Day 34: Angkor Small Circuit – Ta Keo

On the way to Ta Keo from Thommanon and Chau Say Tevoda, we passed by the Spean Thma, or Bridge of Stone. This bridge, now home to some trees, used to cross the Siem Reap River when it flowed through here.

Crossing the newer bridge across the current alignment, shifted by nature, of the Siem Reap River.

Ta Keo is an unfinished temple, more than 1000 years old. It features four corner towers surrounding a main central tower.

There is a slight depression surrounding the temple, which I assume was, or meant to be, a moat.

Some rubble at the main entrance of the temple.

On first entry, this was what greeted me – steep, small steps. Not wanting to climb up and risk falling down with my camera, I opted to skip this set of stairs and walked around the same level of the temple first.

Also, I wasn’t sure which would be worse – falling down and hurting myself or falling down and breaking my camera.

For reference, this was what I saw when I looked straight at the set of stairs. Each were probably 25 or 30cm in height.

Walking right and turning around the corner where some restoration was going on, I saw a touristy set of wooden stairs. Finally, an option to ascend the temple safely.

This greeted me after ascending the touristy steps. There were heavy restoration works to the left and right, so there was nowhere else to go but up or back.

I opted to go back down.

Perhaps after the completion of the restoration works, I would return to explore it if there would be more facilities to accommodate tourists, but for now I decided that it wasn’t worth the risk to explore this temple and falling down when descending, especially since the trip from London to Singapore was nearing the end, and I didn’t want to fly back after the long train journeys down. The danger is real by the way – by this point of the circuit I have already seen tourists in casts, still exploring the temples slowly by crutches.

Next stop: Ta Prohm

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