If you’re planning a trip to Asia be it a tour of the region or a vacation to a single country, it’s important to draft an itinerary that includes the historic and cultural sites you intend to visit. But in a region with so many thousands of years of history, it’s difficult to choose just a few sites or to find sites that are less popular but may have more meaning to you as individual. Selecting such sites is easier if you have access to the right resources and, luckily, many of these resources are available for free from both government and non-government sources.
One such resource is the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These are sites of historic, cultural or natural beauty and include everything from the Great Wall of China to the tropical rainforests of Sumatra. These sites are uniformly impressive and you should make sure to see them if they are within your reach. UNESCO maintains a very useful index of these sites organized by country and identified according to either their cultural or natural significance. As a bonus, many of these sites are free and open to the public because, after all, it’s not really possible to charge admission to a rainforest.
But the UNESCO list isn’t the only resource available to curious travelers. Indeed, the official tourism sites maintained by each nation can often be a great resource in deciding what to visit, how to get there and when to go. For instance, Singapore’s tourism site contains detailed information about what to see, how to get there and where to go next. Sites like these are a great source because they present all of the most popular places to visit along with the latest local events that might interest tourists.
Of course, you have to be careful when you use government tourism sites because their mission is to sell you a product. Take everything they say with a grain of salt but in the end they have your happiness and safety in mind because it’s in their best economic interest to do so. Another resource that can be helpful when selecting sites to see on your Asian vacation is Wikipedia. The online encyclopedia often has good information on local cultural events including festivals that tourists will find entertaining.
Simply look up the city or country you’ll be visiting and spend some time looking through links on their history, food and culture to find places and things that look interesting. Wikipedia probably won’t include tour information or the cost of admission but it is a starting point. It will also give you some background on the places that look interesting and you’ll be able to see if they truly captivate you or if they’re not worth
There are a broad variety of resources prepared by governments, world bodies and private citizens and they’re all available to tourists planning a trip to Asia. Take advantage of them when you’re deciding what to visit and hopefully they’ll enrich your trip by helping you select the best sites according to your interests.