Others

Some other places you might want to get on the radar for a visit if you are a serious vacationer are listed below. These are places most people have never been to regardless of how much travelling they have done. They are listed in no particular order and are scattered all over the world. Getting to some of these places would be a challenge and would involve boat rides and/or buses and cabs since the nearest airport could be quite far away. This would add to the adventure.

For a stunning architectural view, check out the Temples of Bagan in Burma (Myanmar). These are a collection of Buddhist Temples dating back to the 11th and 12th centuries. Originally there were about 4500 temples monasteries ,and pagodas built of which the temples or remains of 3822 of them still remain on the site and 2230 or so are still standing and able to be visited. This region is located in an active earthquake zone, which has taken its toll on the buildings, so quite a few had to undergo restoration.

If you are an architecture lover, you cannot do better than this. There are a couple styles of temples; a “solid” style and a “hollow” style. The artistry of these temples is shocking and demonstrates the talent of the Myanman craftsmen of the time.

The stupa, or solid form, evolved into a bell shaped design, with increasingly smaller rings forming the top rising to a point. These are everywhere.

The gu-style, or hollow style, is a building used for meditation and comes in a few varieties based on the number of faces the buildings have.

The Pyramids of Giza

Another spectacular piece of construction are the Pyramids of Giza. There are three, constructed around 2500 BC on a rock plateau on the west bank of the Nile River in northern Egypt. At one point they were included in the Seven Wonders of the World. All three were built for ancient Egyptian Kings. The oldest and largest was built for a king named Khufu, and measured (past tense) 755 feet wide and 481 feet tall. The others are smaller but still massive.

Sadly these works of art were plundered in medieval times so all the goods stored in the burial chambers were stolen. Additionally the white limestone that used to make up the outside of them was also taken, allowing the pyramids to settle a bit. Khufu is now only 451 feet tall.

To give you some idea of just how massive the Khufu is, it is possibly the most remarkable single building ever built. The sides rise at a very steep 51 degree angle and are exactly aligned with the four points of the compass. The core is made of limestone blocks and the outer casing and inner chambers are made of a lighter limestone. The inner chambers are made of enormous granite blocks. There were about 2.2 million stone blocks cut, transported, and put together to form this spectacular structure.

The Taj Mahal

Taj Mahal

Certainly more famous than the others listed in this section, it is no less spectacular. This structure, in Northern India, a huge and spectacular white marble mausoleum, but unlike the Khufu above, it has never been raided or plundered so the artifacts are architecture are as they were in 1653 when the main building and all the surrounding buildings were completed.

A tomb is the main focus of the entire complex. The typical material used at the time for bug structures was red sandstone, the early designers of the Taj Mahal decided white marble would be more striking so the tomb and other structures are made of this.

The exterior decoration applies to the Taj Mahal are extremely intricate. These elements were created by applying paint carvings, or inlays in the forms of vegetable motifs, calligraphy, or abstract forms. The complex is filled with verses from the Qur’an.