We’ve seen a lot of amazing ruins of the world. But as I go through all that there is yet to see I find that we have barely scratched the surface. We have yet to see Easter Island, Stonehenge or The Acropolis and we may never see any of the great structures of Afghanistan or Iraq.
However we have seen some spectacular archeological wonders during our travels and we want to share a photographic journey of some of our favourite ruins of the world.
Ruins of the World
The days were hot when we explored the Temples of Bagan in Myanmar. We hired a horse cart for one day and a bicycle for the next. One thing we remember was that our horse cart driver was expecting a child any day now. It was a happy time.
Having the chance to visit Petra was a dream come true. We had heard about this ancient city but never thought that we’d get there. To have a guide from the Jordan Tourism Board and a Petra official long for our walk through the ruins allowed for us to experience a Petra that many others don’t get to see. It is by far one of our favourite ruins of the world.
We didn’t even know Hampi existed before going to India. But we were told about it while studying Yoga in Goa. We hopped on a train to see this city in the boulders where people still live among the ruins. Even today people sell their wares in the bazaar and worship at the temples.
It’s the most famous of all the ruins of the world. The Pyramids of Giza don’t disappoint. We saw them by camel but sadly were ripped off by the sly guides. We got over it though because we just witnessed the mysterious temples seen on movies and television. Who ever thought we’d ever get the chance to see the pyramids of Giza?
5.Machu Picchu, Peru
Machu Picchu, Peru
The fog was heavy when we arrived at Machu Picchu and we worried that we would never fully see this ancient city. Located high in the Andes it is shrouded in clouds each morning. But as the day moves on, the sun burns off the clouds and the complex is revealed. We were mesmerized. How did people build this structure on the slope of a mountain without modern machinery? Machu Picchu is truly an impressive ruin of the world.
It was by far our favourite place to visit. Mounds of earth burst out of the ground in conical shapes. Hiding beneath was yet another temple waiting to be discovered. Howler monkeys are heard in the distance and spider monkeys and toucans drop berry pits upon our heads. It was the leaf cutter ants that caught our attention though. We watched them work as they hustled back and forth along the distinct trail that they carved on the jungle floor. It was mesmerizing. Tikal may be one of the greatest ruins of the world, but it’s the wildlife and setting that make it stand out above the rest.
7. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
It’s the mother of all ruins of the world. Angkor Wat was introduced to the masses in Lora Croft’s Tomb Raider. This ancient Khmer Temple is being overrun with tourists these days. When we were there, one could still outrun tour buses by taking a tuk tuk to remote corners of the complex. Whenever we saw a bus coming, we hopped in our ride and told our driver to high tail it out of there. We stayed one step ahead of everyone and enjoyed solitude in the temples.
8.Chizen Itza, Mexico
The first archeological site we ever visited was Chizen Itza. We took a tour from our resort in the Mayan Riviera and enjoyed every minute of our day. We learned about the ancient Mayans, climbed to the top of the main temple and listened to the acoustics of the ball court. It was early in our travel lifestyle, but even then we knew we were hooked on seeing ruins of the world.
9. Jerash, Jordan
The Ruins of Jerash
One of the most well preserved Roman Ruins in the world can be found in the Middle East. The hand of Rome reached far and nothing shows that more than the impressive Jerash Ruins. Who knew that the small country of Jordan has some of the most important and impressive Roman ruins of the world?
10. Tonina, Mexico
Tonina Ruins in Chiapas, Mexico
Deep in the south of Mexico you will find the quiet ruins of Tonina in Chiapas. The complex itself is 2 square km but only a small portion of it has been excavated. Why did we love this so much? There was nobody around to stop us from exploring it to the fullest. The most exciting moment was walking through the 50 metre passageway. It’s pitch black and claustrophopic. You need to run your hand along the walk to find your way, but watch out for spiders!
11. Great Wall of China
The Great Wall, China
We didn’t expect to be impressed by the Great Wall, we even went to the site expecting to be disappointed. I’m glad that we allowed ourselves to change our minds. The Great Wall was one of the best ruins of the world we have ever visited. The MuTianYu Great Wall section is practically deserted and you can walk along the 2.5 km section enjoying the countryside and imagining the great battles that took place between the Chinese Empire and the Mighty Mongols.
It took us a while to finally see Rome and wow, what a city. Ancient ruins are intertwined throughout the entire metropolis. One minute you are sipping an espresso in a cafe and the next you are walking by a piece of architecture thousands of years old. Spending time in Rome is like no other experience you’ll ever have in a city. It’s modern chic mixed with ancient tradition. The most impressive monument is the Colosseum. We had the privilege of staying in an apartment right across the street and looked out our window each day at one of the most amazing ruins of the world from above. It was spectacular.