On day 2 of our Temple Tour, we again started early (5:30 a.m.) from the hotel and arrived at the magnificent Bayon Buddhist Temple to find that we were there only with a few other people. Construction at Prasat Bayon started in the late 12th century and finished in the early 13th century. It stands in the exact center of the city of Angkor and has over 200 faces carved into its façade that are now camouflaged into the weathered look of this magnificent piece of art. In the picture below, there are four faces on every peak. It’s like trying to find Waldo.
The next stop was Baphuon, which is also positioned inside Angkor Thom and was in the process of being restored (like many other temples) by the French when they were forced out of Angkor in 1972 by the Khmer Rouge. Unlike some of the other temples, there are not many doorways and passages, but instead a giant pyrramid shaped temple with one walkway around the top and remnants of another around the bottom. Although not as impressive as Bayon, Baphuon is a much different temple than most around Angkor and you’ll probably not be surrounded by the hoards of tourists.
We’ll be back with a continuation of day 2 and a trip to Preah Khan, another mass of rocks being taken over by trees.