Chichen Itza, Yucatán, Mexico

Chichen Itza, Mexico

Credit: Raúl López

Chichen Itza is an ancient Mayan site located on the Yucatán peninsula of Mexico. These famous pre-Columbian ruins signify the rich history of the ancient Mayan civilization. Chichen Itza was likely built around 600 BCE, making the ruins roughly 2600 years old today. The large ruin complex contains many stone buildings, including temples, pyramids, and platforms, as well as various statues and caves. Chichen Itza is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and is the second most visited archeological site in Mexico. A visit to the site is a popular day drip from nearby Cancún.

Chichen Itza, Mexico

Chichen Itza, Mexico

El Castillo, Chichen Itza, Mexico

Chichen Itza, Mexico

Chichen Itza, Mexico

Chichen Itza, Mexico

Chichen Itza, Mexico

Chichen Itza, Mexico

Credit: Tony Shuck

Lotus Lake, Kaoshiung, Taiwan

Lotus Lake, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

The city of Kaoshiung in southwestern Taiwan is home to the stunning man-made Lotus Lake. The lake is a popular tourist destination famous for its many temples and its large statue of the Emperor of the Dark Heaven, a Taoist God. The most popular temples are the Spring and Autumn Pavilions, the Dragon and Tiger Pagodas, and the Confucian Temple. As its name suggests, Lotus Lake is famous for the many beautiful pink lotus flowers blooming around the rim of the lake. Lotus Lake is easy to get to by train from Kaoshiung city center, and the sights are best explored on foot.

Lotus Lake, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Credit: Gerry Tan

Lotus Lake, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Credit: judyping

Lotus Lake, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Lotus Lake, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Credit: Oliver Wu

Lotus Lake, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

Credit: b_bakes

Lotus Lake, Kaoshiung, Taiwan

Credit: Joe Lewis

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Sunrise - Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Credit: Vagablonding

Built between 802 CE and 1220 CE, the stunning Angkor Wat temple complex includes hundreds of temples stretching over an area of 400 square kilometers (249 square miles). The most popular temples are Angkor Wat, Bayon, and Ta Phrom (setting of the Angelina Jolie Tomb Raider movie). Recommended activites include exploring the temples, watching the sunrise at Angkor Wat, watching the sunset at one of the west-facing temples, and for those more adventurous types: getting in a hot air balloon or a helicopter for a breathtaking view of Angkor Wat from above. Visitors to the temples are required to buy a 1 day ($20), 3 day ($40), or 7 day ($60) temple pass. In the last decade Angkor Wat has exploded onto the tourist scene. 15 years ago the nearby town of Siem Reap had only 1 hotel, now there are hundreds.

Ta Prohm, Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Credit: Vagablonding

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Credit: Vagablonding

Bayon, Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Credit: Vagablonding

Preah Khan, Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Credit: Vagablonding

Banteay Srey, Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Credit: Vagablonding

Banteay Srey, Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Credit: Vagablonding

Bayon, Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Credit: Vagablonding

Preah Khan, Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Credit: Vagablonding

Sunrise - Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Credit: Vagablonding