Top 10 Cultural Exploration Vacations in Asia and the Far East
The birthplace of Buddhism and home to many of the world’s most powerful ancient civilizations, Asia is a powerhouse of history. There are China’s hundreds of famous landmarks including the Great Wall, the only man made structure seen from outer space. There are ancient cities and holy sites from India to Cambodia. Some sites are deteriorating poorly, while others are seeing a resurgence of sorts and being restored.
- Great Wall, China
The only man made structure that can be seen from space spans more than 4,000 miles across mainland China.
- Angkor, Cambodia
The ancient Khmer civilization dominated Southeast Asia in the 9th to 15th centuries. This vast complex of ruins reveals just how sophisticated the culture actually was.
- Taj Mahal, India
The world’s most famous testament of love. This white domed mausoleum made of the finest stones in Agra, India is the finest example of Mughal architecture and Muslim art and recognized for its beauty the world over.
- Atomic Bomb Dome, Japan
This mere skeleton of a building in Hiroshima was where the atomic bomb first exploded on August 5, 1945. Today it is a symbol for the horrors of war.
- Xi’an’s Terracotta Warriors, China
This army of thousands of terracotta men and horses were built for the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang, for further wars in the afterlife. The figures were said to take more than 11 years to complete with the hands of 700,000 men.
- Bodh Gaya, India
It was here under a Bodhi Tree that Siddhartha Gautama Buddha first achieved enlightenment at the age of 35. A temple complex dominates the site now.
- Varanasi, India
The city on the Ganges is the holiest site for Hindus and an ancient spiritual center that is still revered today.
- Lhasa, Tibet
The headquarters of Tibetan Buddhism and the traditional capital of Tibet, although slowly losing its traditions as China refuses to loosen its grasp of the ancient city My.
- War Sites, Vietnam
A tremendous resurgence in recent years has lead to increased attention to sites of the Vietnam War such as the DMZ, the Cu-Chi Tunnels, Hue, Saigon, Hanoi, and numerous other cities, battlegrounds, museums, and memorials.
- Ancient Kyoto, Japan
The center of Japanese culture for more than a thousand years was a model city for Chinese dynasties. Kyoto’s historic sites range from stunning gardens and religious monuments to brilliant wooden architecture and artwork.