Angkor Wat may be the most famous temple but a short distance away lies Ta Prohm which is more unusual and stunning. Here fig and silk-cotten trees magically entwine ancient stone temples and carvings. The beauty of Ta Prohm remains in large part to the foresight of a French Archeological team who in the early 20th century decided the site would be largely left as it had been found as a “concession to the general taste for the picturesque”.
Wandering throughout this ancient beauty, I felt as though I had stepped into a Indiana Jones movie.
The site in fact is famous as the back drop of scenes in Tomb Raider released in 2001. I know this because I heard many tour guides discuss this in many languages, “Angelina Jolie” remarkably is pronounced the same throughout the world.
Ta Prohm was founded by the Khmer King Jayavarman VII as a Mahayana Buddhist monastery and shrine beginning in 1186 A.D. The structures were dedicated in part to his mother. When I asked Aidan what he would build for me someday he responded he has a few legos in Singapore. Not quite an ancient temple but I am sure Aidan’s structure will be built with love none the less.
The carvings were fantastic.
Some of them like this ancient face peaked out from between the serpentine vines.
The children had fun at the ruins. Sydney does a great interpretation of the 900 year old dancers.
The trees in the structure were very soft this contributed to their ability to surround rather than encompass the temples. There were naturally a lot of holes and breaks in the trunks.
There were a few surprises found in the day to entertain us all.
This site was fantastic and my favorite day of touring the Angkor area. The ancient Ta Prohm was eerie, haunting and beautiful.