15 Asian sights worth seeing.
Everything is different here. A different world and a culture unlike the one we grew up and live in. . We purposely included not only the obvious Taj Mahal and the Great Wall of China, but also places about which little is written.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Angkor Wat is breathtaking in its size and architecture. It is the largest religious building in the world, built back in the early twelfth century. According to some researchers, the technology used in the construction could not have been known to the ancient inhabitants of these places.
The complex, surrounded by a wide moat, occupies an area of about 200 hectares. But the ancient Khmer capital itself, the center of which was Angkor Wat, at the time of its heyday could well claim to be the largest city in the world.
Getting there: The best way to get there from Bangkok (Thailand) by plane, train or bus to Siem Reap Price: 1 day $20, 3 days $40, 7 days $60
Prasat Thom, Cambodia
And where are we? Cambodia? Then why is there a pyramid in front of us, like in Central America? This, alas, no one knows. The unfinished city with houses and temples, water reservoirs and drinking water pools remained uninhabited.
The former capital of the Khmer kingdom, hidden deep in the jungle, holds a lot of unresolved mysteries. It is said that at the top of the pyramid there is a deep shaft, going down, which is fraught with deadly danger to its explorers. Rumor has it that it was built to communicate with ancient demons.
Bear in mind that this place – not much visited, and the tourism industry, in contrast to Angkor Wat, there is almost not developed. But the mass of experience is guaranteed.
How to get there: from Siem Reap toll road through Beng Mealea by car. Price: $200 for a group of up to 3 persons.
Po Nagar Towers, Vietnam
Po Nagar Towers near Nha Trang, Vietnam are more than a thousand years old. One can only wonder how well they were preserved. In the towers are still held as Buddhist rituals and worship of the spirits of ancestors.
The huge, red-brick buildings facing east also conceal inner rooms with altars, statues of Buddha and the smell of incense. East, in a word.
We recommend to visit it during the period from March 21 to 23 when the theatrical performances are held near the towers.
Getting there: From Nha Trang by cab or on foot Price : 20,000 VND (1 $)
Great Wall of China, China
To visit China and not see the Great Wall of China? You would not be understood. The longest structure built by human hands, the largest defense structure of all time. Almost 9000 km – no joke. And the Great Wall of China is the most popular place in China and one of the most visited in the world.
You can not only walk on your own feet where the guards of the wall once watched over the enemy, but also hear many legends about its builders. The easiest place to do it is at the site near Badaling Mountain, only 60 km from Beijing. But you can also visit other fragments of the wall that are open to the public, in Mutianyu, for example.
Getting there: From Beijing, the easiest and cheapest way to get there is to take a normal train from the North Station. Price: from 45 yuan (just under $8)
Terracotta Army, China
Sometimes a perfectly ordinary swing of the shovel leads to the greatest discovery. Such was the case in the Chinese province of Shenxi, when a peasant digging a well, discovered statues of ancient warriors made of terracotta. First one, then a second, a third…
Historians believe that in total they were made a few thousand, and each soldier has his own weapon, facial expression. It is even possible to distinguish officers from ordinary infantrymen.
This entire army, as well as dancers, musicians, and officials were supposed to accompany their emperor, buried nearby almost 2,000 years ago, into the netherworld. However, the emperor’s tomb and his treasury have not yet been discovered. But many people from all over the world come every year to see his army in the vicinity of Xi’an.
Getting there: By air or train from Beijing Price: 120 Yuan (about $ 20)
Shaolin Monastery, China
Fans of Oriental martial arts in China should not miss the famous Shaolin Monastery. It was here that such martial arts as Wushu and Kung Fu were born.
It will be interesting for fans of movies, especially Hollywood and Hong Kong movies with Bruce Lee, Jett Lee and other masters. All sorts of action movies that mention the monastery itself or its students have been made in great numbers.
By the way, there are a lot of commercial schools that teach the secrets of martial arts around the monastery. There are also Buddhist pagodas, museums and souvenir stores. There are even special “Shaolin cookies” that the monks are said to have eaten here for hundreds of years.
Getting there: By bus from Dengfeng City in Henan Province Price : 100 RMB (about $16)
Hwaseong Fortress, South Korea
Built at the end of the 18th century by King Jeonjo, this fortress has an intricate blend of European and Korean motifs. It is said that the king wanted to make the city of Suwon, where the fortress is located, the capital of Korea. But it didn’t work out. But the fortress itself has been well preserved and attracts the attention of visitors to Korea.
Everything in the fortress is real: powerful walls with loopholes, fortified gates, strong towers and bastions. And Pangkhwasuryeong Pavilion, which stands directly on the fortress wall and is reflected in the mirror of the pond, is rightfully considered one of the most beautiful places in Korea.
It regularly hosts martial arts demonstrations and Korean archery master classes. You can take pictures with the warriors for free.
How to get there: From Seoul take the regular subway (enter underground and part of the way goes to the surface) on the first line Price : 1000 won (just under $1) for adults. From 6 to 9 p.m., admission is free. For Hwaseong Hengun Palace, tickets must be purchased separately.
Taj Mahal, India
The monument of the great love of the Shah for his wife has for centuries remained the most famous, if unofficial, symbol of India in the world. Century after century people walk through the shady park to stand in admiration at the play of light on its walls and the reflection of the mausoleum in the frozen water of the pond.
On the construction of the tomb went the best Indian marble, and mosaics on the walls are made of thousands of precious stones. Malachite was brought from Russia, chrysolites – from Egypt, rubies and sapphires from Siam. And on the entrance gate, those who know Arabic can read, “Enter my paradise!
One should keep in mind that the Taj Mahal is closed to the public on Fridays. You can, however, visit several other places of interest in Agra with the tickets you have bought.
Getting there: From New Delhi Station take the express train to Agra.
The Red Fort, India
If you want to visit a Muslim paradise, you have to go to the Red Fort in Old Delhi. Emperor Shah Jahan, who built it in the mid 17th century, studied the Koran attentively and built his residence on the basis of the description of paradise given in the book.
At the time the Red Fort was built, it was more beautiful than Versailles and larger than the famed Escorial on the outskirts of Madrid. History has dealt harshly with the majestic structure. It has been plundered and destroyed. But in spite of everything the fine palaces and halls, imperial baths, gilded towers and unique interiors of the interiors survived.
There is also a market on the fort. In the evenings, if the weather allows, there is a light and sound show.
How to get there: Take the subway to Chandy Chowk Station and walk, but it’s easier by cab Price: Rs. 250 (approx. $ 5); photos are charged at an additional Rs. 25
Golden Pavilion, Japan
Enjoying the spirit of ancient Japan is best enjoyed on the shores of Lake Kekochi in downtown Kyoto. The Golden Pavilion, a Buddhist temple with a roof of gold leaf, is reflected majestically in the waters of the mirror lake, as its name translates.
It is now a museum, a repository of Buddha’s relics. Three floors, and each shows a different style of oriental architecture. And the pavilion is surrounded by a typically Japanese garden with manicured paths, statues and the indispensable tea house, where you can try real Japanese tea.
How to get there: Take the subway to Kitaoji Station and then take a bus or a cab. Price: adult ticket – $ 5, children – $ 3.5.
Golden Rock, Myanmar
Why does it not fall? This is the question many thousands of tourists ask themselves every year who decided to see with their own eyes the famous Golden Rock. For many years, as if defying the law of gravity, it actually balances on the very top of the mountain. They say that it is held in this position by a hair of Buddha, which is in the golden pagoda erected on the highest point of the rock.
The talk of gold is no exaggeration. With donations from numerous Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world, the surface of the huge rock and the pagoda on it are indeed covered with a thin layer of precious metal.
Getting there: From Yangon by shuttle bus; private cars are not allowed in the surrounding area Price : about 5000 chats (5$)
Super modern garden city, capital city and ghost town with deserted streets, almost no cars, gorgeous bridges and parks. Putrajaya was supposed to become something like a second Singapore, the financial center of the country and its “bright cover”, showing what Asia should become in the near future.
But the number of permanent residents is increasing very slowly. Therefore, the streets and squares are almost empty, it is not difficult to cross the street, and the cleanliness around reigns perfect. Tourists are offered informative excursions to parks and lakes, boat rides and pleasure boats, operates a good botanical garden. And just a walk through the empty city of the future is very interesting.
How to get there: by high speed train from Central Station or by bus from Metro station Pasar Seni
Sigiriya, Sri Lanka
Once upon a time, on top of this rock, looking like a lion lurking in an ambush, the local king Kasapa ordered the construction of an impregnable palace-fortress. The stonecutters carved a huge image of the “king of beasts” to make it resemble a lion even more.
Time has played its inexorable part. We have only the lion’s paws, between which stairs leading up to the palace start.
If you are brave enough to climb the 750 stairs, you will see what remains of the palace: a massive throne at the very top, pools, frescoes that are said to depict the mistresses of King Casapa.
Getting there: by bus from Colombo, Dambulla or Kurunegala Price: 3,750 rupees (about $30)
The turbulent history of Thailand’s ancient capital will come alive for those who come to this small town to touch the past. The vast city once had three palaces, almost 400 temples.
Now all that remains of its former grandeur can be seen here. However, the temple of Pramen, the Christian Cathedral of St. Joseph, a six-meter statue of the seated Buddha and many other extant attractions, as before, attract many tourists to Ayutthaya.
Getting there: From Bangkok by bus from North Station or by train from Hualamphong Station Price: The city itself can be visited for free. Entrance to some museums will cost up to 100 Baht (just over $3)
A few hours drive from the capital and the traveler gets from the twenty-first century to, say, the seventeenth century. Since then, almost nothing has changed in Vigan. This is a real Spanish colonial town, whose appearance is intricately intertwined Spanish and Asian motifs.
Just as hundreds of years ago, horses mounted on vintage carriages tread unhurriedly in the streets. Services are held in the Catholic cathedral. And local artisans offer tourists all the same goods as a hundred, two hundred, three hundred years ago.
Only the ubiquitous scooters and the every night chic show of singing fountains remind visitors that the colonial era is long over.