Pre-Sunset Mood

After a long day of cycling around the temples there were always three places I came past on my way back: Bayon, its South Gate and Angkor Wat.

Here are some photos taken with the sun getting lower. I never stayed for sunset. Just too many tourists and tuk-tuks about.


The faces are looking even more benevolent in the sunny glow.

One of my favourite photos

Angkor Wat with its famous mirror image on the moat.

Meditating? No, he was waiting for a food delivery. Honest!

Monkey Business

They draw crowds, that’s for sure. The monkeys of Bayon. You spot a tripod, you spot a monkey.

The monkeys have an easy life. They get fed fresh fruit every day by tourists and photographers. I heard stories that they try to pick pockets, the monkeys, not the photographers.

Who is the entertainment here?

“Don’t get too close kid, they might have Covid.”

Bayon North Gate

Pretty much like the South Gate but less impressive or intact decorations in front. And it being North-facing there is more moss. The moat is also pretty overgrown.
I still love it for its style and faces.

Love the tree. View when leaving Angkor Thom.

This is the view when entering Angkor Thom.

Bayon – Bas-Reliefs

I couldn’t get enough of these beautiful carvings. They went all around the temple, some between 10-20 meters at least. I went back another day just to focus on them in detail.
Most of the carvings show battles, but also daily life, and animals. All of them tell a story. Zoom in for more details (yes, there is a crocodile eating a poor bloke that fell or was pushed off a boat into the river).


Bayon is the central temple within Angkor Thom (the walled city). It was erected under the reign of Jayavarman VII, towards the end of the 12th century.

The smiling face depicted on many of its towers is often called “enigmatic”. They sure make an impression. Only 37 towers are still standing among the 49 or 54.

Its exceptional bas-reliefs depict the daily life of the Khmers at the time of Angkor’s grandeur and mythological scenes. I will post those separately.

If you want yo know more about the history and symbolism of this temple please see:

Map of Angkor Thom