Top Ten Asian Attractions

Top Ten Asian Attractions

  1. Angkor Wat, Cambodia

           Angkor Wat is a temple complex at Angkor, Cambodia, built for the king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation, first Hindu, dedicated to the god Vishnu, then Buddhist. It is the world’s largest religious building. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the country’s prime attraction for visitors. Angkor Wat combines two basic plans of Khmer temple architecture: the temple mountain and the later galleried temple, based on early South Indian Hindu architecture, with key features such as the Jagati. It is designed to represent Mount Meru, home of the devas in Hindu mythology: within a moat and an outer wall 3.6 kilometers (2.2 mi) long are three rectangular galleries, each raised above the next. At the centre of the temple stands a quincunx of towers. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Angkor Wat is oriented to the west; scholars are divided as to the significance of this. The temple is admired for the grandeur and harmony of the architecture, its extensive bas-reliefs, and for the numerous devatas (guardian spirits) adorning its walls. The modern name, Angkor Wat, means “City Temple”; Angkor is a vernacular form of the word nokor, which comes from the Sanskrit word nagar, meaning capital or city. Wat is the Khmer word for temple. Prior to this time the temple was known as Preah Pisnulok, after the posthumous title of its founder, Suryavarman II.
    Links: Top Ten Cambodian Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angkor_Wat,
  2. Prambanan Temple Compounds, Indonesia

           Prambanan is a 9th century Hindu temple compound in Central Java dedicated to the Trimurti, the expression of God as the Creator (Brahma), the Sustainer (Vishnu) and the Destroyer (Shiva). The temple compound is located approximately 18 km east of Yogyakarta city on the boundary between Yogyakarta and Central Java province. The temple is the largest Hindu temple in Indonesia, and one of the largest in Southeast Asia. The temple was built in 850 AD, and is composed of 8 main shrines and 250 surrounding smaller ones. Nearly all the walls of the temple are covered in exquisite bas relief carvings, which narrate stories of Vishnu’s incarnations, adventures of Hanuman the Monkey King, the Ramayana epic and other legends.
    Links: Top Ten Indonesian Attractions, Relieves and Petroglyphs, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prambanan,
  3. Shwedagon Pagoda, Burma

           The Shwedagon Pagoda, also known in English as the Great Dagon Pagoda and the Golden Pagoda, is a 99 m (325 ft.) gilded pagoda and stupa located in Yangon, Burma. The pagoda lies to the west of Kandawgyi Lake, on Singuttara Hill, thus dominating the skyline of the city. It is the most sacred Buddhist pagoda for the Burmese with relics of the past four Buddhas enshrined within, namely the staff of Kakusandha, the water filter of Koṇāgamana, a piece of the robe of Kassapa and eight strands of hair of Gautama, the historical Buddha.
    Links: Top Ten Burmese Attractions, Top 100 Architectural WorksTop Ten Pagodas, Top Ten Bells, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shwedagon_Pagoda,
  4. Shanghai, China


            Shanghai is the largest city by population in China and the largest city proper in the world. It is one of the four province-level municipalities in China, with a total population of over 23 million as of 2010. Following rapid development over the last two decades it has become a leading global city, with significant influence in commerce, culture, finance, media, fashion, technology and transport. It is a major financial center and the busiest container port in the world. Located in the Yangtze River Delta in eastern China, Shanghai sits at the mouth of the Yangtze River in the middle portion of the Chinese coast. The municipality borders Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces to the west, and is bounded to the east by the East China Sea. Once a fishing and textiles town, Shanghai grew in importance in the 19th century due to its favorable port location and was one of the cities opened to foreign trade by the 1842 Treaty of Nanking. The city then flourished as a center of commerce between east and west, and became the undisputed financial hub of the Asia Pacific in the 1930’s. However, with the Communist Party takeover of the mainland in 1949, the city’s international influence declined. In the 1990’s, the economic reforms introduced by Deng Xiaoping resulted in an intense re-development of the city, aiding the return of finance and foreign investment to the city. Shanghai is a popular tourist destination renowned for its historical landmarks such as The Bund, City God Temple and Yuyuan Garden, as well as the extensive and growing Pudong skyline. It has been described as the “showpiece” of the booming economy of mainland China.
    Links: Top Ten Chinese Attractions, Temples, Top Ten Asian Temples, Museums and Galleries, Top Ten Asian Museums, Top Ten Pagodas, Top Ten Clock Towers, Top Ten Neon Lights, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanghai,
  5. Tokyo, Japan

           Tokyo, “Eastern Capital,” is the capital and largest metropolitan area of Japan. It is the seat of the Japanese government and the Imperial Palace, and the home of the Japanese Imperial Family. Tokyo is located in the Kantō region on the southeastern side of the main island Honshu and includes the Izu Islands and Ogasawara Islands. Tokyo Metropolis was formed in 1943 from the merger of the former Tokyo Prefecture and the city of Tokyo. The Tokyo Metropolitan government administers the 23 special wards of Tokyo (each governed as a city), which cover the area that was the city of Tokyo, as well as 39 municipalities in the western part of the prefecture and the two outlying island chains. The population of the special wards is over 8 million people, with the total population of the prefecture exceeding 13 million. The prefecture is part of the world’s most populous metropolitan area with upwards of 35 million people and the world’s largest metropolitan economy with a GDP of US $1.48 trillion at purchasing power parity in 2008, ahead of New York City, which ranks 2nd on the list. The city hosts 47 of the Fortune Global 500 companies, the highest amount of any city. Tokyo has been described as one of the three “command centers” for the world economy, along with New York City and London. This city is considered an alpha+ world city, listed by the GaWC’s 2008 inventory and ranked 3rd among global cities by Foreign Policy’s 2010 Global Cities Index. In 2010 Tokyo was named the 2nd most expensive city for expatriate employees, according to the Mercer and Economist Intelligence Unit cost-of-living surveys, and named the 4th Most Liveable City and the World’s Most Livable Megalopolis by the magazine Monocle. Tokyo hosted the 1964 Summer Olympics and is currently bidding to host the 2020 Summer Olympics.
    Links: Top Ten Japanese Attractions, Cities, Top Ten Asian Cities, Top Ten Towers, Top Ten Bridges, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tokyo,
  6. Bejing, China

           Beijing, also known as Peking, is the capital of China and one of the most populous cities in the world, with a population of 19,612,368 (2010). The city is the country’s political, cultural and educational center and home to the headquarters for most of China’s largest state-owned companies. The metropolis, located in northern China, borders Hebei Province to the north, west, south, and a small section to the east, and Tianjin Municipality to the southeast. Governed as a municipality under the direct administration of the national government, Beijing is divided into 14 urban and suburban districts and two rural counties. It is a major transportation hub, with dozens of railways, roads and motorways passing through the city, and the destination of many international flights to China. Few cities in the world have served as long as the political and cultural centre of an area as immense. Beijing is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China. It has been the heart of China’s history for centuries, and there is scarcely a major building of any age in Beijing that does not have at least some national historical significance. The city is renowned for its opulent palaces, temples, and huge stone walls and gates. Its art treasures and universities have long made it a centre of culture and art in China.
    Links: Top Ten Chinese AttractionsTemples, Top Ten Asian Temples, Top Ten Stadiums, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beijing,
  7. Seoul, South Korea

           Seoul is the capital and largest metropolis of South Korea. A megacity with a population of over 10 million, it is the largest city proper in the OECD developed world. The Seoul National Capital Area is the world’s 2nd largest metropolitan area with over 25 million inhabitants, which includes the surrounding Incheon metropolis and Gyeonggi province. Over half of South Korea’s population lives in the Seoul National Capital Area, and nearly a quarter in Seoul itself, making it the country’s foremost economic, political and cultural center. Seoul has been a major settlement for over 2,000 years, with its foundation dating back to 18 BC when Baekje, one of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, established its capital in what is now south-east Seoul. It continued as the capital of Korea during the Joseon Dynasty and the Korean Empire. The Seoul National Capital Area is home to four UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Changdeokgung, Hwaseong Fortress, Jongmyo Shrine and the Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty. Today, Seoul is considered to be a leading global city, ranking among the top ten global cities in the Global Cities Index of 2010. It is one of the world’s top ten financial and commercial centers, home to major multinational conglomerates such as Samsung, LG and Hyundai-Kia. In 2008, Seoul was named the world’s 6th most economically powerful city by Forbes. Seoul has a highly technologically advanced infrastructure. Seoul was the first city to feature DMB, a digital mobile TV technology and WiBro, a wireless high-speed mobile internet service. It has a fast, high-penetration 100 Mbit/s fiber-optic broadband network, which is being upgraded to 1 Gbit/s by 2012. Seoul Station houses the 350 km/h KTX bullet train and the Seoul Subway is the 3rd busiest in the world, with over 2 billion passengers every year. Seoul is connected via AREX to Incheon International Airport, rated as the best airport in the world by Airports Council International. Seoul hosted the 1988 Summer Olympics, 2002 FIFA World Cup and the 2010 G-20 Seoul summit. The city was named the World Design Capital for 2010 by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design.
    Links: Top Ten South Korean Attractions, Cities, Top Ten Asian Cities, Top Ten Bridges, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seoul,
  8. Moscow, Russia

           Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational and transportation center of Russia and the continent. Moscow is the northernmost megacity on Earth (but isn’t coldest), the most populous city in Europe, and the 6th largest city proper in the world. Its population, according to the results of the 2010 Census, is 11,503,501. Based on Forbes 2011, Moscow had 79 billionaires, displacing New York City as the city with the greatest number of billionaires. Moscow is situated on the Moskva River in the Central Federal District of European Russia. In the course of its history the city has served as the capital of a progression of states, from the medieval Grand Duchy of Moscow and the subsequent Tsardom of Russia to the Soviet Union. Moscow is the site of the Moscow Kremlin, an ancient fortress that is today the residence of the Russian President and of the executive branch of the Government of Russia. The Kremlin is also one of several World Heritage Sites in the city. Both chambers of the Russian parliament (the State Duma and the Federation Council) also sit in Moscow. The city is served by an extensive transit network, which includes four international airports, nine railroad terminals, and one of the deepest underground tubes in the world, the Moscow Metro, second only to Tokyo in terms of ridership and recognised as one of the city’s landmarks due to the rich and varied architecture of its 185 stations. Over time, Moscow has acquired a number of epithets, most referring to its size and preeminent status within the nation: The Third Rome (Третий Рим), The Whitestone One (Белокаменная), The First Throne (Первопрестольная), The Forty Forties (Сорок Сороков). In old Russian the word “Сорок” (forty) also meant a church administrative district, which consisted of about forty churches.The demonym for a Moscow resident is Moskvitch, rendered in English as Muscovite.
    Links: Top Ten Russian Attractions, Cities, Top Ten European Cities, Top Ten Cathedrals, Top Ten Squares, Top Ten Triumphal Arches, Top Ten Firework Shows, Top Ten Pictures of Fireworks, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moscow,
  9. St. Petersburg, Russia

    Saint Petersburg is a city and a federal subject (a federal city) of Russia located on the Neva River at the head of the Gulf of Finland on the Baltic Sea. In 1914 the name of the city was changed to Petrograd, in 1924 to Leningrad and in 1991 back to Saint Petersburg. In Russian literature and informal documents the “Saint” is usually omitted, leaving Petersburg. In common parlance Russians may drop “-burg” as well, leaving only Peter. Saint Petersburg was founded by Tsar Peter the Great on May 27, 1703. From 1713 to 1728 and from 1732 to 1918, Saint Petersburg was the Imperial capital of Russia. In 1918 the central government bodies moved from Saint Petersburg (then named Petrograd) to Moscow. It is Russia’s 2nd largest city after Moscow with almost 4.9 million inhabitants. Saint Petersburg is a major European cultural center and an important Russian port on the Baltic Sea. Saint Petersburg is often described as the most Western city of Russia. Among cities of the world with over one million people, Saint Petersburg is the northernmost. Saint Petersburg is also home to The Hermitage, the largest art museum in the world. A large number of foreign consulates, international corporations, banks and other businesses are located in Saint Petersburg.
    Links: Top Ten Russian Attractions, Cities, Top Ten European Cities, Museums and Galleries, Top Ten Asian Museums, Top Ten European Museums, Top Ten Russian Museums, Sculptures, Top 100 European Sculptures, Top Ten Cathedrals, Churches, Top Ten Firework Shows, Top Ten Pictures of Fireworks, Top Ten Bridges, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._petersburg,
  10. Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Bhutan

           Tiger’s Nest Monastery, perched precariously on the edge of a 3,000-feet-high cliff in Paro Valley, is one of the holiest places in Bhutan. Legend has it that Guru Rinpoche, the second Buddha, flew onto the cliff on the back of a tigress, and then meditated in a cave which now exists within the monastery walls. The monastery, formally called Taktshang Goemba, was built in 1692 and reconstructed in 1998 after a fire. Now, the monastery is restricted to practicing Buddhists on religious retreats and is off-limits to ordinary tourists.
    Links: Top Ten Bhutanese Attractions, Monasteries, Top Ten Asian Monasteries, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paro_Taktsang,
  11. Bonus: Borobudur Temple Compounds, Indonesia

           Borobudur is a 9th century Mahayana Buddhist monument in Magelang, Central Java, Indonesia. The monument comprises six square platforms topped by three circular platforms and is decorated with 2,672 relief panels and 504 Buddha statues. A main dome, located at the center of the top platform, is surrounded by 72 Buddha statues seated inside perforated stupa. The monument is both a shrine to the Lord Buddha and a place for Buddhist pilgrimage. The journey for pilgrims begins at the base of the monument and follows a path circumambulating the monument while ascending to the top through the three levels of Buddhist cosmology, namely Kāmadhātu (the world of desire), Rupadhatu (the world of forms) and Arupadhatu (the world of formlessness). During the journey the monument guides the pilgrims through a system of stairways and corridors with 1,460 narrative relief panels on the wall and the balustrades. Evidence suggests Borobudur was abandoned following the 14th century decline of Buddhist and Hindu kingdoms in Java and the Javanese conversion to Islam. Worldwide knowledge of its existence was sparked in 1814 by Sir Thomas Stamford Raffles, the then British ruler of Java, who was advised of its location by native Indonesians. Borobudur has since been preserved through several restorations. Borobudur is still used for pilgrimage; once a year Buddhists in Indonesia celebrate Vesak at the monument and Borobudur is Indonesia’s single most visited tourist attraction.
    Links: Top Ten Indonesian Attractions, Pyramids, Top Ten Asian Pyramidshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borobudur, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mendut, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pawon,
  12. Bonus: Sagarmatha (Mount Everest), Nepal and Tibet

           Sagarmāthā, “Holy Mother,” known to the west as Mount Everest, is the world’s highest mountain, with a peak at 8,848 m (29,029 ft.) above sea level. It is located in the Mahalangur section of the Himalayas. The international boundary runs across the precise summit point. Its massif includes neighboring peaks Lhotse (8516 m), Nuptse (7855 m) and Changtse (7580 m). In 1856, the Great Trigonometric Survey of British India established the first published height of Everest, then known as Peak XV, at 29,002 ft. (8,840 m). In 1865, Everest was given its official English name by the Royal Geographical Society upon a recommendation by Andrew Waugh, the British Surveyor General of India. Waugh named the mountain after his predecessor in the post, Sir George Everest. Although Tibetans had called Everest “Chomolungma” for centuries, Waugh was unaware of this because Nepal and Tibet were closed to foreigners. The highest mountain in the world attracts many well-experienced mountaineers as well as novice climbers willing to hire professional guides. While not posing substantial technical climbing challenges on the standard route, Everest presents dangers such as altitude sickness, weather and wind.
    Links: Top Ten Nepalese Attractions, Top Ten Tibetan Attractions, Top Ten Mountains, Top Ten Explorers, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mt._Everest,
  13. Bonus: Hong Kong, China
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           Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions (SARs) of China, the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China’s south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbor. With a land mass of 1,104 squre km (426 sq mi) and a population of seven million people, Hong Kong is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. Hong Kong’s population is 95% ethnic Chinese and 5% from other groups. Hong Kong’s Han Chinese majority originate mainly from the cities of Guangzhou and Taishan in the neighboring Guangdong province. Hong Kong became a colony of the British Empire after the First Opium War (1839–42). Originally confined to Hong Kong Island, the colony’s boundaries were extended in stages to the Kowloon Peninsula in 1860 and then the New Territories in 1898. It was occupied by Japan during the Pacific War, after which the British resumed control until 1997, when China resumed sovereignty. The time period greatly influenced the current culture of Hong Kong, often described as “East meets West,” and the educational system, which used to loosely follow the system in England until reforms implemented in 2009. Under the principle of “one country, two systems,” Hong Kong has a different political system from mainland China. Hong Kong’s independent judiciary functions under the common law framework. The Basic Law of Hong Kong, its constitutional document, which stipulates that Hong Kong shall have a “high degree of autonomy” in all matters except foreign relations and military defense, governs its political system. Although it has a burgeoning multi-party system, a small-circle electorate controls half of its legislature. An 800-person Election Committee selects the Chief Executive of Hong Kong, the head of government. As one of the world’s leading international financial centers, Hong Kong has a major capitalist service economy characterized by low taxation and free trade, and the currency, Hong Kong dollar, is the 8th most traded currency in the world. The lack of space caused demand for denser constructions, which developed the city to a center for modern architecture and the world’s most vertical city. The dense space also led to a highly developed transportation network with public transport travelling rate exceeding 90%, the highest in the world.
    Links: Top Ten Chinese Attractions, Top Ten Bruce Lee Movies, Top Ten Kung Fu Movies, Top Ten Martial Artists, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hong_Kong,
  14. Bonus: The Forbidden City, China

           The Forbidden City was the Chinese imperial palace from the Ming Dynasty to the end of the Qing Dynasty. It is located in the middle of Beijing, China and now houses the Palace Museum. For almost 500 years, it served as the home of emperors and their households, as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government. Built in 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 buildings and covers 720,000 square m (7,800,000 square ft). The palace complex exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture, and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere. The Forbidden City contains the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world. Since 1925, the Forbidden City has been under the charge of the Palace Museum, whose extensive collection of artwork and artifacts were built upon the imperial collections of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Part of the museum’s former collection is now located in the National Palace Museum in Taipei. Both museums descend from the same institution, but were split after the Chinese Civil War.
    Links: Top Ten Chinese Attractions, Cities, Top Ten Asian Cities, Museums and Galleries, Top Ten Asian Museums, Paintings, Top 100 Asian Paintings, Temples, Top Ten Asian TemplesTop 100 Chinese ArtifactsTop Ten Thrones, Top Ten Vases, Top Ten Asian Vases, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forbidden_City,
  15. Bonus: Bayon, Cambodia

           The Bayon is a well-known and richly decorated Khmer temple at Angkor in Cambodia. Built in the late 12th century or early 13th century as the official state temple of the Mahayana Buddhist King Jayavarman VII, the Bayon stands at the centre of Jayavarman’s capital, Angkor Thom. Following Jayavarman’s death, it was modified and augmented by later Hindu and Theravada Buddhist kings in accordance with their own religious preferences. The Bayon’s most distinctive feature is the multitude of serene and massive stone faces on the many towers which jut out from the upper terrace and cluster around its central peak. The temple is known also for two impressive sets of bas-reliefs, which present an unusual combination of mythological, historical and mundane scenes. The current main conservatory body, the Japanese Government team for the Safeguarding of Angkor (the JSA) has described the temple as “the most striking expression of the baroque style” of Khmer architecture, as contrasted with the classical style of Angkor Wat.
    Links: Top Ten Cambodian Attractions, Top 100 Busts, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayon,
  16. Bonus: Historic City of Ayutthaya, Thailand

           The Ayutthaya historical park covers the ruins of the old city of Ayutthaya, Thailand, which was founded by King Ramathibodi I in 1350 and was the capital of the country until its destruction by the Burmese army in 1767. In 1969 the Fine Arts Department began with renovations of the ruins, which became more serious after it was declared a historical park in 1976. According to “Tourism Asia,” 33 monarchs including King Rama IV governed from Ayutthaya.
    Links: Top Ten Thai Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayutthaya_historical_park,
  17. Bonus: Xi’an, China

           Xi’an is the capital of the Shaanxi province, and a sub-provincial city of China. One of the oldest cities in China, with more than 3,100 years of history, the city was known as Chang’an before the Ming Dynasty. Xi’an is one of the Four Great Ancient Capitals of China, having held the position under several of the most important dynasties in Chinese history, including Zhou, Qin, Han, Sui and Tang. Xi’an is the eastern terminus of the Silk Road and home to the Terracotta Army. Since the 1990’s, as part of the economic revival of interior China especially for the central and northwest regions, the city of Xi’an has re-emerged as an important cultural, industrial and educational centre of the central-northwest region, with facilities for research and development, national security and China’s space exploration program. It’s now one the most populous metropolitan area in inland China with more than 8 million inhabitants, including urban parts of Xianyang (Weicheng and Qindu districts).
    Links: Top Ten Chinese Attractions, Sculptures, Top 100 Asian Sculptures, Top Ten Pagodas, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xi%27an,
  18. Bonus: Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities), Japan

           The Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto (Kyoto, Uji and Otsu Cities) encompasses 17 locations in Japan. The locations are in three cities: Kyoto and Uji in Kyoto Prefecture; and Ōtsu in Shiga Prefecture. Of the monuments, 13 are Buddhist temples; 3 are Shinto shrines; and one is a castle. The properties include 38 buildings designated by the Japanese Government as National Treasures, 160 properties designated as Important Cultural Properties, 8 gardens designated as Special Places of Scenic Beauty, and 4 designated as Places of Scenic Beauty.
    Links: Top Ten Japanese Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historic_Monuments_of_Ancient_Kyoto_%28Kyoto,_Uji_and_Otsu_Cities%29,
  19. Bonus: Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara, Japan

           The Monuments of Ancient Nara encompasses eight places in the old capital Nara of Japan. Five are Buddhist temples; one is a Shinto shrine, one a Palace and one a primeval forest. The properties include 26 buildings designated by the Japanese Government as National Treasures as well as 53 designated as Important Cultural Properties.
    Links: Top Ten Japanese Attractions, Temples, Top Ten Asian Temples, Sculptures, Top 100 Asian Sculptures, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historic_Monuments_of_Ancient_Nara,
  20. Bonus: Great Wall of China

           The Great Wall of China is a series of stone and earthen fortifications in northern China, built originally to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire against intrusions by the Xiongnu from the north and rebuilt and maintained between the 5th century BC and the 16th century. Since the 5th century BC, several walls have been built that were referred to as the Great Wall. One of the most famous is the wall built between 220–206 BC by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. Little of that wall remains; the majority of the existing wall was built during the Ming Dynasty. The Great Wall stretches from Shanhaiguan in the east to Lop Nur in the west, along an arc that roughly delineates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia. The most comprehensive archaeological survey, using advanced technologies, has recently concluded that the entire Great Wall, with all of its branches, stretches for 8,851.8 km (5,500.3 mi). This is made up of 6,259.6 km (3,889.5 mi) of sections of actual wall, 359.7 km (223.5 mi) of trenches and 2,232.5 km (1,387.2 mi) of natural defensive barriers such as hills and rivers.
    Links: Top Ten Chinese Attractions, Top Ten Walls, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Wall_of_China,
  21. Bonus: Ancient City of Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

           Sigiriya, “lion’s rock,” is a large stone and ancient rock fortress and palace ruin in the central Matale District of Sri Lanka, surrounded by the remains of an extensive network of gardens, reservoirs and other structures. A popular tourist destination, Sigiriya is also renowned for its ancient paintings (frescos), which are reminiscent of the Ajanta Caves of India. It is one of the seven World Heritage Sites of Sri Lanka. It was also declared by the UNESCO as the 8th Wonder of the world. Sigiriya may have been inhabited through prehistoric times. It was used as a rock-shelter mountain monastery from about the 5th century BC, with caves prepared and donated by devotees to the Buddhist Sangha. According to the chronicles as Mahavamsa the entire complex was built by King Kashyapa (AD 477–495), and after the king’s death, it was used as a Buddhist monastery until 14th century. The Sigiri inscriptions were deciphered by the archaeologist Senarath Paranavithana in his renowned two-volume work, published by Cambridge, Sigiri Graffiti and also Story of Sigiriya.
    Links: Top Ten Sri Lankan Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sigiriya,
  22. Bonus: Nha Trang Bay, Vietnam

           Nha Trang is a coastal city and capital of Khánh Hòa province, on the South Central Coast of Vietnam. It is bounded on the North by Ninh Hoà district, on the East by the South China Sea, on the South by Cam Ranh town and on the West by Diên Khánh district. The city has about 300,000 inhabitants, a number which is projected to increase to between 500,000 and 600,000 inhabitants by 2020 according to an estimation of Nha Trang Administrative Board Statistics. Nha Trang is well known for its pristine beaches and excellent scuba diving and is fast becoming a popular destination for international tourists, attracting large numbers of backpackers as well as more affluent travelers on the Southeast Asia circuit. It is already very popular with Vietnamese tourists. Nha Trang Bay is widely considered as amongst the world’s most beautiful bays. Tourists are welcome to participate in the Sea Festival, held biennially. Nha Trang was the site of the Miss Universe 2008 Pageant on July 14, 2008 and Miss Earth 2010 held December 4, 2010.Besides, Nha Trang was also approved to host 2016 Asian Beach Games. Historically, the city was known as Kauthara under the Champa. The city is still home to the famous Po Nagar Tower built by the Champa. Being a coastal city, Nha Trang is a center for marine science based at the Nha Trang Oceanography Institute. The Hon Mun marine protected area is one of four first marine protected areas in the world admitted by the IUCN. Commercial flights to Nha Trang no longer use the city’s municipal airport, but fly to the larger Cam Ranh International Airport, a former U.S. Air Force Base (built during the Vietnam War) located approximately 35 km south of Nha Trang (see the Transport section below for additional details). The French-Swiss bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin (who discovered the Yersinia pestis bacterium) identified himself with Nha Trang’s life for 50 years (affectionately known as Ông Năm). He established the Indochina Pasteur Institute (now known as the Nha Trang Pasteur Institute) devoted to research on the bubonic plague. Yersin died in Nha Trang on March 1, 1943. A street in the city is named after him, there is a shrine located next to his tomb, and his house has been converted into the Yersin Museum.
    Links: Top Ten Vietnamese Attractions, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nha_Trang,
  23. Bonus: Meeru Island, Maldives

           Meeru Island is home to Meeru Island Resort, an Island holiday resort on the easternmost tip of North Malé Atoll in the Maldives. The Island is also known as Meerufenfushi. Meeru Resort is some 50 kilometers from the capital Male. The 70-acre (280,000 square m) island is surrounded by a lagoon and long stretches of white, sandy beach, is the only resort on the island of Meerufenfushi. The resort is made up of different types of rooms. There is a choice of restaurants and bars on the island as well as a coffee shop.
    Links: Top Ten Maldivian Attractions, Top Ten Resorts, Top Ten Asian Resorts, Islands, Top Ten Asian Islands, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meeru_Island,
  24. Links: Top Ten African Attractions, Top Ten European Attractions, Top Ten North American Attractions, Top Ten Oceanic Attractions, Top Ten South American Attractions,

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