If you haven’t heard of the ‘Tomb Raider Temple’ then please kindly crawl out from under your rock!
Made famous in 2001’s box office hit, ‘Lara Croft: Tomb Raider’, Ta Prohm is second only to Angkor Wat in terms of tourist popularity.
It’s pretty easy to see why. Despite the clots of tourists that would surge out of their air-conditioned buses and into the temple grounds every few minutes, it was still possible to catch glimpses of a quieter Ta Prohm.
Verdant green mosses marking their territory; solitary footsteps echoing down a momentarily deserted stone corridor; the inexorable sprawl of silk-cotton tree trunks draped over ancient walls and tumbled down boulders. Momentary hints of past greatness, now lost.
Instead of following the crowds through the centre of the temple, we decided to make our way around the perimeter and then work our way into the centre. While this did mean that we got more quiet time, it also meant that we missed a couple of (alleged) ‘must visit’ sites within the temple grounds.
Of course we found the famous tree that is the subject of umpteen thousand photos (mine included!), but what we missed were a couple of other sections of the temple of which I had also seen numerous photos, but for whatever reason we inadvertently passed on by! I guess if we’d paid for a tour guide or guide book (“…only $1 Sir!!”) we would have seen everything…but that’s not our style, instead preferring to make our own path, with wrong turns and back tracking all part of the package! Ah well…it just means there’s something left for us to explore when we come back one day!