Bayon Temple is located in Angkor Thom city. The gate to the city is guarded by police during the night and becomes a check point which opens at 5.30 am in the morning. This is the best time for photography. Morning pictures were quite different from the pictures taken during the late afternoon. In the morning, there are less people around. In the afternoon it is much harder to take a good picture without tourists in it. But you can still get nice close ups of the stone faces that this temple is famous for.
Above is the most popular bridge with the gate that leads to Angkor Thom city. Monumental devas (gods) and asuras (demons) are on either side of the bridge. Below is the Bayon Temple (picture taken during sunrise from the West Gate)It is still a long walk from the bridge to the Bayon temple, so make sure your tuk tuk or taxi driver sticks around to drive you over there.
Below and above are pictures taken from the west end side entry very early in the morning when there were no tourists around. All you could hear were jungle noises and sounds of praying monks, which added to the mystical atmosphere of this place.
Dust is usually a problem for photography but in this case it emphasised the morning rays of light coming through the jungle in the background. It lasted only for a short period of time and we were lucky to capture it on the camera.
The corridors inside of the temple were impressive and excellent for photography. The challenge was the very dark interior and the bright lights coming through from the side. HDR worked very well in these conditions.
This mystical picture reminds us of seeing a guard with old rubber thongs behind his belt. We were wondering what they are for until we saw him chasing a young boy through the corridor and throwing one of them at him because the boy was hassling tourists and trying to sell them his merchandise. Maybe this is one of the reasons why there are no hawkers actually inside the temples, and instead choose to set up just outside.
We returned to Bayon late in the afternoon to take more pictures just before the sun went down. The colours were different again with a nice soft yellow hint to it.