Three Asian countries have made it into the list of National Geographic’s breathtaking places to visit in 2023.
The 25 locations, chosen for their “wonder, rewarding to travelers of all ages, and supportive of local communities and ecosystems,” are framed under the five categories of Community, Nature, Culture, Family and Adventure.
The first Asian location mentioned in the National Geographic list is Laos, a country in Southeast Asia known for its amazing views and unexplored lands. Also called the “Land of the Million Elephants,” Laos is one of the countries in the region separated by the Mekong River, along with Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar.
Next up on the list is Busan in South Korea. With a population of around 3.6 million, Busan is regarded as the second-most populous city in South Korea after the capital, Seoul, with over 9.9 million residents.
Home of the Busan International Film Festival (BIFF), the city offers a wide range of parks to visit, including the APEC Naru Park, which has an overlook view of the Gwangan Bridge (or Diamond Bridge). The U.N. Memorial Cemetery and Park, a park dedicated to the soldiers who sacrificed their lives during the Korean War, can also be found in Busan.
The last location in Asia featured on National Geographic’s “25 breathtaking places and experiences for 2023” is Longmen Grottoes, a UNESCO World Heritage site located in Luoyang City in Central China’s Henan Province.
The Longmen Grottoes contain China’s largest and most impressive Chinese stone carving art from the late Northern Wei and Tang Dynasties (316-907). The site has over 2,300 caves and niches, almost 110,000 Buddhist stone statues and 2,800 inscriptions carved on steles.
The statues found on the grottoes were entirely devoted to the Buddhist religion.
Featured Image via Gary Todd