Ancient World

Palenque: hidden Maya wonder

Discover this city of temples in the Mexican state of Chiapas.

Palenque was the Maya site I most highly anticipated visiting, and it did not disappoint. The ruins and pyramids, surrounded by a verdant jungle of cedar, mahogany and sapodilla trees, have a mysterious and intoxicating ...

Mystical Uxmal

Although less well known than Chichen Itza, Uxmal is often preferred by travelers to the Yucatan. Located in the center-west of the peninsula, Uxmal is about an hour and 15 minute drive from Merida – ...

Go Gallic in Trier

Germany's oldest city is chock-full of ancient history.

Germany’s most ancient city is Trier, its name derived from the Roman name Augusta Trevororum under Caesar Augustus. It was known as the “Second Rome” before Constantinople. While the Romans had been in neighboring Gaul ...

The temples of Nara

Ancient Japan at its finest: bronze Buddhas, towering pagodas, sacred (and tame) deer.

In its history as a unified nation, Japan has had three major capitals. Tokyo (the modern capital) and Kyoto (the longest-serving capital) garner most of the international visitors. Tokyo draws those who want to see ...

Mesmerizing Mycenae

Window into the ancient world.

About 1.5 hours outside Athens, Mycenae is one of the essential stops for any visitor to Greece with an interest in ancient history. Arriving here, you're awed not just by the site and the ruins, ...

Up a Mangrove Channel in Micronesia

A "Heart of Darkness"–like kayaking experience.

“Whenever you come to a fork in the channel, go left,” the owner of my hotel said as he prepared a kayak for me to paddle into the Mutunnenea Channel in northeastern Kosrae, Micronesia. “Eventually ...

Chichén Itzá: It's the End of the World as We Know It

(And I feel fine.)

December 21, 2012, marked the milestone of not just another candle on my birthday cake, but also the Apocalypse: when the Maya's "Long Count" calendar indicated the end of a 5,126-year era. Forget America’s “fiscal ...

Cambodia's Khmer Legacy

Beyond the tourist sites are Buddhist shrines hidden in the jungle.

The temples of Cambodia arguably stand alone as the finest blending of art and architecture in the world. Most people are aware of the monumental achievements in building championed by the Greeks, Egyptians and Mayans. ...

Guatemala: My First Trip Abroad

Tikal, Lake Atitlan, Antigua and Rio Hondo.

Have you ever eaten a marshmallow melted by a volcano? Well, I have. Let me tell you how this happened. I’m eleven years old and I just took my first trip overseas to Guatemala. I ...

Xi'ian's Silent Army

Once in a great while, the simplest of acts, even performed inadvertently, can have far-reaching effects. In Xi'an, China, there is a massive army that has stood in silent formation for more than two-and-a-half thousand ...

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