Hi, Kylie here!
I’ve always been fascinated by new discoveries. Whether the discovery is something interesting in my own backyard, or something new and exciting in a far off location - it is hard to describe the feeling of discovering something special.
In Antarctica, people raced to be the first to reach the South pole. To discover the mysteries at the southernmost region of the world. The world raced to be the first to have someone step foot on the moon - and to uncover its mysteries and secrets.
While these are grand examples and are far far away from home. Let me tell you about a place that I had the chance to discover that isn’t as far away as you might think. Actually many people can get there in just a couple of flights.
Southeast Asia. The countries of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Myanmar are home to some of the most unique culture, deep history, and heartwarming people. All of these countries are also home to some of the World’s most stunning temples - in particular temples of Angkor (Angkor Wat) in Cambodia and the Ancient Temples in Bagan Myanmar.
Myanmar and Cambodia have two of the world’s most outstanding ancient Buddhist sites and they are among the top tourist destinations (for both foreigners and locals) in each country.
Angkor Wat is a temple complex in Siem reap, Cambodia built in the 12th & 13th centuries during the khmer empire and consists of over 1000 temples. It boasts some of the most impressive Buddhist Sites in existence today and is considered to be on of the most important world heritage sites in the region.
In comparison - The temples (some pagodas and some monasteries) of Bagan were also built in the 12th century and used to number over 10,000 temples. Now you still can see over 2000-3000 temples in one setting (such as the famous ananda temple and the shwesandaw pagoda which many people visit from either a tuk tuk or a hot air balloon). Many of these temples are in ruins but still have the power to evoke feelings of awe. Others, dating back centuries, are still in use as places of worship and houses sacred relics.
These impressive religious temples where discovered years ago and provide visitors a glimpse into the past as well as the opportunity to gain a broader understanding of the present and insight into the future.
While some people would say the world has few mysteries left to uncover, I’m here to argue exactly the opposite. It doesn’t matter if you’re the first person to visit a location, or whether you’re the millionth person to visit - the process of discovery is an important part of the experience.
Because we all have unique backgrounds and interests, when you visit these temples you will see things that I didn't see. You’ll experience things that I didn’t experience, and you’ll learn things that I walked away having missed. Discovery, isn’t about being first. It is about being open to adventure.
Grab your backpack, there is more to explore!