Explore a different destination UNESCO World Heritage Site Ta Nei


Ta Nei is an ancient Angkor ruin located deep in the jungle. It is a difficult temple to find and took me two tries before I found it. Ta Nei is located deep in the forest, 200 meters west of the East Baray, which is now dry.

My wife and I walked through a forest path for at least 20 minutes before we got there, and during the time of walking, we were discussing whether the path will take us to the ruins. As I wrote this, I saw that even though is it so far deep in the forest, conservation work on it has begun.

Ta Nei, deep in the forest. Can you see the device left by researchers to gauge wind direction?

During its time, Ta Nei has extended a couple of times. Originally intended to be 35 meters long by 26 meters wide, it was extended eastwards to 46 meters in length. Later, it was extended again, to cover 55 meters by 47 meters. The main gopura faces a terrace on the east side. There are also outer gopuras on the east and west, located outside the enclosure wall.

Within the enclosure wall are jumbles of stones. Many of the structures have collapsed, and it was difficult to make my way around, as I had to clamber over stones and boulders. Nevertheless, Ta Nei gives me a feel that is very different from the rest. The mood here is closest to Ta Prohm and Preah Khan. Silk-cotton trees look high over the ruins, their round trunks glistening like polished metal.

Construction Details

Built in the late 12th century
by King Jayavarman VII

How to reach Ta Nei

This could be challenging. Ta Nei is not a major sight, so it is unlikely to be in any packaged tour itinerary. I am doubtful if many tour guides have been there. Amazingly however my tuk tuk driver knows where it is. Without his description, I would not have been able to find it. He couldnb't take his tuk tuk in, so Chooi Yoke and I had to talk through the sandy forest path ourselves.

If you want to visit Ta Nei, you most likely have to walk to it yourself too. To reach Ta Nei, first follow the direction to Ta Keo. There is a forest path that follows out of the east side of Ta Keo. This path has a branch to the left (northside) and later another to the right (southside). The right branch reconnects to the main road that goes on to Ta Prohm. Take the left branch and walk till you arrive at Ta Keo. If there are forks to the road, take the main path. I know this is going to sound quite confusing, so be prepared if you wish to explore Ta Nei.

Ta Nei east side.

Inside Ta Nei.

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