The jungle-smothered ruins of TA PROHM are one of the most evocative of all Angkor’s ancient monuments – its courtyards and terraces half-consumed by the encroaching forest, with shrines and pavilions engulfed by giant strangler figs and the massive roots of kapok trees clinging to walls, framing doorways and prising apart giant stones. The temple richly fulfils every Indiana Jones-cum-Tomb Raiderish romantic cliché you could possibly imagine – a uniquely serendipitous combination of human artifice and raw nature working together in accidental harmony, with impossibly picturesque results.

That, at least, is what the films and photographs suggest – the reality is slightly less romantic. Crowds are a serious problem, while massive ongoing restoration means that parts of the temple currently resemble an enormous building site as conservationists attempt to walk the impossible tightrope between preserving Ta Prohm’s original lost-in-the-jungle atmosphere while preventing it from being obliterated entirely by the surrounding forest. It’s a magical place, even so, assuming you’re not expecting to be left alone to commune with nature, and especially if you can time your visit to avoid the worst of the coach parties (see Crowds at Ta Prohm).

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Cambodia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Should Sihanoukville be your next beach escape?

Should Sihanoukville be your next beach escape?

Sihanoukville, in southwest Cambodia, is an oft-misunderstood town. Seen as sleepy by day and seedy by night, this coastal bolthole has earned itself an undeser…

02 May 2017 • Meera Dattani insert_drive_file Article
26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
The truth about elephant tourism in Asia

The truth about elephant tourism in Asia

Elephants are born free, but are everywhere in chains – and it’s tourism which is increasingly to blame. Riding an elephant used to be on every visitor’s …

25 Nov 2016 • Gavin Thomas insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month