Ta Phrom is my favourite temple in the Angkor complex purely because of the adventure feel that you get when you are there. It was were many of the sciences from Tomb Raider - the film was filmed and it is just so cool! We did have a bit of a shock when we turned up though, they had put in wooded walk ways and one large area was being renovated so we couldn't go near it. There was lots areas that were taped off - presumably for safety reasons and some of the trees had been cut down.
Obviously Health and Safety have made it to Cambodia! To think that the first time we went you could clamber over any of it and get lost in the ruins!
The trees are amazing, many growing right through the ruins! How exciting it must have been to re-discover these places.
I understand that they have to make it safe, I just hope they can do so without the whole place losing its character. The tour groups seemed to be following a specific route, so we went the other way to do some proper exploring..
A small boys dream come true! Indie eat your heart out.
The 'famous' doorways now can only be reached by boarded walkways so you can't actually stand in the doorway anymore but there are still plenty of cool places to find…
It is hard work all this exploring!
When we visited in 1999, as you walked around any of the ruins you ended up with a trail of kids all asking your buy something, postcards or bracelets for "1 dollar, 1 dollar". When we returned in 2003, the kids were no longer allowed inside the ruins grounds but occasionally you would hear a rustle of leaves and out of the jungle a couple of kids would appear, but on their guard. As soon as a security guard was spotted, they were off like little rabbits! This time we didn't see any kids inside selling but there were adults selling books or prints, they seem to have had permission (possible paid bribe money) to be allowed to do it.
Now, when you step outside of the walls of the ruins you get mobbed by kids and adults all trying to sell you things, everything still seems to be 1 dollar though! This little girl was very persistent, she was about 4 years old I guess…
When we were done, we stopped by to see Angkor Wat, the light is better in the afternoon that the morning but it was a muggy sort of day so we didn't get great shots. Not to worry, we have loads from the previous visits!
For dinner we found a lovely fusion restaurant but later discovered it was owned by the Koreans. According to our driver, the Cambodian people are not happy with the Vietnamese, Chinese and Koreans because they come in, set up shop and the money goes back to their own country instead of them investing in Cambodia. This is the opposite of what countries like Australia, Japan and India do.
The food was good thought and it was a lovely setting, I wasn't a fan of the 'hovering' waiters though!
After we had filled our boots we headed back to the hotel, where I discovered happy Hour was until 10pm and cocktails were $1.50 each…ohhhh yes, happy indeed!