TA PHROMMy trance like state went further when we visited the iconic Ta Phrom, the temple made more famous by the Hollywood movie Tomb Raider. A jungle merging with architecture, huge trees growing from the ruins, its gigantic roots delving into stone walls, the intertwined branches forming a roof over the structures leaving you with a feeling that is eerily beautiful.
Approximately 1km east of Angkor Thom, Ta Phrom was a Buddhist monastery and university built by King Jayavarman VII during the 12th until the 15th century. He dedicated this place to his family especially her mother. Records showed that it was home to some 12,500 people who included priests and dancers. This temple was neglected for centuries until the 21st century when efforts to restore and conserve the place started and because the temple in its ruined state is so picturesque they decided to keep them the way they found it and just stabilize the structures to prevent them from further damage.
If you wanted to have your photo taken like the first two pics from above, prepare to line up and wait because most visitors converged at this spot to get that picture moment :). As you can see, there are ongoing restoration efforts when we visited this heritage site.
It's easy to get lost when navigating the enclosed walls of the temple, some are impassable, so prepare yourself for some maze like tour of the area. You can pretend to be Lara Croft for the time being and have fun like we did :).
Unlike the usual pyramid structures of temples, Ta Phrom is a flat Khmer temple, with the inner levels higher than the outer.
There are bridges, pathways and walkways to access the rest of the area.
If you're curious what those huge trees are, sources said the larger ones are silk cotton trees and the smaller are either strangler fig or gold apple.
After our tour of Ta Phrom, we went back to Angkor Wat hoping to catch the majestic sunset while accessing the other route and entering the back side entrance. This wouldn't be possible without our very comfy tuktuk ride.
And while walking going to the site, we saw a lot of these cute monkeys who are quite checking us out.
This is the view of the back entrance of Angkor Wat.
We waited until 5:30pm but the spectacular golden hues of sunset failed to show up due to cloudy skies and according to our tuktuk driver, it has been like that for a week.
But then again, we're really thankful even with or without those nice extras we're sort of expecting, the whole Cambodia experience undoubtedly gave us all a bout of sensory overload in a positive way :).
Interested to read more? Click here below for my other IndoChina series:
HOW MUCH I SPENT IN MY INDOCHINA TRIP
HOW I SURVIVED 3 NIGHTS IN HO CHI MINH CITY
OUR HO CHI MINH ACCOMMODATION : HONG HAN HOTEL
CROSSING BORDERS : VIETNAM TO CAMBODIA
CAMBODIA : CHARMED BY THE TEMPLES OF ANGKOR (Part1)