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More photographs of ruined temples and giant roots: Ta Prom and Preah Khan at Angkor, Cambodia

Can’t go wrong really with giant roots and towering trees, mysterious carvings and jungle-clad ruins so here’s another selection of photos of Preah Khan and Ta Prom temples in Cambodia’s Angkor temple complex, taken on our recent Saigon to Angkor Overland small group tour.

Preah Khan, eastern, 2nd, gate
Preah Khan, eastern, 2nd, gate

Preah Khan, as with the more high profile Ta Prom, is a late 12th century Buddhist temple built during the reign of Jayarvarman VII. The former is considered to have been dedicated to the king’s father and the latter to his mother and indeed layout and style of the two sprawling temple/monastery complexes are compatible.  The current state of both sites is also very similar with wide scale destruction by the elements evident at both as Jayarvarman’s massive building progamme lead to some hasty construction efforts hence despite these two temples being some of the most recent at Angkor they are in far worse condition today than many earlier, but more carefully constructed, sites.

Another view of eastern gopura
Another view of eastern gopura

For visitors today that is obviously part of their charm and the jungle clad ruins of Ta Prom are amongst the most iconic images of Angkor. Yes it of course also featured in the Tomb Raider movie and  is one of the most popular postcard subjects, (which you can buy 10 of for only 1 dollar!)

Classic shot of the eastern cloister
Classic shot of the eastern cloister

 

close up of eastern cloister
close up of eastern cloister

 

And a guardian lion seen through the hanging roots of a ficus
And a guardian lion seen through the hanging roots of a ficus

 

One of the 'libraries' of the 2nd enclosure
One of the ‘libraries’ of the 2nd enclosure

 

Trees and a pile of stones - Preah Khan again
Trees and a pile of stones – Preah Khan again

Preah Khan is not quite so high profile as Ta Prom and receives less visitors – all of which is good news and makes the temple a personal favourite of most of our guides and tour-leaders. In order to optimize our visits we head to Preah Khan early in the morning and Ta Prom late afternoon.

Another popular post card cliche - cloisters in the 3rd(?) enclosure, west side, at Ta Prom
Another popular post card cliche – cloisters in the 3rd(?) enclosure, west side, at Ta Prom

 

Ditto - probably the most photographed doorway at Angkor!
Ditto – probably the most photographed doorway at Angkor!

 

Difficult to see if the wall's holding the tree up or vice versa!?
Difficult to see if the wall’s holding the tree up or vice versa!?

 

Overall view of Ta Prom's central enclosure from the west
Overall view of Ta Prom’s central enclosure from the west

FYI below is our Angkor temple programme in full. If you’ve read up a bit on the site you may notice our itinerary bears little resemblance to standard ones recommended by guides and guidebooks but our reasoning is to perhaps sacrifice optimum light conditions in order to; a. minimize the crowds, b. avoid the hottest parts of the day and c. provide a leisurely schedule without trying to rush around and tick off as many temples in a short a space of time as possible. There’s little point in having ideal light at Bayon Temple if the atmosphere and your photo opps. are ruined by hoards of tourists!

Day 1: 16.45 Obtain entry pass, Sunset at Banteay Kdei

Day 2: 05.00 Dawn at Angkor Wat and visit (arrive west entrance, depart east)

10.30 Return to hotel

14.30 Angkor Tom: – terrace of the leper king, elephant terrace, Phimeanakas, Baphuon, Bayon,

Day 3: 07.00 Phnom Bakheng, Baksei Chamkrong, Preah Khan

11.00 Return to hotel

14.30 Jungle walk to Ta Nei & Ta Keo, Ta Prom

Day 4: free morning

14.30 Banteay Samre & Banteay Srei 0r Rolous group

(Note; this itinerary is provisional and subject to possible changes at the last minute. All times are approximate.)

Cheers!