Ta Nei is one of the least visited temples in the Angkor Park and it’s one of the reasons why you should go to visit. The temple complex is isolated and away from the main road. You will need to walk down a small track to find it.
It’s arguably, one of the most picturesque temples in the region and definitely one which you should visit if you have the time. It’s not too far away from the main temples and can easily be reached.
Read more about this wonderful temple in this helpful Ta Nei Temple Guide.
Mid to Late 12th Century AD
20 - 60 minutes
More information about the Angkor Temple Pass.
If you’re planning on visiting Ta Nei temple, head out of Angkor Thom by the Victory Gate along Victory Way. Follow the road around Ta Keo Temple and take a left when you get to a junction on to an unpaved road.
Keep following the road north, winding through the thick jungle and after around 500 – 600m, turn right. You will see a small wooden sign. Keep following the road round and after about one hundred metres, you will see Ta Nei temple.
Siem Reap: 14.8km
Angkor Wat: 7.9km
Angkor Thom: 4.8km
Ta Keo: 1.1km
Ta Prohn: 2.2km
Not many tours will include Ta Nei in the itinerary. If you’re taking the Angkor Wat Small Circuit Tour, you might pass by Ta Nei, but unless it’s expressly listed on the itinerary, it’s unlikely. You will probably find this temple on some “off-the-beaten-track” tours of the temples as it is rarely visited by tourists. Ta Nei is included on our Angkor Wat Adventure Tour.
If you’re exploring the temples by yourself, ask your driver to take you to Ta Nei after you’ve been to Ta Keo. If you’re taking a group tour of the temples, then you will want to make sure that the temple is included on the itinerary.
For private tours, most guides and drivers will take a small detour along the way as it’s unlikely that you’ll want to spend much time here.
You will find hotels sharing the same name as this hidden temple, but they are nowhere near the actual site as tourists are not allowed to stay inside the Angkor Park. There are plenty of hotels to suit all budgets and tastes in Siem Reap town. The majority of visitors will find a place to stay in Siem Reap and then take a tour to the temples.
Why Visit Ta Nei?
Known as the “hidden temple”, Ta Nei is one that you should visit for a number of reasons. First, very few people manage to visit this temple and it makes for a very peaceful experience. Thousands of people visit the other temples each day, so if you’re looking for somewhere to get away from the crowds, then this place is it.
Secondly, it’s also a very photogenic temple and great for getting some great shots without many the people in the background.
Moreover, it’s great if you’re looking for a peaceful place to stop and do some meditation. The ruins of the temple, the surrounding thick jungle and the the isolated feeling make for a truly unique experience.
Not much is known about the history of Ta Nei temple. It was built at some point in the mid to late 12th century by the prolific King Jayavarman VII and looks very similar to Ta Som. The temple was dedicated to Buddha and built in the Bayon style.
Ta Nei temple was later enlarged by King Indravarman II in the 13th century.
It’s believed that the temple was deserted along with the other temples in the area at some point in the 16th century.
Ta Nei was rediscovered by French explorers in the late 18th century and cleared in the early part of the 19th century.
Nowadays, the temple is known as the “hidden temple” in the Angkor Park. The lack of visitors and off-road route to reach the temple makes for a different and very pleasant experience.
Layout and Design
Like most temples at the time, Ta Nei was originally facing the east. Three small entrance buildings (gopuras) were added on the north, south and west by King Indravarman II. He also started construction of an outer wall, but it was never finished. Nowadays, only two of the small gopuras are still visible.
The temple is mostly in ruins and much of the original structure is inaccessible. However, you can explore the the nooks and crannies around the temple.
There are two narrow moats inside the enclosure on the north and south sides. Finally, there is a library on the south side with a sanctuary tower in the middle.
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