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15 Ancient Ruins You’ll Regret Not Visiting In Your Lifetime

15 Ancient Ruins You’ll Regret Not Visiting In Your Lifetime

If you are going to go on a vacation simply to recharge your batteries, then a nice weekend in the country, say within a 100 mile radius of your home town, is more than enough to help you relax. However, avid travelers find much more satisfaction in exploring other cultures, learning about the history of the world, and taking in some of the magnificent works of architecture left by our ancestors.

If you fancy yourself a world traveler and a lover of culture, instead of a mere tourist, there are tons of unique awe inspiring ancient ruins for you to explore. Here are some of the most beautiful.

1. Koh Ker – Near Siem Reap, Cambodia

Koh Ker

    About 75 miles from Siem Reap in Cambodia is a beautiful and well-preserved temple, and a number of other ancient structures, among the jungle covered hill slopes. The ancient city of Koh Ker was built from sandstone and brick. It features an impressive seven-tier pyramid among other spectacles.

    2. Petra – Ma’an Governorate, Jordan

    Petra

      Raising out of the coarse sands of the Jordan desert, the sandstone cliffs are host to a wonderful and ingenious piece of architecture – a city carved in the rose-colored stone. The Rose City was established nearly 2500 thousand years ago. It has been a very popular movie location in the recent past due to its unique style.

      3. Borobudur – Magelang, Indonesia

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      Borobudur

        In a wide clearance in Magelang, surrounded by hills and forests, lies a huge stone structure – the world’s largest Buddhist temple. It features nine raised platforms, with a huge central dome and over 2,500 thousand relief panels. There are also hundreds of statues depicting the Buddha. It is an inspiring experience, regardless of whether you are a Buddhist or not.

        4. Bagan – Mandalay Region, Myanmar

        Bagan

          A relatively small ancient city, covering an area of 42 square kilometers. This unique gem is a host to well-over 2000 Buddhist temples. There are fun activities like balloon rides over the area, but one can simply take a stroll and experience the awesomeness firsthand.

          5. Pompei – Near Naples, Italy

          Pompeii

            Probably the best preserved ancient Roman city in the world, Pompeii was wiped out when the nearby volcano erupted. Fortunately, the volcanic ash that covered the entire city actually helped preserve the architecture, artworks, items, and even the bodies of the inhabitants. Exploring its streets is like taking a walk through history.

            6. Chichen Itza – Tinum Municipality, Mexico

            Chichen Itza

              This vast Mayan archeological site is a true marvel of ancient ingenuity, featuring a huge pyramid known as El Castillo. People actively lived there from as early as 600 AD to about 1200 AD. There are a multitude of different styles of buildings to be observed at this silent testament to the might of the pre-Columbian cultures of Central America.

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              7. Teotihuacan – Just Outside Mexico City, Mexico

              Teotihuacan

                A wonderfully preserved and impressively sized ancient site, with numerous stone pyramids and paved streets, Teotihucan is truly something to behold. There is a lot to explore in one place. There is a reason why they called it “the birthplace of the gods”.

                8. Tikal Ruins – Petén Basin, Guatemala

                Tikal Ruins

                  Here is another great Mayan city with tall stone structures that have stood the test of time. It just goes to show how developed the pre-Columbian civilizations of America were. The big temple is 47 meters high, with a steep staircase leading to the chamber on top, where you’ll also find an excellent view of the surrounding area.

                  9. Asklepieion of Kos – Kos, Greece

                  Asklepeion

                    This ancient medical center has been ravaged by the passage of time; however, its parts are quite well conserved, particularly compared to some other Greek ruins where only a few small stones still remain. It was built to commemorate the famous ancient physician Hippocrates, as well as honor the god of healing, making it an excellent pilgrimage site for medical professionals.

                    10. Stonehenge – Wiltshire, England

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                    Stonehenge

                      A nearly miraculous feat of ancient engineering, Stonehenge features huge man-made rock formations in a circular layout. These Neolithic structure make us wonder just how the ancient peoples that inhabited Britain managed to produce such a grandiose monument.

                      11. Sunken Ancient City of Heracleion – Alexandria, Egypt

                      Heracleion

                        A once great and proud metropolis, the city of Heracleion lie sunken underneath the sea for over a millennium, until it was finally rediscovered in 2000. There are tons of beautiful statues, inscribed slabs, and all manner of ancient wonders for the eager scuba diver to explore.

                        12. Ephesus – Ionian Coast, Turkey

                        Ephesus Ancient Greek City

                          A powerful and beautiful Ancient Greek city, dating back to the 10th century BC, Ephesus is incredibly well preserved, given all the wars the Greek states had seen during their time, not to mention the elements eating away at it for millennia. There are many world famous examples of early Greek architecture to be seen, and a lot of them are in fairly good shape.

                          13. Ayutthaya Historical Park, Thailand

                            An astounding number of buildings still remain in excellent condition in the Ayutthaya National Park, pointing to a glorious past where Ayutthaya was a capital of a large kingdom. It’s worth mentioning that extensive repairs and reconstructions have been done over the years, helping this site retain much of its former glory.

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                            14. Ellora Caves – Maharashtra, India

                            Ellora caves

                              It mast of taken tons of devotion, hard work, and skill to carve out 34 different caves to create these breathtaking temples. The site features Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain temples standing together proudly, as a silent reminder that people of different religious creeds can live in harmony. The Ellora caves are simply amazing.

                              15. Ancient Tombs – Valley of the Kings, Egypt

                              Luxor tomb

                                No list of wonders ancient ruins would be complete without the many Egyptian pyramids. However, the pharaohs that ruled the so-called New Kingdom went a step further and had their giant tombs in the hills of Luxor. There are 63 tombs across the Valley of Kings, with the last discovered quite recently in 2005. It seems that the valley still holds a few secrets that we are yet to discover.

                                No serious traveler should go through their entire life never to have seen some of these amazing and inspiring ancient ruins. You get a new-found respect for our ancestors who were, among other things, creative artists and incredibly gifted architects.

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                                Nemanja Manojlovic

                                Editor at MyCity Web

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                                Last Updated on January 17, 2019

                                8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                                8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                                In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                                Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                                Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                                Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                                Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                                The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                                There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                                How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                                According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                                Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                                Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                                The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                                Listen carefully:

                                We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                                The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                                Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                                8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                                There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                                Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                                1. Pray Daily

                                You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                                When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                                Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                                Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                                2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                                A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                                By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                                Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                                If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                                This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                                How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                                3. Smile Often

                                Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                                Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                                Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                                The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                                4. Organize Your Working Desk

                                A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                                When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                                Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                                Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                                5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                                I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                                Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                                What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                                6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                                God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                                I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                                I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                                7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                                You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                                How do you do that? This is my formula:

                                First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                                If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                                If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                                If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                                Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                                8. Go Exercise

                                Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                                The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                                You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                                12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                                The Bottom Line

                                It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                                It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                                Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                                More Resources About Mindfulness

                                Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                                Reference

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