Ta Prohm Temple

Ta Prohm is one of the most popular and most photographed of the temple complexes in Siem Reap, Cambodia. With enormous tree roots snaking across crumbling stone walls, ancient trees towering overhead, and long, dark hallways and courtyards to explore, this is a place that feels mystical and almost secretive.

Ta Prohm Temple Tours in CambodiaTa Prohm Temple

About 3km northeast of the main Angkor Wat complex, Ta Prohm is located in the southwest of the East Mebon and east of Angkor Thom. Ta Prohm was founded in the late 12th and early 13th centuries as a Mahayana Buddhist monastery and university. Unlike the other monuments of Angkor, Ta Prohm was abandoned and swallowed by the dense jungle, still retains much of mysteries which made an exotic background in the famous movie “Tomb Raider”.

A superior example of monastic style of Ta Prohm Temple

Once reconquered the Khmer empire from Cham invaders in the years 1177-1181, Jayavarman VII come into power and set out to restore the glory of Siem Reap on the war’s ruins. Ta Prohm was the centerpiece of his ambitious master plan, located roughly in the center of the capital and also connecting the surrounding system of hospital constructed by the King.

Ta Prohm was originally named Rajavihara, meaning “monastery of the King”. The temple was built as a Mahayana Buddhist monastery and university in its time, boasting of control over 3000 villages, thousands of support staff and vast stores of jewels and gold.

Ta Prohm Temple City Tour Siem ReapTa Prohm Temple

Ta Prohm Temple - A sprawling, beautiful state of ruin

The temple has been deliberately “neglected”, to preserve the photogenic scenery and original atmosphere that gives visitors the experience of exploring an ancient site. Except for the maintenance, the clearance of undergrowth for access, Ta Prohm is only repaired in parts needed to prevent the complex from collapsing further. Now a ruin, the monastery's beauty is intensified with massive fig and silk-cotton trees grow from the towers and corridors; offering some of the best ‘tree-in-temple’ photo opportunities at Angkor.

Ta Prohm Temple in CambodiaTa Prohm Temple

How to get to Ta Prohm Temple

As part of the small circuit of the Angkor complex, Ta Prohm is just a few minutes on a tuk-tuk away from Angkor Wat. The main buildings are encircled by a large embankment so it’s essential to discover the temple by a short walk on a jungle-lined path. Alternatively, another fantastic way is cycling through the trails in the Angkor forest.

Ta Prohm temple is best visited in the early morning while everyone is beholding the mesmerizing sunrise at Angkor Wat. It is worth being an early bird to immerse in the lively jungle sound and the best light for keen photographers trying to catch the ongoing battle between nature and architecture.

Ta Prohm in CambodiaTa Prohm Temple

Ta Prohm is included in the temple pass for the Angkor Archaeological Park. Therefore, most visitors combine a tour of Ta Prohm with a visit to Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat to fill their one-day pass at the temple complex. You can book the admission ticket directly via the main office of Angkor Conservation Area ticket booth. In addition, there are plenty of travel consultants that provide booking services as well as the whole Angkorian tour.

Except children younger than 12 with passport, Cambodian citizens and holders of K visas (for people born in Cambodia or with a Cambodian parent), prices are quoted in various options of a 1-day (US $37), 3-day (US $62) and 7-day (US $72) pass. The 3-day pass is valid for 10 days from the issue date while the 7-day pass is valid for 1 month from the issue date.

The best months to visit Ta Prohm are November through February, when it is cooler and drier. However, this is also peak season so expect large crowds. It is hot and steamy in April and May. If you want to skip most of the crowds, travel here June through October but expect to have wet, warm weather.