Typically, when ancient archaeological sites get some form of development, it’s a benefit.
With development comes better controlled access and funds for excavation, preservation, and restoration. But it also means a lot more visitors.
There’s nothing more satisfying than arriving at an ancient treasure to find few, if any other visitors there. But with more and more people traveling each year, it’s becoming harder and harder to find archaeological sites that aren’t crowded with tourists.
For that sort of exclusive experience, you have to go the extra mile. To that end, check out our guide to 10 off-the-beaten-path archaeological sites every history lover should consider adding to their World Travel Bucket List.
MY SON SANCTUARY (VIETNAM)
This UNESCO World Heritage Site has been hammered by looting, vegetation growth, irresponsible visitors and, most tragically, the U.S. Air Force (a 1969 bombing run took a painful toll).
Still, the Charn Dynasty capital (which is located 70 kilometers south of DaNang) was a powerhouse in its day, ruling the vast Champa Kingdom for nearly 800 years.
A Hindu kingdom, the Champa built in a very distinctive architectural style that incorporated influences from China and India.
Seventy temples and numerous other buildings remain today, as do burial chambers for Cham royalty and a number of stele (or stone slabs) inscribed in Sanskrit and Cham.
With help from UNESCO, the governments of Vietnam, Italy, and Japan have worked hard to stabilize and restore the site since 2004. Still, they caution that landmines and unexploded bombs from the war still lie in the jungle just beyond the site.