on February 20, 2006
We began our tour for the day early to avoid the hordes of tourists. Our first stop was the much anticipated Ta Phrom. This temple was built in honour of the Queen Mother, and is one of the most beautiful temples in Angkor Wat. It had retained much of its original charm as authorities deliberately left the ancient strangling fig and sponge trees growing in the temple. This was also the location of the movie, "Lara Croft: Tomb raider."
Our guide pointed to us the various locations in the movie, as well as briefed us on the history and inscriptions in the complex. We were awed by the juxtaposition between survival of nature and man, how the roots of the fig and sponge trees were both supporting and destroying the temple. Of particular interests, look out for the smiling apsara hidden among the roots of the ancient fig tree, the dinosaur-like imprint on one of the walls, the chamber where the thump of your heart beat is echoed within the walls, and the serpentine roots that resembled a man’s buttock and legs attempting to climb over the wall. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves here, at least, until the arrival of the tourists. Before we leave for the royal city of Angkor Thom, our guide also amusingly pointed out the various spots where tourists from different countries like to pose, either for good luck or for fun. Even if you are not a fan of Lara Croft, this temple is a must see.
©Travelocity.com LP 2000-2009