Hagia Sophia is old. Very old. The building that currently stands on the first of Istanbul’s famous seven hills dates back almost 1,500 years and has had a remarkable and colorful history. It’s also a beautiful place to visit.
With several oversized statues of The Buddha crammed into spaces barely big enough to hold them, Manuha Temple is one of the easiest temples in Bagan to visit. It’s also one of the oddest.
Apeyadana Temple is dedicated to an 11th-century chief queen consort of King Kyansittha of the Pagan Dynasty of Burma (Myanmar) and maternal grandmother of King Sithu I of Pagan.
Mani Sithu Market is Nyaung-U’s main market in the middle of town and offers food and daily supplies for sale to the local community.
Thatbyinnyu Temple is the tallest of Bagan’s temples and occupies a prominent place near Old Bagan and the famous Ananda Temple.
This small but ornate pagoda lies deep in Taungbi Village, just to the northeast of Old Bagan and not far from the much better known Htilominlo Temple.
Its gleaming gold stupa certainly stands out against the surrounding countryside. Completed in 1198, it features an unusual 5-sided design.
Dating back to the early 13th century and featuring impressive frescoes, Lemyethna Pagoda is located in the eastern part of the Bagan Archaeological Zone.
Tayok Pye Temple is in the eastern part of the Bagan Plain and features ornate stucco decoration and impressive frescoes.
The Monastery of Sao Vicente de Fora is a 17th-century monastery that features impressive polychromatic marble and the tomb of several Portuguese kings.
Sitting high on a hill overlooking the center of Lisbon, the Moorish Saint George Castle looks exactly how a castle should look, with its imposing ramparts offering spectacular views over the city.
When sponge divers off the coast of the Greek island of Antikythera in 1900 stumbled upon shipwreck, they had no idea they’d discovered the world’s oldest computer.
The impressive gold stupa at the heart of the complex is reputed to encase a bone and tooth of The Buddha.
There’s not quite so much of the gold left that once covered the wood, but it’s ornately carved teak is arguably even more impressive.
Under the distinctibe white dome, the National Parthenon pays tribute to luminaries in Portuguese history and culture, including navigators, kings, presidents, writers, poets, and even soccer players.
Casco Viejo is up-and-coming part of Panama City. Which might sound like an odd thing to say about some of the oldest parts of the oldest city on the Pacific coast of the Americas.
Fort Moultrie isn’t as famous as its neighbor, Fort Sumter, but it has played crucial roles over the centuries in defending Charleston Harbor.
In a space once occupied by the royal palace, Lisbon’s Praça do Comércio (or Commerce Square) occupies not just prime real estate but also a central place in the city’s life.
The Palace of Sintra sits in the heart of the old town section of Sintra. From 1385 through 1880 it was a royal residence and summer escape.
Lisbon’s national Maritime Museum pays homage to Portugal’s proud maritime history from centuries ago.
That Chomsi is at the top of a hill overlooking the old section of UNESCO World Heritage Site Luang Prabang, offering wonderful views out over the town, nearby wats, Mekong, and the region.
Ever fancied a pre-breakfast swim with turtles and manta rays? If you’ve ever had a hankering to get up close and personal with Australia’s extraordinary Great Barrier Reef, there aren’t many better ways than a trip to Lady Elliot Island Resort.
Quebec City is a kind of Paris-in-miniature, set on a beautiful spot on the Saint Lawrence River and full of old-world charm. At Christmas it really shines.
If God and the government had their way, Antigua wouldn’t exist. But it’s a good thing it does. With charming Spanish colonial architecture, cobblestone streets, and a vibrant cultural life, it’s a wonderful place to visit.
Tips and gear recommendations if you’re going to climb Kilimanjaro for the first time. Includes suggestions for choosing a guide, mountain etiquette, and what to expect.
Heavy snow shuts down Washington DC, but it also transforms the National Mall, its monuments, and other Washington landmarks like the White House into a winter wonderland.
Valladolid is a place to stop and savor. A charming Spanish colonial town in the center of the Yucatán Peninsula, it’s within easy striking distance of Cancun and Merida.
We’ve made it to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro. 19,341 feet. We’re on top of Africa, far above the clouds. And though we’re right next to the equator, it’s very, very cold and there are thick ice glaciers.
Cenote Xkeken, near Valladolid, is one of the prettiest of the 3,000 or so underground cenotes scattered across Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula.
Most churches count their blessings to have one patron saint. This one has two.
It’s the jail at the end of the world. It would have been very cold, very drafty, and, even compared to the low bar set by late-19th-century prisons, altogether rather unpleasant. But if you could sneak to a window, what a view!
The rugged, mountainous terrain of northern Laos is beautiful. While well off the beaten track and not really on the road to anywhere else, Luang Namtha and Oudomxai provinces are well worth seeing.
At Phonsavan’s morning market you can sit for a tasty bowl of freshly made steaming pho for breakfast or buy some local fruit. You can find much that looks familiar, and quite a lot that doesn’t.
U Bein Bridge has become one of Myanmar’s iconic landmarks. Spanning 3/4 of a mile, the foot bridge is reputed to be the longest teak bridge in the world.
Hanoi has a lot of lakes. And as you’d expect from a bustling, industrialized city of several million people in a country with a decidedly mixed record of dealing with environmental challenges, most of those lakes are severely polluted. But the lakes provide a respite from the crushing traffic and incessant bustle in other parts of the city.
Sydney Harbour is a beautiful setting for Australia’s largest city, and at night it really sparkles.
When you think of Antarctica, you probably think of lots of white and blue. I was surprised to find that it’s a lot more colorful than that.
Just outside Antigua, Pacaya is one of several active volcanos that make up the Central American Volcanic Arc.
There are worse places to be than gliding silently at water level amongst the icebergs, seals, and penguins of Antarctica.
Tanzania’s Tarangire National Park is famous for its elephants and baobab trees, but you’ll also find an incredible range of other animals here, including some of the big cats.
The interior of Old Montreal’s Notre Dame Basilica has to rank it as one of the most stunning churches or cathedrals in North America.