5. Historic Centre of Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Dating back over 2000 years, the Uzbek city of Bukhara is located on the Silk Road. Once one of the largest cities of Central Asia, its strategic location at the crossroads of trade routes made it a hub for merchants and travellers.
It was long a centre for culture and religious studies, becoming a prosperous and renowned centre of Islamic learning. Among the city’s wonderfully preserved buildings is the Ismail Samanid Mausoleum, a magnificent example of tenth century Muslim architecture.
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6. The Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto, Japan
The imperial capital of Japan from 794 AD until the nineteenth century, Kyoto was the centre of Japanese culture for a thousand years. Religious and secular architecture flourished between the eighth and seventeenth centuries, while its garden designs influenced countries around the world from the nineteenth century.
The city is characterised by traditional Japanese wooden architecture and beautiful Japanese gardens, and is home to impressive Buddhist temples, grand palaces and state-of-the-art museums.
Measuring over 20,000km, the Great Wall was built from the third century BC to the seventeenth century to defend numerous Chinese empires from invaders from the north.
It comprises a number of fortifications made of earth, wood, brick and stone including walls, fortresses, watchtowers, horse tracks and passes. Not only did the wall protect the country from conquerors but it also preserved Chinese culture and traditions.
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8. Mountain Railways of India
Opened between 1881 and 1908 during British colonial rule, India’s three mountain railways are testament to the outstanding engineering skills of the time. The construction of the railways linked rural villages and provided access to the plains and plateaus of the Indian mountains, greatly impacting the areas in which they were developed both socially and economically.
Today still fully functional, these timeless machines are as majestic as they were over one hundred years ago, burning energy with explosive rhythmic sounds. You can experience them in Darjeeling, Tamil Nadu's Nilgiri hills and Shimla.
Located in central Sri Lanka, this cave monastery is the island’s largest and best preserved. Its five sanctuaries are nestled under towering rock, and are embellished with statues and religious murals depicting Buddhist scenes. It has been a pilgrimage site since the first century BC.
10. The tropical rainforest heritage of Sumatra, Indonesia
Comprising three national parks and covering a total area of over two million hectares, Sumatra’s tropical rainforest harbours a spectacular array of flora and fauna, including 10,000 species of plant, 201 mammal species and over 550 species of bird.
The parks’ awe-inspiring landscape includes caves, tumbling waterfalls, glacial lakes and Indonesia’s highest volcano, while thousands of species such as Sumatran tigers, elephants and Malayan sun bear call the forests their home.
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