A photo tour of the Ta Nei, Chau Say Tevoda, Thommanon and Ta Keo temples at Angkor

Ta Nei at Angkor in Cambodia
The trees and the ruins at Ta Nei make great photo ops

There are a number of less visited temples in the main Angkor area that are easily accessible. They may not be as striking or as popular as some of the others but each one has its own personality. With fewer visitors, they provide a great place to enjoy a quiet walkthrough as you imagine life centuries ago and get some great photos – especially in the early morning as the light filters through the nearby forest of trees.

Here are four of the temples where I spent some time.

Ta Nei

Built in the 12th century as a Buddhist temple under the reign of Jayavarman VII, Ta Nei is crumbling and in need of restoration. When I visited, there were only one or two other visitors climbing through the ruins. I loved walking through relatively by myself and alone in my thoughts. There were so many great photo ops with the large trees, the fallen stones, and the crumbling walls – especially in the early morning light.

Ta Nei at Angkor in Cambodia

To reach Ta Nei, my tuk tuk driver, Veasna, has to take a dirt road.

Ta Nei at Angkor in Cambodia

The entrance to Ta Nei is quiet and almost deserted

Ta Nei at Angkor in Cambodia

Looking over a partially collapsed wall to the crumbling temple walls of Ta Nei

Ta Nei at Angkor in Cambodia

The trees and the ruins at Ta Nei make great photo ops

Ta Nei at Angkor in Cambodia

I love climbing through the ruins of Ta Nei – few visitors, it’s peaceful and thought-provoking

Ta Nei at Angkor in Cambodia

Wooden supports keep much of Ta Nei from crumbling even more. Hopefully, it will receive funding for restoration soon.

Ta Nei at Angkor in Cambodia

The perimeter walls of Ta Nei are still holding. I wonder for how long?

 

Chau Say Tevoda and Thommanon

These two temples are similar in style and are located directly across the road from each other. Both were built in the 11th to 12th centuries; however, Thommanon was built decades earlier than Chau Say Tevoda. I visited these recently restored temples, that are not very large, in the mid-morning and enjoyed seeing their original look and all of their designs.

Chau Say Tevoda at Angkor in Cambodia

Chau Say Tevoda is a Hindu temple built in the 12th century

Chau Say Tevoda at Angkor in Cambodia

The early morning light spreads shadows and light across the temple of Chau Say Tevoda

Chau Say Tevoda at Angkor in Cambodia

With few visitors and its recent restoration project completed, Chau Say Tevoda is a peaceful temple to walk thru in early morning

Chau Say Tevoda at Angkor in Cambodia

Chau Say Tevoda, recently restored, is a good temple to walk through

Chau Say Tevoda at Angkor in Cambodia

Looking through a doorway to the outdoor walkway at Chau Say Tevoda

Chau Say Tevoda at Angkor in Cambodia

Chau Say Tevoda is small and easy to walk through. I love the temple designs with all the figures

Chau Say Tevoda at Angkor in Cambodia

A closer look at the designs on the temple buildings

Thommanon at Angkor in Cambodia

Thommanon is located right next to Chau Say Tevoda. Both are recently restored and a great place to visit with the low number of visitors.

Thommanon at Angkor in Cambodia

The morning light hits Thommanon creating shadows as I walk through this recently restored site

Thommanon at Angkor in Cambodia

Thommanon was built in the 12th century under the reign of Suryavarman II

Thommanon at Angkor in Cambodia

Thommanon is a quiet place to sit and relax and just take in the whole scene

Ta Keo

This temple was built in the late 10th and early 11th centuries as a Hindu temple. It was the first to be constructed wholly with sandstone. I didn’t feel there was a lot to see here. The stairs are steep and narrow. Climbing can be a little challenging.

Ta Keo at Angkor in Cambodia

The entrance to Ta Keo before you reach the steps ascending to the upper level

Ta Keo at Angkor in Cambodia

Built in the 10th – 11th century as a temple mountain, Ta Keo is the first to be constructed wholly of sandstone. The steps to the top are steep and somewhat narrow.

 

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2 Responses

  1. Claudia Astudillo says:

    Hello John:
    These pictures of temples in that area of Asia are so different from others we had seen in Mexico and South America. All of them are a great testimony of a luxurious cultural heritage of Asia. I am surprised at the vegetation, especially the trees. We saw some air roots in Costa Rica recently. Thank you for the amazing pictures you posted.

    Claudia * Fabio

    • John Opperman says:

      Hi Claudia and Fabio………..thank you for your comments. It was the entire scene (the forest of trees surrounding each temple, the isolation of each temple, the quietness when there were few tourists around, walking from one crumbling room to the next alone in my thoughts) that I loved so much about this incredible place. The cultural heritage, as you say, must have been incredible. The notes that I read online at sites like Wikipedia indicate that some of these temples had a hundred thousand people involved in some fashion living and/or working there. I look forward to seeing the ancient sites in Latin America. I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos. Angkor is so big that I have posted about 10 blogs each with many photos of the various temples throughout this archaeological park. I hope you enjoy the others.