I have never had a face-to-face encounter with an elephant in my entire life until I reach the Kingdom of Cambodia. Understandably, like Thailand and Laos, Cambodia has much use, for centuries of elephants. May it be for transportation, hard and manual labor on the fields and now, tourism. I am captivated by these tender giants since I was young, watching oriental movies where an elephant is considered a friend and a family. Rudyard Kipling’s classic, “The Elephant Child” is a constant companion in my search to understand better these graceful giants. Read more
One of the strongest points among the temples of Angkor Wat is the Bayon known for its face towers all over. The architectural design of the Bayon temple is one that characteristically that for God worship from Hinduism to Buddhism. This is built as the State temple for King Jayavarman VII and his ascendants, it brought to the fore the core beliefs and practices of the people during those times.
My visit to this great temple complex started with a short walk to the west gate from Angkor Wat. I came in and saw some figures holding on to the Naga as it guards the temple gates. Here I also saw the start of the elephant ride towards the interiors of the temple. Upon reaching the gate, I saw the famous Cambodian monkey milling around the gates as if I am transported to the movie of Angelina Jolie aptly shoot in Angkor Wat complexes.
The Bayon as I saw it is a great temple where many have offered worships and true, there I saw many face towers. Historically speaking, the Bayon was a result of a remodelling concept since Angkor Thom is a well-fortified city, the architects and managers during those times thought that it be best to just maintain the temple at Bayon where it was and remodel it of sort.
It is also here in this temple that I saw well-carved apsara dancers adorning the columns of the temple. I respected the Khmer architecture so much that I almost spent an hour trying to look for great carvings and stones that resembles excellence in craftsmanship and arts.
Bayon is one great visit if one winds down to the Angkor Complex. I saw I saw the reclining Buddha inside Bayon on my way to the interior complexes and felt at peace. It is the greatest among the great in Angkor Wat complexes.