Photo by: Aleksandr Zykov

This huge part of the globe lacks the amount of major sites as does Europe, Latin America, or the Middle East. Not everything has survived the strong rains and storms that frequent many of the earliest bases of cultures here. Many of the archaeological sites in Asia have been overgrown with jungle or destroyed by war, yet slowly the ruins of civilizations such the Khmers in Cambodia are being excavated and restored. Apart from Easter Island, much of the Pacific lacks any lasting traces of civilization. There are a few Maori and Aboriginal sites in New Zealand and Australia, however they are quite small.

  1. 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.
  2. Easter Island, Chile The baffling collection of Moais, stone monoliths spread around this isolated island, have perplexed scientists since the day they were discovered.
  3. 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.
  4. Great Wall, China The only man made structure that can be seen from space spans more than 4,000 miles across mainland China.
  5. 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 and centuries of tributes dominate the site now.
  6. AnYang, China AnYang was the Bronze Age capital of the Shang Dynasty and one of the most important sites of that time period in all of Asia.
  7. Nara Heijo-kyo, Japan Built in 710 AD, Nara was once the largest ancient city in Japan. Scripted wooden tablets, Buddhist temples, and the famous Nara palace have revealed a wealth of information about the city and culture.
  8. Hampi, India The city of giant boulders and carved rock temples in the Karnataka state was the one time medieval capital of the Hindu empire. Also called Vijayanagara, the City of Victory.
  9. Uluru, Australia Also called Ayer’s Rock, this sacred Aboriginal site is one of the most important Australian historical landmarks.
  10. Ruapekapeka Pa Historic Reserve, New Zealand This fortified fort of the Maori was the site of the final battle of the War of the North.

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