On Bayon

For my second day of the A to Z challenge, I have another set of photos – this is in danger of becoming a theme!

Living in Hong Kong I’m incredibly blessed to have South East Asia on my doorstep. There are exotic destinations and fascinating new countries waiting to be discovered just a short plane ride away. I thought I would share one of my discoveries with you – Bayon Temple.

This is one of the many temples in Cambodia, near the infamous Angkor Wat. It’s a buddhist temple, and it looks like a cluster of stone towers, each supporting 3 or 4 enormous smiling faces of buddha. We went there for the sunrise, arriving in the dark of night when it was pitch black, and sitting alone in the middle of the temple (everyone else was at the more famous Angkor Wat) As the sun rose, the stone faces appeared all around us, smiling down on us, with the pink sky in the background. It was an incredible experience.

It’s one of the most peaceful, tranquil places I have ever been and I absolutely loved it – it was my favourite temple in Cambodia (and there are a lot!)

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But of course the writer part of my brain was also busy cataloguing all it could, because I think it would make a fantastic backdrop for a scene or for a short story. The idea of a temple, where everywhere you look, everywhere you turn, there are more and more stone faces looking at you could work in so many ways.

It could very easily be given a very dark undertone, stone faces smiling down at something terrible or gruesome happening. A descent into madness. The phrase ‘killing with kidness’ came to mind – cold, smiling, kindness. Not sure what it says about me that in the midst of a beautiful, peaceful experience I’m making up dark sects, paranormal activity and dramatic deaths but we’ll just breeze over that, shall we?

Anyway since it’s also Camp NaNoWriMo, I thought I’d share these photos, should they inspire anyone with their writing. If I have time this month (so much on already – oof!) I might post a flash piece taking place in the temple, but feel free to use the photos for inspiration if you think they might help! (do let me know what you do with them, I always find it fascinating how different minds get completely different stories from the same images / prompts)

 

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Oh and just because this is pretty cool, another temple we visited is called Ta Prohm and it’s where Tomb Raider was filmed! Yes, of course I pretended to be Lara Croft (no, there is no pictorial evidence of that).

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10 thoughts on “On Bayon

  1. Wow, your photos are way better than mine! Did you go during the rainy season? There was no water around the Bayon temple last week when we visited. Everything looks pleasantly green.

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    • We went right at the end of the rainy season – I’d heard about all the reflective pools of water around the temples towards the end of the rainy season so we timed it for that. We had a couple of washout days where it bucketed rain (and our hotel flooded but luckily we were on the first floor) – well worth it though!

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  2. I just went to Siem Reap in January and fell in love with the Bayon temple too. But my favourite temple in the whole complex is the Phimeanakas temple and that was because of the legend surrounding it i.e. a serpent princess lived at the top of the temple in a golden tower and every night, the king visits her to ensure that peace is retained in the country. Love that place.

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    • Oh I didn’t get to see that one, we ran out of time – we crammed the whole of Cambodia in two weeks… I didn’t know about the legend either, that’s fascinating – thanks for sharing!

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  3. Inspiring. The temple looks far more magical than it did in the film, and I can only imagine how beautiful it would have been in real life.

    I hope you upload more photos of your trips!

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    • It was such an amazing experience, and some of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen! 🙂

      I’ll probably be uploading more photos later, yes, I love taking photos when I travel! I shall have to go on holiday soon for the sake of keeping the blogosphere entertained – oh what a sacrifice! 😉

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