Within Angkor Archaeological Park
Daily, 7:30am – 5:30pm
Admission: Included in Angkor Pass ($37/$62/$72)
Washroom On Site: No, but it is very close to the temple entrance.
A small temple, Ta Som doesn’t have any standout photo opportunities and can feel overshadowed by its neighbours.
Sheeple tourists following the no-brainer “grand circuit” of Angkor Park will hit Ta Som Temple around midday (I’m against those prepackaged tuk tuk routes, can you tell?). As you enter, Bayon-style faces on the gopura will greet you as you pass under the entrance gate. Although Ta Som is located right next to the lake surrounding Neak Pean, a laterite wall will block any view that you might have been hoping for.
Strolling the inner perimeter, you’ll encounter a few large, strangler figs. On the East side, there will be one of these melting down an entire tower and framing an archway, similar to Ta Prohm. If trying to get a photo there made you anxious/impatient/want to kick a child, get a reasonable facsimile here at Ta Som with little waiting and without twenty tourists glaring restlessly at you while you pose. Be warned that there was a crafty vendor here peddling souvenirs, which makes for a different kind of awkwardness when trying to take a picture.
Inside the temple itself, it’s pretty bare. No monuments or phalluses remain in this largely unrestored site. Ta Som is very highly rated on TripAdvisor, but if you’re visiting after having seen the grander temples of Siem Reap, Ta Som doesn’t have a defining quality. The carvings are pretty, but there are other Angkor temples where they are just as good. Being on most visitors’ itinerary following Neak Pean, Pre Rup, or in our case, Ta Prohm, Ta Som can leave you with no real lasting impression. If Ta Som could talk, I’m sure it would constantly be having “Marcia, Marcia, Marcia” moments.
The only thing that helps me remember Ta Som was that there was a cat there.