Angkor Thom: Bayon & Baphuon

Angkor Thom was the next destination after our visit to Angkor Wat, lying just north of it. Angkor Thom is what I feel to be the next most famous site in the Angkor Region, consisting of quite a few temples within its moat. I’m ashamed to say that I don’t quite remember every temple that we visited, but here are two that were the most interesting to me.


Bayon, with its propensity towards the weird and mysterious, was easily my favourite when I studied Asian Art History. Granted, I didn’t actually care about the subject (evident by my inability to deviate from the Bs that plagued my essays), but Bayon still managed to stick in my mind after so many years. It was so satisfying to finally stand among these larger-than-life stone faces, gazing upon their benign smiles at every corner.

Holding my Angkor World Heritage three day entry pass in front of Bayon in Angkor Thom, Cambodia.My three-day Angkor Pass against the entrance of Bayon.

Bayon in Angkor Thom, Cambodia.

Bayon in Angkor Thom, Cambodia.Look at how puny the humans are!

Ren coming nose-to-nose with a face at Bayon in Angkor Thom, Cambodia.Mr. Meng told me to stand there and took a photo of me being nose-to-nose with one of the faces. Do I bear a resemblance to the late King Jayavarman VII? XD

Ottie coming nose-to-nose with one of the faces at Bayon in Angkor Thom, Cambodia.I took one for Ottie the hat guy. :P

Smiling face in Bayon in Angkor Thom, Cambodia.One of the few expressively happy faces.

Ren standing among ruins at Bayon in Angkor Thom, Cambodia.Standing on the ruins of Bayon. It is rare that Ottie takes a photo of me in which I am in focus. This is not one of those times.
Photo taken by Ottie.



Frankly I had no idea what to expect at Baphuon, having had no recollection of studying it in Asian Art History. However, the structure was impressive in its own right, and a pretty exciting hike up and down the temple-mountain. Viewing the lush green surroundings among ruins after climbing the steep incline was pretty rewarding.

Path leading to the main building of Baphuon in Angkor Thom, Cambodia.

Sign written in Mandarin into the top of the low opening to be mind your head.Someone had written ‘小心头’ (‘mind your head’ in Mandarin) above the low doorway to the open-air walkway on the second tier of the temple. Unfortunately, Ottie knew not a lick of Mandarin and suffered a bruising after he very loudly and painfully did not mind his head. It was funny and I’m not a good girlfriend.

Open walkway at Baphuon in Angkor Thom, Cambodia.

Ottie among the ruins of Baphuon in Angkor Thom, Cambodia.

Reclining Buddha on the side of Baphuon in Angkor Thom, Cambodia.A reclining Buddha makes up the west side of the temple! So impressive- none of us even knew what to look for until Mr. Meng pointed us to the shape. It was apparently added in the 16th century to the 11th century temple.

Two monks walking along Baphuon in Angkor Thom, Cambodia.My favourite photo of the day: Two monks walking along Baphuon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.