Trees vs. Temples

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Visiting Angkor Wat and the temples in the surrounding Angkor complex is one of life’s necessities — like a kidney, or an IPod.  You just have to.  And you will love every last templed square inch of the place.

Ta Prohm, meaning “Old Brahma”– the Hindu god of Creation, is one of the smaller temples in the Angkor park, but one of the most spectacular.  It’s one of those magical, mystical places that just looks too good to be real, which is probably why they used it in that awful Angelina Jolie movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.  It’s Indiana Jones meets the Hobbits.  And unlike most things in Angkor, it hasn’t been completely restored by the Chinese.

Silk-cotton trees and strangler vines weave a tangled splendour over stones that never stood a chance — the living triumph over the dead in this place.

Ta Prohm, Angkor, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia

Tree growing over temple. Ta Prohm, Angkor, Cambodia

Tree growing over wall, Ta Prohm, Angkor, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia

Ta Prohm, Angkor, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia

Ta Prohm, Angkor, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia

Ta Prohm, Angkor, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia

Ta Prohm, Angkor, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia

Ta Prohm, Angkor, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia

This is the most popular site within Ta Prohm…

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Ta Prohm temple with tree, Angkor, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia

Ta Prohm temple with tree and stones Angkor, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia

Ta Prohm tree with twisted roots, Angkor, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia

Ta Prohm temple seen through tree, Angkor, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia

Ta Prohm temple with moss, Angkor, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia

Ta Prohm temple with tree, Angkor, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia

Ta Prohm temple with tree and moss, Angkor, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia

Ta Prohm temple with tree and moss, Angkor, Siem Reap Province

Temple with tree and moss

Temple with support beam

Ta Prohm Temple with support beam

Ta Prohm Temple

Green moss on temple

Thick tree roots overtake wall, Ta Prohm

Travel Tips:

  • Be patient.  There are lots of tourists here, but if you see a crowd, don’t despair.  Just head off to one of the other sites within the temple and return later.  The most popular site noted above had about 30 Japanese students posing in front of it when I got there.  I went back 15 minutes later and it was blissfully tourist-free.
  • If you’re taking a tuk-tuk, get your driver to drop you off at one end and pick you up on the other.
  • Unlike the other temples, this one had no vendors inside, so enjoy the peace and quiet while you can.

I am a travel blogger and freelance travel writer. I left behind my cubicle-shaped cell to see the world. Now I inspire others to shake the shackles and escape through travel. This is my blog.

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