We begin the day with the Ta Prohm Temple. This is where Angelina Jolie filmed "Tomb Raiders" when she played Laura Croft.
After discovering all these lost temples in the jungle, they decided to leave just this one with some of the trees intact as a sop to popular taste.
Lately, however, they are clearing away more of the vegetation and working hard to restore the temple to a closer approximation of its original appearance.
The trees of this temple have tempted many writers to wretched excess. For example, this quote from Maurice Glaize (a scholar of the Angkor period culture).
On every side, in fantastic over-scale, the trunks of the silk-cotton trees soar skywards under a shadowy green canopy, their long spreading skirts trailing the ground and their endless roots coiling more like reptiles than plants
There are so many wooden steps and tourists wandering about the temple that most photos I take need to be heavily cropped to eliminate the modern anachronisms.
Mr. and Mrs. Phred mug for the camera.
This is only one of the fantastic construction projects of Jayavarman VII . The temple was called Rajavihara ("royal temple"), today known as Ta Prohm ("ancestor Brahma"). It is also called the Jungle Temple. The foundation was laid in 1186 A.D. and the site was abandoned after the fall of the Khmer Empire for nearly 400 years.
The second temple we saw today was the more delicate pink sandstone temple called "Banteay Srei".
We must have seen 50 beautiful temples in the last month.
From now on we will refer to any more temples as ABT (Another Beautiful Temple).
They're shipping us out to Hanoi in the morning....