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Southeast Asia is a very interesting travel holiday and vacation destination with all what people like to have for their most precious time of the year regardless of the age and gender. Most countries which are clustered along the equator are tuned for the tourists and have the right spots to make everyone happy. What needs you to do? Not much just do as locals do which means such simple things keep in mind that east meets west but with different traditions and rules. Hotels and resorts are plenty beaches and island too and just think positive there is no need to be negative because everything is not the way you are used from at home

Visiting Angkor Thom

A walk through mystic Angkor 

Angkor Thom Day Tour 
In the 12th Century Angkor Thom with temples and monuments was built.

The main and most impressionist structure at Angkor Thom is the Bayon temple. It was a time when religious symbolism played an increasingly visible role as it is shown with the mysterious smiles at the face towers Angkor Thom was built. 

King Jayavarman VII (reigned about 1180-1217) a staunch Buddhist , was convinced to be a Bodhisattva the faces might have been created after his model.

Jayavarman VII begun building Angkor Thom in 1200 over the old city of Udaydityavarman II centered on his Baphuon. He surrounded it with a gigantic moat at least a hundred meters wide and 15km long. It became the focus of a final, huge complex of canals and irrigation, with extra barays. He built a wall around and into it, five gates marked by huge gate-pavilions were constructed.

The four gates were at the cardinal points, and the fifth gate in the east wall was there to keep the old road open which links the Phimeanakas to Ta Keo, which lay slightly to the north of the east-west center line. 
Zhou Daguan a Chinese diplomat who visited Angkor at 1296 – 1297 wrote that the faces could also be a Buddha image. The face towers or Bayon faces are probably some of the most impressive monuments at Angkor Thom Cambodia.

Along the causeway statues of demons and gods are placed, having the bodies of Nagas (mythical snakes). These scenes thought to have some connection with the Rainbow Bridge in Hindu mythology which connects the humans with the gods.

The demons move from the right side of the city gates against the gods at the other side.The main structure at Angkor Thom is the Bayon temple which is today more or less only an assembly of ruins, some are leftovers with Buddhist background and others with a Hindu destination. This is an ideal Asian culture holiday for people who are also interested in education, similar to all other shrines, palaces, and buildings in the area. When walking through this temple precinct restoration attempts can often be watched. This is going on and is financed from different countries among them Germany and India because tourism and holidays are the new business. 
Angkor Thom Map
When traveling the country better get suitable clothing before you leave home because with the exception of some pants and shirts you won’t get anything, that’s the same in Thailand. Where to find and purchase suitable travel clothing which fits and won’t fall apart after one week is here. Take this serious because it is really annoying when having problems all time. There are many little things to do before starting gor that better also check the text at the top of the page.

Pictures of Angkor Thom

Angkor Thom Gate

Face Tower at Angkor Thom

Angkor Baray

Temple mountain or old royal palace

Working at Angkor Thom

This is a prime travel destination in ASEAN and there are only very few countries with such a rich cultural background that are Cambodia, Myanmar / Bagan and a few spots in Thailand such as Ayutthaya and Sukhothai, in Indonesia, it’s mainly Borobudur and the Hindu Temples of Bali.

Every day trip to Angkor Thom starts in Siem Reap where all facilities are including hotels, shopping, and nightlife.

At that time Khmer Religion religion was a blend of Buddhism and Hinduism which was practically the same everywhere in the region. Only much later the Islamic barbarians marched into these countries and what did they do? The first was the destroyed the faces of Buddha statues, what an achievement for primitivists and total disrespect of other cultures.
With Bayon temple and ruins
The Bayon temple and buildings   are more or less only an assembly of ruins .

The main and most impressionist structure at Angkor Thom is the Bayon temple.

There is restoration going on financed from different countries among them Germany. The temples had continuous reconstruction over several hundred years since war and demolition were continuously coming and going. In 1177 the Chan invaded Angkor but 4 years later the troops of King Jayavarman VII recaptured the city from the Chan, today the capital is Phnom Penh.

In the course of reconstruction, the king had Angkor Thom built as the new capital, in the center of the new city the Bayon was erected.. The new city was enclosed by a moat of 13 km length. Five gates gave way to the city, each one placed at the four cardinal points and the fifth led directly to the King's palace.

The access road through the south gate is flanked by nine headed Nagas 
  1. Bayon temple gate with smiling stone Faces
  2. causeway to Angkor Thom plus statues of demons and gods
  3. Angkor Thom temple walk
  4. apsara dancer waiting
  5. Visiting Angkor Thom
  6. Smiling Face tower in the Bayon Precinct
  7. Buddha image
  8. Angkor Thom Baray
  9. Outer Bayon relief
  10. apsara dancer bas-relief
  11. famous apsara dancer
  12. famous apsara dancer
mythical snakes) and 54 Asuras (demons) are holding them at the right side and on the left side oare 54 Devas (gods) holding them. The gates are crowned with huge smiling stone faces.

The gates are large enough for elephants to pass and today vans cross through. Every gate has a similar size and is flanked by mythical figures. The Bayon has been erected in the center, this was the first State Buddhist temple. The Bayon bas-relief temple wall was originally only a one terrace structure and was later increased to three terraces. Since the fortifications were built very well this old city was also used as capital in the subsequent generations, rather than building new temples this one was rebuilt and renovated again and again. This also explained the confusing architecture of corridors and rooms.

The face towers are probably the most impressive views at the Bayon, from the originally 49 towers still 37th stand. At almost all of them faces look to the four cardinal points. The Bayon has also some bas relief galleries.

outer bayon bas-relief
The outer Bayon bas-relief
They are part of the original temple buildings and commemorate the defeat of the Chan and also show some everyday scenes.

The inner gallery was built later and shows episodes from Hindu mythology. It reminds very much to the relief depicting Buddhist Jataka stories at Bagan Myanmar , the relief here are only substantial bigger.

Visiting the eastern gallery of the Bayon temple

Khmer warriors are depicted as well as people who prepare to eat. At the beginning of the south gallery the battle in the lake is shown where the forces of King Jayavarman VII defeated the Chan.

The relief on the west and north side make a rather unfinished impression. Unfortunately, the whole area is mainly a field of temple ruins only.
Angkor Thom bas-reliefs deal mainly with Indian classical legend. Here again, there is evidence of the influence of Chinese pictorial conventions in some of the compositions, while numerous genre passages market scenes, hunting, quarrels have often been admired, Khmer temples often are adorned by sandstone relief.
  1. angkor thom elephant terrace
  2. bayon temple palace
  3. famous bayon temple
  4. tree over wall
  5. bayon temple and face tower
  6. apsara dancer bas-relief (1)
  7. visiting Angkor Thom (1)
  8. apsara dancer bas-relief (2)
  9. bayon temple ruins
  10. hindu shrine relief
  11. Bayon Temple Ruins
  12. mythological deity
But it is obvious that the sheer volume of work which the artists were compelled to get through prevented them from thoroughly thinking out their ideas or fully achieving their execution. This is an art of cursory extemporization on well-worn themes. The most impressive single works of art associated with the name of Jayavarman VII are certain single iconic stone figures from various places in the Angkor Thom complex. Most of them are the Buddhas on Nagas, the 'Leper King and the idealized 'portrait' image of the king himself.

When visiting this ruins one can feel something of the dedicated skill of the earlier sculptors in Angkor Thom, and it must have been that the masters who cut these important works were allowed the time they needed to mature them. Their fluent surfaces, deep plasticity and squared-off conception convey a sense of ultimate tranquility and celestial calm.
Bayon and smiling stone face towers
Pictures of face towers
The Khmer King Jayavarman VII built the temple and palace precinct Bayon in the late 12th century as a monumental structure to represent the state visually.

It seems at the Face Temples had the function to remember his folks who is the boss here and he is watching them. Some scriptures of a Chinese traveler of that time indicate that.

Today Angkor Thom is a nine square kilometer complex of ruins with Buddhist and Hindu influence and the Bayon is placed in the center of this former state capital including the city walls and the moat which also function as baray (water storage ponds).

Most tourists are impressed by the huge trees crawling over the monuments, walls, and ruins. The gate pavilions embody the outstanding 
  1. Angkor Thom face tower
  2. Nightlife in Siem Reap
  3. Apsara from stone bar-relief
  4. fascinating temple ruine
  5. hidden temples in the jungle
  6. hidden temples in the jungle
  7. the old palace in Angkor Thom
  8. approaching Angkor Wat
  9. colorful buddha temple cambodian style
  10. Angkor Thom old map
  11. angkor wat tour
  12. stone bas-relief faces
the architectural invention of Jayavarman's reign, which has become almost a symbol for Angkor the tower with four colossal faces looking out in the four cardinal directions. These smiling faces on top of the tower, which in some way are related to the icon of Lokeshvara, at the same time, symbolize the power of the king, demonstrating his domination of the four quarters of the world.

The Bayon which was Jayavarman's own sacred temple-mountain with the smiling faces is crowded with towers most of which carry the same motif him. The masks are combined with the terraced tiers of the towers, with their corner-recesses and projecting false porches, in such a way that the section becomes virtually octagonal. The elevations present both the curved and the pointed, sprouting-shoot contour.

The arches of the gateways, and within the face towers of the Bayon temple which appear somehow like smiling are triangular and corbelled. Generally speaking, the stonework is hasty and relatively ill-trimmed and was carved into its final shape and surface in situ. It reminds a bit to Bagan Architecture .