It's difficult to see the ruins for all the day-trippers at Angkor Wat's most popular site, Ta Prohm. Better to head to Beng Mealea, a 47-mile drive from Siem Reap on a gravel road. Here it's just you and the jungle, which is silently devouring the remains of this 12th-century sandstone temple, a forerunner of Angkor Wat. Climbing among the huge trees and moss-draped ruins, you realize how French explorers must have felt when they discovered Angkor Wat in the 19th century: simply awed. Hire a knowledgeable driver in Siem Reap. Negotiate the price first, and pay no more than $25 total.
Credit: Patrick Aventurier / Gamma / Getty Images
The 2014 Adventure Issue
From Iceland's Highway 1 to Utah's Canyonlands, an epic itinerary for modern explorers.
Plus: Building a Bigger Action Hero
ON NEWSSTANDS NOW
The Interpreters We Left Behind
The Rise of Cyclocross
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