From the ancient temples of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat Archaeological Park to lush Banaue Rice Terraces in the Philippines, Asia is dotted with a diverse collection of prized UNESCO World Heritage Sites waiting to be discovered.
Ditch the crowds that flock to these sites and charter a helicopter to soak up simply breath-taking views from the sky. Here are some of the top spots to enjoy unparalleled bird’s eye vistas of some of the region’s most treasured gems.
Borobudur & Prambanan temples, Indonesia
Holding the title of the world’s largest Buddhist temple, Borobudur is a sprawling complex that dates back to the 9th century. The majestic temples sit atop a hill flanked by lush fields and rolling hills close to Yogyakarta on the Indonesian island of Java. Close by is another UNESCO World Heritage Site, Prambanan. Southeast Asia’s largest Hindu temple looks even more impressive from above.
Angkor Wat Archaeological Park, Cambodia
The jewel in Cambodia’s crown is Angkor Wat Archaeological Park, which attracts millions of visitors annually. Skip the crowds and hire a helicopter to explore the vast park that is peppered with hundreds of ancient temples and religious relics. While air traffic is prohibited from flying above mighty Angkor Wat, there are plenty of other temples waiting to be discovered. These include the Rolous Group, Pre Rup and Banteay Samrei.
Great Wall of China, China
Soak up sweeping views of one of the world’s most famous historic sites, the Great Wall of China. From Beijing, board a helicopter and fly above the famous Mutianyu section of the wall near Badaling. This is the only way to truly appreciate the vast scale of the wall, which rises and sinks out of view with the curve of the mountains.
Banaue Rice Terraces, Philippines
Bask in the breath-taking beauty of the carpet of rice terraces running down mountain slopes that form Banaue Rice Terraces. The striking terraces were carved into the hillsides by indigenous Ifugo tribes more than 2,000 years ago. The unique rice farming technique is still used today by local farmers who grow an abundance of rice on the stepped slopes.
After exploring historic Georgetown on foot, visitors to the Malay island of Penang can enjoy alternative views of Georgetown from the comfort of a helicopter. The UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site is home to a quaint collection of well-preserved heritage buildings that date back to colonial times, Chinese shop houses and a network of narrow alleys that form a magical mosaic from the sky.