Siem Reap, Cambodia
Unlike many of the other Angkor temples, Beng Mealea (said to be the “blue-print” for Angkor Wat) has not been fortified or rehabilitated. This means getting in and around this, nearly one thousand year old temple, is a hands on activity. Piles of stone rubble litter the courtyard and lie haphazardly throughout the site. Vegetation runs amok! Gorgeous mosses cover large swaths of stone, and tiny saplings popping up from minuscule cracks, have turned into full-grown trees winding their way around and through the ancient ruins.