Inside Angkor Thom

The Bayon Temple was build by king Jayavarman VII in 1181. It’s located in the centre of Angkor Thom and famous for its 54 towers. Each tower is decorated with four smiling faces. Unlike his predecessors, king Jayavarman VII was a Buddhist king, which had a big influence on the way Bayon was designed and build.

The mystery of the smiling faces

The meaning of the 54 faces on the towers is unclear. One of the reasons could bevery simple: they are the faces of the Buddha, since the king was a Buddhist king.

Another explanation is that they are the face of the king, looking over his empire in all directions. The last theory is that the faces are those of the Hindu war God, Brahma, who did in fact have four faces.  It’s likely all theories are valid and had some kind of influences before or during the constuction of the temple. The number 54 may relate to the age of the king at that moment or the number of provinces the kingdom had at that point in time.


How to get to the Bayon Temple?

The Bayon Temple is located in the center of Angkor Thom and included in any tour that takes you through Angkor Thom. Visiting Bayon by tour is your best option, sicne each tour has a qualified tour guide. If you’re not interested in joining a tour, the best way to go is by tuktuk. In that case it’s best to find a tuktuk driver who can act as your guide.

Entrance Fee Bayon & Angkor Thom

To visit the Baphuon Temple you need an Angkor Pass. It allows you entrance to the Baphuon temple and all other temples in Angkor Thom. You can buy an Angkor Pass for 1 day ($37), three days ($62) or 7 days ($72).  The Angkor Pass allows you to visit al historical sites within the Archaeological Park and a number of sites outside the park, like Phnom Krom and Beng Mealea.

What you should do!

If you are visiting Bayon on your own, reserve enough time for your visit to this site. It’s huge and beautiful. Don’t forget to visit some nearby locations, like the Baphuon Temple and Phimeanakas.

What you should not do!

Strict rules apply in the Archaeological Park when it comes to the way you are dressed. Tank tops for men and halter-neck tops for ladies are not allowed.  Littering, flying drones, urinating or other indecent behavior will definitely get you in trouble. Read all the temple rules and etiquette here!




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