Famous landmarks in Asia
Prepare to be amazed! And to learn about many of the “world’s mosts”. Asia is a huge continent and so are its landmarks. From huge walls to huge mosques, in Asia size really does matter.
Joking aside, some truly incredible things are hiding in this fascinating continent. There are natural wonders, ancient cities, gorgeous man-made structures, and astonishing works of both art and nature. Not to mention numerous UNESCO sites and World Wonders.
Excited? It’s time to explore the most famous landmarks in Asia!
The Great Wall of China, China
The one, the only, unrepeatable and unique as it gets – the Great Wall of China! It is one of the most famous landmarks in the world. The Great Wall is recognized by UNESCO and declared one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Furthermore, it is the biggest man-made structure in the world. However, it is not visible from space. That is just a myth. Although, given its length, it is no surprise that so many people believed it. The wall measures more than 20,000 kilometres and it took more than 2,000 years to build it. Also, it is possible to walk its entire length. However, it takes around 18 months to do so.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Angkor Wat, whose name means “temple city”, is the world’s largest religious monument. It spreads across almost 2 square kilometres. Furthermore, it was built in the early 12th century, originally as a Hindu temple. However, later it was converted into a Buddhist temple. Therefore, Buddha images were added to its already dense and rich ornamentation. And the final result is absolutely stunning. In fact, the site is so fascinating that it was declared a UNESCO site.
Taj Mahal, India
The Taj Mahal is probably the most famous landmark in India. It was built between 1632 AD and 1653 AD by Shah Jahan, a Mughal emperor, in memory of his wife. This incredible piece of architecture and artwork is made out of white marble and set in beautiful gardens. Furthermore, the entire complex covers around 17 hectares. It includes a mosque, a guest house, and its centrepiece – the tomb. The site’s uniqueness lies in its architectural beauty and craftsmanship, as well as the perfect symmetry and harmony of its elements. What’s more, not only is it declared a UNESCO site, but it is also one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Chocolate Hills, Philippines
Chocolate Hills are a real treat! Unfortunately, not for those who have a sweet tooth. However, those who love travelling are definitely going to be amazed. Namely, the site consists of more than 1,200 cone-shaped hills. During the dry season, they turn chocolate brown making it look like a field of giant chocolate kisses. Furthermore, there are several theories as to how this phenomenon occurred. In addition, there are many legends related to this site. That is why the Chocolate Hills are often referred to as the “Eight Wonder of the World”.
The Grand Palace, Thailand
The Grand Palace is one of the most famous landmarks in Asia and the 4th most popular Instagram location in Thailand. It is a stunning complex located in the heart of Bangkok. Furthermore, the complex consists of several architectural styles and includes buildings, pavilions, halls, and gardens. However, the most famous structure in the complex is the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Namely, the image of Buddha that it houses is one of the most sacred objects in Thai culture.
Mount Everest, Nepal
Mount Everest is one of the most beautiful as well as one of the most dangerous places in the world. It is located in Nepal, in the Himalayas. Furthermore, it is the highest peak on Earth at an altitude of 8,849 meters. Although it is extremely difficult, people have been reaching the summit since 1953. Climbing the world’s highest mountain requires a lot of experience, a certificate of good health, equipment, and a trained Nepalese guide. Because the air is so thin at such a high altitude, equipment includes oxygen bottles.
Mount Fuji, Japan
The UNESCO Site Mount Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan with an altitude of 3,776 meters. However, it is not just a mountain. It is a volcano. Its last confirmed eruption occurred between December 1707 and February 1708. Furthermore, Mount Fuji is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Japan. The best thing is, once you reach the summit, you can enjoy the amazing walk around its crater! In addition, its scenic beauty and stunning surroundings provide gorgeous views from the top.
Petra is one of the oldest and largest ancient cities in the world. It is located in Jordan and was built probably around the 5th century BC. Being one of the most precious cultural heritage findings, Petra was declared a UNESCO site as well as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. What’s especially interesting is the rock-cut architecture which is one of its most fascinating features. Moreover, the city is often called “Rose City” due to the colour of the carved stone.
Hawa Mahal, India
Hawa Mahal, also known as the “Palace of Winds”, is a gorgeous palace situated in the city of Jaipur. It is built from red and pink sandstone and shaped like a crown. However, its most notable feature is its 953 jharokhas or windows. They are built to keep the wind blowing inside the palace, hence, the name. Some say that this “beehive facade” was made so that women could watch the city bustle through the windows unnoticed. Another interesting fact is that although there are 5 floors, there are no stairs. Also, there is no front entrance to the palace.
The Forbidden City, China
The Forbidden City is a majestic complex consisting of almost 9,000 rooms and covering around 720,000 square meters. It is the largest imperial palace in the world. According to legend, the palace was designed to have 9,999.5 rooms. It was believed that the God of Heaven has 10,000 rooms in his heavenly palace. Therefore, half a room is missing to avoid upsetting him. Furthermore, there are no trees. That is because they thought the trees might overshadow the majesty of the atmosphere. Moreover, this masterpiece of Chinese architecture is designed to keep the birds away in order to retain cleanliness and magnificence.
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Ha Long Bay is a gorgeous and peculiar site known for its unusual limestone formations and cave system. Moreover, it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Furthermore, it includes more than 1,600 islands and islets surrounded by the emerald-green sea. Besides beautiful views, there are numerous activities for different types of visitors. One of the best ways to explore the site’s breathtaking scenery is to kayak your way around its seascape. Last but not least, be sure to visit the fascinating floating villages! They are truly unique.
Taipei 101, Taiwan
Taipei 101 is the third tallest building in the world and one of the most popular attractions in Taiwan. It has 101 floors and exceeds half a kilometre in height. In addition, it has the second fastest elevator in the world. Another interesting fact is that Taipei 101 was designed to withstand strong typhoons and earthquakes. Furthermore, the building comprises offices, restaurants, a shopping mall, and an observation deck. Undoubtedly, this is the place where you can experience the best views of the city.
Burj Khalifa, United Arab Emirates
Burj Khalifa is the world’s tallest building and man-made structure. It is almost 830 meters high and has 163 floors. In fact, it broke several world records including the Highest observation deck, World’s highest nightclub, and World’s highest restaurant. Also, the building includes 900 residentials varying from studio apartments to 4-bedroom apartments. Furthermore, if you want to experience waking up in one of the world’s most famous buildings, Burj Khalifa has got that covered. Namely, it is home to the first Armani Hotel designed and developed by Giorgio Armani.
Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
The Gardens by the Bay is a gorgeous nature park located in the heart of Singapore. It spreads over 101 hectares and consists of 3 waterfront gardens. Furthermore, this magical place showcases the beautiful horticultural heritage of Singapore. Moreover, it is an exhibition of garden artistry that peaks every evening during the light and sound show. One of its most famous attractions is the Supertree Grove. In addition, there is also the Supertree Observatory, which provides some of the most magical views of Singapore.
Komodo National Park, Indonesia
Komodo National Park is one of the most popular UNESCO sites in Indonesia. It spreads over 1,733 square kilometres and is home to numerous flora and fauna species. One of the most intriguing species living in the park is the world’s largest lizard known as the ‘Komodo dragon’. Furthermore, the park encompasses 3 larger islands (Komodo, Padar, and Rinca) and 26 smaller ones. What’s more, the islands are a part of the magnificent Coral Triangle. Therefore, scuba diving is one of the most popular attractions in the park.
Petronas Twin Towers, Malaysia
The Petronas Twin Towers are two huge skyscrapers located in Kuala Lumpur. They are more than 450 meters high and have 88 floors. Furthermore, the two towers are connected by a two-story bridge approximately 170 meters high. Interestingly, the bridge is not firmly attached to the buildings. Namely, it is designed to slide in and out of the towers because they sway during high winds. However, it is perfectly safe and allows visitors to experience breathtaking views of the city. In addition, there is also an observation deck on the 86th floor.
Cappadocia is a historical region in Turkey. A very special one too. Namely, hot air balloons are extremely popular in Cappadocia. They provide amazing views of lunar landscapes. Furthermore, besides being THE place to get a hot air balloon ride, it encompasses a gorgeous national park and a Turkish UNESCO site known as Göreme National Park and the Rock Sites of Cappadocia. As if that’s not enough, Cappadocia offers its visitors cave accommodation. Yes, you heard it right. You can rent a cave for the night. Moreover, locals have been using this fascinating network of ancient, interconnected underground settlements for centuries.
Borobudur Temple, Indonesia
If there’s one thing we’ve learned so far, it’s that Asia is full of the world’s “biggests”, “tallests” and “longests”. Borobudur Temple is no exception. It is the world’s biggest Buddhist temple. Befitting its size, the temple’s location is also magnificent. Namely, it sits on a hilltop and overlooks the beautiful lush greenery surrounding it. In addition, the temple is one of the most famous UNESCO sites in Indonesia.
Himeji Castle, Japan
The Himeji Castle is the largest and the best-preserved castle in Japan. It is often called the White Heron Castle due to its brilliant white facade. Furthermore, it is surrounded by gorgeous cherry blossom trees. Moreover, when the trees are blooming, the whole scene looks like a fairy tale illustration. In addition, the castle is associated with several local legends. One of them includes the story of Okiku, a young girl that served a wealthy family. She was accused of stealing their valuable dishes so they threw her into the well as a punishment. However, she came back as a ghost to haunt them. The well is on the castle grounds to this day and can be visited.
Bibi-Khanym Mosque, Uzbekistan
Bibi-Khanym Mosque is a massive mosque located in central Samarkand. Not only is it known for its size, but also for its ornamentation. The details are simply astonishing. Every single bit of it seems carefully thought out. However, the building went through A LOT. Sadly, the original structure did not make it. Namely, from the very beginning, the mosque was too heavy and started falling apart. Over the centuries, parts of it have been stolen and repurposed. Finally, it was demolished by an earthquake. However, the reconstruction work is dazzling. They kept the original look and simply upgraded it.
Potala Palace, Tibet
Potala Palace is yet another world’s “most something”. This time we are talking about the world’s highest palace. Standing proudly at an altitude of about 3,700 meters since the 7th century, the palace is an important symbol of Tibetan Buddhism. Other than its impressive exterior, exploring its interior is definitely a special experience. However, getting there might be tricky. Since it is positioned so up high, the air is very thin making it difficult to breathe. Even so, it is worth it considering what’s waiting for you at the top!
Golden Bridge, Vietnam
Golden Bridge, also known as “the bridge with hands”, is a spectacular structure located near the city of Da Nang. The biggest attraction is, of course, two giant hands that appear to be holding the bridge. Furthermore, the bridge stands at an altitude of around 1,400 meters. Therefore, you need to take two things to get up there – a cable car and a jacket (it can get chilly). In addition to breathtaking views and beautiful scenery, the ticket covers admission to Ba Na Hills SunWorld. The theme park is a recreation of a French-style village and features rides, restaurants, and gardens.