musings on music, travel, books, and life from Southeast Asia

Bayon’s Allure

If you’ve never been to Angkor in Cambodia, you are missing out on one of the most amazing travel experiences there is in Southeast Asia. No matter how you feel about traipsing around ancient ruins in the hot sun, it’s almost impossible not to be awestruck by the historic temples scattered throughout the Angkor archeological park. Angkor Wat, of course, is the most famous, but there are dozens (actually, hundreds, if you want to get picky) of other spectacular temples, big and small, in the park and surrounding countryside; Ta Prohm, Preah Khan, Banteay Srei, Kbal Spean, and Beng Melea … to name just a few of the most impressive. A 3-day pass offers the best overview of Angkor’s highlights, but even if you buy a 7-day pass, you might find that you still didn’t have enough time to properly see all that there is to see.

 

Over in the Angkor Thom section of the park, near the two terraces (Elephant and Leper King), is the small but awesome Bayon, my personal favorite site. Walk around Bayon and marvel at all those giant, majestic, stone faces towering above you. Depending on the time of day, and the sun’s rays, the faces take on different tints and shades. No matter where you look or turn, you find yourself surrounded by those enigmatic faces, staring back at you. Just what are they thinking?

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