10 impressive attractions of Asia

Asia is the largest continent by both size and population–a diverse, multicultural melting pot of some of the oldest civilizations on earth. There's so much to discover in this area, however, here are 10 impressive attractions of Asia that you will regret if you do not come here when travelling to Asia.

This continent is certainly a "wonderland" with many unique and appealing landscapes, including lovely beaches, vast rice fields, enormous caves, breathtaking mountains, and historical buildings. Visitors can enjoy the mind blowing beauty of these 10 impressive attractions of Asia in the article below.

1. Beijing- China

Beijing is the city where history and modernity share center stage. Tourists can both immerse themselves in the flow of history when wandering inside the hutongs of Beijing, and at the same time feel the exciting pulse of modern life outside through the skyscrapers and crowded traffic.

China's capital- Beijing is the witness of 3,000 years of cultural history and also home to seven UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Imperial Summer Palace and its gardens, the oldest canal in the world, and the Forbidden City–a palace complex that served as the home of China's emperors for 500 years starting in the 1420s. The Forbidden City–made up of almost 1,000 different buildings–is one of Beijing's most impressive tourist attractions.

The city also offers tourists massive collections that are worth visiting from The Military Museum of the Chinese People's Revolution and the National Art Museum of China. 

2. Hoi An- Vietnam

Many people think that the destination that attracts the most tourists in Vietnam is Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City or Ha Long Bay. In fact, the most visited tourist destination in Vietnam is Hoi An. The ancient city of Hoi An is home to one of Asia's most ancient trading ports and recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Back to the 15th century, Hoi An was a major commercial stop for trading ships. Since then, Hoi An has maintained much of its original architecture in the form of wooden-framed buildings, colorful French colonial shutters, and Chinese tiled roofs.

This wonder is famous for its religious buildings, courtyards, and shophouses lay side by side on narrow alleyways all across the Ancient Town- Hoi An.

Every full moon cycle, Hoi An celebrates the Lantern Festival, which honors ancestors through light. Visitors at other times of the month can walk Hoi An to discover the Museum of History and Culture, the 17th-century covered Japanese bridge, and the Old House of Tan Ky.

3. Kingdom of Bhutan

Bhutan is a country surrounded by the Himalayas, Tibet, and parts of India. A nation of steep mountains, green valleys, and swift rivers, Bhutan is home to 7,570-meter-tall Gangkhar Puensum, the world's highest unclimbed mountain.

Some of the most beautiful sceneries in the country are high up, perched on cliffs–Tiger's Nest Monastery is a good example, set over 3,000 meters up in the mountains and only reachable after an arduous hike.

All foreign visitors arriving in Bhutan must travel on a prepaid package tour organized through an approved operator due to the attempt to protect the biodiversity and historical heritage of the country. While some agencies will offer pre-arranged stops, others will work out a list of interesting destinations that are worth a visit for tourists including the fortress and Buddhist monastery, the Bumdeling Wildlife Sanctuary and a number of religious fortresses.

4. Mount Fuji- Japan

The stunning snow capped mountain- Mount Fuji is one of Japan's "Three Holy Mountains," which are traditionally considered to hold a particular power. Mount Fuji is reflected in volcanic power because it is actually an active stratovolcano. However, this mountain has not erupted since the last time in 1708.

If this fact doesn't sound too concerning, at the foot of the mountain is also home to Aokigahara. Tourists may know it by other name as “The Suicide Forest”.  This thick forest growing on precipitate lava also contains many ice caves, a combination that absorbs sound and creates an eerie feeling of solitude.

There are four possible routes to reach the top of the mountain, and all offer a number of stops along the way in the form of shrines, historical monuments, and even teahouses. You may also want to plan your visit to Japan around the spring cherry blossoms, another popular tourist attraction.

5. Dead Sea- Israel

It is the sea where you can not sink. The geological wonder of the Dead Sea is one of the must-do tourist attractions in Asia.

The deep blue waters of the Dead Sea touch the territorial boundaries of both Jordan and Israel. Despite its name, the Dead Sea is actually a lake that sits at the lowest point of the land elevation on Earth. To be more specific, it is 430 meters below sea level.

The coastline around the lake has become a flourishing spa and resort destination, and there is also a large influx of religious tourism in the area.

With a concentration of salt around 31 percent, the Dead Sea is so thick that nothing can sink into it, and everyone who walks into it will naturally float. The reason for this is because of the incredibly high salt content due to evaporation being the only water outlet.

While the lake is too salty to support aquatic life, there are plenty of animals that call the surroundings and hikers will run into anything from hares to foxes and leopards when exploring the nature reserves around the Dead Sea.

6. Phuket- Thailand

Blue waters, sandy beaches, spicy Thai cuisine, and excellent diving are part of an amazing adventure tourists can enjoy while visiting Phuket. This is Thailand’s largest island and one of the most beautiful paradises in the world.

The island is also home to a number of unique festivals including the Ghost Festival during the 7th Chinese lunar month and the Vegetarian Festival during the 9th Chinese lunar month.

The waters around Phuket Island offer some of the best diving and snorkeling in Thailand, with typically excellent conditions. Apart from mesmerizing corals and colourful tropical fish, you can see seahorses, sea turtles, manta rays, and even whale sharks.

Visitors can discover the past at Phuket Town on the southeastern coast of the island. The architecture of this lovely town reflects the influence of Chinese immigrants and a Portuguese aesthetic. They also provide an interesting contrast to the more traditional Thai styles seen elsewhere.

7. Angkor Wat, Siem Reap- Cambodia

The resort town of Siem Reap is widely known as the gateway to the world of the ancient  Khmer civilization. Siem Reap's energetic and forever expanding tourist industry is all down to the fact that one of the world's most incredible tourist attractions- Angkor Wat sits next door.

The largest religious monument in the world, Angkor Wat was built in the early 12th century and stretches over an area of over 160 hectares. This Angkor region contains many magnificent temples that were left behind after the fall of the glorious Khmer empire. Before visiting Angkor Wat, the Angkor National Museum is an excellent way to learn more about the archeological ruins and the stunning civilization behind them.

In between visiting great cafés and taking day trips out to the temples, take some time to explore The Cambodia Landmine Museum and Relief Center, which chronicles the ongoing threat of landmines and what's being done to completely eliminate them.

8. Jaipur of India

New Delhi and Mumbai might be India's best-known cities, but Jaipur takes home the "most stunning city" prize. Many of the most breathtaking attractions in Jaipur are architectural marvels, including the magnificent Jal Mahal palace, which sits in the center of the Man Sagar Lake.

Many other monuments and pink structures are located within 10 kilometers of the city, including the ancient temple complex Galtaji, built right into narrow hills and surrounded by sacred kunds (small water pools). The world's largest stone sundial at Jantar Mantar and the 10th-century red sandstone and marble Amer Fort are also just outside the city and attract many visitors.

There is no doubt that Jaipur is truly the “pink city” because of the unique color of the stone used to build many of the structures around. Besides, Jaipur is also home to a community of artisans. Here, craftsmen produce everything from block printing and blue pottery to shellac work and stone carvings

9. Bagan of Myanmar

Lots of visitors know that Bagan is an ancient city and one of the top heritage sites in the world. However, only a few of them know Bagan was once the capital of a powerful kingdom. Today, Bagan and Angkor are the two most important ancient religious sites in Asia, receiving hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

The Bagan Archeological Zone extends over a 41-square-kilometer area and is home to more than 3,000 pagodas, stupas, and other religious structures tucked away amid dense forests. Shwe Gu Gyi is one of the few temples that can be climbed and offers some of the best views–perfect for photo backgrounds. Otherwise, Nyaung Laphat hill and Sulamani hill are a must-visit to watch the sunrise and sunset over the temples.

Outside the Archeological Zone, tourists can easily find some of Bagan's amazing lacquer and sand paintings at local markets in most villages. Bagan town also has a crowded night market and a traditional Burmese market (Mani-Sithu Market). A tour on a boat or a cruise is an ideal way to discover the town's center.

10. Bali- Indonesia

Bali is best known for its gorgeous golden beaches lined with green palm trees and blue waters, but this Indonesian island has so much more to offer visitors. However, don't remove the names of the dreamy beaches in Crystal Bay out of your travel bucket list.  The undeveloped White Sands Beach, or the serene Sanur with its primitive villages are some of Bali's best destinations.

Alongside with the breathtaking view of sun, sand, and sea, Bali also offers a unique cultural and historical landscape filled with temples, including ancient pilgrimage temple Tanah Lot (famous for its sunsets); Gunung Lebah and its scenic jungle surroundings; and Pura Goa Lawah, considered one of the six holiest places of worship in Bali.

To experience the visit more fully, consider hiking the massive active volcano on Mount Batur, especially at sunrise. Or discover the beauty of the terraced rice paddies that line up the Bali countryside. The Tegallalang Rice Terraces in Ubud are vitally brilliant.

Translated by Bich Huong