This is the sixth and final part of the story of our visit to the Angkor area, although there will be a similar post on our visit to Beng Mealea. (More on that when we get to it.) The first Angkor-related post had maps of the places we visited and references for additional information.


Our final stop in the Angkor area was Ta Prohm – “Ancestor Brahma”. This temple/monastery/university was built during the reign Jayavarman VII in honor of his family. After the fall of the Khmer empire, the temple was neglected until the 20th century. During that time, nature encroached on the temple, but didn’t completely engulf it. When restoration began, a decision was made to stabilize the temple, but not to actively remove the large trees that were present.

Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm

Ten years ago when our family visited Angkor, there were very few people at Ta Prohm. We could thoroughly explore it. Since then, the temple has been featured in a movie and is much more popular as a result. Certain paths are now delineated in order to minimize the wear of traffic.

The charm of Ta Prohm – at least as I’ve experienced it – is the struggle of nature and temple…

Ta Prohm, 1

Ta Prohm, 2

Ta Prohm, 3

Ta Prohm, 4

Ta Prohm, 5

Middle and Youngest Daughters

Ta Prohm, 6

The Adventurous In-Laws


Before we left for Cambodia, my daughters had read Mysteries of Angkor Wat, a children’s book by photographer Richard Sobol. On his website, he describes the process of writing the book…

Although I read many tour books and hired my own local guide to take me through the 1000 year old city of the vanished Khmer Empire, it was the local children who showed me the best surprise of all. The ancient temples are their playgrounds, dance studios, and history classroom so they were my best guides of all. I photographed for three weeks and on my very last day I got to see their most special secret place.

My girls really loved this book and wanted to find the “secret place”, which was…

It turns out that at Ta Prohm, there is a carving that looks remarkably similar to a stegosaurus – what the Khmer children in the book called a “Dee-No-Soh” (or some similar spelling). From the book, the girls and Ordinary Spouse had some sense of where it was. With a little bit of searching, they found it.

Middle Daughter with the "Dee-No-Soh"
Middle Daughter with the "Dee-No-Soh"
Oldest Daughter at the "secret place"
Oldest Daughter at the "secret place"

A couple more pictures from the ruins…

Youngest Daughter in the ruins
Youngest Daughter in the ruins
Middle Daughter in the ruins
Middle Daughter in the ruins

And one picture for my father…

Ta Prohm spider
I'd love to know what kind of spider this is.

After Ta Prohm, we were ready to call it a day. We went back to the hotel for a rest and some fun in their swimming pool. That evening, we had supper at the Temple Balcony. Ordinary Spouse and I shared a meal, and then our entire table shared three tapioca puddings for dessert: bean, pumpkin and banana. In my humble opinion, they were pretty awesome.

After supper, the restaurant presented traditional Khmer dancing. Alas – the girls were already asleep (and the rest of us were pretty tired, as well!), so we left early. Unfortunately, the girls had really wanted to see the dancers, so they were pretty upset when we got back to the hotel, and they realized that they missed the performance. (Fortunately, we remedied that situation the following night.)

The Temple Balcony
The Temple Balcony
Dinner at the Temple Balcony
Ordinary Spouse and I shared this meal for supper

That pretty much wraps up Tuesday, November 21st.  We were ready for a good night’s sleep. Too bad we were still fighting jet lag. I was asleep quickly, but awake again by 4 a.m. Well – might as well start looking forward to another full day!


Coming up next: A floating village on Tonlé Sap

Advertisements