Dodging Monkeys and Discovering Temples: Angkor Wat, Cambodia

A forgotten temple stands on the corner of Angkor's little-trod perimeter wall in Cambodia. Photo by Matt Chabe.

Over two million people visit the famed "lost city" of Angkor in Cambodia each year. At one time, this ancient megacity was the largest in the world before it fell to ruin in the 1400s. Today, its sandstone temples and staircases spark a lustful sense of wonder that few other locations in the world can capture.

For the adventurous, exploring Angkor’s ruins alongside throngs of Instagrammers and tour groups can be problematic. It's difficult to experience the majesty on its own terms. So my companion and I settled on a different tactic: to hike the neglected, jungle-choked remains of Angkor Thom’s eight-mile perimeter wall in its entirety.

This story first appeared in Backpacker Magazine, February 2020. Read the full story here.

Download the .GPX track file for this hike here.