Since 1978, UNESCO has selected more than a thousand natural and cultural attractions as World Heritage Sites. This designation indicates that an area or landmark has cultural or historical value. Not surprisingly, a lot natural places from Asia appeared on the list. In 2021 alone, the Korean Tidal Flats and Kaeng Krachan Forest in Thailand were two notable inclusions.
In our previous post we mentioned that Thailand is full of beautiful beaches, especially in the Koh Lanta Islands, which is a huge draw for those who want to unwind by the water. But since Kaeng Krachan Forest is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, you should definitely include it on your next trip to Thailand. Of course, if you’re planning a luxury trip to Southeast Asia’s UNESCO heritage sites, the Land of Smiles isn’t the only country that should be on your radar. Here are a few you’ll want to visit.
1. Jatiluwih Rice Terraces (Indonesia)
Credit: Thomas Furman under CC BY-SA 4.0 License:
Jatiluwih Rice Terraces, located in the west of Bali, is spread over an area of 600 acres. Looking at Mount Batu, the low hanging clouds make the landscape picturesque. The Jatiluwih Rice Terraces is considered a UNESCO site for its traditional water irrigation system called “Subak”, which dates back to the ninth century.
If you go hiking, you can experience the UNESCO site by hiking in a rice field. You can reach Jatiluwih Rice Terraces by renting a private cabin from Ubud, Seminyak or Kuta. Of course, if you take one of them our luxury trips to Bali, Jatiluwih is featured in almost every tour. If eating is your first priority upon arrival, there’s Gong Jatiluwih Restaurant, which offers mainly vegetarian-friendly dishes such as Nasi Goreng (fried rice) and Gado Gado (Indonesian salad). When you’re ready for your hike, there are five unique trails to choose from. The red route is the most beginner-friendly at 1.5 kilometers. Meanwhile, the white route, which allows you to combine hiking and cycling, is 5.5 kilometers long.
There are several small waterfalls around Jatiluwih that are easy to add to your trip. Yeh Hoo Falls is famous for its five meter cascade surrounded by stunning jungle views. Although you have to walk up some steep stairs to get there, it only takes about 15 minutes. If you want to unwind, Angseri hot spring is also here. Its heated water contains very strong minerals that are good for your body. By paying a small entrance fee, you can enjoy the hot spring pool nestled among the rainforest.
2. Angkor Wat (Cambodia)
Angkor contains many temples from various capitals of the Khmer Empire, dating from the 9th to the 15th centuries. Among the site’s impressive monuments is Angkor Wat. In BBC 4 podcast on Angkor Wat Melvin-Bragg describes how Suryavarman II, the Khmer king in c. From 1113 to AD 1145, built the Great Temple of Cambodia in the early 12th century. Today, the site is inhabited by numerous villages, many of which have ancestors dating back to the Angkor period.
The most convenient and budget-friendly way to navigate Angkor Wat is to hire a tuk-tuk. However, the more active and adventurous can hire a bicycle, e-bike or motorbike to get around the area. For those who enjoy white glove service, Explorient offers a variety tours featuring Siem Reap and Angkor. When your tour is over, head downtown for a delicious meal at Wat Damnak Kitchen. The restaurant serves Khmer cuisine with a French twist, with offerings such as sizzling fish in a spicy curry with wild pickled leaves, green jackfruit and wing beans.
Then head to Siem Reap Brewpub for an energy-boosting afternoon ale. If you’re a fan of live music, then a visit to Miss Wong, a cafe near Pub Street, is a must to cap off your night. Otherwise, art lovers can head to Eleven Gallery to view contemporary art by local and international artists.
3. Melaka and George Town (Malaysia)
Photo credit / Source: Pixels
Melaka and George Town are historic towns on the Straits of Malacca that showcase the development of maritime urban settlements. The churches, residential buildings and plazas at the two UNESCO sites have been modified by different ethnic groups such as Malay, Indian and Dutch cultures. Currently, media technology is applied to structures such as: that A Famosa in Melaka to preserve their cultural heritage.
Today, these cities are a haven for history buffs and gastronomes. In Melaka, those who love to travel by water will enjoy the Melaka River Cruise which will take you past Morten Village, Red Square Building and Samudera Museum. If you’re not afraid of heights, include Taming Sari Tower in your itinerary, where you can admire a 360-degree bird’s-eye view of the historic city. Now, as a sweet treat after all that sightseeing, head to Cendol Kampung Hulu to enjoy cendol (cold sweet dessert) with mango cubes, dragon fruit or coconut cream. Otherwise, you can check out The Daily Fix Cafe for their famous pandan pancakes.
Now that you’ve explored what Melaka has to offer, you can visit the beautiful sights (and equally tempting cuisine) of George Town. The area is rich in museums, including the Penang State Museum, which can teach you more about the city’s rich history, and the Colonial Penang Museum, which is full of stunning antiques from the 18th to 20th centuries. After an afternoon immersed in the culture of the city, unwind with some authentic Perak dishes at Nyonya Delights Homestyle Cooked Food. Their chicken and rice dumplings will make you feel right at home until the meal is over. Be sure to check out our package! private tours malaysia suitable for everyone and for any occasion.
Hoi An (Vietnam)
Hoi An Ancient City is located in Quang Nam Province, Vietnam, just 30 km south of Da Nang City. It is a reflection of indigenous and foreign influences (mainly Chinese, Japanese and later European). It currently contains well-preserved commercial and residential buildings, an open market and a ferry pier, all of which capture its original oriental style.
In general, tourists can freely walk around the city without paying entrance fees. One spectacular sight you won’t want to miss is the Hoai River, especially when it’s lit up with colorful lanterns at night. However, you can also buy tickets for cultural monuments such as Tran Family Church, Phung Hung Ancient House and Quan Con Temple. If you’re the type who likes to learn new things, ancient weaving and calligraphy classes are available through the Hoi An Handicraft Workshop (located on Nguyen Thai Hoc Street).
After a day of exciting crafts, top off your activities with a hot bowl of Cao Lao (brown rice noodles). At Cam Ga Huong, off Le Loi Street, it’s cooked with dill water and features plenty of pork and rice crackers. If you find yourself wanting to learn more about how Vietnamese food is prepared, sign up for a short class at Gioan Restaurant and Cooking School. A bonus is that you can explore the local market scene before making Pho noodles and banhxeo (Vietnamese pancakes) as a well-deserved feast to celebrate your trip. Because Hoi An is a fascinating place, it is featured in almost every Explorient Vietnam travel from honeymoons to family vacations to ultra-luxury vacations.
Written specifically for EXPLORIENT.com
By: Relena Jamie