When it comes to travel attractions, Asia is the heavyweight reigning in the list of “mosts” and “bests”. From ancient natural wonders and places of worship to entertainment districts and urban jungles — the world’s largest continent has countless places for sightseeing for your next art collection or instagram post. Should you find yourself here, be sure to take your camera, get dressed for an #OOTD, and pose next to these famous Asia landmarks!
This is part two of a three-part series. Read the first part on Asia food crawl.
ASIA LANDMARKS FOR PHOTOGRAPHY JUNKIES
The Philippines is the title holder for being the home of the world’s best islands. But aside from white sand beaches, there is an iconiclandscape photography site known as the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” Meet Banaue Rice Terraces.
Banaue Rice Terraces is a cluster of five sites of terraces hand-carved from the mountains of Ifugao by the ancestors of the indigenous people. It is believed to be 2,000 years old, and created with such intricacy that allows rice and vegetables to grow while being irrigated from the forests on the mountaintop. It has been said that if the Asia landmark were laid out from end to end, it would encircle half of the planet!
Where do you find an Asian landmark that has literally risen from the ashes?
Gyeongbokgung Palace is found in northern Seoul, South Korea. It is the largest of the five grand palaces in South Korea, arguably the most beautiful, and the palace that has served as the home of the Kings. Gyeongbokgung Palace was built in 1395 during the Joseon dynasty.
What makes Gyeongbokgung Palace unique is that it was abandoned for two centuries. The royal palace was destroyed by fire during the multiple Japanese invasions of Korea, called the Imjin War. But today, it is considered South Korea’s most famous Asia landmark.
Where would you find images of a flawless green jade sculpted into an Emerald Buddha?
The Grand Palace in Bangkok was the official residence of the Kings of Thailand. It is a complex of halls, pavilions, gardens, buildings and courtyards. Constructed on 1782, it continually expanded and added to over the next 200 years during the succession of kings.
The Grand Palace holds royal offices, residential buildings, and exclusive sites for the royal family. Most notably, it houses the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. The magnificent jade sculpture is surrounded by gold-painted ornaments and murals. Although the Kings of Thailand no longer live here, the Grand Palace is still used for many ceremonial events. Perfect for Instagram photography!
Get ready to redefine your images of an island resort in Singapore.
Sentosa Island is the Asia landmark featuring various entertainment hubs enjoyable for all ages. For those who want rest and relaxation, there are dozens of hotels and resorts to get pampered at. And if you’ve never heard of a goliath grouper or a leopard shark before, visit them and 100,000 more sea creatures at the SEA Aquarium.
Sentosa is also home to the Merlion, Singapore’s national icon. Other attractions here are golf courses and the Universal Studios theme park. No wonder 20 million people visit annually!
No other Asian landmark has been immortalized by the arts and worshiped by the devout as Japan’s Mt. Fuji.
Located on Honshu Island, Mt. Fuji is an active volcano that is also Japan’s highest peak. It features a landscape photography-worthy symmetrical cone that is snow-capped for several months during the year. Mt. Fuji is one of Japan’s “three holy mountains” which is why climbers are encouraged to stop by Murayama Sengen Jinja, a temple built over a thousand years ago, to pay homage. This temple is also surrounded by beautiful cherry blossom trees, lakes and hot springs.
If there is only one Asia landmark in Hong Kong that you should visit, what is it? Clue: it’s not Disneyland!
The entirety of Hong Kong can be poetically summarized beholding the panoramic view seen from Victoria Peak. Being the highest point of the island, it features a cooler temperature and images of one of the busiest seaports and skylines in the world. Beyond the city are lush greeneries and mountains. The viewing deck itself has multiple restaurants and shopping places too.
Victoria Peak is reachable via the Peak Tram, a 120-year-old cable railroad. The best time to go here for landscape photography is just before the sunset, where you can see the cityscape against magnificent colors, transitioning into the dark sky brightened up by the stars and city lights.
What’s not to like in an Asia landmark whose name means, “Bay of the Descending Dragons”?
Ha Long Bay features limestone karsts contrasting with deep green waters of the Gulf of Tonki. Vietnam’s legend has it that the seascape was the aftermath of a mountain dragon plunging to the coast, its tail carving out rocks into valleys.
Ha Long Bay also has historical, geological and environmental value. It is here that artifacts of prehistorical humans were found, and where the rocks that endured 500 million years nurtured a tropical, oceanic and seashore ecosystem. It is also home to endemic floral and faunal species! There’s so much beauty in Ha Long Bay than what meets the eye.
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