Built around 1190 AD by King Jayavarman VII, the Bayon is a Buddhist temple incorporating elements of Hindu cosmology. The Bayon Temple is believed to represent the intersection of heaven and earth, at the exact centre of Angkor Thom.
It is known for its huge stone faces of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, with one facing outward and keeping watch at each compass point. The curious smiling image, thought by many to be a portrait of Jayavarman VII himself, has been dubbed by some the "Mona Lisa of Southeast Asia." There are 51 smaller towers surrounding the Bayon, each with four faces of its own.