Holidays are not just about what’s new or trending. It can be just as exciting to learn about the past. Asean is a region with a wealth of cultural history, so here are some top tips on where to delve deep into that rich past.
World heritage caretaker Unesco has already recognized 37 unique sites to be protected for their vital contribution to Asean’s heritage.
The stunning architecture of Angkor Wat, in Cambodia, is perhaps one of the most iconic. This breathtaking marvel offers an impressive look at the legacy of the once flourishing Khmer Empire, and delivers a sense of reverence for the scope of construction which, almost a thousand years on, still speaks to the vision of one of South-East Asia’s most powerful civilizations.
Cambodia is also home to the Bayon Temple, a 13th century architectural masterpiece, and the equally impressive Ta Prohm Temple, both recognized as Unesco heritage sites.
There are other less well-known locations which also offer a glimpse into the Khmer Empire’s legacy. The Preah Vihear Temple sits astride the Thai/Cambodia border, and has been an unfortunate site of conflict in recent years. But with a marked decrease in tensions, of late, this beautiful 11th century temple once again offers visitors the chance to enjoy a stunning, well preserved piece of history, and one which boasts commanding views. The temple sits atop a 500m cliff overlooking the Cambodian plains, delivering a second awe-inspiring vista to admire besides the majestic architecture.
It’s a misconception that the region’s cultural heritage is limited to ancient feats of architecture. Great museums like Singapore’s National Museum stand ready to pick you up and whisk you away to live and breathe the history of days gone by. In taking a look at the sometimes difficult path that led to the vibrant young nation of Singapore today, visitors can appreciate not only the challenges of the past but the ample civic pride enjoyed by the modern nation.
Officially opened in 1868 and housed in a stunning 19th century colonial mansion, Indonesia’s national museum offers an engaging experience. When in Jakarta, take the time to appreciate the beautiful setting along with a detailed tour through the nation’s past.
This article is courtesy of GoAsean, the first multi-platform channel on all things Asean.