Top 20 must-visit landmarks in Asia

Top 20 must-visit landmarks in AsiaTop 20 must-visit landmarks in Asia
via (L-R) Expedia, National Geographic, Headout and Luxury Travel Expert
Asia, the world’s largest continent, is home to diverse cultures, delicious food and stunning landscapes. 
Since one of the best ways to explore and experience the beauty of Asia is by visiting its iconic locations, we’ve put together a list of several landmarks across the continent that you simply cannot miss.
From soaring skyscrapers to ancient temples, here are 20 must-see Asian landmarks that will leave you in awe:

Burj Khalifa (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

via the Luxury Travel Expert
Standing at around 2,717 feet tall, the Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest building. Take an elevator to the observation deck on the 124th floor and marvel at the breathtaking views of the city below.
Fun fact: The building’s record-breaking elevator is the tallest service elevator in the world. It’s also the elevator with the longest travel distance in the world.

Taj Mahal (Agra, India)

via the Luxury Travel Expert
This marble mausoleum is considered by many to be one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. Built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, the Taj Mahal is both a symbol of love and an architectural masterpiece.
Fun fact: The Taj Mahal changes color depending on the time of day, from pinkish in the morning to white in the evening.

The Great Wall of China (China)

via sawyerhartman
Stretching over 13,000 miles, the Great Wall of China is an iconic landmark built during the 3rd century BCE Qin Dynasty to defend unified China against the nomadic Xiongnu empire. Take a hike along its winding paths and be amazed at the engineering feats of ancient China.
Fun fact: Contrary to popular belief, the Great Wall of China cannot be seen from the moon with the naked eye.

The Forbidden City (Beijing, China)

via Walk East
The Forbidden City was once the imperial palace of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Today, it houses the Palace Museum filled with ancient artifacts that inform visitors of China’s rich history.
Fun fact: Legend has it that there are 9,999 rooms in the Forbidden City, but the true number is closer to 9,000.

Mount Fuji (Honshū, Japan)

Mount Fuji is Japan’s tallest and arguably most famous mountain. Its almost perfectly symmetrical shape is a sight to behold, especially during cherry blossom season in the spring.
Fun fact: Mount Fuji has been considered a sacred site in Japan for over a thousand years and is a popular destination for pilgrimages.

Angkor Wat (Cambodia)

via Paddy Doyle
Built during the 12th century, Angkor Wat is a stunning temple complex that showcases the artistic and architectural achievements of the Khmer civilization. Explore the intricate carvings and hidden passages that make this landmark truly special.
Fun fact: The temple complex, which is located around five miles north of Siem Reap, was originally built as a Hindu temple but later became a Buddhist temple.

Petronas Twin Towers (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)

via PETRONAS Twin Towers
These twin towers were once the tallest buildings in the world. Take a trip to the top and enjoy a panoramic view of Kuala Lumpur.
Fun fact: The towers are joined by a double-decker sky bridge that is the highest two-story bridge in the world.

The Merlion (Singapore)

via Stilluniverse
The Merlion statue is widely considered to be Singapore’s national emblem for tourism. Visit Merlion Park and take a picture of this iconic landmark.
Fun fact: The original Merlion statue used to be located at the mouth of the Singapore River and was relocated to its current location in Merlion Park in 2002.

The Blue Mosque (Istanbul, Turkey)

via Rick Steves’ Europe
The Blue Mosque is an architectural wonder that boasts six minarets and a stunning interior filled with intricate tiles and stained glass windows.
Fun fact: Its name comes from the blue tiles in its interior, which were specially made in the city of Iznik.

The Terracotta Army (Xi’an, China)

via BBC News
This underground army of terracotta warriors was built to protect Emperor Qin Shi Huang, China’s first emperor, in the afterlife.
Fun fact: The Terracotta Army was accidentally discovered by a group of farmers in 1974 while digging a well.

Ha Long Bay (Quảng Ninh province, Vietnam)

via Amazing Places on Our Planet
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is known for its limestone islets and emerald waters. Take a boat tour and soak in the stunning natural beauty of this Vietnamese landmark.
Fun fact: Legend has it that the bay was created by a dragon who descended from the mountains to the sea, creating valleys and crevasses with its tail.

Banaue Rice Terraces (The Philippines)

via National Geographic
The Banaue Rice Terraces are an engineering wonder built by the indigenous people of the Philippines over 2,000 years ago. Today, they are a stunning testament to the rich cultural heritage of the country.
Fun fact: The rice terraces are featured in the ending scene of Marvel Studios’ “Avengers: Infinity War” as the place where antagonist Thanos chooses to retire. 

Gyeongbokgung Palace (Seoul, South Korea)

via Seoul City
Gyeongbokgung Palace is a stunning example of traditional Korean architecture. Visit this unique palace and take a tour of its many halls and courtyards.
Fun fact: Gyeongbokgung Palace is home to the National Palace Museum of Korea, which houses over 40,000 artifacts.

The Grand Palace (Bangkok, Thailand)

via Philip Hamill
With its intricate architecture and stunning gold accents, this former royal palace is a testament to the rich history and culture of the Thai people.
Fun fact: The Grand Palace was the official main residence of the country’s kings from 1782 until 1925.

Taipei 101 (Taipei, Taiwan)

via Interesting Engineering
Taipei 101 was once the tallest building in the world and is still the tallest building in Taiwan. Take a ride on its high-speed elevator to the observation deck on the 89th floor and enjoy a panoramic view of Taipei.
Fun fact: Taipei 101 has one of the world’s fastest elevators, which travels at a speed of 37.7 mph and can take passengers from the fifth to the 89th floor in just 37 seconds.

The Tiger’s Nest Monastery (Bhutan)

via the Luxury Travel Expert
The Tiger’s Nest Monastery is perched on the side of a cliff in the Paro valley of Bhutan. This sacred Buddhist site is believed to have been built in 1692 and is said to be the area where Guru Rinpoche, also known as Padmasambhava, meditated in the 8th century.
Fun fact: Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche flew to the site of the Tiger’s Nest Monastery on the back of a tiger, which inspired the name of the monastery.

Gardens by the Bay (Singapore)

via Headout
Gardens by the Bay is a nature park that showcases the best of sustainable urban design. Wander through the Supertree Grove and marvel at the unique flora and fauna of this one-of-a-kind landmark.
Fun fact: Gardens by the Bay features 18 supertrees, which are vertical gardens ranging between 82 feet to 160 feet tall.

Mount Kyaiktiyo (Myanmar)

via Smithsonian Channel
At the mountain’s summit, you’ll find a massive boulder known as the Golden Rock. The Kyaiktiyo Pagoda, a well-known Buddhist pilgrimage site, was notably  built on this rock.
Fun fact: Legend has it that the Golden Rock has stayed precariously perched for centuries because of a strand of the Buddha’s hair, which is under the boulder and keeps it in place.

The Walled City of Intramuros (Manila, The Philippines)

via Tour From Home TV
Built by the Spanish in the 16th century, the walled city is one of the oldest districts of Manila, as well as a must-visit for history buffs.
Fun fact: The Walled City of Intramuros is home to several historical landmarks, including Fort Santiago, which was once a military prison during the Spanish colonial period of the Philippines from the 16th century until the 19th century.

Jeju Island (South Korea)

via Expedia
Jeju Island is a volcanic island known for its natural beauty. Visit the island’s many beaches, waterfalls and lava tubes and immerse yourself in the laid-back island lifestyle.
Fun fact: Jeju Island is home to the Jeju Haenyeo, a group of female divers who dive without breathing apparatus to harvest seafood.
Whether you’re a history buff, an architecture enthusiast or a nature lover, Asia has something for everyone. These iconic landmarks are just a small sample of the many wonders that await in this vast and diverse continent.
If you haven’t visited any of these sites yet, be sure to pack your bags soon and get ready for an adventure that will leave you with lifelong memories. Happy travels!

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