Friday, February 01, 2013

Scenes Of Bayon

I was pretty excited to return to the Angkor cities in Siem Reap last week, even though I had been a couple of times before. These temples are something that you could explore over and over, and still see new things, learn new facts about the ancient civilisation, or see more crumbling or renovation being done.

Bayon is still my favourite temple city of the area, with the faces watching you from the highest points, from every angle. But there is also the smaller detail to capture your imagination. All along the lower level of the Bayon temple are bas-reliefs with tales of battle and war, but also on one side, of everyday life. This was my spot of fascination.

Here, along this panel running the length of the temple, you can see people playing checkers, top, or women gossipping around a table, just above.

Here, a child is reaching for perhaps his parent, and below is the scene where a woman is giving birth.

These take a bit of patience to find, and unless you are there very early in the morning, you are probably also dodging mass tour groups with their tour leader yelling out information in any language.

These photos in this post were taken during my first visit to the temples, back in 2002, but three of these 4 scenes I managed to find again in this most recent visit last week.

Bayon seemed a little more run down this visit, a little more crumbly. But there was also a lot more repair and restoration efforts going on on the lawn in front of the temple, so perhaps soon it there will be areas in better shape, returning sections to it's near original glory.

This post is part of a series marking 10 years since I travelled to Cambodia to work as a volunteer.

1 comment:

  1. The history in this artwork is amazing - so pleased it's preserved for future generations to see and share.


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