SEE AN AN­CIENT STONE CITY

Wanderlust Travel Magazine (UK) - - Travel Secrets -

You know… Pe­tra, Jor­dan

Pe­tra’s sand­stone-carved walls still in­spire In­di­ana Jones-themed fan­tasies the world over, such has been its im­pact on film. More­over, watch­ers of the BBC’S re­cent Civil­i­sa­tions se­ries will recog­nise the Na­bataean city as the melt­ing pot of the an­cient world pored over by Si­mon Schama. But maybe it feels a lit­tle bit like we now know it too well…

But what about… Nan Madol, Mi­crone­sia

If Nan Madol is any­thing, it’s un­fa­mil­iar. The ru­ined cap­i­tal of the an­cient Saudeleur Dy­nasty is found in the lagoon off east­ern Mi­crone­sia’s Temwen Is­land. Here, 92 ar­ti­fi­cial islets (some nearly a kilo­me­tre in width) were raised above the wa­ter on basalt pil­lars to cre­ate a float­ing city 1,000 years in the mak­ing. Ex­pan­sion con­tin­ued from around the 7th cen­tury AD un­til it was aban­doned, with many parts now over­grown and un­ex­plored.

To­day, its twist­ing canals prompt Venice com­par­isons yet it still has that in­escapable ‘lost city’ qual­ity, and high tide al­lows boats and kayaks to weave the tan­gled com­pound. And make sure to com­bine any trip with snorkelling the sur­round­ing reef and swim­ming with the rays of ‘Manta Road’ for an ut­terly unique day out.

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