Monday, 19 May 2008


Everyone loves Bayon temple. To appreciate Bayon, one needs to know the history behind it and King Jayavarman VII.

Did you know that there was a country called Kingdom of Champa from 7th to 15th century (now called Vietnam). The Chams (people of Champa) ruled Cambodia for a short period. After 4 years of fighting, King Jayavarman VII succeeded in driving the Chams out, beginning his reign in 1181 as the last great king of Angkor. A fervent Buddhist, unlike his predecessors who worshipped Hindu gods, Jayavarman VII crammed into his 30 years rule with the largest building programmed, in total buidling more than 400+ temples of the existing 1000+ now in Cambodia. He built Angkor Thom, his palace and and where Bayon, Ta Prohm and few other others temples are now based.

DATE: Late 12th century
Angkor Thom is the larges of all Khmer cities and remained so until the 17th century with a total area of 9 hectares.

Me, at the entrance of ANGKOR THOM!

DATE: Late 12th to late 13th centuries
This is the most enigmatic and powerful religious construction in the world. Temples extremely complex. Famous for it's four faced Buddhas everywhere, extensive and narrative bas-reliefs everywhere of Khmer's daily life and stories. State temple for King Jayavarman VII as his symbolic centre of universe.

Tell me if you would love to go to Bayon.

Entrance to Bayon (left). The picture (below right) was taken at the foot of entrance to the main temple. As usual, steep steps and the on the right a reconstructed stairs which made climbing easier.

Another favourite shot of mine, taken from inside another smaller temple. In all the temples, you'll find many walls or mini walkways that were very dark.

Love this picture :)

Dancers giving me 3 different poses for USD1.00.

Three faces of Buddha. One Buddha statue inside a small temple (can you see it in the dark), and outside another 2 faces of Buddha. Having a great guide like Soluy makes everything very easy, I am impressed with her because she taught me how to use my camera - considering she does not own one. Another favourite picture of mine (below right), with statue of Buddha in the front and Buddhas at the back.

Magnificent Bayon!

One of the highlight of my trip was to go to the Cultural Show. It starts from 10.00am, with many different shows and dances, and last show which titled, The Great King Jayavarman VII finished at 9.00pm. Of all the show, the last was the most spectacular. The entire backdrop was covered and revealed at last in the form of Bayon temple. This picture was the grand finale after the unveiling, taken approximately 250 feet from the stage.

Cambodians taking pictures with the performers acting King Jayavarman and his queen.

To all my wonderful blogger friend, many thanks for visiting. Today is Wesak Day in Malaysia so it's a public holiday for us, just like it's public holiday for Chinese New Year, Deepavali for the Indians, Christmas etc., and we've got lots of it in celebration of our multi cultural, racial and religious community.

Cheers to all :)