Cambodia is a place where one can feel like they have travelled back in time. The ideal place to do this would be Siem Reap. Things to do in Siem Reap are plenty and varied – but if you miss out on visiting one of the most atmospheric ruins in the world, a structure so picturesque that it was one of the sets of Lara Croft, the movie you would have wasted your trip. With a nature-human dynamic that is usually left to fantasy, Ta Prohm, located merely 15 minutes away from Anantara Angkor Resort, is one place you have to visit.
Ta Prohm was originally known as Rajavihara, meaning “Monastery of the King”. It is believed that the temple was dedicated to the mother of King Jayavarman VII, and was constructed around 1186AD. One of the staggering facts about Ta Prohm, which is supported by inscriptions at the temple, is its workers: it is inscribed that around 80,000 workers including 615 dancers were involved in its construction. Even after making allowances for exaggeration to glorify the King, the numbers are still phenomenal from a modern point of view.
Although Ta Prohm is greatly ruined, the sunshine that filters through the great canopies provides a sight unlike any other. There are many towers for the visitor to explore, courtyards to stroll through and narrow corridors to explore – instilling a sense of mystery. You might uncover hidden gems at each turn in this temple, for a large number of stonework and reliefs have long since sought refuse under the non-relenting foliage.
You may find a local boy who has sneaked into the premises to guide you inside the temple and maybe suggest photo backgrounds. But it is both safer and ethical to ask the security at the entrance for assistance; it is never a good idea to encourage misbehaviour, even if it is to capture the cove where Angelina Jolie picks a jasmine, only to be sucked into the earth!
Damon Starky is a creative nomadic travel writer, who is well informed and experienced on a wide range of interests that would connect to the needs of any type of traveler. Google+