Ken Lawrence

Ken Lawrence is the author of the travel guide books 'Chasing the Emerald Buddha: An Alternative Journey Through Thailand, Laos & Angkor' (forthcoming) and 'The Murakami Pilgrimage: A Guide to the Real-Life Places of Haruki Murakami's Fiction.' He has a passion for world cultures, art, literature and music.

Sapara Monastery Akhaltsikhe

Akhaltsikhe: Visiting the Scenic Monasteries of Sapara, Chulevi & Zarzma

Though I’d expected the day to be a short outing, we were on the road for over half an hour before I realized that I was in for an adventure. My main objective for the day was to visit the peaceful, mountaintop Sapara Monastery. It was a relatively short drive from Akhaltsikhe’s city center. But …

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Rabati Castle Akhaltsikhe Georgia

Roaming Through Akhaltsikhe’s Rabati Castle

In the Samtskhe-Javakheti region of southwestern Georgia, the unassuming town of Akhaltsikhe is home to one of the country’s most unique – and also controversial – ancient fortresses. But perhaps ‘ancient’ isn’t the right word to describe Rabati Castle. Despite being over 1,000 years old, much of what visitors encounter today was hastily constructed in …

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Mtskheta Georgia

Mtskheta: Touring the Monasteries of Georgia’s Ancient Capital

While just 20 kilometers outside of Tbilisi, Mtskheta feels like a world away. This charming little town, in fact, predates Tbilisi by nearly a thousand years. And it long served as the capital of the ancient kingdom of Iberia, the precursor to modern-day Georgia. Most day-trippers come to enjoy the excellent views from Jvari Monastery, …

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