My favourite temple out of all of the ones we saw at Angkor was Ta Prohm (and we saw a lot). Many of the temples at Angkor looked like Ta Prohm when it was rediscovered, and massive restoration was done to the temples to get them back to as close as possible to how they were originally, and to make it safe for people to visit them.
Ta Prohm was not restored the same way, it was left as it was found to give people an idea of what the other temples had looked like after so many years of neglect, when the jungle grew around and through the temples because nobody was there to stop it.
Some parts of Ta Prohm have been minimally restored, in order to make it safe for people to come in and visit, but mostly it’s just as it was found.
It is so, so gorgeous in there. It’s so green and peaceful, and you feel like you are discovering an ancient civilization. It’s very, very serene, and so beautiful.
It even manages to maintain that serenity when there are bus loads of tourists coming in to see it. Ideally, everyone would get to see it with as few other people as possible, but it doesn’t alway work out that way.
The best tip I can give for this, is to go first thing in the morning, when everyone else is at Angkor Wat, and then go back and visit Angkor Wat when everyone else has moved on to other temples.
I truly loved the time I spent here, seeing the massive trees growing up through the piles of rubble, and everything is this amazing shade of green. It’s a very special place, and I’m so glad I was able to see it first hand.