Asia is an extensive and beautiful geografical gem that continuously lures travelers in the most unexpected ways. While it’s largely defined by its spectacular white beaches and rich cultural and spiritual heritage, there’s so much more to it. For example, the Asian continent shelters some of the most impressive ancient structures in the world. If you enjoy learning about past civilizations, you’ll love what we have in store for you. Because, in this article, we bring you eight historical places in Asia that you must visit before you die.
1. The Great Wall of China
With its series of long, ancient barricades, the Great Wall of China also tailors a history full of dynasties. Pioneered by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, the walls protected the country from the invasion of nomadic nations. However, with time the walls have shifted from its defense function into economic integration and cultural exchange promotion.
At 21,196 km (13,171 miles) long, it would take around 6 months of non-stop walking to conquer all the trails. The Great Wall (as seen in the picture above;”It goes on forever…” Flickr photo by Craig Maccubbin. (CC BY 2.0)) has become a symbol of quintessential China and a pop-culture icon with millions of visitors every year. That’s why it’s one of the best historical places in Asia and one that most people want to visit.
A vista speckled with thousands of temples, Myanmar’s ancient city of Bagan features some of the world’s most impressive archaeological structures. All these beautifully adorned golden and red stupas have been well-preserved for many centuries. They’ve been standing since the 9th century, constituting the capital of the Pagan Kingdom (centuries later modern Myanmar). With a spectacular landscape like that, riding a hot-air balloon while gazing at nature’s and mankind’s creations is priceless. So, if you’re looking for more laid-back historical places in Asia with lots of breathtaking scenery, then this is it!
3. Angkor Wat
In the dreamy province of Siem Reap lies a historical site that has stood the test of time. Angkor Wat, which means “Temple City”, rose during the 12th century to honor the god Vishnu. Extending over 1,626,000 m² (162.6 hectares), this awe-inspiring complex of temples portrays the creativity and architectural prowess of the Khmer Empire. Even from afar, you will witness the grand scale of balance and beauty. Once you get a closer glimpse of the temples, the word “beautiful” becomes an understatement. The incredible detail of bas-reliefs and devatas makes it one of the finest historical places in Asia and the world.
A 9th-century wonder, Borobudur is the largest and the greatest Buddhist temple in the world. Situated in Central Java, Indonesia, these majestic domes have outlived man-made disruptions and even natural disasters. Borobudur continues to bewitch wanderers with its enigmatic landscape emerging out of the backdrop of active volcanoes and scenic paddies. The temple starts with six square platforms at the lower level, then three circulars at the middle and one big dome at the top. Adding up to the imposing sweep of architecture, all platforms are decorated with thousands of relief panels and hundreds of statues.
5. Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal isn’t just your ancient structure clothed with power and prominence. It’s a physical representation of love and loyalty. In 1632, this famed ivory-white mausoleum rose to splendor to shelter the tomb of the Emperor’s favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. As a curious fact, the construction of the marble mosque took more than 20 years. Splendidly standing like a magical fortress on the southern part of the Yamuna river in India, the structure highlights the outstanding Mughal architecture. It’s one of the most iconic places in the world and it’s become a national symbol, so it’s one of the must-visit historical places in Asia.
If you want to travel back in time in just one setting, Hue, Vietnam is the perfect place. Adorned with historical places like the royal palace, temples, tombs of emperors and pagodas, this place will enchant you. The city was once the capital of the country and one of the most powerful cities in the region during the 19th century. The ancient citadel, encompassed by a moat and intricate stone walls, serves as the gateway to Vietnam’s Imperial City aka the Forbidden Purple City. Now, Hue is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so it should be in every travel buff’s list of historical places in Asia.
7. Vat Phou
Often spelled as Wat Phou, this place is a clear manifestation of beauty despite the destruction. This ancient Khmer Hindu complex located in Laos is quite extensive, stretching up to 1.4 km (0.87 miles) from the base temple. It may be in ruins, but the area is remarkably preserved. The amazing workmanship is also still visible along the temple’s pillars, terrace, and barays. Said to be built during the 10th to 11th century, this mountain temple surrounds itself with the lush hillside and the calming waters of Mekong River. So aside from history and art, you will get the chance to experience a soothing retreat.
There’s nothing more ideal than to take a stroll along the vibrant and historic roads of Malacca (or Melaka), Malaysia. This peaceful and colorful city is the best treat for those wanting to get away from the city buzz. Once you immerse yourself in the fascinating culture of the city, it’s not difficult to fall in love with it. From antique shops to red-colored structures, you will find yourself delving deeper into the rich heritage of the city. The Baba-Nyonya, Stadthuys, Christ Church and Melaka Sultanate Palace Museum are some of the must-see attractions in the place.
Finally, there are thousands of historical places in Asia that everyone should visit at least once. Asia is where some of the most ancient cultures in the world existed and tracing their footprints is an amazing experience. So give yourself the chance to see them for yourself and discover the beginnings of mankind.
Have you ever had the chance to visit one of these historical places in Asia? What did you love the most about them? If not, would you like to visit someday? Tell us everything in the comments section below!