Asia is big. Like really big. If you include the ‘Stans and the Southern Siberian Steppe, you’re looking at about 17 million square miles of pure, blank travel canvas. How you color it in is kind of up to you. You could start in Istanbul and work your way through Pakistan, Mongolia and China, following the old Silk Road. Or you could slow it right down and spend three months uncovering every inch of South East Asia – white beaches in Thailand, Angkor temples in Cambodia, pristine waterfalls in Laos…and more pad thai, Jungle Curry and fried crickets than your pants can handle.

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Highlights  

Bagan, Myanmar

Even Marco Polo was impressed by Bagan (and that guy got around). He called it ‘one of the finest sites in the world’, and despite decades of looting, erosion and the occasional earthquake, he’s still as right as ever. In the lead up to a big Mongol invasion, the kings of Bagan commissioned 4,000 temples built over 26 square miles. It didn’t stop the Mongols (big surprise) but it will stop you in your tracks.

The Great Wall, China

Wiggling across the landscape like a giant stone worm, China’s Great Wall pretty much does what it says on the tin. It’s a wall. It’s pretty great. It runs for 13,000 miles, all the way from Liaoning province to the wind-scoured rubble of the Gobi Desert. Obviously it’s a big tourist site, but we know the sections where you’ll find fewer crowds (and get the best photos). It’s on the Bucket List for a reason, folks. Trust us, you won’t be disappointed.

The Door to Hell, Turkmenistan

One of those ‘You’ve got to see it to believe it’ icons, the Door to Hell is an eternally burning gas pit in the Karakum Desert of Turkmenistan. A few Soviet scientists set fire to it decades ago and it’s been burning ever since. If you like your landmarks with a touch of wacky irony, this will be right up your alley. Plus it’s a great reason to venture off the beaten track and check out Turkmenistan, possibly the only country in the world with an enormous revolving statue of gold.

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