Opening hours – 7.30am – 5.30pm
Ta Prohm, well known from the film Tomb Raider and Lara Croft played by Angelina Jolie.
Due to the temples popularity, the best time to visit is early in the morning keeping ahead of the crowds, especially during high season, November through to March. Late afternoon can also sees less visitors than at peak times. Rainy season is our choice as there are less tourists and the lychee and tree roots becomes vivid in colour due to the moisture in the air.
Tourists also refer to this as the temple with the trees, of which there are two types commonly found types. The tall large root trees are silk-cotton trees (Ceiba pentandra) & the small roots which cascade from above are from the strangling fig tree (Ficus gibbasa).
Enter from the east in the morning with the sun behind you. Prior to reaching the main temple area you will see a fire shrine to the right. This is not as well preserved as the one in Preah Khan, however, it has better reliefs and is covered in part with vivid green moss enhanced in rainy season, well worth a wonder around.
Continue west to the main temple area and there are wonderful tree roots which come alive with colour after the rains. Head into the main temple area through a passageway to the right. Here we see one on the great trees featured on many postcards, best photographed late afternoon when the sun is to the west. Beyond here is the hall of dancers, a restricted area due to ongoing reconstruction. Entering the central area, the northern gallery remains in disrepair, however the southern gallery has beed well restored and is one of the best in the whole park. Photographed in the early morning soft light is great for this gallery, unhampered by ropes, as found in Ankgor Wat.
Entering the main area, we can only suggest you explore the labyrinth of chambers and court yards at your own leisure. Be sure not to miss the two main attractions with the famous ‘tomb raider’ tree roots, now clad with platforms so groups of Chinese & Korean tour groups can pose with their selfie sticks. Spend time and explore a bit deeper and you will find areas of solitude off the beaten track. Exit via the west or take a detour to the north gate of the outer wall seldom visited by tour groups. Late in 2017 with monsoon season in full swing, part of this gate has recently collapsed.
Ta Prohm is a favorite for all tour guides and is on both the big and small circuit for the tuk tuk drivers, so it can be busy. Take your time and gaps will appear between crowds. Use the early morning or late afternoon light for best photographic results. Make the most of the well sculptures Divata reliefs adding a foreground object to your pictures. Early morning, the cleaning staff may be sweeping causing dust in the air. This can enhance the early morning sun rays, shooting into the low light can give that real Indiana Jones feeling,. Hopefully you will take home some memorable images of this amazing place.
Quote’s from customers when visiting Ta Phrom:
Client: “Wow this could be tomb raider.’
Guide: “Umm, it is”
Client: “Are the underground tunnels still there?”
Khmer tour guide: “Yes but there blocked off to visitors.”
Client: “Space rockets, there all space rockets!”
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Check our photography guides to the other temples: