"Short stories and travel reports from my life adventures around the globe".

Travel Report: Ta Prohm Temple, Cambodia.

Ta Prohm Temple Cambodia.

Ta Prohm Temple, Cambodia.

November 2015.

One of the many things I liked about my first day touring Angkor’s amazing temples is that each structure we visited had a clear identity that set it apart from the others. As one of the so-called modern wonders of the world, Angkor Wat was an experience of pure grandeur and scale.

Furthermore, the intimate Bayon Temple was all about its collection of stunning face sculptures. Our third structure of the day was Ta Prohm Temple, also known as The Tomb Raider Temple. That’s right, this place served as a filming location for the Angelina Jolie movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider.

Amazing tree Ta Prohm Temple Cambodia.

Ta Prohm Temple, Cambodia.

Dating back to 1186, Ta Prohm Temple was dedicated to the mother of Cambodia’s most powerful ruler, King Jayavarman VII. Wherever you look you’ll see incredible, ancient trees twisting in and out of the ruins. The temple is also bursting with wild bushes, plants and flowers. As a result, some of the staircases and alleys are impassable due to thick vegetation and mounds of rubble.

Ta Prohm Temple, Cambodia.

Tomb Raider tree Ta Prohm Temple Cambodia.

The Tomb Raider Tree at Ta Prohm Temple.

Tomb Raider really helped put Ta Prohm and indeed Cambodia itself on the map. No wonder visitors are so keen to come and check out The Tomb Raider Tree. This is where Angelina Jolie famously stops to pick a Jasmine flower, before the ground cracks open and swallows her up.

Another spot to seek out is Ta Prohm’s curious dinosaur carving, the source of much debate among historians. What exactly were the Angkorians doing creating images of a stegosaurus? 

Mysterious dinosaur carving

An Angkorian mystery.

There are all kinds of wild theories if you dig around the internet. Many experts have simply concluded it’s a hoax of some kind. We hadn’t heard anything about the dinosaur prior to our visit. When my Cambodian friend first told us about it, a certain someone made a bet that no such carving existed. Consequently, dinner was on him that night!

Ta Prohm Temple, Cambodia.

Ta Prohm Temple, Cambodia.

You can visit Ta Prohm Temple with The Angkor Pass, purchased both online and in person at The Angkor Archaeological Park Ticket office.

Ta Prohm The Temples of Angkor.

Ta Prohm Temple, Cambodia.

For more on this incredible area of Cambodia, check out my other travel reports on The Temples of Angkor.

You can also check out my exhaustive guide to the sights, cafes, restaurants and hotels of Siem Reap.

Or maybe delve further afield with my articles from across Cambodia.

I’ve been living, working and traveling all over the world since 2001. So why not check out my huge library of travel reports from over 30 countries.

Leighton Travels logo travel reports and short stories.


  • Eromonsele Emmanuel

    It’s so awesome when movies use real world locations to film and we can visit. Cambodia is beautiful and I’m sure you’re having the time of ya life there.
    Haha, here’s my speculation. They had dinosaurs as pets…

    July 7, 2020 - 6:50 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Hey, you’re right. Visiting filming locations have made for some of my favorite travel reports!

      July 7, 2020 - 9:20 am Reply
  • Shaunak

    Wow, makes wanting to discover underrated treasures more, just waiting for things to get normal now..

    July 7, 2020 - 12:17 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Hi Shaunak, thanks for reading and taking the time to comment. Throughout July, I’ll be posting a whole host of reports from Cambodia’s most fascinating temples. Thanks for following!

      July 7, 2020 - 12:21 pm Reply
      • Shaunak

        I’m excited! 😄

        July 7, 2020 - 12:23 pm

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