Updated: Feb 25, 2019
East Asia may figure as a 21st century economic powerhouse, but it is also a cradle of civilization. Even in her major cities, past and present appear to coexist seamlessly. Travelers will find East Asia a complex—yet endlessly fascinating—destination. These three sites will make your next trip an unforgettable one.
Lukang Tienhou Temple, Taiwan
Taiwan Tourism Bureau explains,“the urban township of Lukang has been rated among the top 10 tourist towns by the Taiwanese Tourist Bureau, with the Tienhou temple a star attraction. Dating back a millennium, its architecture features an array of color and elaborate carvings. A strong odor of incense hangs in the air amidst an atmosphere of calm. The courtyard includes a small pond making it a fine place to sit and observe.” The temple was built to honor Mazu, the Chinese sea goddess. It serves over a million worshipers per year, but all are welcome to leave a blessing by offering an amulet or small pack of rice.
Hue Citadel, Vietnam
The Hue Citadel is a major attraction, as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The elaborate fortress was once the Imperial City of Vietnam, with Hue serving as the capital of Vietnam from 1802 to 1945. Thick walls and a moat house and protect the Citadel. Walk through one of its ten baroque gates, and you will find that its enormous grounds showcase history at every turn. There is much to discover within this fortress, with gardens, temples and even tombs on display. Vietnam Visa explains, “today, one of the palaces has been converted into the Museum of Royal Fine Arts which house several exhibits from the Nguyen Dynasty that visitors can see daily.”
Ruins of St. Paul's, Macau, China
As a former Portuguese colony until 1999, Macau embodies a hybrid culture unique to this region. Its architecture bears witness to its vibrant Iberian influence. Travel China Guide explains, “the Ruins of St. Paul’s Church is all that is left after a historic fire destroyed the structure in 1835. Its facade is imposing and well worth exploring, as are the nearby Chinese temple and remnants of the original, centuries-old city walls.” Travelers from the West will find East Asia an inexhaustible travel destination. The East delivers as a region rich in different cultures and embracing a healthy sense of its own vast sweep of history. Arriving Westerners will find their conceptions of East Asia both challenged and broadened.
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