledge goes, but for not getting lost somehow. Either you or your Tuktuk. It seems almost an impossible thing with a square compound and one road, but we know from first hand that it really is possible. There are four parkings and you walk in at one side into Bayon, but between all those towers and all those faces you don’t actually know after one hour or more if you walk out north or south, east or west for example. Then you’ll be back on the road and can’t recognize your tuktuk between the twenty others, while you really thought to come out at the same place that you came in.
In a hot season it can be hard to walk around to the other side of the temple. You do get offers from plenty of tuktuks that want you as customer for either the way back to your hotel or another of the many temples. So, make a picture of your tuktuk and driver before you leave him to get into Bayon. Don’t pay beforehand, because if you need to take another tuktuk, you can bet there will be discussion back in town about all. Best would be if you have his phone number, or that from your hotel or anyone who can reach him. A Cambodian simcard can be easy for such matters.
For further information we recommend other Angkor posts on this site about tickets, prices and more. An impression video can be seen here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sGkI749_pbE