Exploring Cambodia's "Tomb Raider Temple"

Exploring Cambodia's "Tomb Raider Temple"

Rob Rath visits one of Cambodia's most famous temples and explores how, and why, Tomb Raider affected the history of an eight hundred year old masterwork.

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Really interesting stuff. It always strikes a chord with me when I hear the story of a place that is somehow both familiar and little known to me. It makes me remember that these places exist outside of the scope in which I became aware of them and things were happening in and around them long before they became just another notation in the public consciousness.

Absolutely loved this article Mr Rath. Always look forward to features like these, great job.

Really great article, it's just such a beautiful place. It makes it all the more better when I literally watched the film only a couple of hours ago.

Amazing article ^.^

When someone mentions "Cambodia's Ruins", I can't help but to think of Eternal Darkness and anyone who's played it perfectly knows what I mean ;)

Interesting, I didn't know the Indian government had got involved in restoration work at Angkor Wat. I would quite to know if they restoring or the temple complex or just the Hindu part

albino boo:
Interesting, I didn't know the Indian government had got involved in restoration work at Angkor Wat. I would quite to know if they restoring or the temple complex or just the Hindu part

They're restoring the whole thing, and have done a lot in 10 years--remember India's the birthplace of Buddhism as well. They've done work on several temples in the Angkor region, including Angkor Wat. Most temples there changed affiliation back and forth over the years anyway, so there's really no difference between a Hindu and Buddhist one, though all of them are active worship sites for Buddhists today.

In fact the Indian government got in a little trouble a few years ago. Awhile back they restored the roof above the bas-relief of the Churning of the Sea of Milk at Angkor Wat, but the used concrete to hold the new masonry in place. This clogged the channels the Khmer had built to direct water away from the bas-reliefs, so not only did rain suddenly start cascading down the carvings and wearing them down, but the rain was impregnated with weak acid from the concrete, speeding up the erosion. They learned from the mistake though, and now rebuild temples in the Khmer style, using no concrete or mortar and simply replacing stones that are too broken down to hold up those around them.

India's not the only government either -- Japan, Korea and several other Asian countries have either funded restoration or sent teams to help. Sadly, the Cambodian government is far too poor to afford it, they can't even pay for adequate security, and the guards they have are woefully underpaid. (Cambodia's the only place I've ever been where a cop called me over and tried to sell me official patches, badges, etc.)

Voulan:
Really great article, it's just such a beautiful place. It makes it all the more better when I literally watched the film only a couple of hours ago.

I'm serious when I say that they changed nothing. Really, none of that is a set or digital--that's just what Ta Prohm looks like. It's astonishing.

(Okay, they added the giant shaft she falls into. They also used the exterior of a different temple since the front of Ta Prohm was much more broken down pre-restoration, but still, all the interiors are as pictured.)

The outer temples are well worth a visit as well, but take a guide and stick to the paths. It can be quite exciting to explore a small isolated temple but there are still a lot of mines out there.
My wife and I quite often have Chicken Amok from the local Khmer place and reminisce about our trip to Siem Reap, if you can, you should go. We will return when our youngest is old enough to appreciate it.

...is it just me, or is this EXACT empty in one of the Uncharted games? I think it's Golden Abyss for the Vita...

Fascinating article, thank you for sharing this. I'd love to see out by that region one day.. but then there's so much I want to see!

Robert Rath:
Exploring Cambodia's "Tomb Raider Temple"

Rob Rath visits one of Cambodia's most famous temples and explores how, and why, Tomb Raider affected the history of an eight hundred year old masterwork.

Read Full Article

image

Took this on my own dawn trip :)

And a couple more with my friend:

image
image

Aaaah...the joy of the lost cities. There are some archaeological sites here in Mexico where the main temples and buildings are quite well protected and maintained, but nature has taken over the outer edges of the area once occuppied by the cities. You can walk into the jungle and bump into minor temples overgrown by plants. The reason mostly is that if they uncover and expose all of those structures they won't have enough budget to maintain them all. Plants erode, but not as fast as people touching, walking over them, or rain flowing over them.

Yey, rich people visiting poor people's once prosperous countries. Sorry.. just cynical.. move along.

 

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