Ta Prohm. Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia. February 2011.

Ta Prohm: Roots and Stone

#Cambodia #Angkor

  Cambodia and Thailand - February 2011

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

the Ta Prohmthe roots of the trees embrace the stone. I love this temple of Angkor, where you can almost think you are an explorer, discovering mysterious ruins buried in the jungle ...

When the plant marries the mineral

Ta Prohm. Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia. February 2011.
Ta Prohm. (Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia, February 2011)

Here, the vegetable marries the mineral. They became completely inseparable.

Over the centuries, the roots of the cheese and fig trees have taken possession of the place, strangling the doors and galleries in ruins, creeping into all the interstices, imitating the shapes of the temple. The roots seem to have "flowed" along the stone walls.

The trees have sometimes destroyed, sometimes supported the walls. A slow and spectacular fight between nature and architecture ... The half-collapsed walls and the giant trunks create a unique, magical, a little fantastic atmosphere.

The result is beautiful.

Ta Phrom, among all the temples to visit in Angkor, is in my eyes the most moving, the most aesthetic, the most fascinating.

This is my third visit, several years apart, and each time I have the same thought: this is really my favourite. I've always loved playing Indiana Jones... 😁

Ta Prohm. Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia. February 2011.

Preserved as is for the "picturesque".

When the Ta Prohm was rediscovered at the beginning of the 20th century, archaeologists from the Far East French School who worked on the Angkor site decided to leave the temple as is, as "concession to the general taste for the picturesque.".

Even though the temple has not been restored like most of the other monuments of Angkor, it required work: the ruins had to be stabilized to make them accessible to visitors, while maintaining this quality. "state of apparent neglect.".

Ta Prohm. Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia. February 2011.

Ta Prohm. Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia. February 2011.

Ta Prohm. Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia. February 2011.

Ta Prohm. Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia. February 2011.

Ta Prohm. Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia. February 2011.

Ta Prohm. Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia. February 2011.

Ta Prohm. Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia. February 2011.

Ta Prohm. Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia. February 2011.

A "picturesque" too arranged?

But, but... I admit: I was a little disappointed, compared to the memory I had of my previous visits, in 2001 and in 2003. Because we do not walk anymore as we want, at Ta Prohm.

Wooden walkways, gates and safety cords were placed everywhere on the site. Heaps of passages are now denied access. There is also a signposted route for the visit, with small signposts.

And, how can I put it... It kind of breaks the "explorer" mood I liked so much.

Ta Prohm. Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia. February 2011.

Ta Prohm. Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia. February 2011.

The temple remains bewitching all the same, in the early hours of the morning, when the visitors are still rare.

The light and the heat go up little by little ...

The invaders tumble to Ta Prohm

So, after a first exploration, we want to return to admire the big root of the gallery, the door entwined by the fig tree ... and here is the drama.

It's invader time! 😱

Ta Prohm. Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia. February 2011.

Ta Prohm. Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia. February 2011.


I should have known that all these pretty wooden platforms, which prevent you from tripping over fallen stones, had not been installed just for me ...


  Cambodia and Thailand - February 2011

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  1. I would always have an incredible memory of Ta Prohm, dated 2000: to be alone, completely alone, completely alone among the temples and trees, and to feel to the depths of his gut all the majesty of Time, civilizations and trees that finally show that a certain "fusional harmony" is possible between culture and nature. So, it saddens me a lot to know that today, these places are full of tourists and invaders; on one side it's "normal", something so beautiful can not leave indifferent maiiiis .... But it's really sad not to be able to feel this immense momentum of majesty that I felt when I was 12 years old.

  2. Magnifique série de photos… et les deux dernières, stupéfiantes ! Je ne sais pas comment les qualifier sans être désobligeante à l’égard des touristes; ce serait « anormal » cependant de réserver tant de beauté à quelques happy few! Alors comment faire? Peut-être qu’un jour on réservera à ces temples le même sort qu’à la grotte de Lascaux! Y’aura les vrais; les faux! 🙁

  3. This temple is absolutely beautiful.
    On the other hand, it is true that the mass of tourist prevents a little to take advantage of the beauty of the places.
    I had the chance to visit it just before closing when there was almost nobody and there ... Shivers guaranteed!

  4. Roooooo there, it scares everyone! I feel happy to have visited it when there was almost no one because
    for once, it would have ruined the pleasure! But on the other hand, I know it would be unfair to reserve all these beauties to an elite ...
    Toute cette foule, ça doit contribuer à enlever le côté mystérieux du lieu non ? 🙁

  5. Je rajoute, ça a un côté « poissonnerie » de supermarché un 24 décembre à 9 h du matin !! « hé, attend ton tour pour la photo, non mais j’étais là avant! » et « à qui l’tour ? », « qui a le numéro 53 ?! » 🙁

  6. Of course, as platforms, they serve more advantage to photographed tourists coming from Asia.
    Are you in Siem Reap Corinne? what is your circuit? how long do you travel?
    I just saw that you looked at my blog about Koh Lanta.
    Joce (canaima)

  7. @Chris: J’avais le même genre de souvenir que toi, datant de 2001… Le temple reste magnifique, néanmoins. On s’y sent juste beaucoup moins seul !!! 🙄

    @Ysbilia: Va savoir… Un nouvel aéroport est en construction. Les « envahisseurs » vont être encore plus nombreux dans les années à venir. J’ai en réserve tout un tas d’autres photos « stupéfiantes », qui vont te plaire… 😆

    @Lemerou: Oui, pour retrouver un peu l’ambiance originelle des sites, il faut venir en début ou en fin de journée… 😉

    @Nani: Oui, quand les groupes débarquent, ça rompt d’un coup tout le charme des lieux… 😡

    @David: Beng Melea, excellent suggestion ... But it will be next time!

    @Joce: I left Siem Reap ten days ago. I am now finishing my journey in Thailand (I take the plane back in a few hours), where I went through Krabi, Phi Phi, Khao Lak, to dive. I'm late in writing my posts ... 8)

  8. Ta prohm, Angkor War, Bayon… Ce sont les incontournables magnifiques, mais trop visités. En fait, j’ai préféré l’atmosphères des « petits » temples. Ceux qui sont boudés par une partie des groupes en bus VIP. 💡

    Obviously, they are less spectacular, their charms are left a little more desire. But, in fact, not long. There are fewer roots to intermingle with the stone, there are fewer mysterious faces ... but, they, for the most part, give off an atmosphere of their own, which one benefits more easily. In some temples, it is because there are piles of stones as far as the eye can see under the forest, others because they are smaller seem more delicate, others it is for the sight of which one Enjoy at the top.
    For example, I really liked the atmosphere of Bakong (Roluos group). A basin surrounds it, there is a monastery inside, trees planted, colorful flowers ... People live next door. You too, did you like it, did not you?

  9. @The other girl: Quite ... The lesser known "little" temples deserve a blog post. I was planning to talk Bakong too, which I liked, yes. In future posts!

  10. Et pour la prochaine fois, quand tu iras à Beng Mealea, il faut y aller le plus tôt possible pour éviter la cohue 😉