The Bayon Temple
This Khmer temple is at the center of Angkor Thom, a 9-square-kilometer city built within the greater Angkor temple complex. It was built in the late 12th century by the Buddhist King Jayavarman VII. Of all the temples in Angkor, large and small, Bayon is uniquely special. More than 200 giant faces are carved into the towers along the temple’s upper terraces—originally there were 54 towers, today 37 survive. The smiling faces are thought to represent the king himself or a bodhisattva; either way, they’re mesmerizing and beautiful. Your fingers will be busy snapping photos from left to right.
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