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China, Beijing Shi, Miyun Qu, Sishui Rd, 古北口镇司马台村北
I snapped photos with every step that I took climbing the Simatai section of the Great Wall. I would preview each photo after I taking it, and none captured the sight before me—a seemingly endless stretch of stone that undulated with the landscape...
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Peru
We were among the first 50 or so people into Machu Picchu in the morning and the fog completely set the scene. It really made you feel like you were in a lost city and helped you understand how it could have been lost for so long.
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Chichén Itzá, Yucatán, Mexico
A brilliant work of architecture and astronomy, the Pyramid of Kukulkán at Chichén Itzá is so precisely engineered that on the vernal and autumnal equinoxes, the sun casts shadows that slither like snakes and seem to descend...
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Peru
To celebrate my husband's 40th birthday, I planned a trip to Peru for the two of us, scheduling our itinerary so we would spend the day of his actual birthday at the awe-inspiring Machu Picchu. I wanted him to always be able to remember exactly...
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Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand
While you're in Thailand, be sure to escape the colorful chaos of Bangkok and head toward the historic capital of Ayutthaya, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The best option to get there would be by train and they run frequently from Bangkok's...
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Situated not far from Meknes, between Fes and Rabat, the Roman ruins of Volubilis stand as a testament to a culture that changed the world forever. In the fertile area that the ruined city is located, it's difficult to remember you're in Morocco....
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Adare, Co. Limerick, Ireland
This castle was erected with an ancient ring-fort, around the early part of the 13th century. It became a strategic fortress during the following turbulent years. It was the property of the Earls of Kildare for nearly 300 years until the rebellion...
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Carretera Federal & Cancún - Chetumal Km 230 307, 77780 Tulum, Q.R., Mexico
A visit to old Mayan Ruins is a must when you are vacationing in Tulum. It's a perfect trip to sneak in some history and activity without too much effort and without loosing sight of ocean and the beach. Being built in 13th century Tulum Ruins...
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Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Crowds may swarm upon it daily from sunrise onwards, but exposure hasn’t dulled the impact of the largest religious monument in the world. Commissioned by King Suryavarman II in the 12th century as the centerpiece of the mighty Khmer empire,...
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1495 Villers-la-Ville, Belgium
In 1146 a dozen monks and some lay brothers, with the blessings of St Bernard (not the dog!) headed to what is now Belgium and founded the abbey. It had been neglected and then revitalized during its second golden age in the 1800s where some of...
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Easter Island is a strange, remote, and magical place. After a full day of wandering around this tiny island, we were fortunate enough to witness an absolutely breathtaking sunset over the Pacific. The "beach" here is made up of pitch black...
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Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
Better known as the Tomb Raider Temple since its starring role in the Hollywood movie of the same name, Ta Prohm has at least as much star quality as Angelina Jolie. Cloaked in dappled shadow and locked in the embrace of the vast root systems that...
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Jerash Governorate, Jordan
I'll be honest, the primary reason I went to Jordan was to see Petra. But rather than fly in and out, I decided to spend a week exploring the country. One day I went to the ancient city of Jerash. It was beautiful - well preserved with the avenues...
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Pula, Croatia
This is the ancient Roman Arena at Pula on the Istria Peninsula. Istria, which is currently a part of Croatia but has also been part of been a part of the Venetian Empire, the Austrian Empire, Italy, and Yugoslavia. As a result, the area is a...
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The Pends, St Andrews KY16 9QL, UK
Often called, "Scotland's Greatest Cathedral" the now-ruined medieval St. Andrews, overlooking the North Sea in its namesake town, is a splendid sight any time of day or night. However, in my several days of residence in the town made famous by...
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Orkney, UK
The flight into the Orkney Islands was amazing. Many of the neolithic ruins can be seen from the air, dotting the land. I visited several of the sites including Skara Brae, and Maeshowe, but the Ring of Brodgar was the highlight of the sites I...
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Macau
One of Macau's most famous landmarks. The front façade and the grand stone stairs are the only remains of the greatest church in Macau or even in East Asia.
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2710 Sintra, Portugal
We ventured to Sintra from Lisbon on a beautiful day. The Castelo do Mouros is worth a visit, perched high above the town, where you will find the ruins of a Moorish castle dating back to the 8th century. On a clear day you can see the coast and...
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Polignotou 3, Athina 105 55, Greece
Slave-traders and shoe-menders, jewelers and moneylenders haggled and gossiped at this ancient marketplace the history of which spans five millennia. The Agora was also the stomping ground of rival philosophers Plato and Socrates—the latter...
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Woodstock, NY, USA
About forty minutes after you start Overlook Mountain trail in Woodstock suddenly without any warning the ruins of Overlook Mountain House rise in their most haunted and cryptic look in front of you. Only four outer walls and main staircases of...
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Jendouba, Tunisia
I discovered a couple years ago that if you have a penchant for ancient Roman ruins, it’s far better to go to Tunisia than Italy. The quality of preservation is far superior to many Italian sites and the lack of tourists is more refreshing than...
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Kranggan, Bokoharjo, Prambanan, Sleman Regency, Special Region of Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Go back in time with these partially ruined temples from the 9th century. Celebrating the hindu trinity (Brahma-Vishnu-Mahesh, Creator- Sustainer-Destroyer), these temples have seen their cycles of creation and destruction more than once.
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Montezuma Castle Rd, Camp Verde, AZ, USA
As Anglo settlers arrived in the 19th century, several sites throughout the Southwest desert were named, erroneously, for the Aztec emperor Montezuma (Moctezuma). The most famous one—and the one to keep this name officially—is Montezuma Castle...
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Mueang Pak, Pak Thong Chai District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30150, Thailand
Though it pains me to say this - prior to traveling to Thailand, I had never heard of Ayutthaya. How could such a historically significant and architecturally fascinating place have completely evaded me?!? In case you're in the same boat as me,...
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Tikal, Guatemala
It will give you a jolt to see these crumbling Mayan temples in the middle of the Guatemalan jungle. The limestone rocks have been scraped smooth by archeologists desperate to stave off the jungle vines and mossy dampness and the green undergrowth...
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El Lentiscal, 4, 11391 Bolonia, Cádiz, Spain
Baelo Claudia is the seaside site of an ancient Roman town that was settled was about 2,000 years ago. You can take a self-tour of the ruins, which include skeletons of the city's temple, forum and basilica. The modern Visitors Centre includes a...
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80045 Pompei, Metropolitan City of Naples, Italy
Pompeii was partially destroyed and buried under 20 ft of ash in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in AD 79. Pompeii was lost for about 1500 years until its initial rediscovery in 1599 and it continues to be excavated. The beautiful frescos and...
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Ürgüp/Göreme/Nevşehir, Turkey
On any tour of Cappadocia in central Turkey, you'll find ruins of cave homes, churches carved inside the cliffs, and outdoor museums like the famous one near Goreme. However, just a short bus ride away is another open air museum with far fewer...
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Cambodia
Vestiges of European colonial settlement remain throughout much of Southeast Asia, often contrasted against more traditional hill tribe villages and always set in (cooler) rolling mountain ranges. These former frontier towns were once the summer...
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Hamzalısüleymaniye Mahallesi, Akropol Cd. No:6, 35700 Bergama/İzmir, Turkey
“The ruins of himself! now worn away, with age, yet still majestic in decay.” —Homer. The best way to see the Acropolis of Pergamon is to take the cable car up (they will try to sell you a return ticket, but insist on one-way) and then walk down...
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Finding 'old' in Qatar can be a challenge. Someone mentioned in passing that there are ruins of a pearl fishing village up north, but none of the Qataris I asked had heard of it–nor could they possibly comprehend anyone's fascination with a...
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During a recent destination wedding shoot in the Caribbean, our boat tour guide took us to a shipwreck off the coast of Providenciales, Turks & Caicos Islands. La Famille Express, a general cargo ship, ran aground during Hurricane Frances in 2004...
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Ollantaytambo, Peru
Wandering around the ruins of Ollantaytambo, an ancient Peruvian town about two hours from Machu Picchu, we looked up as dusk settled in to see this ancient Incan granary. It was wedged into the side of an intimidatingly steep mountain to store...
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Piazza Venezia, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
The Monument of Victor Emmanuel II in Rome, nicknamed the Wedding Cake (and, alternately, the Typewriter) for its distinctive boxy shape, offers some of the most stunning panoramic views to be had of the Eternal City, in every direction. There is...
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Pisiga, Bolivia
Contact Guinness Book of World Records. This must be the shortest vacation to Bolivia on record. As near as I can tell with my less-than-fluent Spanish skills, I was turned back after 30 minutes at the Bolivian border because: - it was snowing and...
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Miniloc Island, Bayan ng El Nido, 5313 Palawan, Philippines
Imagine hundreds of tiny islands, coral reefs, limestone cliffs, turquoise water, white sand beaches, and hidden lagoons. Basically imagine a tropical paradise and you have the Bacuit Archipelago surrounding El Nido on the island of Palawan in the...
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Crijevićeva ul. 9, 20000, Dubrovnik, Croatia
Climb the grand baroque staircase and pass the Jesuit church, cross Gundulić Square, and follow the COLD DRINKS WITH THE MOST BEAUTIFUL VIEW signs. Then, yes, walk through the walls. Buža translates to “a hole-in-the-wall,” and a...
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Lake Maninjau, Tanjung Raya, Agam Regency, West Sumatra, Indonesia
This is what I think of when travel comes to mind. I think untrammeled territory, wide open country, bits and pieces of the world I've never seen before, people doing things I didn't know they still do or ever did, and a big, booming landscape....
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Hévíz, Dr. Schulhoff Vilmos stny. 1, 8380 Hungary
Yes, there is such a thing as a geothermal lake and it’s just as incredible as you’d imagine. Lake Hévíz is Europe’s largest thermal lake and one of the largest swimmable thermal lakes in the world. It is also the ultimate rehabilitation...
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Kiilopääntie 9, 99830 Saariselkä, Finland
It's not everyday that one gets to lie down in a heated igloo and stare at the Northern Lights for hours. This experience might sound surreal but it is truly the tip of the proverbial iceberg in Finnish Lapland. We were excited when we booked our...