Barbara & Stu's Excellent Vacations Great trips we have taken

Egypt - Egyptian archaeology is so spectacular that you may wish to consider visiting other top archaeology locations first so that you won't be disappointed in comparison with Egypt.  Our Egyptian guide claimed that more than half of the world's monuments are in Egypt, and after visiting we have no reason to doubt his word.  To see our Egypt trip notes click here.  To see our Egypt photos click here.

Turkey - As we quip in our trip notes, Turkey has been at the crossroads of ancient civilizations for so long that if you were to step off a path anywhere in that country and kick a stone, you'd probably start a new archaeological dig.  Do not limit yourself to Istanbul, as wonderful as that city is.  Get out to the south coast and into the central Capadoccia region.  To see our Turkey trip notes click here.  To see our Turkey photos click here.

Peru - Peru has some reputation for its ancient civilizations, but many people are unaware of the pre-Incan cultures.  It has an astonishingly rich history of earlier civilizations, more sites seem to turn up every year, and the sites run the full length of the country.  To see our Peru trip notes click here.  To see our Peru photos click here.

China - The terra cotta army of Emperor Qin Shi-Huang Di in Xian is mind-boggling, particularly contemplating the individual features of each warrior. There is also a remarkable museum at the site overflowing with fascinating artifacts. This, the Great Wall and the spectacular Forbidden City in Beijing are reason enough to visit China but they just scratch the surface of centuries of exceptional artistry. To see our China trip notes click here.  To see our China photos click here.

Thailand - Before Bangkok there were ancient capitals in Ayutthaya and Sukhothai, both rich with ruins.  We saw interesting sites nearly everywhere else we went when in that gracious and graceful country. To see our Thailand trip notes click here.  To see our Thailand photos click here.


Honorable Mention

Greece - As in Turkey, virtually anywhere you go in Greece you will find at least some significant antiquities, and of course much of western civilization owes its mores, codes and styles to ancient Greece.  So far, we haven't placed any of our notes or photos of Greece on this site, but we'll eventually get to it.  If at all possible, visit Greece before or after high season (in other words, don't go in the crowded summer).  We're not fans of Athens, with its choking air pollution, but you can't miss the Acropolis and the superb National Archaeological Museum.  To relax after sightseeing, select an island that best matches your interests.  For example, Mykonos is a party island, while Symi (our favorite) is peaceful and laid-back. to see our Greece photos click here.

Sicily - Sicily's geographic location and tumultuous history resulted in a melting pot of ancient Mediterranean civilization - Greek, Roman, Arab - and the remnants of those civilizations abound.  Although you'll see ruins that are clearly Greek or Roman they appear different than those in other areas.  Sicily has little or no domestic marble, so the ancient buildings were constructed of limestone and granite.   To see our Sicily trip notes click here.  To see our Sicily photos click here.

Cambodia - It's estimated that there are still millions of land mines buried throughout much of Cambodia, a hideous, frightening legacy of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge.  But in the areas that have had the mines cleared you will find jaw-dropping ancient Buddhist and Hindu structures.  To see our Cambodia trip notes click here.  To see our Cambodia photos click here.

Belize and Guatemala - Belize is a treasure trove of Mayan architecture and it's an easy excursion across the border to visit Tikal in Guatemala.  It's best to avoid the summer heat and the hurricane season, which runs from August into November.  To see our Belize trip notes click here.  To see see our Belize photos click here.

Jordan – We didn't spend nearly enough time in Jordan and are certain that there are many more wonders to discover there. However Petra alone is worth the journey, and the fabulous desert sand dunes are an added bonus.  To see our Jordan trip notes click here.  To see our Jordan photos click here.

Yogyakarta, Java, Indonesia – The stunning Buddist temple Borobudur (8th Century AD) is a must-see along with the Hindu temple of Prambanan and other lesser sites.  While you’re in Indonesia consider visiting other islands, particularly Sulawesi.  To see our Indonesia trip notes click here.  To see our Indonesia photos click here.