There’s a sense of wonder and nostalga that from going through old images, such as the time I lived in #Cambodia for over six months. And that meant a lot of temple exploration! •• Beng Mealea, seen as one of core Angkor Wat period temples, is located east of the main temples of #Angkor in the city and still lies in ruin, largely unrestored. Yet, this unstirred scene is exactly what makes the site so fascinating. •• The history of Cambodia’s jungle temple is unknown, although inspection puts it at a similar architectural style and layout to the 12th-Century constructed Angkor Wat, only smaller and built entirely of sandstone. Today, nature has reclaimed the space where this temple once stood as the spiritual centre in the middle of a large town. Only the jungle knows its secrets. •• After a six hour bike ride through Cambodian countryside to reach it, I clambered haplessly over toppled stones that were once magnificent rooftops and towering doorways, meandered through lost corridors and swung on the branches that have weaved their way through the historical labyrinth and taken over the temple structure. •• The unknown - the best kind of exploration. [You can read all about it on the blog: link in bio]
Everest Base Camp, #Tibet ••• On the other side of Mount Everest is where my first mountain adventure began in Nepal seven years ago. Base Camp on the Tibet side might have been moved back by 7km, but nothing beats the view you still get of the world’s highest mountain. ••• Base Camp Tibet is one of the last stops on the @gadventures trip, where you get to sleep overnight at the monastery site and have hours to marvel at the spectacular scenery. #gwanderers
The city of #Shigatse is home to #Tibet's best preserved monastary - Tashi Lhunpo Monastery - and is one of the core stops on the @gadventures ‘High Road to Tibet’ trip. •• These buildings of gold and red hues become familiar structures, yet each has its significance. Tashi Lhunpo is the seat of the Panchen Lama (the second most important spiritual leader of Tibet) and is considered by pilgrims to be a second Potala Palace, visited daily by hundreds of people. It’s also home to a 26m high Buddha made of 278kgs of gold. •• As a visitor, you are one of those people, passing through and trying to catch a glimpse of old Tibet, and trying to feel a few precious moments of Tibetan Buddhism in practice. Before you emerge back onto the modern streets. Can you spot all the monks?
Pockets of spiritual calm •• At stops along the Tibetan highways we came across elevated viewpoints where stairways and platforms would be covered in swaths of prayer flags that surrounded you in a hum of fast fluttering sound that’s beautifully calming. •• The colours of a Tibetan prayer flag represent compassion, peace, strength, and wisdom and it is believed that the prayers are carried by the wind to the surrounding space. •• It’s also said to be disrespectful if the prayer flags are touching the ground, and need to be hung up securely at a height. •• [With @gadventures #Gwanderers]
Despite the magical exploration of monasteries and palaces on hillsides, the @gadventures #Tibet trip was as much fascinating on the ground as it was exploring sacred sites at great heights. •• Just like wandering the old village streets like this one in #Gyantse city, picking out what’s old and new, understanding distinct architectural details (like the black door and window frame painting that’s a form of spiritual protection) and meeting the local people. #gwanderers (sponsored).
An overland trip in #Tibet is guided by prayer flags and paved with roads engulfed by curving valleys and rocky plains. Every single roadside stop is a picturesque stop, where it feels like mountain tops are painted into the sky. Sleep in the car, and you’ll miss it. With @gadventures #Gwanderers