Ta Prohm Temple In The Morning
It's like being in a secret jungle temple, far away from the city. With the sun barely out, there's mystery and magic in the air.
Plus there were no visitors in sight, so it was really easy to get lost in the ancient Angkorian world.
Who would have thought that waking up early provide that unforgettable experience?
We woke up at 5 a.m. and left the villa at 6 a.m. when it was still pitch dark.
Morning light on the way to the temple.
The morning ride was quite awesome! We get to see the Siem Reap's morning sky change colors, a really pretty sight. It was a nice experience too, to be up and about in the early morning and see that people were already awake as indicated by the busy main streets.
As we took the road to Angkor Wat, though, there were fewer and fewer vehicles. It was as if we had the road to ourselves. I loved it.
When we got to Ta Prohm, I was rather nervous about exploring a temple by ourselves. Especially when we'd never been there before, it was still dark, and no other tourists seemed to be around.
Entrance lane to the temple.
After a 10 minute walk, we saw Ta Prohm for the first time. All of my nervous feelings went out the window. The temple looked old and magical.
The front terrace of the temple.
No one was around (yey!). We walked around at a leisurely pace. Taking everything in slowly.
No one around the temples.
After some time, we were still in wonder that we were at Ta Prohm, amidst all things that were ancient and far older than us. The sun started to shine and the morning unfolded slowly and silently.
Abandoned temple in the morning. Riot in the afternoon.
We continued our walk into the temple. There were more temple ruins, just as promised.
Rubble inside the temple.
We looked above and some structures had natural sun roofs.
Skylight inside the towers.
We saw many apsara dancers carved on the walls and near the door frame.
Apsara nymph carvings.
Ta Prohm temple is overrun by trees. Most of them are very large and old. The roots that engulf the structures are very interesting to behold.
The famous giant tree at the temple.
More amazing tree roots.
The temple's giant roots.
Even more tree roots that look more like giant spider webs.
Ta Prohm - Web of roots.
So In Short...
It took us about an hour to roam around the temple from front to back and then to the front again. The whole morning, we saw, at most, six other visitors and we didn't see much of them. That kind of situation is impossible if you go to Ta Prohm later in the day.
We went back to the temple the next afternoon and it was very crowded and noisy. Plus it didn't look nearly as pretty as it had in the morning. It looked like a completely different temple actually. The magical aura just wasn't there in the afternoon.
There are even queues to take pictures with the trees! Also, almost every shot you take will have visitors in it. Yes, it's that crowded. It's one of the Tomb Raider temples, along with Beng Melea, so it is understandably quite famous.
Therefore, my most sincere recommendation is that you go to this magical temple early in the morning. You will then have a lot of quality time with this magical temple and the morning environment will intensify your experience ten times over. Funny as it sounds, Ta Prohm in the morning beats Ta Prom in the afternoon hands down.
To get the maximum effect I would even go so far as to advise being in Ta Prohm by 6 a.m. instead of leaving by 6 a.m. That is what I will do the next time I visit.
How to do Ta Prohm in the morning
Easy as pie! All you need to do is book a tuktuk driver in advance so you can leave early in the morning. We did it for $5 and the driver will wait outside the temple until you're done. This trip takes around three hours max. The cost may be more if you stay longer.
Other than a tuktuk, another thing you need is the willpower to wake up at the crack of dawn. That could be hard for some people, but trust me, it is so worth it! This totally can not be missed, which is why a morning at Ta Prohm is number #3 on our Must-See & Do list.
Oh, one last thing. Make sure you're equipped with fully charged batteries. Time goes by fast in the morning, and you can lose precious minutes at this Tomb Raider Angkor temple if you're not prepared.
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