Next stop inside Angkor Thom, after entering from South Gate you will see the Bayon Temple.
Bayon temple gives me a zen feeling when I was standing there looking straight at the temple. It is well known for its enigmatic stone carved faces on four sides. Each side represents a humanity value, which are 慈(Cí)、悲(bēi)、喜(xǐ)、舍 (shě)(Love, Compassion, Joy and Give). Each face looked out in four different directions to symbolize the omniscience (all-seeing) of the Buddha. The Ushnisha* and closed eyes represent the attainment of the Buddha's enlightenment.
The stone carved faces seems to overwhelm the whole landscape.
Bayon temple has not only one, but many (some sources saying 50 towers) of huge stone-carved-4-faces nearby each other. You can see the faces at every turn. They each measures four metres high. Each of them are oriented toward the four directions of the compass (such clever). All stone faces have the same calming smile that brings comfort and peace to your heart. Closed eyes remind us to focus and take notice of self.
The stone carved faces uplifts the entire landscape.
Bayon is rich in decoration, and the stone sculpture called the 'bas-reliefs' on the exterior walls at the lower and upper levels are outstanding (see photo below).
In my view the best time for a great photo is at the start of sunrise and sunset where there are low exposure.
Notes to Travelers for Visiting Bayon
1) Things to do in Bayon
A great place to watch sunrise.
Buddha has a saying "Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decrease when being shared. ",
When the sunlight hits each of the monuments, they 'lit up' as the tip of the monument
* The ushnisha is a three-dimensional oval shaped like carving, at the top the Buddha’s head. It symbolizes his attainment of reliance in the spiritual guide.
Further reading :
Notes to travelers to Angkor Wat