Photo – The surrounding moat of Angkor Thom city. Now, this moat is a beautiful place to just sit and watch the sunrise.
Surrounding Moat of Angkor Thom City :
Angkor Thom (means “Great City”) is located about two miles north of Angkor Wat and this is where Prasat Bayon is located and it used to be surrounded by a moat. The city is about four square miles, laid out in a square and for a long-long time, it was the seat of the Khmer government. The ruins are scattered all over this large area. Most of the temples here were built in King Jayavarman VII reign, who felt Hinduism had failed his kingdom, and thus converted to Buddhism and followed the teachings of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara.
Temples within the walls of Angkor Thom includes Phimeanakas, Baphuon, Terrace of the Elephants, Terrace of the Leper King, Prah Palilay, Tep Pranam and Prasat Suor Prat. Since buildings such as the king’s place were made of wood it has long since disappeared.
The buildings at Angkor Thom city are not as large or well preserved as those Angkor Wat, but they are still quite impressive all the same with all their classical style structures. Some people like Angkor Thom city more than Angkor Wat because some of the features are more interesting such as the stone heads of the smiling king. Around it is the remnant of a moat (now partly dry) that was once eight miles long and 300 feet wide and filled with crocodiles to deter attackers. There’s a causeway bridge that leads to the Terrace of the Elephants and Terrace of the Leper King.
Five gates, which are more or less intact, mark the entrance to the site, The main gate has sculptures of 54 gods, one on each side, and the same number of demons on the other. Unfortunately, some of the figures have had their heads knocked off by looters. The others are crowned by the massive faces of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara so that each face points to a cardinal direction.
Prasat Bayon is also known for two sets of bas-reliefs, which present an unusual combination of mythological, historical, and mundane scenes. Currently, the Japanese Government Team for the Safeguarding of Angkor is the main conservatory body and they have described the temple as the most striking expression of the Khmer architecture style, as contrasted with the classical style of Angkor Wat.
More photos of Prasat Bayon Temple here.
Our group trip photos on Instagram.