Hello again! We had to move our EE Thursday (EE stands for Education & Entertainment, how do you like it?) this week because something huge came up. Something huge is our new mobile app for iPhones and Android that we launched this week. If you’d like to try it out, find out more here.
But let us move on to the post that is both educational and entertaining! Today, we picked five unusual places that are really worth visiting. They are not as popular as other ancient structures like the Pyramids or the Great Wall of China, but they are not in any way less attractive. So, buckle up, get ready, and enjoy the journey!
Perhaps you got inspired by one of our articles on working and traveling at the same time? Being a freelancer who needs only a computer and Internet access to earn money has its perks. It ‘s nice to have your projects under control, whenever you are. TimeCamp can help you with that – track time of your projects and tasks, analyze statistics, generate invoices, and more!
In the rainforests of Guatemala, you can find the ruin of an ancient city that dates back as far as 6000 years. Tikal, as it was named by the Guatemalan newspaper, is a reminder of the ancient Maya civilization. Tikal was the capital city of one of the most powerful kingdoms that existed in that times. It must have been something magnificent if it managed to made it to our times, right?
It was discovered in 1840 and in 1979 declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site (it may be in part thanks to George Lucas, who used it as a filming location for his first Star Wars movie – “Episode IV: A New Hope, in 1977). After this event, Tikal became better known to the public, but still, there are many, who never heard of it. And you should, because it is definitely worth seeing. The Tikal National Park is open to tourists, who flood the place during the day. However, it is possible to spend a night there – then you can feel the magic of the place. Just be careful, Jaguars live in these forests!
2. Angkor Wat
Built by the Khmer King in the 12th century, and it is still the largest religious monument in the world. The King, Suryavarman II, used it as his state temple and mausoleum. It is so huge to visit temples; you must hire a driver or at least rent a bike. The complex has over 162 hectares!
You can find it on the national flag of Cambodia (Uhm, as well as in this country, kinda forgot to mention that 😉 Its modern name, Angkor Wat, means “City of Temples.” However, its original name, Vrah Visnuloka, means “The Sacred Dwelling of Vishnu” – the King dedicated it to that god, breaking from the previous Shaiva traditions (but it transformed into a Buddhist temple by the end of the 12th century.) The place is pretty crowded with both tourists and locals, who try to make a living on the never-ending visitors. If you manage to travel to the borders of the complex, you will be able to visit temples that are not as crowded as those in the center.
Historical city in southern Jordan that every fan of Indiana Jones saw, but perhaps did not know what it was. Well, it was Petra – Steven Spielberg filmed there the third part of the epic movie about the adventures of world’s most well-known archeologist, Indiana Jones. “Indy” was searching for the Holy Grail in one of the temples.
The Jordan’s most visited tourist attraction was most likely established around 300 BC as a capital city for the nomadic Arabs, Nabateans. In 1812, it was discovered by Johann Burckhardt, the Swiss explorer. UNESCO describes it as “one of the most precious cultural properties of man’s cultural heritage.” Oh, also it is among the New 7 Wonders of the World. Beware of tourists; there are thousands of them, choose early hours to visit, and bring your own beverage for there is no Holy Grail waiting for you there! -.^ But the views are fantastic.
4. Easter Island
This is where the popular giant stone heads come from. Easter Island belongs to Chile (despite being located over 3.500 kilometers from it!), it lays on the Pacific Ocean, and it is one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world. The heads are called moai, and there are 887 of them on the island. They are the reminder of the Rapa Nui civilization that practically went extinct due to depletion of natural resources, European invasion, and Peruvian slave raiding.
The statues were carved in the period 1100-1680 AD, so they are not as old as the rest of the objects described in this article. Almost all of them are made of volcanic ash, the largest weights 82 tons and is 9.8m long. There are also other attractions to be seen on the island – stone platforms, walls, houses, petroglyphs (carving in the stone), and caves. To get to the island is a bit of a challenge, due to its remoteness, but it is definitely worth visiting.
The remains of an ancient city in Morocco, commonly considered as the capital of the Kingdom of Mauretania. The city is almost 2500 years old and remembers the greatest times of the rule of Roman Empire. There is still a lot to see in Volubilis, despite the fact that it was devastated by the earthquake in the 18th century. Before that, the ruins were practically intact. That must have been a view!
However, in the 19th century, many buildings were excavated by the French archeologists. Also, quite a lot of prominent public buildings and high-status houses were restored and reconstructed. The place is not very popular, and it takes a while to get there, so you shouldn’t meet a lot of tourists. Is it worth seeing? Check what UNESCO has to say on the topic: “[Volubilis is] an exceptionally well preserved example of a large Roman colonial town on the fringes of the Empire.”