Travel insights from Jenna Buege, associate editor of The Compass

11 of Asia’s Top Attractions

Asia is home to some of the world’s most fabulous destinations and cities. And as the largest continent on Earth, you better believe that Asia has a number of must-see attractions that will have you itching to book a flight. So grab your passport and get ready to explore some of the area’s best attractions.

1. The Great Wall of China

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“Back in 2002, I had some serious health issues that led me to strive for a more wholesome lifestyle. As part of that, I travelled to The Great Wall to climb with a couple of my friends who were into landscape photography, and I got hooked. That’s when I realized that you don’t need to be a professional to enjoy photography, you can use it simply as a form of self-expression. Soon after that trip I bought my first digital camera and started taking pictures. I haven’t stopped since. That’s why this image and the location are so special to me, and I’m happy I got to go back and capture it again, this time with the new XT.” - Hong Zuo Read more about Hong’s story at the link in our bio. Image shot on Phase One XT IQ4 150MP with XT - Rodenstock HR 70mm f/5.6 lens #phaseonephoto #phaseoneXT #mediumformat #landscapephotography #greatwallofchina

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Spanning approximately 13,170 miles, the Great Wall of China is one of Asia’s most notable tourist stops. Constructed in 7th century, the Great Wall of China was built to protect Chinese states and empires from invasion. Today, over 10 million travelers visit this impressive structure each year.

2. Taj Mahal – India

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¿Quién visitará ésta maravilla en 2019? . . #india #tajmahal #wonders #travel #leisure

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Located on the south bank of the Yamuna River, the Taj Mahal is an iconic Asian landmark. The building was commissioned in 1632 by Emperor Shah Jahan and was intended to be the tomb of his favorite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, after she passed away. The grounds of the Taj Mahal cover 42 acres with Mahal’s tomb acting as the centerpiece amongst green gardens, a flashy guest house and an intricate mosque. A designated UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1983, the Taj Mahal remains a must-see for visitors.

3. Mount Fuji – Japan

Everyone’s favorite active volcano, Mount Fuji is located about an hour southwest of Tokyo, Japan. Gargantuan in size and adored by travelers, Mount Fuji stands over 12,000 feet tall, making it the highest mountain in all of Japan. Visitors can view Mount Fuji by taking a train ride from Tokyo to Osaka where the best view of the mountain can be seen from the Shin-Fuji Station. Those looking to observe the mountain from a more natural setting can visit Fuji Five Lake, a region near the northern face of the mountain with tourist attractions, hot springs and climbing options.

4. Angkor Wat – Cambodia

Travelers who find themselves in Southeast Asia won’t want to miss a visit to Angkor Wat, the largest religious complex in the world. This impressive temple complex stands on 402 acres of land and dates back to the 12th-century Khmer Empire. Today an image of the temple is donned on Cambodia’s national flag and remains a place of beauty and wonder for all who visit.

5. Shwedagon Pagoda – Myanmar

The Shwedagon Pagoda, aka the Great Dagon Pagoda or the Golden Pagoda, is one of Myanmar’s most-visited attractions due to its historical and religious significance. Dating back thousands of years and standing nearly 360 feet tall, the Shwedagon Pagoda is said to contain strands of Buddha’s hair along with other holy relics. A glamorous sight, the pagoda is covered in hundreds of gold plates and is adorned with approximately 4,531 white diamonds, the largest of which is 72 carats.

6. Burj Khalifa – Dubai

Measuring 2,772 feet in height, Dubai’s Burj Khalifa is the tallest structure in the world. Construction on this massive skyscraper began in 2004 and was completed in 2008, catching the eye of tourists worldwide. Enjoy the spacious Burj Khalifa Park and pose for a photo at the Dubai Fountain before heading inside to soak up the views at one of the two observatory decks or grabbing a bite to eat a local restaurant.

7. Terracotta Army – China

Intended to protect Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China, in the afterlife, the Terracotta Army consists of 150 cavalry horses, 520 horses, 130 chariots and 8,000 soldiers. The terracotta statues were buried with the Emperor in 209 B.C. and visitors can observe the scene from Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum which allows travelers to linger on multiple walkways just above the burial site.

8. Gardens by the Bay – Singapore

Head to central Singapore to experience Gardens by the Bay, an extravagant nature park sprawling 250 acres in the heart of the city. Gardens by the Bay is an outdoor recreation hotspot and is divided into three sections: Bay Central Garden, Bay East Garden and Bay South Garden. Special attractions inside the park include a cloud forest, flower dome, supertree grove, art sculptures and a children’s center.

9. Grand Palace – Bangkok

Dazzling and spectacular, Bangkok’s Grand Palace is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. Built in 1782, the Grand Palace is colorful and bright with intricate details, impressive statues and stunning architecture. Beyond the gates wait 35 gorgeous structures, landscaped gardens and sprawling courtyards. The most popular sight within the Palace is the world-famous Emerald Buddah which was meticulously hand-carved from a single block of jade and is traditionally only accessible to the King.

10. Petra – Jordan

Fans of Indiana Jones will recognize the iconic Treasury of Petra, Jordan. One of the Seven Wonders of the World and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, there’s no doubt that the Rose City ranks high a top many travelers’ bucket lists. Spanning 2,640 acres, the Petra Archaeologic Park is full of exciting and historical things to see and do. Explore archeological wonders, embark on an adventurous bike ride or take in all the sights with a relaxing picnic in the ancient city.

11. Borobudur – Indonesia

Dating back to the 8th century, Borobudur is the world’s largest Buddhist monument and a popular UNESCO World Heritage Site. The massive temple, measuring 400 by 400 feet, is decorated with 2,672 stone carvings and 504 Buddha statues, making it a sight to be seen.

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