Cambodia Day 1: Bayon Temple + Tips

4:00 PM Florence Sison 0 Comments

After exploring the neighborhood and having our first proper meal, we headed to Bayon Temple. We were half expecting our tuk-tuk driver to talk about the place, but he was really quiet. It's a good thing we were able to read a bit about the place before going. I guess that's the disadvantage of not having a tour guide.

Though some parts of the temple, including the entrance of it are not the actual ones made long long time ago, they're still pretty close.

Tip: Bring an umbrella! The sun and heat are not forgiving.

After passing through the entrance, we rode the tuk-tuk shortly again. The temple is sort of in the middle of a circular road, kind of like a roundabout.

The great thing about not having a tour guide though is that you can freely walk around, explore, and take photos to your heart's desire. But, taking photos is a struggle on its own because it is really hot.

I think we saved a lot from not having a tour guide. A big chunk of our budget went to our 3-day pass to the temples. We spent $40 each. There was a lot of restoration going on at the Bayon Temple when we went, but the place is big enough to enjoy. We didn't expect it to be that wide in area especially when we were inside already.

Every spot is so picturesque! My sister and I kept stopping to take photos of each other. We only had a few portrait shots cause we looked really tired and sweaty. Hahaha.

Bayon Temple is distinct among other temples because of the many smiling faces carved on the towers. You shouldn't miss this temple if you're heading to Cambodia. It's one thing to see them in photos and one thing to see them in person. You'd really wonder how they made it and why they're smiling with eyes closed.

You'd also see bas-reliefs depicting different scenes all over the temple.

Bayon was really special also since it was the first temple we visited. We had a better picture or expectation of the next temples we visited so the impact was not as great. Angkor Wat though. Nothing can beat that, I think.

It was also interesting seeing and meeting other travellers tourists. There were a lot of solo travellers actually. Too bad though that we were too shy to take photos with them.

An hour into our visit, I just wanted to sit and rest, but we were catching the sunset at Phnom Bakeng, so we only took short breaks. 

It's important to know though what to wear. It's relatively lax at the Bayon Temple, but stricter in others. So, if you're going to other temples on the same day then wear something that's not strapless and not short (for girls). Ideally, something below the knee for bottoms and a shirt.

Our staples were of course our cameras. My sister brought her Canon G7X and I brought a DSLR that had a portrait lens on it. I didn't bring another lens as it would be too heavy. I figured my sister would have the wide angle shots, while I would have the portrait and close-up shots. We brought a bottle of water each, face towels (instead of handkerchiefs), an umbrella, shades, a hat, sanitizer, and our personal stuff. I didn't bring much makeup, just a lip balm, a lipstick, and oil blotting sheets.

Up next is Phnom Bakeng. :)

Other photos are my sister's.

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