In Cambodia Siem Reap has many beautiful and famous temples to admire. While the famous Angkor Wat is known to everyone, also Ta Prohm temple shares its place on this list. Ta Prohm temple became famous as the Lara Croft temple. At Ta Prohm temple scenes of the movie Tomb Raider are filmed.
After a delicious morning breakfast the tuck tuck driver from the guest house is there for the pickup. There are many temples in Siem Reap, today we visit 3 of them. The temples to visit are first Ta Prohm “the Lara Croft” Temple. Second the Tao Keo temple and last Experience the Sunset at Pre Rup Temple. Between the visits we take lunch at a Cambodian food stall.
Temperatures can rise very high in the summer season. So we visit Ta Prohm temple when temperature is still moderate. At Ta Prohm temple it can be crowded with buses bringing tourists on and of. Naturally because of its majestic location, with big trees rowing over the ruins of the temple. Another issue is because it gained fame being the set for the movie Tomb Raider..
However Ta Prohm temple is much more then a movie star.. The temple was constructed around the year 1186. it became a Buddhist monastery, it housed 12.000 people at the time. The site is quite small compared to others. Being located in the forest it gives you the feeling of being an explorer discovering something new and special. After a short walk through the forest with stalls near the wide path the East gate entrance of the temple shows itself between the trees.
In front of the East gate entrance the low stairs with stone lions in front of it allow access to the square. At the square in front of the East gate entrance there is a pond, though now dried out, The bigger entrance gate is blocked, the smaller entrance gate is located at the right side… This first part of Ta Prohm temple gives you a special feeling.. The desire to discover more of this amazing place.
When enter through the temple you can spot the site being under construction. The government and foreign institutions try to preserve what ever possible. Despite that some trees cannot be cut as they keep the bricks together. Therefore a balance between them is required. A sign brings you to the most popular photo spot here, the one with the big tree from the Tomb Raider movie..
The tree is a huge massive icon here, like a giant octopus swallowing the tower. Its huge roots can also be seen from different sides of the building.. Iron poles at the rear are placed to prevent collapsing of this construction. You can walk through the center and also the moat on the right and left side.. At the time of my visit the moat was still solid enough, so able to admire this part of the Ta Prohm temple. When taking the time to not only making photos, but really explore the site you can be overwhelmed by its attraction.
The engraved inscriptions, engraved status and images tell their story of a time covered with wealth, prosperity and beauty. Though some parts of the walls have collapsed the images of the ancient times tell you their story.. Slowly and silently moving across this site, while clearing sounds of other visitors out of your mind. When you reach that moment you can feel the energy this area offers.
After walking around at the inner-side of the temple can take the exit at the west gate. At the west gate its easy to walk around the right side of the temple.. The extended brick path to the gate entrance and the west gate itself are well intact. Quite a contrast with the east part of the temple site.. Continuing the walk around the right side of the Ta Prohm temple its amazing to see some parts well preserved and some parts the temple are melted with mother nature..
Though preserving the different sites is a slow process and time consuming, it still is fantastic the efforts are made to make this possible. Though Ta Prohm is one of the smaller sites, it has a different positive attraction then the other sites.. That is what makes the Angkor area unique.. Go there and experience it.. After visiting Ta Prohm its time to visit Tao Keo temple before lunch..
Discover more about Cambodia Siem Reap at these pages:
Cambodia Siem Reap: Trip to Phnom Kulen National Park
Cambodia: Discovery hike through Siem Reap city
Siem Reap: Experience the Sunset at Pre Rup Temple
Also the page about our day at the Angkor Wath is about to be posted.
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