Ta Som Temple is one of the lesser known temples located in the North Eastern section of the Angkor Archaeological Park. You can visit between 05:30 and 18:00 but to do so you need to buy an entry ticket for the Angkor Archaeological Park which costs $37 USD for a 1 day pass, $62 USD for a 2 day pass and $72 USD for a three day pass. Entrance tickets for the Angkor Archaeological Park are available for purchase from the ticket booth on the Charles de Gaulle Road which runs north out of Siem Reap towards Angkor Wat.
About Ta Som Temple
Ta Som Temple was constructed towards the end of the 12th Century during the reign of King Jayavarman VII, who was one of the most prolific temple builders of the Khmer Empire. There are a number of different theories as to the reason why the temple was constructed, the most likely being that the temple was dedicated to the King’s father, Dharanindravarman II. The image on the famous four sided gopuras at the temple are believed to be the face of Dharanindravarman II, although they could also just as easily be intended to represent different aspects of the Lord Buddha. There are are lots of four faced Buddha images all over South East Asia. The temple itself consists of three courtyards surrounded by a moat. The outer courtyard is 250 long and 2o0 metres wide. Each of the three courtyards is accessible by a gopura gate topped with the distinctive images of a face on all four sides. The inner courtyard is 30 metres long by 20 metres wide with a cluster of small stone buildings in the centre in a cruciform shape. The inner courtyard contains some very intricate and well preserved relief work.
Part of the charm of visiting Ta Som Temple is that this temple has not been restored to as great an extent as some of the other temples in the park. The temple itself was completely overgrown by jungle until the 1930s and then subject to small amount of restoration work in the 1950s, and some more extensive work to stop the buildings falling down entirely from 2007 onward. The most famous feature of the temple, and the most pictured, is the Eastern gopura which has been engulfed by a large fig tree. Ta Som really is a temple in the jungle and it doesn’t get so many visitors which makes it a much atmospheric place to visit than the larger and more architecturally grand temples in and around Siem Reap.
Location of Ta Som Temple
Ta Som Temple is located 16.8 km by road from Siem Reap Town.