Cambodia Day 2 – Ta Prohm (hanging with Angelina Jolie)

24 Mar

This post is part of my adventures in Cambodia – if you’d like to follow the rest of the trip, please click here.

After a good night’s sleep, we started the morning of day 2 invigorated and ready to continue exploring.  We had a different tuk tuk driver and plans to see one of the other famous temples in the Angkor Wat complex – Ta Prohm.  Ta Prohm is most famous for being the temple where a significant portion of the movie Tomb Raider was filmed.  That meant that most of the day we were joking about Angelina Jolie sightings or trying to figure out where different scenes would have been shot.

Our tuk tuk driver dropped us off at the back of the complex and so as we explored initially there were very few people which gave a misleading sense of calm.  We were able to scramble and climb and get a sense of what things may have been long, long ago.  One helpful thing was that there were certain signs that showed the temple before and after renovation – even though it still gives the impression that it is a ruin, prior to renovation I don’t think it would have been possible to get the sense of what had been.

Before and after renovation pictures

Before and after renovation pictures

Posing in solitude near the back door

Posing in solitude near the back door

The columns (with a bit of construction in the background)

The columns (with a bit of construction in the background)

Ankara dancers behind a collapsed wall

Ankara dancers behind a collapsed wall

Looking up from the temple floor

Looking up from the temple floor

We continued to move our way towards the main entrance and slowly became aware of the power of nature around us. The jungle trees had been one of the main forces in destroying the temple and their majesty and power continue to create a sense of awe. Nature will reclaim the monuments of man given enough time.

The power of trees to destroy huge sections of the temple

The power of trees to destroy huge sections of the temple

What this tree may have seen... (an Angelina sighting perhaps?)

What this tree may have seen… (an Angelina sighting perhaps?)

New life amid the ruins

New life amid the ruins

Framed by an intricate carving

Framed by an intricate carving

A spider web - amazing against the Ta Prohm backdrop

A spider web – amazing against the Ta Prohm backdrop

More trees with temple ruins

More trees with temple ruins

What types of treasure do you see behind these bars?

What types of treasure do you see behind these bars?

Finally making it to the front of the complex, we met up with the crowds. So as not to give a false impression of what we saw, here are a couple of shots with hundreds of “friends.” I’m certainly glad that we came in the back door!

Coming around to the front of the temple (and meeting up with a few hundred friends)

Coming around to the front of the temple (and meeting up with a few hundred friends)

The view from the front

The view from the front

We made our way back through the ruins to the back entrance where our tuk tuk driver was waiting, snapping more pictures on the way. Ironically – as we made it out of the back door we ran into one of my coworkers who had also been visiting Cambodia over Chinese New Year. She was going in as we were coming out. I knew that she was going to be there, but didn’t think we’d actually run into each other. It was surreal to think about chance meetings anywhere in the world and the patterns of tourists.  Unfortunately I didn’t snap a picture because I was so surprised!

Even I took a few photos here (and Li got me!)

Even I took a few photos here (and Li got me!)

Taking a quick yoga moment

Taking a quick yoga moment

A final view (think if you were exposed to these wonders as a baby how it will influence this little one's life!)

A final view (think if you were exposed to these wonders as a baby how it will influence this little one’s life!)

It had been a wondrous morning – and it was only 11am.  We had trod the paths from Tomb Raider and run into an acquaintance from China.  What else would we see and do?  You’ll have to stay tuned…

Have you had chance meetings when traveling?  I remember once bumping into a high school classmate’s parents in my local Whole Foods in Chicago and another time where I ran into a friend in Shanghai on the subway when my mom was in town.

Or – have you seen the power of nature in different settings?  The trees amid the ruins made a deep impression on me and they would continue to do that during the remainder of our trip.  Share if you have a story.

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4 Responses to “Cambodia Day 2 – Ta Prohm (hanging with Angelina Jolie)”

  1. Naomi Baltuck March 24, 2013 at 8:37 am #

    These are great photos that tell some wonderful stories, such as the fresh green leaves sprouting from the ruins.

    • gkm2011 March 24, 2013 at 9:08 am #

      I agree, the tiny green shoot has the potential to develop into another enormous tree. That photo was a surprise when we were going through the different shots.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Cambodia – Dining Downtown | 中国 Jumble - April 7, 2013

    […] Red Piano.”  It was made famous because Angelina Jolie had eaten there when filming Tomb Raider.  We didn’t eat there the first night, but the second night we decided to give it a try.  I […]

  2. Cambodia Day 3 – The road to Beng Mealea temple | 中国 Jumble - April 30, 2013

    […] wonder if Ta Prohm had been that way ten years ago.  Later that evening at our hotel we saw pictures of Khmer Rouge […]

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