Photo: Compact and photogenic.

Ta Som

Our rating:

Ta Som is a compact temple—laterite enclosure wall, reasonably well preserved gopuras and central shrine—all recently renovated.

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A satellite temple of Preah Khan, this is the third Jayavarman VII temple in a row along the north side of the Grand Circuit road, but this one’s a bit larger, a bit more popular and does possess postcards, cold drinks and bamboo flutes as opposed to the previous two, which are devoid of any vendors.

Woods and walkways. Photo taken in or around Ta Som, Angkor, Cambodia by Caroline Major.

Woods and walkways. Photo: Caroline Major

In Michael Freeman’s Ancient Angkor, he suggests Ta Som may be the temple referred to in an inscription at Preah Khan at “Gaurasrigajaratna” or “The Jewel of the Propitious White Elephant” ... though it is commonly referred to as Ta Som today. Tongue-twisting names aside, of particular note here is the much photographed eastern gopura covered in tree roots—make sure you walk to the very back of the temple to look back at the tree-framed door.

This site is all very scenic but it is increasingly popular with large tour groups, which makes us less inclined to stop here if you’re touring the Grand Circuit, as picturesque trees can be found elsewhere at sites like Ta Prohm and Preah Khan, while other small sites offer a greater chance of a people-free visit, including Banteay Prei and Prasat Prei on the Grand Circuit, or a quiet site like Ta Nei.

Now that is a doorway. Photo taken in or around Ta Som, Angkor, Cambodia by Caroline Major.

Now that is a doorway. Photo: Caroline Major

Still, if you are in the area, Ta Som is worth ... Travelfish members only (Around 200 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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Location map for Ta Som

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