No, Angkor Thom is not the name of a guy who hangs around Angkor Wat. It’s not the Cambodian equivalent of Indiana Jones. It means “Big City” and it’s part of the Angkor Wat temple complex.
Being raised on Indiana Jones, I have a thing for temple ruins. If I weren’t so lazy and squeamish about creepy-crawlies, I might have gone into archaeology or some such thing. But due to my love of comfort, this is the closest I’ll probably come to Indiana Jones-esque adventure–being driven to temple ruins in an air conditioned car. Good enough for me!
I’m glad we went to Angkor Wat first, because this way I got to enjoy Angkor Thom’s Bayon and Ta Prohm in the beautiful late afternoon sun. The entrance was entrancing, with it’s greenery and welcoming committee.
The Bayon is a temple that’s made of 54 towers with 4 faces each. The faces are supposed to belong to Avalokiteshvara, Mahayana Buddhism’s compassionate Bodhisattva, or maybe they’re a combination of King Jayavarman VII and Buddha. But I found the faces to be not immediately obvious.
To see what happened when I finally found all the faces, read the full report (with lots of photos and video) at my blog, Symbolic Themes! (Mostly cuz I’m too busy and lazy to re-post it all again here! Sorry!)