August 7, 2018

Breathtaking Historical Destinations Must See in the East

It’s super amazing that we get to see some mind-blowing historical sites built by ancient civilizations thousands of years ago today. Here are some ideas for your next travel from the world’s most significant heritage if you are not tired of hearing all the “must see” and are up for making your bucket list longer.

Great Wall, China
The history of the Great wall can be tracked to more than two thousand years ago. It was first built during Western Zhou Dynasty (1122BC-771 BC) as a defense to northern enemy, aka Xiongnu nomads of Mongolia. The Great Wall stretches more than 21,000 kilometers in total, which means, you can see the Great Wall not only in Beijing, but in other 15 provinces as well.
There’s one particular section that we recommend in Liaoning Province, called “LiaoDong Great Wall” or the “Wild Great Wall”. This part was so well preserved that it looks the same as when it was constructed 600 years ago during the Ming Dynasty, and the view is stunning. But make sure you are extra careful when you’re visiting, because this part is not “developed” for tourist purpose, walls and stones are likely to fall apart.
Much of the Wall is regarded to be the largest cemetery in the world. Approximately 10 million workers died in its construction. It brought tremendous tragic to the people back in the days, but it played such an important role in Chinese history. In December 1987, the Great Wall was included in the World Cultural Heritage.
And now more than 10 million people come visit the Great Wall every year.

the Forbidden City, China
Being the largest ancient palatial structure in the world that covers 720,000 Square meter and consists of 980 buildings, the Forbidden City was built in 1406 to 1420. It was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty, served as the home of emperors and their households, as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government. After Republic of China (ROC) was established (1912), the last ever emperor Pu-Yi still lived in the palace for quite a while until the temporary cabinet of ROC asked him out in 1924. After a year of organizing, the Forbidden City was open to the public as the Palace museum.

If it’s ever possible to avoid the crowd, do that. It can get extremely crowded. And don’t expect to see tons of precious ancient royal treasure in the palace, because when ROC relocated to Taiwan, they took everything valuable to Taiwan from the palace. Thus, the treasures are in the National Palace Museum in Taiwan now. When you’re in Beijing, don’t skip the Summer Palace. It is a vast ensemble of lakes, gardens and palaces. Many people said that they enjoyed it more than the Forbidden City.

Angkor ruins, Cambodia
Angkor ruins in Cambodia along with Great Wall in China, Taj mahal and Borobudur in India are so called the four wonders of the East. This ancient old town was covered and disguised by the jungle for almost five hundred years until Henri Mouhout, a French explorer in the 19th century first found Angkor and he wrote “It is grander than anything left to us by Greece or Rome and presents a sad contrast to the state of barbarism in which the nation is now plunged.” Today, Angkor Wat is not only a symbol of Cambodia. His magnificent architecture and rich culture attract more than ten million of travelers a year from all over the world! (Well, Chinese people contribute a lot of course.)
This ancient city in Cambodia was the center of the Khmer Empire that once ruled most of Southeast Asia. This empire fell into decline, but not before building amazing temples and buildings that were later reclaimed by the jungle for hundreds of years.
The story these ruins tell is part of humanity’s story.

Taj Mahal, India
It was built between 1632 and 1653 AD by Shah Jahan, 5th Emperor of the Mughal Dynasty. And the story behind it is so romantic. Taj mahal is a memorial to Shah Jahan’s beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal after her death in 1631. She died after giving birth to the couple’s 14th child. The emperor intended to build a second grand mausoleum across the Yamuna River from the Taj Mahal, where his own remains would be buried when he died; the two structures were to have been connected by a bridge.
Since Taj Mahal is a mausoleum with a mosque, it is closed for the visitors on Friday. On Fridays, only prayers can go, plus, without the entry ticket. The visit timing is interesting: Sunrise to Sunset. And night tours are permitted between 8:30 pm to 12:30 am for a limited duration of 30 mins. Night time in this stunning masterpiece, how romantic is that?
Today, Taj Mahal’s gleaming white marble facade is suffering serious air pollution from factories and cars since it’s located in the busy, industrial city of Agra in northern India. And now it is turning yellow and green. Restorers have been using a paste of a clay mineral to clean the marble. It pulls away impurities from the surface and can then be washed off with water.

Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
There are about 80 pyramids that exist in Egypt. And the pyramids of Giza are the most famous and magnificent ones. Being the oldest of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, pyramids of Giza remain largely intact as well. They are located half an hour of car drive south from Cairo. And the Sphinx that’s next to the pyramid (a mythical creature with the head of a human and the body of a lion) has become the image when people think of Egypt. Its mysteries baffle researchers and are the subject of many conspiracy theories.
They’re over 3,000 years old, and people still don’t have a good idea on how pyramids were built or how the Egyptians made them so precise. Just seeing the photos of these pyramids gives me goosebumps…! Let’s hope there are more days off to come and enough travel money for whoever that’s reading this blog and go see these breathtaking historical destinations for real!
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