To get a glimpse of what Angkor was like before mass tourism arrived, head to Koh Ker, a group of mostly unexcavated temples dating back over 1,000 years, including Prasat Thom, the highest temple pyramid in Cambodia. There is no place to overnight, so you have to day-trip it out from Siem Reap, which is about 90 miles away (you can negotiate a hired vehicle for around $50 to $75).
At Koh Ker, the jungle encrusted ruins stand much as they have for centuries—in the middle of no where. Although not as large as Angkor, they remain free from tourist crowds due to the remote location and a rough road leading to it (a new paved road is now two-thirds complete). There's another reason the crowds stay away: While exploring Koh Ker, you are likely to hear explosions from land mines unexcavated temples that still being unearthed and destroyed in a systematic process. This makes it important to keep to the well-marked trails.
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