Way Beyond Angkor: Exploring the Lost Temples of Cambodia (2008)

Book trailer for Jay Eric Kanter's 2008 travelogue

Author/Explorer Jay Eric Kanter has been called a real life Indiana Jones. In the year’s most unusual travelogue the author whisks readers along on his always thrilling, often harrowing and suprisingly whimsical expeditions to the world’s most mysterious ancient jungle temples–several written about for the first time in this book. Kanter spent a decade in the perpetual twilight of Cambodia’s remotest jungles and not only visited the rarely seen remnants of the Ancient Angkor Empire–considered by many the most beautiful temples ever built–but also discovered several millenium-old ancient ruins no foreigner in history had ever seen. Due to crackpot revolutions, inaccessible jungles, and almost non-existant infrastructure, Cambodia is one of the last places on earth with undocumented and unexplored ancient temples. In Way Beyond Angkor the author ventures–often solo– on throwback 19th century-style expeditions into unmapped. lawless regions searching for hidden temples. He details how he survived landmines, quicksand, ex-Khmer Rouge killers, forest fires, truck accidents, collapsing temples, ghosts, man-eating tigers, serial gigglers, nerve shattering soups and a wedding engagement. He writes of the impossible beauty, horrific fascinations and outlandish charms of this Ripley’s Believe It Or Not realm and describes his encounters with a gallery of lost world eccentrics and captivating zanies including tomb raiders, mass murderers, temple guardians, foul-mouthed tykes, pyromaniacs, hopping and skipping border guerillas, UFO-believing monks, lascivious grandmas, bigoted livestock and well-endowed scarecrows. But “Way Beyond Angkor” is more than just a travelogue. Brandishing a waggish, incendiary wit the author pillorys unscrupulous tour companies, sanctimonious guidebooks, checkbook explorers and pocket-lining preservationists. He also torments stuffy archaelogists, attempts to buy an ancient ruin and explains how years of obsessive temple hunting effected his family and friends and changed him forever.