Temples – they are some of the most frequented sights on the tourist trail in Southeast Asia.
After living here for several years, we have to confess that we usually skip temple visits when we’re traveling. After awhile, they start to blend together and we’ve started to think that many just look the same as the last.
Not everyone agrees with us – and that’s fair. There is definitely some stunning architecture to be seen. If you are a spiritual person, they can also be a very peaceful environment (when the crowds aren’t too heavy).
But even if you are in the same boat as us, we don’t necessarily recommend skipping every temple. Here are some that we find truly interesting and unique:
Angkor Wat – Cambodia
This complex is huge, and if you are committed to seeing the whole thing it would take all day (even if you usually breeze through places with impressive speed). Aside from its size, what sets it apart? The age of the buildings (dating back to the 12th century!) is so apparent, it feels like you’ve stepped into a different world. It’s almost like magic. The surrounding temples are also very unique – some resemble castles, some have mysterious faces carved all over the walls, and some look as if they are being swallowed up by the jungles around them.
Bagan Temples – Myanmar
Also ancient, and also massive, Bagan can be toured in so many fun ways. One of the most popular (but also expensive) tours is a hot air balloon ride. It is surrounded by plains and fields, allowing you to completely escape your modern life.
Shwedagon Pagoda – Myanmar
You’ll also find this shiny, gold temple in Myanmar. It’s makes up a prominent part of the capital city’s skyline, especially when it’s brightly lit up against the all the other darker buildings. It’s a beautiful sight while exploring during the day, and when it’s a backdrop to your night out.
The White Temple (Wat Rong Khun) – Thailand
This temple is partly a spiritual place of worship, and partly an art exhibit. This little twist gives it a completely new aesthetic that you won’t find anywhere else. Everything is white and sparkling. Dramatic sculptures are everywhere, from hands desperately reaching out of the ground, to dragons, to skeletons.
Sri Mariamman – Singapore
If you love lots of color, lots of art, and lots of detail, you will be delighted with this Hindu temple. There is so much to look at, it’s almost hypnotizing. The temple is bursting with life and energy.
Prambanan – Indonesia
Not only is this the oldest Hindu temple in all of Southeast Asia, its towering buildings are quite photographic. It is known for beautiful dance performances held at sunset at the neighboring park, with the temples as the backdrop.
Did we miss your favorite temple? Have you ever seen one that was just bizarre? Share it below and tell us why it was so interesting!
TRAVELERS OFTEN GET ASKED HOW WE’RE ABLE TO FIND THE MONEY, TIME, OR COURAGE TO GO ABROAD.
WANT TO KNOW HOW WE DO IT?
CLICK HERE FOR A FREE GUIDE.