Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm is a temple in the Angkor Archaeological Park north of Siem Reap, Cambodia. The temple was built in 11th century by King Jayawarman VII, the same king who built the city of Angkor Thom nearby. This temple is famous among the temples in the Angkor Archaeological Park given that it had been consumed by the nature around it. Trees and vegetations grew on top of the ruins. The French organization that worked on preservation of the Angkor temples in the early 20th century decided to leave Ta Prohm alone as an example of how nature took over the land from man-made structure after centuries. In more recent years, this temple was also made famous by the movie Tomb Raider with actress Angelina Jolie, as scenes of the movie were filmed there.

We visited Ta Prohm in early afternoon before we went for lunch. The traffic near Ta Prohm was still pretty heavy, but it was better than the hours before or after that as many visitors were at lunch around that time. Along with Angkor Wat, this was one of the main sites we wanted to visit given its unique scenery. It was quite surreal to see large trees standing firm on and around the temple ruins, as if they were in the process of ‘eating’ the structure. We also found the spot where the famous scene of Angelina Jolie coming out of the temple ruins was filmed for Tomb Raider. It was quite easy to locate, as there were many visitors around there waiting to ‘reenact’ Angelina Jolie’s scene and got their photos taken. We didn’t do the same, but I did take a photo of other visitor doing the reenactment.

The photo below was taken inside the temple complex. You can see the big tree standing on top of the temple ruins, looking like they are well integrated with each other.

Ta Prohm

Siem Reap

Siem Reap is the capital city of the Siem Reap Province in Cambodia. Its name means ‘the defeat of Siam,’ commemorating the victory of the Khmer people over the invading Siam (Thai) people in the 1500s. Today the city is fast growing because of the booming tourism / hospitality business. The city is located very close to the site of the ancient city of Angkor, which was the seat of the Khmer Empire that ruled a large part of Southeast Asia more than 1,000 years ago. Today tourists come to Siem Reap and use it as the base to explore the area that is full of temple ruins, including the famous Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat, which is still in use for worship by the locals, is the world’s largest religious monument.

We came to Siem Reap after our visit to the Cambodian capital Phnom Penh. Our stay in Siem Reap was arranged through a local tour company called Derleng Tours. They suggested a typical itinerary for a three day, two night visit to Siem Reap, which we then customized to what we would like to see and do. During the duration of our stay, we had a private tour guide and driver with air-conditioned van that accompanied us to places around Siem Reap that we wanted to visit.

The photo below was taken in downtown Siem Reap on a street called the Pub Street. This place is a popular hangout place for foreign visitors. The particular place on the photo is a pub/restaurant called The Red Piano. It became famous because it was visited by Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie when she came to the area to film Tomb Raider.

Red Piano