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Alternative Angkor Temples

Few places feel as instantly atmospheric as an ancient stone temple with nobody there except you and, perhaps, a monk lighting incense. Indulge your inner Lara Croft as you roam between Cambodia's lesser-known Angkorian ruins.

Concealed by the jungle, off the beaten path and delightfully free from crowds, many of Cambodia’s hidden gems are surprisingly easy to reach from Siem Reap. These quieter temples are enigmas - we never cease to be amazed by how few people we see there, despite being so close to Angkor Wat.

Cambodia temples
Cambodia temples

Visitors don't always realise that the main Angkor Wat temples didn’t always look so complete. Many have been painstakingly reconstructed by archaeologists who treated them like giant, precious 3D jigsaws. This reconstructive approach is an excellent way to bring out the original majesty of the place (which was created for ancient god-kings after all) and allow it to be seen in all its glory.

The main Angkor complex is reasonably accessible and well signposted (and there are ways to see it without jostling for a tourist-free photo), but there’s something incredibly special about finding your way to less-polished ruins that seem frozen in time…

Clamber between giant fallen stones and over the huge roots of the towering fig trees that are slowly but surely reclaiming Angkor's ancient landscape. Find yourself face to face with intricate stone carvings draped in lianas as the ruins of a monumental step temple, unseen just moments before, emerge from the undergrowth. Look down curious subterranean corridors where you can visualise11th-century monks pacing from shrine to sanctuary in the shade.

Some of these spots are very close to Angkor Wat, while others take a bit more time to reach. We can help you choose a temple or two (or three!) based on where else you'd like to visit and your other interests — are you into spending hours practicing your photography, for example? Do you fancy a picnic beside the remains of an Angkorian temple? Perhaps you'd even like to camp overnight by one? Our Cambodia Specialists will help you decide which ruins are right for you, and our experienced guides will lead you through the jungle to get there.

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