East Asia is an excellent region for both new and experienced travelers. China, Japan, Mongolia, South Korea, and Taiwan in East Asia are filled with majestic scenery and landscapes that will leave you in awe.
Check out these amazing travel destinations in East Asia that should definitely be on your travel bucket list during your next trip.
The Great Wall of China in Beijing, China
Everyone knows about The Great Wall of China — the longest wall built in the world and the only man-made structure on Earth visible from outer space!
This magnificent architectural masterpiece stretches more than 6,000 kilometers from Shanhaiguan to Jiayuguan and passes through Hebei, Tientsin, and Beijing.
Built by Imperial China to protect its territory against nomadic troops, the wall’s height averages from six to eight meters, with its peak as high as 16 meters. It boasts mighty battlements and watchtowers, with some of its fortifications dating back to the 7th century BC.
The most visited and best-preserved section of the wall is near Badaling Passnorthwest of Beijing, which is usually reached via organized tours or public transit.
The Potala Palace in Tibet, China
Another historical structure found in China is the magnificent Potala Palace in the town of Lhasa, Tibet. The palace, built to serve as a fortress and home for the Dalai Lama, had become the seat for religious and political power.
Today, it contains many of the religion’s most essential and well-kept treasures. When visiting the Potala Palace, remember that there are two structures to see: the Red Palace and the White Palace.
The Red Palace, built in the 17th century, is home to the Enthronement Hall, which depicts the history and the life of kings and Dalai Lamas in its walls through murals.
On the other hand, the White Palace includes the sleeping quarters, reception rooms, and studies that were mostly left untouched since 1959, when the Dalai Lama fled Tibet.
The Island Shrine of Itsukushima in Miyajima, Japan
The Island Shrine of Itsukushima is a Shinto temple dedicated to the Princess daughters of the wind god Susanoo. Reachable via a short ferry ride from mainland Hiroshima, the Miyajima Island in Hiroshima Bay is home to the Island Shrine.
The majority of the shrine’s buildings rise from the waters and are supported only by piles. Because of this, the buildings appear as if they were floating on water during high tide.
The shrine is linked together by bridges and walkways, which are best explored on foot.
Be sure to drop by the Great Floating Gate, as well as the shrine’s larger halls such as the Honden (Main Hall), the Offerings Hall (Heiden), the Prayer Hall (Haiden), and the Hall of a Thousand Mats (Senjokaku).
The Imperial Summer Palace in Beijing, China
The Imperial Summer Palace, located in Beijing, China, is one of China’s most majestic tourist attractions. Built-in 1153, the palace stands amid more than 700 acres of stunning parkland.
The large lake, added in the 14th century, serves as one of the centerpieces of the architectural marvel. Travelers can wander around the palace and catch a glimpse of the throne at the magnificent Hall of Benevolence and Longevity.
Meanwhile, the Hall of Happiness and Longevity boasts lovely gardens and courtyards, as well as picturesque pathways and summer trails. Don’t forget to drop by the Great Theatre, a private three-story structure built in the 1890s to satisfy the Imperial Family’s fascination for theatre arts.
If you’re lucky, you can watch some performances during your visit as the theatre is still used to perform traditional Chinese plays and musical events.
Gyeongbokgung Palace in South Korea
The massive Gyeongbokgung Palace complex, built-in 1935 during the Joseon dynasty, had gone through all sorts of imaginable turmoil. The palace had been bombed, destroyed, and even occupied by the Japanese, which led to the multiple renovations and restorations of the structure.
The Gyeonghoeru Pavilion and Hyangwonjeong Pond are both sights to behold, not only because of its architecture but its history as well. They are two of the remaining original structures from back when the Joseon dynasty built the palace.
The Gyeongbokgung Palace is next explored on a guided walking tour. Check out the rich history hidden inside the National Palace Museum and National Folk Museum, both grand museums located within the palace grounds.
Mount Fuji in Japan
Undoubtedly Japan’s most prominent landmark, Mount Fuji, towers over 3,776 meters above the ground with a majestic view looking over the fields. The country’s highest mountain peak can even be seen from the city of Tokyo, which is unbelievably a hundred kilometers away.
Mount Fuji’s world cultural significance has been recognized by UNESCO since 2013 and has been part of Japan’s art and literature icons.
More than a million travelers climb the mountain every summer as a pilgrimage, ending their journey by marveling over the sunrise from Mount Fuji’s summit.
If you’re not keen on long hikes, Mount Fuji can be climbed from above the halfway mark to reach the summit within more or less six hours. If you’re determined to start at the base, you will have to stay overnight at the Mountain Huts.
Khövsgöl Lake in Mongolia
Located only 200 kilometers from the famous Lake Baikal in Russia, Mongolia’s Khövsgöl Lake is often called “the younger sister” of the two lakes.
Being one of the largest lakes in Mongolia, Khövsgöl Lake is surrounded by a glorious national park home to a stunning landscape of mighty mountains and sweeping valleys.
The lake contains almost 70 percent of the country’s freshwater despite being relatively poor in fish and marine life. Another interesting fact is that the lake was formed over two million years ago, making it one of the oldest bodies of water as well.
Surrounding the lake is the national park which boasts diverse species of wildlife such as the ibex, elk, and the rare and hard-to-spot brown bear. Hiking up the scenic trails will provide you an incredible view of the Khövsgöl Lake and make you appreciate the beauty of nature and wildlife.
Tokyo Imperial Palace in Japan
Over at the country’s capital, Tokyo, sits the Imperial Palace. A must-see for every tourist visiting the city.
Although the palace is not open to the public as Japan’s Imperial Family is still using it, you will not be disappointed by the 17th-century grounds outside the Palace surrounded by majestic walls and moats.
Visitors are allowed to visit the East Higashi-Gyoen Garden, which is the only part of the emperor’s land open to the public. This can be visited as part of an organized tour of the city. Snap a photo with you and your significant other on the Nijubashi Bridge, which is famed for its watery reflection.
Busan in South Korea
The second-largest city in South Korea, Busan is best known not just for the hit-film Train to Busan, but for its wonderful coast lined with the best beaches and resorts, perfect for the ultimate summer getaway.
Aside from beaches and resorts, the city is also rich in culture and history. Drop by the Beomeosa Temple, one of South Korea’s best-known urban temples. For Korea’s version of the Santorini, visit the Gamecheon, a European-inspired village on the cliffs above the sea.
The Jagalchi Market is a delight for foodies as it is the country’s largest commercial seafood market. While part of the market is open to consumers, several small restaurants will serve your delectable and hearty cuisines where they can cook what you have purchased at the market.
Taipei in Taiwan
Taipei is a city that definitely won’t run out of things to do for both locals and tourists. Its culture and art scene come alive with the rich heritage and history from the National Palace Museum and great food and entertainment from the Raohe Street Night Market.
You’d be left captivated with the city’s old temples located amidst skyscrapers, as well as other attractions such as the Botanical Garden and the temple of the Hsing Tian Kong.
Bukchon Hanok Village in South Korea
Travel back in time and experience culture like no other with the Bukchon Hanok Village. Stroll along the tiny and narrow streets while exploring Korean culture in this living museum.
These preserved and restored ancient neighborhoods, which can only be found in very few places in Seoul and other parts of Korea, will make visitors feel what it was like living in Korea 600 years ago.
Taroko National Park in Taiwan
Taroko National Park is a must-visit place when visiting Taiwan because of its picturesque and incredible landscapes. Its main attraction is the Taroko Gorge, which is curved over centuries by the winding Liwu River.
Visitors can explore activities that range from river rafting, hiking through canyons to bathing in the Baiyan Waterfalls, which could all be done in an entire day.
Altai Tavan Bogd National Park in Mongolia
Experience the nomad life and immerse yourself in their way of living at the Altai Tavan Bogd National Park in Mongolia.
With many Kazakh and Tuvan families who will warmly welcome you during your trip, you can gain a deeper understanding and establish a connection with these people, their culture, and their way of life.
Outdoor and nature lovers will find paradise in the spectacular sceneries located in the Altai Tavan Bogd National Park, such as the glittering lakes of Dayan, Khoton, and Khurgan, as well as the towering Tavan Bogd Mountains overlooking the lakes.
Because the place is remote, the national park is filled with unspoiled and untouched wonders of nature. If you’re in luck, you might be able to catch a glimpse of grey wolves, brown bears, ibex, and golden eagles.
Sun Moon Lake in Taiwan
The largest body of water in Taiwan, the Sun Moon Lake is a great destination for a relaxing adventure. Climb the Year of Steps to the Wenwu Temple and take in the majestic view overlooking the lake.
Watch the sunrise by the lake during the wee hours of the morning and sit in silence as you take a break from the busy world. The best view of this picturesque scene will be at the popular Shuishe Pier and Hanbi Trail boardwalk.
These sights and attractions in East Asia are surely worth visiting for your next weekend getaway or family holiday vacation! Experience culture, history, and nature in these stunning places in the East.