Thursday, February 19, 2009

Temples of Angkor: Ta Prohm

Constructed: Mid 12th - Early 13th century
King: Jayavarman VII
Religion: Buddhist
Style: Bayon

Ta Prohm is the other can't miss temple. It is covered with forest growth, with trees growing in the middle of ancient structures. Ta Prohm looks like it came straight out of a movie, and that's because it did! It has been used in the movie Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie. It you cannot make it to Angkor for a few years fear not, the trees will be intentionally left in place despite the reconstruction efforts. You'll still be able to get your tree in temple photos. =) This picture is originally from

If it starts getting a bit too hot during your explorations of the temples head over to Ta Prohm. The huge fig and silk-cotton trees growing out of the temple are beautiful and help cool down the area.

Enter Ta Prohm

The temple was under heavy reconstruction when I was there so this part of it was off limits.
This is what it would have looked like if reconstruction had not blocked it off. Image from

This temple was one of King Jayavarman VII's first projects and was dedicated to his mother. It was originally built as a Buddhist monastery and controlled over 3000 villages leading to great wealth in the temple. At its height there were large stores of gold and jewels held here and thousands of support staff worked here.

Tree in Temple

More Tree in Temple. Notice the douche bag that crossed the barrier for a picture? More on him later.

Tree in Temple

Tree in Temple from

Image from

Don't be this Douche!
Ok as promised, more on the guy that crossed the barrier. Look, when you're traveling in foreign countries do your best to follow the local rules and laws. First it's for your own protection; if trouble happens in places like Cambodia where corruption is rampent the law will not be on your side. Secondly it's to leave the locals with a better impression of the country you represent. Like it or not, when you travel you represent the country you're from. As an American we grow up believing the world hates us and that we need to pretend to be Canadian when we travel. We hear stories of the Ugly American traveler, throwing tantrums, being disrespectful and spoiled. Well I'm happy to say I did not meet a single American traveler like that, but that's probably due to Americans not traveling very much. The douche bags I saw on my trip were all european, but that's probably because more europeans travel, hence the higher percentage of running into a european douche. I'll counter that by saying I met many more pleasant europeans than douchy ones. In any case, do not be this french guy I saw who repeatedly crossed the ropes for his own pictures.

A poor video, but I made it just so I could remember some of the sites and sounds around Ta Prohm.

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