They say that travelling is one way of broadening our understanding of the world. This is due to the various narratives we get to live and breathe as we experience other cultures. But if there's one more fascinating thing about travelling, it's how it allows us to travel back in time (sans a time machine!) by merely walking between walls and streets of places caught in history's standstill. Not sure about what we're talking about? Read on and take a trip back in time through these well-preserved historic towns around the world that are worth a spot on your travel bucketlist.
Being Japan's capital during most of its history (prior to Tokyo holding the title), Kyoto has most of the country's grandest temples, shrines, and castles. But nothing beats a whole travelling-in-time experience than visiting Gion, the city's world-renowned geisha district. Not only is this an ideal area to see actual maikos (geishas-in-training) walking the streets, but you can also catch their special performances on certain times of the day à la the noblemen and women during the shogunate period. You can also experience traditional Japanese hospitality by dining or catching a drink at the line of izakayas (pubs) and teahouses in the area.
Vigan, Ilocos Sur
Established in the 16th century, Vigan illustrates the long history of the Philippines under the Spanish rule. Aside from the colonial architecture surrounding the town, it also reflects various influences of trade with China and Europe during that era, making it a unique culmination of East and West. Comprised of 233 historic buildings lined along its 25 streets, many of its inspirations include Renaissance structures, as well as traditional Chinese and Hispanic aesthetics, making for a inexplicable culture trip you can experience only in the region.
Prague, Czech Republic
Home to a myriad of architectural styles that span from ancient to modernist inspirations, walking through Prague will immediately make you feel like you should've worn medieval clothing. With baroque and gothic buildings that stood the test of time from the 15th century, make sure you don't miss the 600-year-old Astronomical Clock on your visit to truly feel the marvel of the place.
Since we're talking about historic and ancient sites here, might as well include one that literally embodies the term 'during biblical times'. Located on the east bank of the Nile, walk where the pharaohs walked as Luxor (ancient name, Thebes) was once the capital during the height of power in Egypt. Home to two of the eras most glorious — and still-standing — monuments, namely Luxor Temple and Karnak Temple, you'll truly feel the unwavering prestige of its time journeying through the historic lot.
Designated as one of Unesco's World Heritage sites, Antigua not only boasts Spanish-baroque style architecture but also many ruins of colonial churches that hold their story in history well. A witness to many of Spain's, as well as Central America's, various victories and struggles in power, walking the streets of this site truly transports one to several fragments in time, from as early as the 14th century to its efforts to reconstruct its architectural identity at present.
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