Are you looking for places to visit in Asia? Here are the most famous landmarks in Asia that you should be on your bucket list.
Asia is the biggest and the most populous continent in the world. It is not only gifted with amazing people, culture, and history but also some of the most famous landmarks in the world.
Whether it is natural landmarks that showcase the beautiful landscapes or the manmade landmarks that live to celebrate history and culture, there are so many landmarks in Asia that are worth visiting.
From Mt Fuji in Japan that receives dedicated climbers, the Great Wall of China that was constructed to act as protection now the most visited attraction in China to Angkor Wat that celebrates history and religion, here are the most famous landmarks of Asia.
Famous landmarks in Asia
1. Taj Mahal, India
Taj Mahal is not only the icon and symbol of India but also one of the most famous landmarks of Asia that should be on every traveler’s bucket list.
Located on the banks of Yamuna River in the city of Agra, the Taj Mahal is an Ivory-white marble mausoleum that was constructed in 1632 to house the tomb of Mumtaz Mahal who was the favorite wife of Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan – a story that brings out the true meaning of love.
The Taj Mahal receives over 7-8 million visitors every year making it the most visited attraction in India.
It might be the impressive dome-shaped structure atop the tomb of the beloved wife that gets all the attention, but this incredible Asian landmark consists of a number of complexes that are worth exploring.
Also, its magnificent beauty and importance led it to not only be inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 but also one of the New 7 Wonders of the world.
The Infusion of the Muslim, Indian and Persian architecture makes the Taj Mahal one f the most beautiful buildings in Asia – no wonder it is one of the most photographed monuments of Asia.
And what makes the Taj Mahal even more impressive is the ability to change color depending on the time of the day.
So if you’re looking for places to visit in India, Taj Mahal should be the first on your list.
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2. The Great Wall of China, China
Constructed over 2000 years ago with the initial intent of protecting China’s territory from its enemies, the great wall of China has become one of the major landmarks in Asia receiving over 10 million visitors every year. It’s actually the most visited attraction in China.
The great wall of China covers an area of 21,196 kilometers (13,171 miles) long, making it the longest structure ever built by humans – now that’s an impressive structure that it’s even hard to see every inch of just one section in a day.
The impressive views from standing at one of the many watchtowers make the various hikes to the wall worth it. The hikes present various difficulties but the end is rewarding as you get to appreciate this incredible Asian landmark which is also one of the New 7 wonders of the world.
Whether you visit to remember the thousands of workers that died during construction and buried within its walls or to appreciate the engineering they put in place, the Great Wall of China is one of the famous Asian landmarks that must not be missed while in China.
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3. Mount Everest, Nepal and China
Located in both Nepal and China, Mount Everest is the world’s highest mountain above sea level with an elevation of 8,848 m (29,029 ft), making it one of the best natural Asian landmarks that should be on every traveler’s crazy bucket list.
The most fascinating fact about Mount Everest is that it’s still growing at a height of about 40 centimeters (16 inches) per century creating almost a new elevation level every new century.
Though Mount Everest has a number of hiking trails (17 to be exact), it still presents a certain level of difficulty that is considered the hardest in the entire world.
But even with the harsh conditions at the Mountain that has led to the death of over 300 people due to altitude sickness, avalanches, or falling into crevasses, a number of mountain hikers still make their way to tackle this hiking giant.
However, among the thousands that try to reach the summit every other year, half of them always give up due to the difficulty it presents.
Regardless, Mount Everest is one of the famous landmarks in Asia that always just stays a bucket list item that is never ticked off for many people not only because of its difficulty level but also the huge price tag attached to it.
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4. Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Sitting on 162.6 hectares (1.626 km2; 402 acres), the Angkor Wat Complex in Cambodia is the largest religious monument in the world making it one of the most famous landmarks of Asia that is worth visiting.
This enormous Buddhist temple that was originally constructed in the 12th century as a dedication to Hindu god, Vishnu was later transformed into a Buddhist temple by the end of the same century making it the largest Buddhist temple not only in Asia but also the entire world.
Currently, it is no longer an active temple but has become one of the famous monuments in Asia receiving over 2. 6million international visitors a year.
Other than the religious importance that Angkor Wat has, the architecture of the entire complex is one to marvel about.
From the thousands of buildings that perch through the sky to roaming around the large compound while admiring the stonework on the walls, it’s truly a beautiful sight.
Angkor Wat is a true symbol of Cambodia as it even appears on the country’s National flag making it one of the important landmarks in Asia.
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5. Chocolate Hills, The Philippines
Covering an area of 50 square kilometers in the middle of the island of Bohol in the Philippines, Chocolate Hills are a group of over 1200 hills that are extraordinarily shaped to create an amazing landscape.
Though their formation is still not yet very clear, what is clear is where their name came from. In the rainy season, the hills put on a beautiful green display but in the dry season, the grass dries out creating chocolate-colored grasses – hence their name.
The individual hills themselves might not be high with most of them ranging from 30 to 50 meters high, but the amazing scenery they create together is awe-inspiring.
There may not be much to do as it’s not possible to climb the hills but rather to take in the views from the observation deck, but the Chocolate Hills are still one of the most impressive natural landmarks in Asia.
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6. Bagan, Myanmar
Bagan, an ancient city in Myanmar is one of the largest archeological sites in the world. Relativity similar to the Angkor Wat of Cambodia in a way, Bagan is an entire city with over 3000 temples, Pagodas, and Stupas even though it is estimated that over 13,000 temples sat there in the early years before they were destroyed by the raiders.
However, even with the grand appearance and historic significance attached to Bagan, it was not initially enlisted as a UNESCO site as the organization believed that not all temples were built in the historic era but it was later included on the list in 2019.
But despite all that, Bagan is still one of the most impressive landmarks of South East Asia. What’s even more exciting about Bagan is that each construction has a spiritual meaning in the Buddhism religion.
But with many temples and Pagodas in the city, it can be hard to decide on which one to visit and which one not to.
So some of the most notable ones, not miss include; Ananda Temple, Gawdawpalin Temple, Bupaya Pagoda, Dhammayangyi Temple, and Dhammayazika Pagoda all of which were constructed differently yet so similar.
Though there are many ways to enjoy the ancient city and appreciate the Burmese kind of architecture either by renting a scooter or hiring a taxi, the best way to take in the amazing views and the designs displayed by the Myanmar craftsmen in handicrafts is by going for a hot air balloon over the thousand of temples and Pagodas.
Bagan may be confused with Angkor Wat by many people (which is clear why), it’s also one of the famous southeast Asia landmarks just like its counterpart.
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7. Petronas Towers, Malaysia
Located in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur, the Petronas Towers which are also known as the Petronas twin towers are the tallest structure in the country and also one of the most visited.
The towers are actually the icon of Malaysia internationally making it worth being on the list of the famous buildings in Asia.
Rising at a height of 451.9 m (1,483 ft.) with 88 floors, Petronas towers are the tallest twin towers in the world since 1996 and also the second tallest buildings in the world after being surpassed by Taipei 101 in Taiwan in 2004 after having held the title of tallest since 1998.
Besides the impressive height of the Petronas, the architecture itself is quite magnificent with a tube in tube design meant to give them that tube-like look.
One of the other fascinating things about the Petronas other than the incredible views from the observation deck is the sky bridge that connects both towers – it’s actually the highest 2 story bridge in the world making this Asian landmark even grander.
Whether it is being mesmerized by the detail that went into designing the exterior or the weaving patterns that resemble Malaysia’s local handicrafts and the beautiful Islamic patterns, the Petronas twin towers are indeed one of the top landmarks in Southeast Asia that are worth a visit when in Malaysia.
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8. Mount Fuji, Japan
Standing tall at an elevation of 3,776.24 m (12,389.2 ft.), Mt. Fuji is the highest mountain in Japan and also one of the Three Holy mountains in the country.
This active volcano that last erupted in 1707 and 1708 is not only a true international icon of Japan but also one of the famous landmarks of Asia that brings in over 200,000 hikers and climbers every year that want to reach the summit making it the most visited attraction in Japan.
A hike to the summit of the mountain at sunrise brings out the true meaning of the “Land of the raising sun” – something many hikers want to experience at least once in a life time.
Climbing Mt. Fiji might present a few challenges to beginner hikers but as the old Japanese saying goes, ” A wise person will climb Mt. Fuji once in their lifetime…….”, so even if you’re just starting out as a mountain climber, this is a challenge you should take on.
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9. Borobudur, Indonesia
Constructed in the 9th century, Borobudur which is located in central Java in Indonesia is the largest Buddhist temple occupying an area of over 123 x 123 meters with over 500 Buddha statues dotted around the complex.
Even though the original reason for its construction is still not yet known up to date, Borobudur took on a number of purposes in the current days by acting as a pilgrimage place for all Buddhist to observe Vesak as they celebrate the life and achievements of their Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama during the first night of the full moon.
It is also the single most visited tourist attraction in Indonesia receiving over 2 million visitors per year which has really impacted the country’s economy in an upward direction.
Besides the many Buddha statues and relief scenes around the complex, the architecture of Borobudur is one to marvel at.
It was constructed without any kind of cement and mortar but looks like interlocking blocks that create a stepped pyramid look. And the views of the overlooking green lush fields add more to the beauty of the temple.
So if you’re looking for Asian landmarks to add to your Asia bucket list, Borobudur in Indonesia is one not to miss.
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10. Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
Located in one of the cheapest countries in Asia, Ha Long Bay in Northern Vietnam is one of the most beautiful natural landmarks in Asia.
Sprinkled with over 1600 limestone islands and islets surrounded by rainforests, Ha Long is one natural landmark that depicts beauty like nothing else.
From the magical natural landscape, floating villages to little beautiful beaches, Ha Long Bay is one attraction that should be on every traveler’s bucket list.
What even makes a trip to Halong Bay even more interesting is cruising on the “wooden junk” as you take in all the beauty you can.
With Ha Long Bay receiving over 6 million visitors per year, is not only the most visited attraction in Vietnam but also one of the famous Asian landmarks.
There you have it friends, I hope that this list of the top landmarks in Asia gave you more ideas to add to your long travel bucket list.
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