Top Ten Sights to See on a Holiday in Asia
Asia is a huge place, bestriding the tropics and stretching from the mountains of Eastern Europe to the Siberian tundra, from the port of Vladivostok to the tip of Papua New Guinea. With the continent encapsulating such a vast area it’s hard to decide where to go and what to see. We look at the top ten sights to see and places to go while on a holiday to Asia, helping you narrow down your search.
10. The Mongolian Steppe
Our count down starts with some of the natural wonders that are on offer on an Asian Holiday, and the Mongolian Steppe is first. Staying in yurts, horse riding in unspoilt natural beauty and camel trekking in the Gobi desert are some of the highlights which are completely and wonderfully removed from anything in everyday life.
9. Mount Everest
The second of our natural wonders is Mount Everest. As the highest peak in the world, standing in the shadow of the mountain is absolutely awe inspiring and often life changing. One of the most incredible sights on our list, Everest is fairly low down because of its inaccessibility; to truly appreciate Everest’s beauty means climbing up to base camp or to the summit, which isn’t an option for most travellers for obvious reasons.
As you would imagine, Asia has a huge number of villages, towns and cities, and the next five places in our list are taken up with some of the continent’s most incredible and exotic cities to visit.
Seoul is the first city in our top ten, and simultaneously one of the oldest and one of the newest. The city can trace its creation back to 18 BC, but most of the city was obliterated during the Korean War. Some important buildings, areas and historic palaces have been restored, but most of Seoul is populated with brand new buildings. Seoul is worth a visit because of its scale, scope and dynamism. Almost half of the population of South Korea live in the administrative limits of the city, and the city’s actual ground plan is huge – it has the second largest metropolitan area of any city in the world, and encompasses a vast amount for museums, bars, restaurants, stadiums and three world heritage sites!
Beijing is often called the “Northern Capital” of China, and is the next city on our list. Beijing is a melding of old and new; a place where the skyline includes the Birds Nest Stadium and the Temple of Heaven, the CCTV tower and the Tian’anmen. The merging of the cultural, political, religious and economic forces in the city makes it a fascinating destination for any Holiday to Asia.
6. Hong Kong
Hong Kong is interesting as a destination for any holiday in Asia from its unique position in the world. As a special economic zone with huge cultural and political imperatives from China and Britain, the conurbation is a blend of the two cultures. As a city it is blooming and developing a singular personality, creating something completely new from the remnants of older regimes.
The capital of Japan also mixes old and new, but with a pronounced slant towards the new. The atmosphere is electric and active, with a culture and society that is wonderfully alien (from a western point of view). It’s definitely worth a visit on an Asian holiday, even if it’s solely for the unique nature of the experience.
Moscow is almost the exact opposite to Tokyo. While not completely stuck in the past, the city does remain a gargantuan edifice of historical and religious importance, rooted in architecture that is incredible to behold. St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin in Red Square are often the focus, but the entire city has been designed with grandeur and influence in mind since the reign of the Tzars. A powerful and awe inspiring part of any Asian holiday.
3. The Forbidden Palace, China
The last three entries on our list are the work of human endeavour, famous structures that often took decades to build and many lives to create. They remain some of the most awe inspiring sights to see on any holiday to Asia, and are once in a lifetime experiences.
Number three on our list is the Forbidden Palace in Beijing. A part of Beijing’s attraction, the Palace is an amazing site in its own right. The Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty until the end of the Qing Dynasty (1368 – 1912), the group of buildings is huge, often given the name the forbidden ‘city’ rather than just ‘palace’ due to its scale and the facilities it encompassed. No one could enter or leave the palace without the Emperor’s permission, and the inner city became a symbol of China’s power and majesty.
2. The Trans-Siberian Railway
More of a whole journey than a destination in its own right, the Trans-Siberian railway straddles the spine of Russia in an epic and famous link between Moscow and Vladivostok. Passengers on the long distance train are embarking on their Asian holiday as soon as they step onboard, and whether they stopping along the way or just experiencing the journey, it will be a trip they never forget.
1. The Great Wall of China.
Though the idea of seeing the wall from space is a complete fallacy, it is easy to see why so many people believed it to be true for so long. The Great Wall of China is number one on our list, and given its scope, its awe inspiring presence and its great fame (which it more than lives up to) it is easy to see why. One of the top attractions in the world, let alone on a Holiday in Asia, the Great Wall of China is an absolute must see site.