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Must-See UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Asia

These destinations may be fresh additions to the UNESCO World Heritage list, but they've got a lot of history behind them.

Published on Sep 20, 2016


If you're one to combine travel with cultural excursions, then UNESCO's 2016 World Heritage list has some new stops around the region for you.

For starters, the Persian Qanat, a system of transporting water underground using gravity in arid central Iran, is new to the list. Shazdeh Garden, six kilometers outside Mahan, is one of its 11 sites included in the system that ingeniously taps an alluvial aquifer. This rectangular oasis is home to pine, cedar, buttonwood and fruit trees, as well as an eight-level rivulet, and it doubles as a spot where local herdsmen gather to water their animals.

Shazdeh Garden
Shazdeh Garden. Chris Kucway.

Also on 2016 list are the 38 sites found in the Zuojiang Huashan Rock Art Cultural Landscape in southwest China. The colorful red art etched in steep cliffs dates back to 5 B.C. and presents the life of the Luoyue people. In northeastern India, the Nalanda Mahavihara archaeological site also makes the grade, including stupas, shrines, and artwork in stucco, stone and metal. Over a period of eight centuries, this was an ancient university tied into the development of Buddhism.



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Shazdeh Garden. Chris Kucway.
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