Ta Phrom is another temple – another one of scores – that is part of the Angkor Wat complex.
“OK, so what?” I can hear you say. “More rocks and carvings. How many temples does a guy need to see?”
Patience, young Grasshopper, patience. (Note to those who don’t get the Grasshopper reference. Google search David Carradine and Kind Fu. Trust me on this.)
This temple is different.
What makes temple different are 2 defining characteristics.
First of all, it’s in a jungle, which makes for great sales of OFF! insect repellent and also provides shade for us lumbering tourists.
Secondly, it’s been here pretty much untouched until modern times. Huge trees are now reclaiming back the temple into the jungle.
It’s old. Really old. Older than me. The structures are believed to have been constructed in the 12th century.
But it regained some of its former glory when some backgrounds were used in the making of that terrible movie Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie.
Like Ankgor Wat yesterday, today the old stones were playing host to hundreds and hundreds of tourists (of which I was one).
The defining characteristic of the structure, the trees growing out of the stones, were the subject of untold numbers of photographs and slack-jawed gazes.
Frankly, even this jaded tourist found it fascinating how the trees were finding life and nourishment from the ancient stones.
What wasn’t so fascinating were the hawkers trying to sell anything from drums & musical instruments, materials to books… They tended to hang around even after repeated “NO”s. If you’re into haggling – I totally suck at it, overspending wildly because I’m an easy sell – then this place is for you.
Tomorrow is a travel day to Hanoi. Catch up with you from there.