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.
This is the most popular site within Ta Prohm…
- 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.