Ta Prohm is most famous for its images of buildings being eaten by the jungle, and tis prominence in the Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider movies. We got up at 5am to bike the 6 miles from Siem Reap and enjoy some peace before the storm of tourist groups and unrelenting midday heat.

Ta Prohm was constructed around 1186 by Jayavarman VII (this guy!) as a Buddhist monastery which accommodated 12,000 people who lived and worked within its grounds. 80,000 people lived outside the temple to service and maintain the complex. Ta Prohm supplied provisions and medicines to the more than 100 hospitals that Jayavarman VII built during his reign.

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Outer enclosure

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Cambodian park rangers — a glimpse into the world around the temples — it is still Cambodia, a country rising from the ashes with a corrupt government intent on keeping its people down

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Part of a recently-restored structure; an Indian university is contributing to restoration of the inner structures

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I enjoyed the scale of this temple as well — Angkor Wat is so gigantic it’s hard to imagine how people used the space. Bayon and Ta Prohm have a more human scale in which I can image monks pacing and meditating.

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