This New UNESCO Site Is the Lesser-Known Angkor Wat

Koh Ker, the Cambodian temple complex awarded UNESCO status in 2023, fights for the return of its plundered artifacts.

On a hot, sticky day in Cambodia, I’m standing atop Asia’s only seven-sided temple, a pyramid-like structure surrounded by vast swathes of kapok, fig, and banyan trees. To my right, the humid air occasionally stirs the Cambodian flag attached to the flagpole fixed to the top of the temple. It’s adorned with an image of Angkor Wat–the archaeological site that put this part of Cambodia on the map. But there’s another temple in town: Koh Ker, which refers not only to the structure I’m standing on but a vast complex comprising around 80 nearby temples.

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