The ancient city of Hierapolis was founded as a spa town where abundant hot springs flow to form the white travertines below.
Founded by the Greeks and later expanded by the Romans, Hierapolis has an impressive theatre.
Ruins of public buildings and residential houses are founded across the landscape.
The hot spring that led to the founding of this city can still be enjoyed today. Aptly name Cleopatra’s Pool as legend has it she was actually here for the spa. Do beware of Russian bears while you swim here.
The city walls are still pretty much intact and can be explored.
Also do notice the ancient drainage engineering.
Greeco-Roman arches and collums.
Hierapolis was still a thriving city at the dawn of Christianity as evident from the ruins of a huge church.
Unglamorously known as the church with pillars on the information board.
Hierapolis is also another ruins to practice your tomb raiding skills.
Love how the red poppies are growing on the ancient steps.
The ruins of Hierapolis is largely excavated by Italian and Turkish archeologists.
The white terraces of Pamukkale is also known as the Cotton Castle. If you’ve seen an ad by the Turkish Tourism Authority chances are you’ve seen a bikini clad lady bathing in one of these pool terraces.
The Cotton Castle is actually a natural geo-feature known as travatine. To ruin the magic, it’s actually limestone deposited by the hot spring over thousands of years.
No doubt this place has been one of Turkey’s top tourist attraction, even since ancient times! Spas and hotels sprung up for tourist to enjoy the natural hot spring that is rumored to have medicinal healing properties.
As a result of such tourist boom, the travetine began to deteriorate and some of these pools today are reconstructions (bummer, i know….).
Nevertheless this place is a must see if you are in the Aegean region and the top draw for me is not the Cotton Castle but the ancient ruins of Hierapolis that is built on top of it (next post).
Pamukkale is easily reached by bus from many major cities in Turkey, it is especially near Izmir. You can also do a day trip from either Kuşadası or Selçuk . You can also fly in using the nearby airport of Denizli. Needless to say the town has all the necessary tourist infrastructures.
Founded in the mid 14th century, Ayutthaya was once the capital of Siam (present day Thailand).
At its height the city was one of the largest cities in the world boasting great arts, culture, magnificent places, temples and huge monasteries.
Records from traders and ambassadors from Asian and European countries all have reported the splendors of Ayutthaya.
Unfortunately the party came to an end in 1767 when the Burmese army sacked the city causing destruction and the slaughter of its inhabitants.
Those that survived the onslaught were carted away together with the treasury back to Burma.
The ruins of Ayutthaya today stands as a testament to Siam’s once great capital.
The Prang (spire) is a typical architecture style of the Ayutthaya period. They are often shaped like per-bloomed lotus or conch shell. Some have said that this style is borrowed from the Khmers.
Ayutthaya is situated on an island surrounded by three rivers including the Choa Phraya. It is today a modern small town with tourist infrastructures.
The ruins are well preserved and maintained as the Ayutthaya Historical Park.
Of course the most famous of its attraction would be the Buddha’s head engulfed by the roots of a bodhi tree.
To get to Ayutthaya from Bangkok is very simple. Mochit Bus station has plenty of busses going this way or you can get there in the cheapest and more exciting way… Get on a train from Bangkok to the town of Ayutthaya bout 2 hours through the countryside. Once at the station walk to the opposite to catch a boat across the river in less than 30 mins’. Once on the other side hop on a tuk tuk or hire a bike to start exploring.
This post is dedicated to the people of Ayutthaya Province, Thailand who are now facing the worst flooding in decades. Thoughts and prayers.
Amasra was once a Greek colony on the Black Sea. Later on it was held by the Byzantines and the Genoas before becoming part of the Ottoman domain. I’ve always been intrigued by the Black Sea, there just an air of mystery about it.
The Black Sea in the morning was shrouded by fog.
Once a great fortress city today it’s mostly residential. Hiked up to the highest point where a lighthouse is now located.
Traces of the ancient fortress built by Byzantine Emperors and Traders from Genoa still remains.
By mid-day the weather was spectacular. Really glad I made this day trip, great seafood here too.
Getting to Amasra from Safranbolu is pretty simple. Get a bus to the town of Batin and from there take a domus to Amasra.
“The reasonable man adapts himself to the world: the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”—G. B. Shaw (via joeasla)