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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Ta Prohm - Cambodia

Ta Prohm 1

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.

Ta Prohm 2
Ta Prohm 3
Ta Prohm 4
Ta Prohm 5
Ta Prohm 6
Ta Prohm 7

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 Wat
Angkor Thom: Victory Gate, Bayon Temple, Terrace of the Leper King, Terrace of the Elephants, Prasats Suor Prat, and Phimeanakas
Ta Prohm
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.


  1. I've never heard of this place. It's simply amazing. I hope I get a chance to visit Cambodia on my next trip to Asia. You've visited some really great sites.

  2. look at those photos! the tree is amazing!

  3. Hey WC - Ta Prohm, along with the Bayon were our favorites during our visit.

  4. i have a picture with that tree! nostalgia...

  5. i am also waiting for the food pics...hehehe

  6. That tree look like a monster! :O

  7. We've been on your site today for way too long. I showed your last posts to my two Cambodian employees here at work and they have been fixated at your photographs. We all agree that the photography is just beautiful and are dying to read about the stories behind the pictures!
    They're from Battum Bong, about 3 hours away from Angkor Thom. They'll be waiting for your stories!!

  8. Your trip looks to be fantastic so far! I'm jealous :P

    BTW, I had a dream about you... totally weird since we've never met face to face. For some weird reason, we went to some restaurant where they served whole goat. You got to eat from the head and I got the ass part of it. Suprisingly we finished the meat and then underneath were perfectly prepared organ meat (ew!!). We ate a pair of lungs after that. Freaky huh?

  9. My fave temple at Angkor was Ta Keo because it was completely deserted and we climbed all over the temple. I love danger.

    My least favorite part of Angkor was "sunset." Too much hype. Too many people.

  10. Wow that tree looks amazing. Hopefully I can see it in person someday!

  11. Wow that's amazing! I've always wanted to visit Angkor Wat. I wonder how old those trees are.

  12. Fabulous pictures!
    As it's someplace that I doubt I will ever be able to visit in person this virtual tour was fantastic!

  13. My staff is making me check back here every other day to see if you having anything new up yet!
    I tell them, "see? nothing yet, now get back to work!!". :)

  14. I came across your blog in search of rice wrapper, your recipes looks great and my hubby loves to taste different cuisine, definetly I am going to try at my home.

  15. Christine,
    It really was an incredible trip. I hope you get to see it some day.

    The trees totally made this temple stand out.

    Mine too.

    Me too. :)

    No food pics. This was prior to food blogging so I didn't take any.

    They're called "strangler figs" for a reason.

    OK, OK, I finally got around to writing down the stories. I hope your employees like them.

    I read somewhere that in Central Asia, serving someone a sheep's head is a sign of respect. Although, if we've never met face to face, how did you know it was m? :)

    Aw, I never got to see Ta Keo. :(

    Add Angkor to your list!

    No Recipes,
    I bet several hundred years old, if not more.

    Katie Z,

    Haha. OK, now that previous posts are all written, I can get to a new one.

    I hope you do try some of my recipes.


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