Angkor Temples – Ta Prohm

Along with Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm is the other most visited site on the small circuit. But unlike the other Angkor sites, a decision was made not to restore Ta Prohm but rather to leave it as it had been found due to how beautifully the jungle had bonded with the temple. However, much work has gone into stabilizing the structure and clearing it to allow access.

Ta Prohm’s natural state of ruin lent itself well as the location for the film Tomb Raider staring Angelina Jolie; for which its haunting qualities are now famous.

According to records, in its prime, Ta Prohm was apparently home to 12,500 people (including 18 high priests and 615 dancers) with another 800,000 people in the surrounding villages that provided services and supplies to the temple. It apparently also housed considerable gold, jewels and other wealth. It seemed like the high priests were living it up.

Today, a walk through Ta Prohm is a sublime experience.


West gate to Ta Prohm



Cleared path to Ta Prohm but the jungle is not far



Including one of the jungles’s liveliest residents



Vine hammock



First glimpse of Ta Prohm



Jungle meets temple



The jungle is always moving in



A pile of rubble is a great temple rest spot



Trees straddling the temple wall



In all this temple glory, the boy is most interested in what bugs he can find.






The boys



The famous tree doorway



Can you see the temple underneath the tree?



Who’s holding up who?



Outer wall destruction likely caused by elephants at the direction of people. Notice the carvings of Buddha on the wall have all been removed. This was likely done during the struggle between the Buddhist and Hindu groups. There was evidence of this struggle across all the temples.



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