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These 4 Cambodian ruins should be in the Indiana Jones movies

Angkor Wat is hands down one of the world’s finest archaeological sites. Its well-known outline is an icon of a majestic fallen empire and is of such great pride to the Cambodian people that it takes center stage in the country’s flag.

Aside from this spectacular site, there is a whole host of lesser known remains all over the country. It is entirely possible in some places to experience the sensation of emerging from the jungle to stumble upon a vine-clad temple in the middle of nowhere.

Some take some serious effort to get to but that is part of the joy. Riding a motorbike through the jungle for a couple of days, passing local villages en route and finally setting up your hammock (with built in mosquito net) among deserted overgrown ruins.

Get off the beaten track and live out your Indiana Jones fantasies while also providing some income to the people living out here.

Bear in mind that many of the jungle roads can be impassable between May and October due to rain and be very wary of land mines wherever you are, stick to marked paths.

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1. Koh Ker

Koh Ker temple ruins in Cambodia
Flickr: MAITE ELORZA

Long abandoned to the northern jungle Koh Ker was until recently extremely inaccessible and remote. A new road has now been built which means you can get here in three hours from Siem Reap, but this doesn’t distract from the atmosphere of the jungle-shrouded ruins and you will probably have them all to yourself.

Built by Jayavarman IV in the 10th century, Koh Ker was the capital for only 15 years before being moved back to Angkor. Stone carvings, giant lingams and a sandstone pyramid (uncannily reminiscent of those in Mexico) are to be found here, all among lush vegetation.

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