The trees of Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm was the highlight of our third day at Angkor. Here’s where our guide’s services came in handy. We got off our tuktuk at one corner of the temple’s outer wall and started hiking along it. We walked for awhile before cutting through a gate, down into the first moat (now dry), over another wall, into the second moat (also dry), before we finally breached the temple.

Due to Ta Prohm’s popularity (spurred on thanks to the movies that have been filmed there: Tomb Raider and Two Brothers) as well as its structural instability, a boardwalk has been put in that walks people on a fixed route through the temple—complete with roped-off photo-taking platforms in front of some of the more dramatic trees. But we skipped most of this, taking an alternate route with few other people, giving us the space and quiet to enjoy these picturesque ruins and their giant trees by ourselves.

Stephanie hugging a tree at Ta Prohm in Angkor, Cambodia
Stephanie is a treehugger

Stephanie and Justin standing between the humongous roots of tree on the wall of Ta Prohm in Angkor, Cambodia
Standing between the humongous roots of a tree on the wall

Justin standing on some fallen stones next to a tree on the roof of Ta Prohm in Angkor, Cambodia
Standing on some fallen stones next to a tree on the roof

Stephanie and Justin posing on the platform in front of the strangler fig growing on Ta Prohm in Angkor, Cambodia
Posing on the platform in front of the strangler fig

Famous spung tree now has photo taking platform at Ta Prohm in Angkor, Cambodia
I stood amongst the roots of this tree during my first visit—now it has a photo platform that somewhat detracts from the allure

Justin and Stephanie standing at the base of a massive spung tree in Ta Prohm, Angkor, Cambodia
Standing within the massive base of a spung tree