A crowd-pleasing favourite
What we say:
Made even more famous by Tomb Raider and overrun by silk-cotton trees and strangler vines, Ta Phrom is about as atmospheric as Angkor gets, and is for many the highlight of a visit to the complex.
The decision by the Ecole Francaise d'Extreme-Orient to leave Ta Phrom in its original state was inspired, as although on places the trees are slowly destroying the monument, in others they're holding it together. Although there is a fairly well-travelled pathway through the monument, plenty of nooks and crannies, alleys and backways are around to explore.
Built by Jayavarman VII for his mother, and consecrated in 1186, Ta Phrom was the centrepiece of a city of more than 10,000 people and was also an active Buddhist monastery. While some interesting lintels and pediments are distributed throughout the temple, for the casual visitor here, the main attraction are the trees — in some places they've displaced the walls completely, leaving their roots to form the archways and rooves that were once made of stone.
Ta Phrom is a favourite among both professional and amateur photographers. Do remember that the monuments are well shaded when taking pics, and adjust your camera settings accordingly. Your guide may encourage you to do so, but do remember that climbing on the monuments contributes to their overall instability and isn't a very nice thing to do. Here ends our preaching.
Ta Phrom, after Angkor Wat and Bayon, is probably the most popular monument, and while best visited in the early morning or afternoon, any time is interesting. Take it slowly, finding spots to sit and take in the atmosphere as the crowds ebb and flow. Ta Phrom is large, so unlike Bayon it is more able to absorb large groups of people and it is rare that somewhere is crowded for more than a few minutes.
A visit here is best combined with a trip to Srah Srang and Bantaey Kdei. Start at Srah Srang, then walk through Bantaey Kdei before entering Ta Phrom through its eastern gate.
Read 1 opinions from Travelfish readers
Not the jungle temple it once was
26th November, 2011
The concept of leaving Ta Prohm as an unspoiled jungle temple was exciting for those who visited it a few years ago; however the popularity of the site and the safety issues for the thousands who now visit has meant big changes.
The Indian restoration team have been progressively making the temple safe for general consumption. This is an inevitable consequence and completely justified. The restorers have preserved major tree systems where possible; though dangerous trees have been cut or supported by wires.
The downside of this popularity has resulted in a ''conspiracy against photographers'' (A friends recent comment). Wooden platforms have been constructed to allow tourists to pose in front of the most popular parts; some of the classic views are now ruined due to the insensitive placement of these platforms.
The current restorations are progressively rebuilding parts of the temple and large areas are covered in scaffolding; green netting. the sounds of cranes and noisy machinery; drown our most of the jungle temple ambiance; you can hardly hear the bird song anymore.
The only chance for a decent visit is before 7:30 where parts of this vast temple can still retain their past ambiance.
Ta Phrom reviewed by peaceofangkor (1)
Written on 26th November, 2011, rated Visited here in October, 2011
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