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Ta Keo Temple (Prasat Ta Keo)
Ta Keo Temple (Prasat Ta Keo)

Ta Keo Temple (Prasat Ta Keo)

Angkor Archaeological Park, Angkor Wat

The Basics

Ta Keo stands within the Angkor Archaeological Park. It’s included in the price of the Angkor pass, available in 1-day, 3-day, and 7-day versions. While it’s not one of Angkor’s top-tier temples, a few Angkor tours, both by tuk-tuk and minivan, visit. You can also request a stop from a private guide. The lack of carving on the minimalist but massive structure means there’s relatively little to explain, so plenty of travelers come here without a guide.

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Things to Know Before You Go

  • Ta Keo is of interest to photographers, history buffs, and temple lovers.

  • The stairs to the top are steep and exposed. Wear a hat, sunscreen, and comfortable shoes, and carry water.

  • There is no disabled access to the top of Ta Keo. The ground around the temple is uneven and may present challenges for travelers who use wheelchairs.

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How to Get There

Ta Keo is located within the Angkor Archaeological Park, about 2 miles (3 kilometers) east of Angkor Thom and under a mile (1.5 kilometers) north of Ta Prohm. It’s about an 8-mile (13-kilometer) drive from downtown Siem Reap. With no public transport, many travelers opt for the ease of a door-to-door tour.

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When to Get There

As with so many Angkor temples, Ta Keo opens early in the morning and closes late in the afternoon (before sunset). The light is at its best early in the morning and late in the day, which are also good times to enjoy the site—and the views—with few other travelers.

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Why Was Ta Keo Never Finished?

Nobody knows exactly why Ta Keo became Angkor’s unfinished temple. It’s clear that masons stopped working just as door frames and lintels were about to be shaped. One theory suggests a lightning strike was taken as a warning message from the gods; another argues the sandstone was too hard to carve. Perhaps most likely, though, is that building stopped when Jayavarman V died in 1001.

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