We left in the late afternoon to pick up my pass for The Angkor temples and get a free sneak peak of the park. When you purchase your ticket after 5pm for the next day you are allowed into the park until closing for free! The sites close at 5:30 so it doesn’t give you a lot of time but you could easily catch a sunset at say Angkor Wat or one of the other temples.
As we passed the gate entrance we closed in on the great Angkor Wat Temple, the largest religious monument in the world.
We then drove by the concession area as elephants and their passengers were returning from rides. The Angkor Thom southgate where The Bayon is located. The gate is in pretty good shape considering it was built in the 12 century. It’s intention is powerful and you really get the feeling this was the center of a great ruler and empire as you pass through it.
It’s just after 5pm but things are still busy around the sites. Even the monkeys were pretty active. A sign there’s still lots of humans around.
The Bayon was the first complex I wanted to see and I learned before my arrival that it had great light at the end of the day.
The Bayon the last temple to be built in Angkor and the only one that was dedicated to Mayahana Buddism and a shrine to the Buddha It’s filled with stone sculptures of the discernible face of Avalokitesvara, the bodhisattva of compassion-the figure seen throughout the complex. Actually some scholars believe the face really resembles king Jayavarman VII-the ruler that built The Bayon and who was responsible for other public works including the walls, many naga bridges, Ta Prohm(the tomb raider temple) Preah Khan and Banteay Kdei. Excerpts from “World’s Largest Religous Site-Angkor Wat, Cambodia”.
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