Angkor Wat, Cambodia: Sprawling across 12 massive acres, Angkor Wat is the largest religious complex anywhere in the world. Built in the early 12th century, the Temple has a mixed Hindu and Buddhist legacy: although it was initially constructed as a Hindu place of worship dedicated to Lord Vishnu, it was converted into a Buddhist temple by the end of the century. Read about best Places to See in South East Asia below.
The design of the temple represents Mount Meru which, according to both Hindu and Buddhist faiths, is the abode of the Gods. Having undergone significant damage during war and natural calamities, the temple structure is now in half-ruins. However, efforts have been taken to reconstruct all that was lost, and preserve what remained, and Angkor Wat still remains one of the most striking structures anywhere in the world. For more information on Cambodia tour packages, check out the Thrillophilia Tripadvisor reviews.
Ha Long Bay, Vietnam: Located just by the Vietnam-China Border, Ha Long Bay presents a natural wonder. Over 1,600 limestone islands and islets can be found scattered around the blue-green waters here, each priding in its unique natural landscapes.
In fact, the biodiversity of the Bay has also led it to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site as of 1994. Kayaks and cruisers take travellers across its emerald waterways through islands that are named after their shapes, such as Teapot Island or Dog Island. The region is known for its diving and snorkeling spots, and features some of Vietnam’s best hiking trails as well. Head over to the Thrillophilia reviews section to select the best HaLong Bay tour for your vacation this year.
Bagan, Myanmar: Once a thriving temple town, Bagan is known as Myanmar’s official ancient city. With the Irrawaddy running along its northern side and its skyline dotted with temple tops, Bagan presents quite the charming site. The kingdom dates back to the second century BC, although it didn’t enter its Golden Age until as late as the 12th century. Today, some 200 original structures from this period can still be found standing. The town is home to some of the oldest temples anywhere in the world: the Ananda Temple, Gawdawpalin, Dhammayangyi and Shwesandaw all date back to the 11th and 12th century, with several others from other epochs.
Palawan Islands, Philippines: Widely regarded as one of the most beautiful islands in the world, Palawan is quite hard to ignore. The islands are fairly underdeveloped, which means its beauty remains largely untrodden and thus pristine. The capital islet, Puerto Princesa, is home to the Puerto Princesa Subterranean National Park, where boats make their way through underwater caves. Unspoilt beaches with clear, aquamarine waters form the main attraction here, offering plenty of swimming and water sport opportunities. The Tubbataha Reef, located on the Sulu Sea, is a UNESCO Heritage attraction, home to one of the world’s richest coral populations.
Komodo National Park, Indonesia: Located at the very heart of the Indonesian islands, the Komodo National Park was established in 1980 with the aim to preserve the unique Komodo Dragon in its natural habitat. The Park’s biodiversity makes it a popular attraction for those looking to explore the natural wildlife of the islands: apart from the Komodo Dragon, several fishes, whales, dolphins and sea turtles also make their home here. One of the best ways to spend time at the island is diving through its clear waters, exploring reefs and big game as one cuts through the sea. Hiking is another fantastic tourist spot here, with the peaks of Komodo home to some of the most fantastic sunset views in the world.
Si Phan Don, Laos: Also known as the Four Thousand Islands, Si Phan Dao sprawls across the Mekong River in Laos. The little islets here are largely uninhabited, although the ones that welcome people are home to a fantastic range of landscapes. The actual number of islands ebb and flow, with some of the lower lands going underwater during monsoon.
The islands are home to some of the country’s biggest attractions, such as the massive Khon Phapheng Falls or the Ban Hin Siew Tai Palm Tree plantations. Delta kayaking is a popular activity here, and is a great way to hop islands. The islands are also known for its stupendous sunset views. For more information on things to do Si Phan Dao, head over to the Thrillophilia Positive reviews section to check out what our globetrotters have to say.
Atauro Island, Timor Leste: Atauro Island is the untouched hub of ecotourism in South Asia. Located just off the Indonesian coast, the island offers the best of any tropical wonderland, from glittering white beaches set against wispy, cloud covered mountains to lush forests ripe with hiking trails. For those looking to connect with the vast outdoors, the island offers a lot: whether it be exploring the seas and its diverse marine life, hiking through the forest-clad peaks or simply birdwatching in the jungles.
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