UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) was formed at the end of World War II to promote collaboration between countries across the Globe. Not every country in the world has membership but the Body is widely accepted to have established a list of precious sites and activities that must be preserved. Myanmar’s relative isolation means that currently there is just a single UNESCO site but several more are under consideration. Indeed, in every country there are further sites being considered. As the list stands today, if you wish to include Indochina’s World Heritage sites on Indochina tour packages, provide an extremely interesting holiday.
When it comes to Indochina travel, Vietnam will be central to your holiday. Indochina travel packages should include the whole country with the north and centre well-represented in UNESCO Listings.
The 14th century Ho Dynasty citadel, built to Feng Shui principles, is evidence of neo-Confucianism in Vietnam. In a beautiful setting, it is located on a plainclose to the Tuong Son and Don Son mountains between the Ma and Buoi rivers and is a fine exampleof an ancient South East Asian imperial city.
The Complex of Hue Monuments in and around Hue City in Thua Thien-Hue Province in the centre of Vietnam and with easy access to the sea was the capital of unified Vietnam in the 19th and early 20th Century under the Nguyen Dynasty.
Ha Long Bay in the Gulf of Tonkinin the northeast of Vietnamis due east of Hanoi. There are many hundreds of islands with a coastline of 120 kilometres. It is largely uninhabited, a limestone region where erosion has created some unique shapes.
Hoi An Ancient town in central Quang Nam Province was important many centuries earlier. It was a trading port during the Cham Kingdom, having contact with traders from several countries, especially to the south east. Timber buildings remain alongside pagoda, all packed into narrow streets, traditional in those days.
My Son Sanctuary, important between the 4th to the 13th Centuries is in the mountainous border Duy Xuyen District of Quang Nam Province. Another important place during the Champa Kingdom, it was strategically important and easily defended.
Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is in the middle of the Annamite Mountain Range in Quang Binh provincesharinga border with the Hin Namno Nature Reserve in the Laos. The large site contains terrestrial and aquatic habitats, primary and secondary forest, sites of natural regeneration, tropical forest, savanna and several spectacular and scientifically significant caves.
The Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long in the heart of Hanoi was built in the 11th century by the Vietnamese Ly Dynasty to commemorate independence of the Đại Việt. It was built on the ruins of a 7th Century Chinese fortresson land reclaimed from the Red River.
Tràng An, near Ninh Bình in the Red River Delta is known for its boat cave tours. There are spectacularlimestone karst peaks, valleys, many of partly submerged and surrounded by steep cliffs. Archaeological investigations in the caves tracehuman activity back more than 30,000 years.
Angkor is recognized as among the most important archaeological sites anywhere. It was a huge city during the Khmer Empire which ran for several centuries from the 9th to the 15th. It had a population thought to have reached one million. Angkor Wat is one of several highlights and others include Bayon and Angkor Thom. The forested site covers 400 square kilometres and many of the ruins are actually enhanced by the existing vegetation. No Indochina tour is complete without a visit to Angkor.
The Temple of Preah Vihear, built in dedication to the Hindu God, Shiva, was built in the 11th Century though there was a building there two centuries earlier. There are a number of sanctuaries with pavements and staircases for access. It is fairly remote but that has helped it remain in good condition.
Sambor Prei Kuk in Ishanapura, the capital of the Chenla Empire dates back to the late 6th and early 7th centuries. The city covered 25 sq. km and included a walled city centre as well as plenty of temples. The architecture was the inspiration for later Khmer structures.
Luang Prabang in the mountainous north Laos is on a peninsula formed by the Mekong and the Nam Khan Rivers. It is famous for its rich architectural and artistic heritage reflecting the mix of Laos traditional architecture and that of the colonial era. It is well- preserved and succeeds in its objective.
It was the capital of the Lane Xang Kingdom whose wealth and influence came about because of its location on the Silk Route. It was also the centre of Buddhism and its name from a statue of Buddha, the Prabang, given by Cambodia.
The Champasak culture, including the Vat Phou Temple, is a well-preserved landscape over 1,000 years old. It expresses the Hindu vision of the relationship between nature and Man. There are temples, shrine and water features in a pattern between mountain and the Mekong.
Myanmar’s sole entry was approved in 2014; The ruins of the cities of Halin, Beikthano and Sri Ksetra lie in the Irrawaddy River basin. They were part of the Pyu Kingdoms flourishing between 200 B.C and 900 A.D. They are partly excavated archaeological sites which include excavated palace citadels, burial grounds and industrial sites. There are some Buddhist stupas, irrigation systems for agriculture and some standing walls.
Bangkok is the modern capital of Thailand; it took over from Ayutthaya which came on to the UNESCO list in 1991 at the same time as Sukhothai and other nearby ancient towns. A year later Ban Chiang was added.
It is prehistoric mound in North East Thailand within the Mekong watershed. It was discovered in 1966 and after research, it is widely agreed that it dates back to around 1500 BC and was home to farmers who grew rice, kept livestock and made bronze tools and ceramics. Little of the large site has been excavated to date.
Thailand also has two natural sites recognised by UNESCO; Dong Phayayen-Khao Forest and Thungyai-Huai Kha Khaeng Wildlife Sanctuary.
9 Tips to Save On an Indochina Holiday
Top 10 Destinations to Visit in Indochina
Top 10 things to do in a Indochina tour
How to Spend a 2-3 Week Holiday in Indochina
8 Benefits of Indochina Tours
12 Dishes to Taste When Travelling In Indochina
Top tips to know before travelling to Indochina
Indochina holiday and things to know