If you are a history lover and appreciate past civilisations and cultures then you must visit the following places that will give all history buffs plenty to explore, discover and enjoy in Southeast Asia.
Plain of Jars, Phonsavanh, Laos
The province of Xieng Khouang is home to a number of culturally and historically significant sites containing huge numbers of mysterious of stone jars. Each site contains anything from 1 to 400 jars, while the jars themselves are up 2.5 meters high and 15 tons in weight and are estimated to be at least 2,500 years old. It’s still uncertain whether the jars were formerly used as funeral urns, wine jugs, brewing vats or rice containers.
My Son, Vietnam
Nestled between hills and enveloped by wafts of mist, My Son is a cluster of ruins marking the former cultural and religious centre of the legendary Cham Dynasty (4th-13th century). Influenced by Hinduism they built temple complexes in Central Vietnam. The best known and preserved temples still in daily use by Buddhists is the Po Nagar Cham Towers in Nha Trang. My Son lies around 40 km from Hoi An and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.
Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Arguably the most famous historical attraction in Southeast Asia. To visit Angkor is a visit to another world. The mighty roots of giant ancient trees seem simultaneously both to claw at the stone remnants of the Khmer Empire and to prevent their collapse. Lying under the cover of jungle near the provincial capital of Siem Reap, a number of the overgrown temple ruins exude just as mysterious an air today as they did upon their rediscovery in 1860.
Plains of Bagan, Myanmar
Dotted with numerous Buddhist holy sites, the plains of Bagan are among the most spectacular sights Myanmar has to offer. This was where Asia’s most beautiful metropolis once blossomed – and a huge variety of golden cupolas and red stupa remnants can still be found here. A romantic balloon ride at sunrise is an experience not to be missed. While you’re here, it’s well worth paying a visit to Mount Popa, which is located just 75 km away and serves as a major site for the worship of nats.
Luang Prabang, Laos
Luang Prabang is the oldest and most intact temple city in Southeast Asia and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1995. Days in the city are broken up by the gentle chiming of temple bells. Carefully restored villas and and colonial-era business houses with arcades flank the city’s streets, which lead to a grand total of 29 Buddhist holy sites. The city’s authentic atmosphere comes in no small part from the large numbers of ever-present monks.
Sukhothai Historical Park, Thailand
Sukhothai can be translated as Dawn of Happiness and is one of the “must see” of Thailand. The first capital of Siam, founded by King Ramkhamhaeng. The province’s temples and monuments have been restored well and Sukhothai Historical Park a place with numerous sites of historical interest. It is another UNESCO World Heritage Site in our list.
Golden Rock, Myanmar
This sacred site is one of the grandest attractions Myanmar has to offer. Because of its spectacular location and the fact that its history as a place of worship dates back to Buddha’s lifetime. This golden block of granite is the most important pilgrimage site in the country. Known as “Kyaiktiyo” in the Mon language, it receives up to 10,000 pilgrims every day; at peak times, this number can reach 40,000.