Are you looking for places to visit in Asia? Here are the most famous landmarks in Asia that 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 human-made 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 of 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, the 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.
However, 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 is by going for a hot air balloon over the thousand of temples and Pagodas.
Though 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.
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 details 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.
11. The Grand Palace, Thailand
Located in the heart of Bangkok, The Grand Palace is one of the famous landmarks in Asia and the most visited place in Thailand, receiving over 8 million visitors yearly.
The Grand Palace is a complex of awe-inspiring architectural buildings with intricate details built in 1782 as a residence place for Thai kings.
It has been home for Kings for over 200 years, and today, important royal ceremonies like coronations are held there.
The Grand Palace is also a great place for first-time visitors to Thailand as its majestic architectural beauty leaves everyone in awe.
Within the grounds of the Grand Place is the temple of Emerald Buddha (Wat Phra Kaew) which is one of the most important Buddhist temples in Thailand and the spiritual heart of the Thai kingdom.
And being one of the most sacred sites in Thailand, a strict dressing code is required before you are allowed to enter.
12. N-Seoul Tower, South Korea
Measuring 777 ft (236-meter) from its base and sitting on the summit of a 797 ft Namsan mountain, the N-Seoul tower also known as YTN Seoul Tower is one of Asia’s landmarks that rises to 1575 ft (479.7 m) above sea level.
It is a communication and observation tower whose construction started in 1969 and was completed in 1971.
It is also Korea’s first general radio wave tower built on the highest point in Seoul and it currently provides broadcasting signals for major media outlets.
Besides that, the N-Seoul tower is also a popular tourist attraction receiving over 8.4 million visitors annually who want to have a bird’s eye view of Seoul city.
The 21st-century state-of-the-art structure with cutting-edge LED technology lights installed in it constantly changes the colors and patterns, which makes it a beautiful sight to look at from afar, particularly at night.
Apart from taking in incredible views of the city from the height of clouds, the love padlock is another major attraction at the tower, where both tourists and local couples inscribe short messages on padlocks and lock them on a fence as a symbol of eternal love.
On top of that, the Namsan park offers picnic spots and hiking trails which makes it an all-around Asian landmark perfect for all kinds of travelers.
13. Burj Khalifa, United Arab Emirates
Located in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Burj Khalifa is one of the famous Asian buildings and the tallest building in the world.
Built from 2004 to 2010, this stunning piece of architecture peaks the sky at 829.8 m (2,722 ft) with its 163 storeys.
Its two observatory decks on the 124th and 148th floors attract millions of tourists every year offering breathtaking views of the city.
This famous skyscraper has earned titles like the building with the highest floors in the world, the tallest free-standing structure in the world, the building with the highest occupied floors, the building with the most elevated outdoor observation deck in the world, and the building with an elevator with the longest travel distance in the world.
With all those titles in its pocket, Burj Khalifa is truly one of the famous landmarks of Asia that should be on every traveler’s bucket list.
14. Leshan Giant Buddha, China
Sitting on a joint point of three rivers is the world’s largest stone Buddha carved out of the side of a mountain to the east of Leshan in Sichuan province in China.
This 71 m tall stone Buddha is one of the famous monuments in Asia and a UNESCO world heritage site attracting over 1.4 million visitors per year.
Built between 713 to 803 AD during the Tang Dynasty, it took a whopping 90 years to complete this giant Buddha, and it has been standing still for over 1300 years now.
A monk known as Hai Tong initiated its construction to appease the river gods and to keep the locals safe after turbulent waters killed many people whose livelihood depended on the three rivers.
And in honor of the giant Buddha, the local architectural buildings are lower than the big Buddha, with the highest structure in Leshan being 68m tall.
15. Petra, Jordan
Petra is an ancient city located 240 km south of Amman and 120 km north of the Red Sea.
It has been a UNESCO world heritage site since 1985 and one of the most visited tourist attractions in Jordan.
Also known as the rose city because of the color of stones used in building it, Petra is one of the most visited archeological sites in the world and one of the famous Asian landmarks.
Famous for its rock-cut architecture, this historical and archeological city is also one of the new seven wonders of the World.
Since the city is sited on a desert, rugged, and mountain terrain, most buildings are carved from surrounding stone surfaces.
Pro tip* The best way to explore this awe-inspiring city is on foot or mounted on a camel.
16. Taipei 101, Taiwan
For six years, Taipei 101 was the tallest building worldwide from 2004 to 2010 when Burj Khalifa overtook it.
Today, it is the 10th tallest building in the world. Soaring at 508m (1667ft) with 101 storeys, it is one of the famous buildings in Asia and an iconic symbol of Taiwan.
Its unique design and green glass make it stand out among other skyscrapers making it the world’s largest and tallest LEED-certified platinum green building.
The major attraction at Taipei 101 is the observation deck on the 89th floor that offers panoramic views of Taipei city.
And don’t worry about climbing it, the fast-moving elevators will get you to the observation deck in just 37 seconds.
Taipei 101 also boasts the most prominent and heaviest wind damper to withstand typhoon winds and earthquakes, measuring 18ft in diameter and 660 metric tons.
With a giant golden ball suspended beneath the observatory deck, it is one of the only two wind dampers open to visitors globally.
17. Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
Located in the heart of Singapore is an oasis of colorful, lush green scenery that beckons visitors from afar.
The enchanting Gardens by the Bay nature park are home to more than a million plants and one of the best spots for nature lovers and budding horticulturists.
This magical park features three gardens covering 1.28 hectares; the Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden, and Bay Central. The gardens present the plant kingdom in an awe-striking new way that will wow you.
Attractions include a flower dome, floral fantasy, cloud forest, supertree grove, observatory skyway, outdoor gardens, and heritage gardens.
And during the night, the gardens become even more magical as they glow with light, something worth experiencing.
So if you love plants and flowers with a touch of architecture, Gardens by the Bay in Singapore is one Asia landmark you shouldn’t miss.
18. Komodo Island, Indonesia
Do you know that the Komodo dragons are only found in five islands in Indonesia and nowhere else in the world? And yes, Komodo island is one of them!
The island is one of the three main islands in Komodo National Park on the East Nusa Tenggara province in Indonesia covering approximately 200 square km and lying between Flores and Sumbawa islands.
Named after the giant lizards, Komodo island hosts the largest amounts of Komodo dragons in the world.
These giant lizards are about 3 m long and weigh over 70 kg making them the largest lizards on Earth.
Apart from viewing the Komodo dragon lizards and learning everything about them, the island is a popular destination for diving.
Another attraction not to miss at Komodo island is the pink beach which is one of the seven in the entire world.
19. The Great Buddha of Kamakura, Japan
A 5-10 minutes’ walk from the Hase railway station in Kamakura leads you to another famous monument in Asia, the Great Buddha of Kamakura.
Dating back to the 13th-century, the Great Buddha of Kamakura is the second tallest bronze Buddha in Japan and a must-visit site.
Constructed in 1252, the Great Buddha of Kamakura has been standing in open space since 1495 after tidal waves and typhoons destroyed the temple building which housed it between the 14th and the 15th centuries.
With a height of 13.35m and an approximate weight of 121 tons, it is a legendary Japanese icon and the country’s largest outdoor Buddha making it one of the famous monuments of Asia worth adding to your bucket list.
20. Sigiriya, Sri Lanka
Located in the Northern Matale District in Sri Lanka and near the Dambulla town, Sigiriya is one of the natural landmarks in Asia and a UNESCO world heritage site since its inscription in1982.
It is a rock fortress from an extinct volcano that dates back to the 3rd century BC. This place was also used as a Buddhist monastery up to the 14th century.
Though it’s famous for its palace ruins that were built on top of the rock by King Kassapa, it also has beautiful gardens with colorful frescoes, ponds, and caves that surround the place ruins.
So whether you want to learn more about Sri Lanka’s history or admire the gigantic rock formation, Sigiriya is one of the famous Asian landmarks to visit.
Final Thoughts on the Famous Landmarks in Asia
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.
Have you been to any of these famous Asian monuments and landmarks? Which one did you love the most? And if you’ve not been to any yet, which one are you most excited to visit? Let me know in the comments below.
And if you’ve been to some landmarks of Asia that are not on this list, drop them in the comment section to inspire others!
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