Ta Prohm: A Temple Amidst The Woods

254 comments
Asia, Cambodia

A Lion Guarding The Crumbling Temple of Ta Prohm

Another well-known temple at The Angkor Archaeological Park is Ta Prohm. Partly thanks to Lara Croft: Tomb Raider’s movie which was filmed around this temple and brought to the world the mysterious atmosphere of this place with those picturesque large tree roots holding onto the ancient temple.

Ta Prohm was built by King Jayavarman VII as a monastery and dedicated for his mother. Therefore this temple contains a lot of images of female figures which symbolize his mother. Long after its abandonment, the temple was re-discovered by the French and left as it was found due to its unique blend with the nature. However, current restoration work blocks visitors from visiting some of the most famous sites of the temple. Nevertheless, it is still worth a visit.

Walking Deep Into The Woods

The Big Tree Actually Holds This Temple from Crumbling

Beautiful Relief

Another Section of The Temple Which Is Held Together by Tall Trees

Ruins Amidst An Intact Section of The Temple

A False Door

Related Posts: Angkor Wat: The Khmer Jewel and Pride, The Enigmatic Faces of Bayon, Cycling around Angkor Archaeological Park

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Based in Jakarta, always curious about the world, always fascinated by ancient temples, easily pleased by food.

254 thoughts on “Ta Prohm: A Temple Amidst The Woods”

  1. Pingback: Angkor Wat: The Khmer Jewel and Pride « What an Amazing World!

  2. Pingback: The Enigmatic Faces of Bayon « What an Amazing World!

    • You have to see it with your own eyes to fully understand the scale. However, unfortunately some of the most picturesque spots are closed to the public due to restoration work.

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      • My great grandfather left us journals of travels he made in his youth to middle ages of India and the Tibetan plateou; he had some images similiar to the ones like your photos show, and I now have to wonder if he found or duplicated drawings of the original explorers who found the sight.

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      • Wow, your great grandfather was a true traveler! At that time, going to India and Tibet was much more difficult and challenging than today, I believe.

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  3. This place is stunning! It absolutely brings to me my knees–a sacred space married to nature. My partner and I have traveled a good bit in Asia–something I share in my blog. You might enjoy——
    Kathy

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    • In this ever-changing world and rapid modernization, it’s amazing to see something like that, isn’t it? I will surely look at your blog.

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  4. That’s amazing. It’s great that the tree has kept the temple from falling apart all these years – such an interesting mix of the natural and the man-made. Thank you for sharing.

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    • The TV series you mean? I’m trying to recall which episode but I think I forget it. Been quite a long time since I watched it.

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  5. I’ve always wanted to go to Cambodia but haven’t yet had the chance. I look forward to reading your blog as you’ve been to a lot of places I have not ventured to….yet.

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    • But you have also visited those places which I’m craving to visit, such as: Peru, Morocco, New Zealand 🙂 Thanks for dropping by!

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    • Thanks! Actually I can’t remember the exact location because I just wandered around the ruins. But Ta Prohm is not as huge as Angkor Wat, so I guess you can easily find those spots.

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  6. Adriana Féliz says:

    Love this! I went there last year…. brings back some great memories. The temples are a real masterpiece. Want to return badly!

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    • Actually I haven’t seen all temples around Siem Reap, One place that I’m still curious about is Banteay Srei. Thanks for your lovely comment!

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      • Banteay Srei was my second favorite temple (the first being Ta Prohm, although technically it’s not a temple). If you haven’t been, you should DEFINITELY go to a silk farm. They are amazing, and the tour is very informative.

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      • I’ve heard about the silk farm, and from what I heard it is worth a visit. By the way, I intend to go to Siem Reap again in the future. Thanks for the information!

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    • Thanks! Greater Angkor area is indeed one of the places that you have to visit in your life.

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      • Unfortunately yes! A shame that it wasn’t possible to see all of Angkor in its full glory but I suppose the restoration is worth it if it prevents it from all tumbling down!

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  7. Amanda says:

    My boyfriend and I are planning a trip to Asia next February. Originally we were going to go to Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand but decided to cut out Cambodia due to time. Do you think this is a mistake? I lived in Taiwan for 8 months and got the chance to go to Thailand but my boyfriend hasn’t been anywhere. Any recommendations on trip planning?

    Great blog and congrats on getting freshly pressed!

    Amanda
    http://bullfrogsandbulldogs.wordpress.com/

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    • How long will you go to Southeast Asia? I managed to go from Bangkok-Siem Reap-Phnom Penh-Ho Chi Minh City in 8 days. I was traveling alone anyway, and at some places I feel like I packed too many things only in 8 days. The trip is actually doable, but I really suggest taking longer time especially in Siem Reap. You must stay there at least for 3 days. But from what I experienced, I would say that I really enjoy my time in Cambodia. So, if possible, try to put Cambodia back on your itinerary 🙂

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    • Adriana Féliz says:

      May I weigh in? I haven’t been to Ho Chi Minh city but I suggest going to Hanoi, Vietnam. Amazing city! It’s very touristy… might enjoy going to the temple of literature.
      Cambodia is definitely worth visiting… maybe skip Phnom Penh and go straight to siem reap. the temples took us 2 days to visit (to be honest, they ARE beautiful but pretty much all the same so you can skip one or two and aren’t missing much.) You should also go to an Apsara dancing show in Siem Reap. hope you enjoy!

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      • edebock says:

        I agree. In Vietnam, Hanoi is certainly worth visiting. From there, I’d suggest an overnight boat tour of Halong Bay. It’s absolutely spectacular! We also enjoyed Hoi An. We too were short of time so we skipped Phnom Penh and only did Siem Reap in Cambodia. It was well worth it! We hired a tuk tuk driver for one day & saw all the temples & ruins we wanted.You can read about our travels & see pictures on my blog at edebock.wordpress.com. Check Dec. 2008 – Jan. 2009 for this trip.

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      • Some travelers that I met also say that Hanoi is also worth a trip. You can go to Halong Bay also.

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  8. fireandair says:

    Fascinating. The trees look like they flowed downward from the sky instead of up from the ground.

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    • I myself also imagined how those trees end up growing from the temple that way. Thanks for dropping by!

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    • Man-made structure being in harmony with the nature, how beautiful is that? Thanks for dropping by!

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  9. Jess Witkins says:

    This has to be one of the most beautiful images I’ve seen. What an incredible experience! Thank you for sharing it with us. I hope to learn more.

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  10. Amazine set of images! Ta Prohm is definitely on my list of things to see and do now! Also, correct me if I am wrong…but wasn’t it used for both the Indiana Jones movie and also the poor Tomb Raider one too…as a location set??

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    • I remember Indiana Jones’ 1st movie was filmed on a temple, but I guess that’s a Mayan/Aztec temple. I’m not so sure either about this. Thanks for visiting!

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  11. mikibong says:

    This is amazing. I really want to visit one day. Thanks for sharing.

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  12. WOW! So stunning! I would love to travel to such a remote an interesting place…I feel it would be very esoterically touching…

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  13. Pingback: Ta Prohm: A Temple Amidst The Woods (via What an Amazing World!) | Blooms, Blossoms, & Blood Loss

  14. Dakota says:

    wohoooooo congrats for freshly pressed, you really deserve it!!!!! :):):)):) DAKOTA

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    • It would be more peaceful if you go there at dawn before groups of tourists come. Thanks for dropping by!

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    • Thanks and indeed I am. I feel so lucky to be able to visit this great site. You should go there one day!

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  15. Awesome! I’m in the middle of planning on my next trip… the world’s way too big and awesome to make it an easy choice, but this helps bump Cambodia up a bit 🙂

    Congrats on being freshly pressed!

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    • I can relate to your feeling. When I’m imagining going RTW one day, it would be waaay to hard for me to choose which places to go, since there are so many of them. Thanks for visiting!

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  16. Elena says:

    This is awesome!
    Have to mention that I`m a fan of nature and old arhitecture…the rest comes from itself.

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    • It’s an indescribable! Since I love old ruins, then I love the atmosphere being among one of them.

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    • Very true! Going to such places (especially when there are not too many tourists) always make me feel like Indy! 🙂

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  17. Colin says:

    As incredible as this place is the Cambodian government need to start limiting the amount of visitors a year or do a better job on preventative maintenance because Ta Prohm is starting to crumble. I couldn’t believe they allow the entire Tomb Raider crew to go on location there, what we all do for money right?

    I was there in May, 2011 and the reconstruction project that was going on at the time ruined the beauty of this architectural mecca. Definitely a Catch 22 scenario going on all throughout the Angkor Complex.

    Visit my Cambodia set to see more photos of Ta Prohm and the other temples.

    Siem Reap, Cambodia

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    • For a poor country like Cambodia, it seems like they don’t have many choices. Probably Angkor Wat is their biggest source of income, therefore they never put any limitation in terms of the number of visitors visiting this place. However, when I was there, all major temples (and some smaller ones) were undergoing serious restoration work. I hope it’s for the benefit for all.

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  18. Hello Bama – what a great place here – I am still dreaming of a visit there. Your photos are great – I must stop here again for a closer look at your blog 🙂

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  19. Congrats for being Freshly Pressed! I was also there in Angkor Wat last June with friends. In the very early morning of our second day there (at 5am), we went to Ta Phrom. Oh my! It was a very cold morning, we could feel cold air reaching our lungs. While walking that path leading to the site (the 2nd photo you posted), it was still dark and we heard numerous crickets nearby. So eerie, it felt like something would snatch you from behind! Viewing your photo(s) now, I remembered that trip. Thanks!

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    • Thanks! I went to Ta Prohm around 9 or 10 am if I’m not mistaken, because in the morning I went to Bayon first. I like the feeling when I walked deeper into the woods while imagining what awaits me.

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  20. mylibrarycardworeout says:

    I saw this and immediately thought of Laura Croft. Beautiful pictures.

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  21. Wow, those images are beautiful. I’m definitely getting the travel bug again, and I’m due out to Oslo in a few days!
    Great site you have here, I’ll be sure to keep checking it! And I’ll be sure to visit Angkor Wat in the future with my girlfriend.

    With regards,
    Angel

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    • Oh I really want to visit Norway one day! I want to see the fjords with my very own eyes. By the way, thanks for dropping by! Really appreciate it.

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  22. What kind of deep-seated human experience memories does this place trigger? Has anyone made any major life-changing decisions here or after visiting? It probably brings a lot of people a greater sense of higher reality.

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  23. Pingback: Ta Prohm: A Temple Amidst The Woods (via What an Amazing World!) « Psilomelane

  24. Absolutely beautiful! The place looks so surreal, almost like something you would read about in a fairytale. I can see why the French left it as is… and certainly glad they did!

    Thank you for sharing. 🙂

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  25. I was going to say it looks like something out of a video game and then turns out it was filmed in a video game movie haha, pretty sweet though, wish I could visit all the places like this in the world just once to see them in real life.

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    • Haha perfect set for a video game, isn’t it? so many other exotic places all over the world.

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    • You’re right the trees belong to the Strangler family. In the Philippines they were [still are] considered untouchable tree by tribesmen. Sort of eerie, holy, respected.

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    • This is an interesting information because what I’ve read from some sources which I can’t remember said otherwise. I will surely find more information about this. Thanks a lot for your input! very much appreciated.

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  26. myfilthyroom says:

    The place is beautiful but it has an eerie feeling to it. Kinda scary.

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    • You’re not the first person to say that it has an eerie feeling to it. Maybe I should go back there and visit the place early at dawn to get a better experience.

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  27. that’s wonderful temple,, where it is???
    but, our have have another wonderful temle in INDONESIA,, like BOROBUDUR temple and many others,,

    heheheh 🙂 🙂

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    • It’s in Cambodia. Actually you can also read my stories about Indonesian temples. Go to Country/Continent on the right side and click ‘Indonesia’. Find the post there.

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    • Thanks! I went there about 2 weeks ago, and I also visited Phnom Penh (I will post a story about Phnom Penh later).

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  28. A lot for the imagination of the past. The trees on temples are of the Strangler family. Their fruits provide good food for birds. They can grow anywhere from birds’ droppings. In the forests their chances of survival is when they grow on trees, to get their share of sunlight better than when they start on the ground. They have aerial roots that find their way to the ground. They take the form of the host tree killing the host in the end.

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  29. Just dropped by to to have a little peek at somewhat made nations clashed at their border was it between Myanmar and Vietnam?

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  30. elizabethweaver says:

    These are remarkable. Thank you for posting them. A place I’ll never be able to visit so thank you for bringing the images and sense of the place to me. The guardian, the trees, the statues….mmmmmmm

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    • More and more budget airlines are available nowadays. You’ll make it! Thanks for visiting.

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  31. This is realy fantastic…I had never imagined that a tree cud hold up such big structure…and females statues are artistic..i thought that such female figurines cud be seen only in south Indian temples…Outstanding!!!!

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  32. Djaka Rubijanto says:

    ” …Ta Prohm was built by King Jayavarman VII as a monastery and dedicated for his mother. …” —> there was a relationship to Indonesian culture and history. The name “Jayayarman” wrote in ancient Indonesia history as “Jayawarman” .
    Thank you very much.

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    • Actually they share the same root: Hinduism. Any name which ends with -warman or -varman is a typical Hindu name.

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  33. What a wonderful magical place. I’m longing to get an opportunity to visit Asia – and have countless places on my list of “must visit” – just added another one to potential travel plans 🙂
    Congratulations on getting Freshly Pressed!

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  34. Wow. This is amazing.
    Cambodia is one trip I’ve wanted to make for years. I’m in love with ruins lost in the middle of nature.
    This again confirms and strenghten my desire to travel and visit the place.
    Thanks for sharing those beautiful pictures.

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    • I didn’t take a tour. My next post will be about how I visited these places. Stay tuned! 🙂

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  35. They are remarkable pictures. Thanks Bama for posting these pictures! I think everyone should visit there for their memory.

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  36. inspiriertlebenblog says:

    I love the pictures of nature silently dropping in something man has made. But this isn’t silent anymore- it is powerful and strong, and a way of holding on together. A wonderful image, thank you for posting!

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  37. Miss J says:

    Lovely photos! We were in Siem Reap in 2007 & Ta Prohm was my favourite of all the temples definitely. We’d love to go back soon to Cambodia!

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  38. Such a wonderful place!
    If you visit Thailand again, just try to see one temple in Samut Songkhram province. Its name Wat Bang Kung, the main temple (chapel) was built more than 200 years ago and covered by roots of local banyan trees. It’s amazing as well. 🙂

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    • Thanks for the info! Very much appreciate it. I think I will visit Thailand again in the future.

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  40. Wow. When I think of Angkor, this is what comes to mind. Beautiful photos and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed. 😀 I’m looking forward to reading through your other entries, it looks like you’ve just had quite the adventure!

    PS let me know if you ever need any advice on Hong Kong, I’d be more than happy to help.

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    • Thanks James! I still have some posts to be uploaded about my travel to Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam two weeks ago.
      Speaking of HK, I will go there in January. I guess I can ask for your advice before going there 🙂

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  41. These are amazing photos… I especially like the two with trees growing on the temple and wall. It must have been incredible to visit here!

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    • It was incredible! I am still curious though, how it feels if I go to this place without groups of tourists around. My senses tickle me 🙂

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  42. Raquel Corrêa says:

    Hello, Bama.

    I like your pictures!
    I love the informations about his travels too.
    Congratulations!

    Rachel (São Paulo/ Brasil)

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  43. Pingback: Cycling around Angkor Archaeological Park « What an Amazing World!

  44. It’s amazing how the passage of time can take what was once new and incorporate it into the surrounding world. It looks as though that tree was always part of the temple.

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  45. I would love to visit. I always assumed the Lara Croft temples were either CGI or sets! They are indeed gorgeous pivcs. Thanks for sharing them with us.

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  46. I’m considering visiting here next month as a side trip from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. This is definitely making me lean towards going! Absolutely brilliant post. I love the photo in the woods….looks so peaceful.

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    • That’ll be great! You shouldn’t miss The Angkor temples when you’re visiting Southeast Asia. Thanks for your nice comment!

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  47. S.B. says:

    That is beautiful. I remember a documentary on Discovery about Angkor I saw a few years ago. Its fascinating how a city can be quite literally swallowed up by the jungle.

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    • Men cleared the forest to built the temple. When men left, nature took over. How cool is that? 🙂

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  48. Kari says:

    What a spectacular place! Thanks for the photos!! It just goes to show no matter how hard humans try and out do nature or destroy it, it has the ultimate power! Go Mother Earth!! I really hope to venture there myself one of these days! It would be great if you included some information about how travellers can get to this destination, and some personal information about your day there!

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  49. Alina says:

    beautiful. would be incredible if they let you go inside. but that doesnt look too safe 🙂

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    • I really want to go inside, but I can understand what they’re doing. It’s for the sake of the temple itself, so, that makes me less disappointed 🙂

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  50. Pingback: My 7 Links – A Quick Look to My Old Posts « What an Amazing World!

    • Actually I only spent two days exploring all the temples in Angkor archaeological complex. It’s such a massive complex though and one day I wish to return to explore more.

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  51. Belated congratulations Bama! Wonderful photos. I realise I haven’t read many of your posts written before we got acquainted 🙂

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    • Thanks Madhu! I remember finding your blog when you started your series on Egypt. I really hope we can meet up some time, maybe in India. 🙂

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    • It was really a special temple. Although to see it like in the movie Tomb Raider would have been even better. 🙂

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