Continuing on with our exploration of the Temples of Angkor in Cambodia, we headed from the temple mountain of Eastern Mebon to Ta Som – another temple that I had never heard of but was suggested by our tuk tuk driver. It is these sort of places that end up being really great finds because you’re likely only to visit them with the advice of a local; therefore it is likely to be uncrowded and more memorable. Ta Som is exactly this sort of place – sure there were other people there like us who were seeing the temples independently, but there were no big tour groups at all, leaving us with plenty of room to get lost and explore the maze of jungle clad ruins.
Ta Som is a small 12th century temple that consists of only one level. Exploring the temple involves walking through several gates from the outer walls to reach the central shrine. The symmetrical hallways run from here in each direction to smaller towers and shrines that contain alters.
Like several other temples in Angkor – the most famous being Ta Phrom – Ta Som was left to the jungle after its abandonment, and you can see several trees that have grown over the ruins, giving the temple that real “jungle ruins” look, and without the crowds of tourists getting in the way.
If you’re doing the grand circuit in Angkor, Ta Som is definitely worth checking out.