This was my favorite. Here's a map to Angkor Archeological Park again so you can get an idea of where Ta Prohm is in relation to other buildings.
Ta Prohm (ancestor Brahma) was built by King Jayavarman VII as a Mahayana Buddhist monastery and university. Previously called Rajavihara (royal temple), Ta Prohm was built in 1186 as the first in a series of public works constructions when the king ascended the throne.
The French decided to leave the trees alone in order to retain the romantic feel of Ta Prohm when they began conserving the temples of Angkor at the beginning of the 20th century. The two trees are the silk cotton and strangler fig. I think the pictures speak for themselves.
After visiting Ta Prohm, we ate lunch in one of the eateries across from Angkor Wat. Then it was back to the hotel for an afternoon nap during the daily rain shower. Our tour guide suggested some other temples, especially for viewing at sunset. But again, rainy season meant murky sunsets.
After the lackluster sunrise, we opted to just leave it at that for the day. Seriously, I saw Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom: Victory Gate, Bayon Temple, Terrace of the Leper King, Terrace of the Elephants, Prasats Suor Prat, and Phimeanakas in one day. After a while, no matter how majestic, it does begin to seem like yet another pile of stones or yet another wall carving. We decided to end the visit to Angkor with Ta Prohm, so that the impact of the temples wouldn't be diminished.
Other things to do in Siem Reap? I stayed in and took a longer nap while my friends went CD and DVD shopping with our tour guide. He also took them to a cafe where there was dancing. I can't remember what we did that night. I think we slept because it had been a long day and we were planning a visit to a floating village the next morning.
These travel posts take entirely way too long to write. So I'll take a bit of a break before I finish up with the floating village.
I suggest reading my Cambodia series in this order:
Dith Pran and the Killing Fields Memorial in Siem Reap - Cambodia
Khmer Classical Dance at Koulen Restaurant - Siem Reap - Cambodia
Angkor Thom: Victory Gate, Bayon Temple, Terrace of the Leper King, Terrace of the Elephants, Prasats Suor Prat, and Phimeanakas
Chong Kneas Floating Village - Tonle Sap (Great Lake) - Cambodia
For a related post on Cambodian food: Battambang Seafood Restaurant - San Gabriel
1 year ago today, a super-healthy dinner of kinpira (Japanese sauteed gobo root (burdock) and carrot matchsticks) and roasted gobo root.