Bayon Temple is part of the Angkor Thom complex and in our opinion the jewel of this beautiful former capital city. Angkor Thom  (which means "Great City" in Khmer) was founded by the King Jayavarman VII in the late 12th/early 13th century, and was the largest city in the Khmer Empire at one time. 


Bayon temple is famous for 216  stone faces with enigmatic smile, and there are several theories on what these faces depict. One belief is that they represent Bodhisattva (Sanskrit term in Buddhism for anyone who has taken specific lay or monastic vows and who is on the road to perfect knowledge; specifically one who foregoes personal nirvana in order to help others achieve enlightenment). The other is that the faces represent the King Jayavarman VII himself. These two beliefs may not be mutually exclusive- some believe that the faces represent Bodhisattva, as personified by the King himself. 


Although Bayon is a beautiful temple both from the ground level alone, climb up to see more of these amazing faces. This is an unforgettable temple that you should not miss.