Being one of the most populated and culturally diverse continents, Asia offers a wealth of experience to the avid traveler.
The cultural, geographical and ethnic diversity that this continent with more than 50 countries offers is enough to tickle the travel senses of everyone – from the frequent traveler to the first timer.
If you have a list of travel experiences on your bucket list, then with these 10 sites, you probably can tick most of them off.
1. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Any list worthy of its name that has the title “Must See Places in Asia” must have a paragraph about the Angkor Wat temples in Cambodia.
Although the Angkor Wat temples started out as a Hindu temple, they now stand as the largest Buddhist temple complex in the world. Some of the temples are still inaccessible as they are in deep jungles; however, a few others are quite reachable.
Sitting just outside Siem Reap, these temples date back to thousands of years. With its amazing Hindu and Buddhist architecture, towers and inscribed walls, the Angkor Wat is a sight to behold.
2. Bagan Temples, Myanmar
When one ancient temple can evoke so many emotions in people, imagine what a hundred or maybe 2,000 of them can do to you?
The appeal of the Bagan temples in Myanmar does not only lie in the fact that they are ancient and have a long history to revel in, but also because about 2,000 intricately carved similar looking temple structures stand out of the plains in endless unity.
This city of Bagan, the once capital of the kingdom of Pagan, used to boast of nearly 13,000 similar temples, of which about 2,000 remain to date.
Myanmar photo specialist Bennett Stevens ranks this as one of the best places in the world to photograph and with good reason.
3. Cherry Blossoms, Japan
An ordinary place is transformed into a wonderland of beauty and tranquility as the landscape is filled with cherry blossoms bursting into beautiful colors.
Japan’s Tokyo city has thousands of cherry blossom trees and at some of these locations where the trees are packed together they manage to put up a colorful show during the season.
Walk in the Sumida Park or enjoy the color riot in Chidorigafuchi Ryokudo from a boat. Either way, you will leave with a lot of colorful memories.
4. Great Wall Of China, China
The Great Wall of China, a must see manmade structure spanning about 5,000 miles, was built about 2,000 years ago.
This massive structure reached its greatest extent during the Ming dynasty, but the construction of the same had begun even before the Qin dynasty.
The primary aim of this longest fortification in the world was to protect China from neighboring invaders. The Great Wall is a timeless structure that is perfect for every season.
5. Bangkok’s Floating Markets
A market is beautiful to watch, and a floating market just takes it to another level.
The various waterways in Bangkok are used by vendors to sell their exotic produce directly from the boat. From vegetables to fresh fish, you are sure to find a cacophony of colors and smells when you cruise along the floating markets.
Check out the houses built on stilts along the river banks and weave through the vendor’s boats to have a true Bangkok experience.
6. Pashupatinath Temple, Nepal
Think Nepal and almost instantly you think of snow-covered mountain peaks. Well, add another image to your thoughts – Pashupatinath Temple.
Built on the banks of the Bagmati River, the Pashupatinath Temple is a sacred place for Hindus around the world.
Although non-Hindus are not allowed too far into the temple, there are plenty of sites to enjoy around here. The architecture of the ancient temple, the vastness of the complex and the silent call of the Bagmati River is a life-changing experience.
7. Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, Indonesia
Since Asia has thousands of ancient temples, it will soon get quite tiring to hop from one temple to another.
The Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park in Indonesia offers out-of-the-world landscapes, impressive mountain ranges and thick unblemished jungles. There is perhaps no better place on Earth to watch the sun set than from this national park.
The light orange glow of the sunset dips this national park in an unearthly hue. Being on the Ring of Fire, Mount Bromo is the right place to reflect on life and its meaning.
8. Halong Bay, Vietnam
Roughly translated as “dragon descends into the sea,” Halong Bay in Vietnam’s Gulf of Tonkin lends a mystical and magical experience to all its visitors.
You are bound to be spellbound by the ethereal experience of looking at the limestone karsts – both big and small – as they seem to jut out of the calm sea.
Take a boat to explore the formations, or hop on to the islets for rock climbing, jungle exploration or just gazing at the sunset.
9. Phi Phi Islands, Thailand
Pronounced pee-pee, these incredibly beautiful Phi Phi Islands are probably on most “must-visit” places in Asia lists.
The islands rise from the alluring azure sea like a beckoning fortress. Two huge monoliths come into view as you approach the islands by boat, making it a love at first sight. With beaches meeting jungle, cliffs hanging overhead, and white sandy beaches, these islands are alluring.
10. Pangong Tso, India
To experience heaven on Earth, you should head to the Pangong Tso in Ladakh, India.
Located in the upper reaches of the Himalayas, the Pangong Tso Lake is famous for its ever-changing colors and hues during the day.
The very first glimpse of the calm, beautiful blue waters, surrounded by the rocky landscape is enough to calm the ramblings of your mind. A pure heaven on earth experience, and that comes from James at Ampersand Travel, who knows the region pretty well.
This post was brought to you by Tom at Backpackerboy.com.