Cambodia Travels

Visiting Ta Prohm Temple in Siem Reap

The entrance to Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm is the name of a temple built in Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Every year, more and more tourists are going to visit the Angkor Region so now over 10,000 people go and visit it each day! Lots of people go to Ta Prohm because the movie Tomb Raider starring Angelina Jolie was filmed there in 2001.

The incredible trees growing amongst the ruins

Unlike most Angkorian temples, Ta Prohm is in almost the same condition as it was when it was found in 1860 by Herri Mouhot: a French man. The incredible, eye-catching trees that grow out of the ruins and the jungle surrounding it has made Ta Prohm one of the most well known and therefore most visited places in Cambodia.

Khmer King Jayavarman VII built Ta Prohm in 1189 for his late mother. Legend says, that her tomb was kept in a room full of diamonds. A Sanskrit inscription on stone, still in place, gives us details of the temple. Ta Prohm had 3140 villages: 79,365 people to maintain the temple including 18 priests, 2,740 officials, 2,202 assistants and 615 dancers. Among all of the things that were found in the temple, there was over 500 kg of golden dishes, 35 diamonds, over 40,000 pearls and thousands of precious stones. Even though that these numbers were probably exaggerated to impress the king, Ta Prohm must have been an important and impressive temple.

We visited Ta Prohm in March 2018. Even though Cambodia is very hot, the trees all around the temple give you shade. Our guide was amazing because even though there were over 10,000 people there, he made it feel as if there was no one else. When we asked where all the other people were, he said that they were all at the main entrance whereas we had gone in the back entrance. He told us that he always took the Europeans in the back way because he’s learnt that we like to feel like we are the only ones. But he takes Asian tourists in the main entrance where everybody else is because they believe that wherever there are more people must be the best place to be.

Willow’s favourite – The butt tree

When we went, we spent 1 hour walking around Ta Prohm at 7:00 am. We also went to Angkor Wat (we’d got up at 4am to see sunrise here), which is the number one place to visit in the world – voted by lonely planet readers. I personally, as an 11 year old who has been travelling around the world – didn’t think that this was the best place we have been to because I’ve had more fun in other places, but it was definitely the best temple.

 

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