The faces of Bayon

The faces of Bayon
Buddha worship at Bayon.

Buddha worship at Bayon.

I am so confused with the hundreds of stone temples in Angkor, but I will always remember Bayon – the temple with many faces.

It has 37 towers, and most of them have giant carvings of faces. They look like buddha to me. I’ve read that the faces either portray buddha or the greatest Cambodian king, Jayavarman VII. It’s debatable, though, nobody knows the right answer.

Now a tidbit about Jayavarman II. He fought with his father because he believed himself worthy of being king. But don’t take it as disrespect, Jayavarman VII happened to be a well-loved king, not just because he built the capital city Angkor Thom, Bayon and the jungle temple Ta Phrom or led a successful army against warring enemies. He was also not tyrannical like his immediate predecessors. Down with tyranny, hail Jayavarman II, so to say.


Fanned like mad. Behind me is a giant face, probably of a boddhisattva that looks like Jayavarman VII.

Fanned like mad. Behind me is a giant face, probably of a boddhisattva that looks like Jayavarman VII.

The temple ruin is like a maze. We were a group of seven, and we lost each other. So we who came out of the temple earlier waited outside for the others to come and find us.

The others took it easy and observed the extensive carvings with scenes of every day life in ancient Cambodia. But with a five-year old kid, I didn’t have much time to observe.

Once again, there was a tv crew (from Japan) shooting at Bayon. We almost always bump into tv crews in the countries we’ve visited!

I enjoyed the temple, but had the weather not been too hot, I would’ve enjoyed the visit even more. But with extreme heat, all we did was to want to sit down, sweat and huff and puff, fan like mad and wished the walk was over.

Bayon is the last temple built in Angkor and it’s dedicated to Buddha. It’s located in Angkor Thom.


  1. Elephants, towers and a leper king at Angkor Thom | Sari Manok - […] by Baphuon and then rested in the Terrace of the Elephants. During the time of the Angkor king Jayavarman VII, he…
  2. Ta Phrom – the temple in the jungle | Sari Manok - […] as a buddhist temple by Jayavarman VII, the same king whose face might have been model for the faces…
  3. Angkor Thom – once a royal city | Sari Manok - […] are many temples within Angkor Thom, such as Baphuon, Bayon,  Ta […]

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