Bayon: The most Mystical Khmer Temple of Cambodia

By Irina

The Khmer temple of Bayon. The Angkor Complex, Cambodia.

The Khmer temple of Bayon. The Angkor Complex, Cambodia.

When in 1633, forced to recant his belief that Earth revolves around the sun, the famous astronomer and natural philosopher Galileo Galilei spoke his catch phrase “Eppur si muove!” (And yet it does move!), Bayon, the most mystical Khmer temple near the village of Siem Reap in Cambodia, was lost in the jungles already 300 years. The Bayon Temple is a temple-enigma which scientists argue about to this day. It was found in the deep forests of Cambodia in the 19th century, and once more showed us that our ancestors knew more about the starry sky than we know now.

Three great pyramids of Giza correspond to the three stars in Orion’s Belt. Angkor Thom—the ancient capital of Cambodia—is a manmade reflection of the Draco constellation on our planet. The Bayon Temple—the most beautiful and mysterious of the Cambodian temples—stands in the heart of the ruins of the former Khmer capital. By some unexplained accident or fate, Bayon was the last temple built in Angkor. After that, the epic Khmer city full of palaces and temples was deserted for five hundred years.

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Temples of Cambodia: Angkor Wat or Beng Mealea?

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The Beng Mealea temple. Angkor Archaeological Park. Siem Reap Province of Cambodia.

Picturesque ruins of the Beng Mealea temple. Cambodia.

Adventurers and vagabonds from all over the world, hurry up to see! And not only to see, but to touch, to research, to get down to the most secluded (and blocked by huge ancient stones) corners of the world. Seems like the Temples of Cambodia are just the right places to feel like Indiana Jones for a couple more years.

Inside of the ruins of the Beng Mealea temple. Cambodia.

If you are a fan of this kind of rest, just open the door to this fairytale. Where is your old good hat? Prepare it for the dusty roads of Cambodia. Work out your own plan, put on the comfortable “Columbia” jacket, don’t forget your flashlight, and prepare the photo camera! Ancient temples of Cambodia, Angkor Wat, and Beng Mealea, are waiting for you.

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Cambodian Siem Reap—Temple Klondike

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Siem Reap looks like a revived memory of the gold fever times. A small town in the Cambodian beaten track appeared and grew in the blink of an eye only because famous Angkor Wat was found nearby. Imagine not the cleanest, here and there threadbare, picturesque gold-diggers’ town near the gold mines with the center located in the pub quarter near the night market.

Siem Reap speaks all languages at once – it is a buzzing beehive. Perhaps this is just the way fallen-into-oblivion Babylon looked. Not less than two dozen of the temples of the Angkor complex – small and big, famous and not – compete for the role of the gold mines. These ancient architectural masterpieces are the reason why people come to Cambodia.

Preah Khan temple. Angkor Complex, Siem Reap, Cambodia.

The Preah Khan temple is a huge, highly explorable monastic complex full of carvings, passages, and photo opportunities

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