The crowds that visit Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and the Angkor Ruins region can be overwhelming. Over 2.3 million people visited the site in 2014 making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in all of Southeast Asia. On my last visit I spent many early mornings wandering the ruins including visits to Ta Prohm, the temple complex made famous by the 2001 film Lara Croft Tomb Raider.
Ta Prohm was built in the late 12th and early 13th centuries in the Bayon Style which include face towers and naga carrying giant figures. Originally called Rajavihara it is located one kilometer east of Angkor Thom, the last great city of the Khmer Empire. King Jayavayerman Vll who ruled the empire oversaw construction of Ta Prohm from Angkor Thom, where he ruled.
Ta Prohm had been left almost in the same condition as it was found, with huge trees growing out of the structure which have literally taken over the temple, one of it’s striking features.
Don’t forget to look on the ground as there are many relics from the temple half buried under your path.
Is it worth it to wake up early with all of the craziness of the crowds? Of course, it’s Angkor Wat. It’s an amazing experience. Just be prepared for a little nonsense and sometimes rudeness with that many people gathered in one spot. Don’t get me wrong I’m not trying to be a downer. Just preparing you for what’s going to happen so you can adjust your expectations accordingly. If I didn’t have proof you’d probably never believe me if I told you someone even brought a horse. Mind you this was sunset, a different crowd indeed
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I am a broadcaster, photographer, writer and videographer with a passion for travel throughout Asia. I love making connections and engaging with people. I am spiritual and seek adventure wherever I go.
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