When I was growing up, seeing mysterious stone temples on tv with larger than life faces was relatively commonplace. From Indiana Jones to Legends of the Hidden Temple, I thought that most lost, ancient temples were covered in intimidating stone faces.
However, in actuality, there is only one major temple in the world where giant stone faces will stare back: Angkor Thom
Located near Siem Reap, Cambodia, Angkor Thom is part of the Angkor Historical Complex. While it may have been overshadowed in recent years by the mesmerizing Angkor Wat, you could actually make a case that the stone faces of Angkor Thom are the more well-known image.
It was an April day, nearly two years ago, when I got the chance to see the stone faces of Angkor Thom with my own eyes.
As our tuk tuk puttered up to the entrance to the temple complex, I was speechless. As the first stop in my 4 day adventure at Angkor, I had been waiting for this moment for a long time. Looking up, I saw the stoic faces of Angkor starting down at me, almost as if they could penetrate my soul.
Jim Cheney is the creator of Tripologist.com. Having traveled extensively in North America, Europe, and Asia, Jim enjoys sharing his love of travel and some of his favorite places to visit around the world. He lives in Pennsylvania, USA, with his wife and two kids.