On day 5, we returned to Ta Prohmーthe Tomb Raider templeーa second time, leaving our hostel early to try and beat the crowds. While it was still busy, we were able to find a few moments of silence and tourist-free photo opportunities with the great morning light.
The Crocodile Tree at Ta Prohm from the side.
After arriving at Ta Prohm, the tour guides take the groups directly inside the temple. This morning, we walked around the outside of the temple first, seeing things we missed on our own tour in relative peace and quiet.
The Spung trees that destroyed the temple over the last several hundred years are now maintained as part of the restoration. This giant root structure is supported by scaffolding to ensure it doesn’t collapse.
Workers clear fallen leaves from the path, kicking up a cloud of dust that caught the rays of the morning sun.
Sra Srang is nicknamed the King’s Swimming Pool. The 800×400 meter basin was used exclusively by King Jayavarman VII and his court.
Looking through the sandstone doorway into Eastern Mebon temple. The towers were once covered in white plaster, which would have made them glow in the Cambodian sun.
Stone elephant statues sit at each of the four corners of Eastern Mebon temple. The statues are still in excellent condition, rare in Angkor due to plundering by explorers, vandalism by other religious and political sects and various wars.
Ta Som, another 12th century temple built during the reign of King Jayavarman VII, is regarded as a mini Ta Prohm thanks to its Spung-wrapped east entrance.
More Photo of the Day posts from our December 2015-January 2016 trip to Siem Reap, Cambodia