Beautiful Abandoned Places For a Unique Travel Experience

Ta Prohm, Seam Reap, Cambodia
Ta Prohm, Seam Reap, Cambodia. Photo by Look Up Look Down Photography

There’s something incredibly captivating about abandoned and forgotten places. Perhaps it’s the way they offer a glimpse into a world frozen in time, or maybe it’s that they contain an element of mystery not found anywhere else. While, for some, abandoned places feel eerie, others find beauty in the idea of locations that time has left behind. If you’re a traveler with an affinity for unique and interesting places, read on to learn more about some beautiful abandoned spots you may find worth exploring.

Ta Prohm Temple, Cambodia

This majestic temple was built as a Buddhist monastery in 1186 A.D. and was abandoned after the fall of the Khmer empire in the 15th century. Since then, the property has become engulfed by lush jungle, with tree roots having grown over the temple walls. Conservation projects are currently underway, and those who wish to visit the temple can purchase tickets for about $40.

Rummu Prison, Estonia

If you’ve ever wondered what it’d be like to snorkel in a post-apocalyptic world, you don’t need to wait for the actual end of the world to find out. Since its closure at the end of 2012, this Soviet-era labor camp located inside of a limestone quarry has become submerged in crystal-clear groundwater. Today, visitors can explore the quarry through guided tours and dives, though the area is considered to be quite dangerous.

Houtouwan, China

Houtouwan was once a thriving fishing village on the island of Shengshan in China, but its population began to dwindle in the 1990s for economic reasons. Villagers were relocated, and eventually, greenery overtook most of the abandoned buildings. Today, the island’s natural beauty and serene atmosphere now make it a popular destination among tourists.