Ta Prohm is also referred to as Temple of the Jungle. Archeologists have left the area largely untouched aside from clearing paths through the ruins and adding some braces to trees and passageways. Ta Prohm was built in the late 12th century, and it is a fairly large complex of towers and corridors linking courtyards and temples.
This temple can become overrun with tourists all day. Its unique sights make it very popular, and it can be difficult to take a photo without someone standing in your shot. There are a number of trails and walkways weaving throughout Ta Prohm, and with a little patience and walking you can definitely get some beautiful photos. Early morning is always the best chance to explore the ruin with few other visitors. The silence and sun rising through the over grown trees is amazing. The moss and lichen covered stone of the temple take on an illuminating green color.
Ta Prohm is known as the temple of the jungle for good reason. More than any other temple in Angkor, the jungle battles to reclaim its domain. Many of the structures at Ta Prohm have an amazing growth of trees and vegetation sprouting through rocks or growing over doors and windows. There is so much of this over-growth that you'll have to take time and wander around. Much of the experience is taken away when crowds are around, however.
When exploring Ta Prohm, take a close look at the beautiful carvings around the complex. Some still have great detail. Every structure and every wall seem to have carvings of a Buddha or ornate relief, and none are the same. There is so much to see at Angkor, few people take the time to really check these carvings. One carving in particular is quite interesting: The "Ta Prohm Stegosaurus" carving has become quite popular in recent years. Some think it is evidence that dinosaurs existing during human times. Being that Ta Prohm was constructed around the 12th century, they hardly had the technology to determine what a stegosaurus looked like, even if they had unearthed some dinosaur bones. Others believe it is a rhinoceros with leaves behind it. There is even another suggestion that it is a hoax. Anyone that has been there can tell it is obviously old and similar to the other carvings along that area and throughout Ta Prohm. To find the stegosaurus, walk to the far west of Ta Prohm. In the center of the second wall is a doorway. To the left the doorway in the corner, below the tower, is a vertical line of bas-relief carvings. There you will find it.
After exploring the ruins, take time to walk a perimeter trail around the complex. This trail takes you around the four gates of Ta Prohm. This trail can be accessed from the west or from the east. Starting from the east will be a shorter drive to your next temple. From the east entrance, hike the wide path until you reach the east gate. You can hike the loop around the temple in any direction. The trail weaves in and out of an outer temple wall. You’ll pass by several large trees that are growing on top of and over the wall and parts of the temple. There is quite a lot to see with the jungle overgrowing the ruins. While the trail is short, it is very picturesque, especially if you like ancient ruins. It is well-shaded and perfect to do in the morning.
In 2017, the government pushed the entry time for the temples to 7:30 a.m., which unfortunately means that some prime photo opportunities are no longer possilble.