A wall that stretches across the biggest country in the world, some of the world's largest and most well-known ancient palaces and even elephant rides - Asia offers some of the most unique travel experiences imaginable. For Americans, Asia travel means seeing a world completely different than their own and embarking on the adventure of a lifetime.
Asia travel options offer a glimpse inside some of the world's most ancient and ingenious cultures. The differences in food, language and customs between Asia and North America sometimes give travelers pause. If the thought of planning a trip through these glorious, yet foreign lands is a little overwhelming, consider booking a tour through a provider like Tauck.
When you book one of Tauck's expertly designed tours, hotel accommodations and travel reservations are taken care of for you, and all you're left to do is take in the sights. Since tour operators have collective buying power and knowledge of the best values, you can also save up to 40 percent of what you would pay for a similar vacation you planned yourself - making a tour an attractive option for even the most seasoned traveler. With Asia travel options through China, Japan, India, Cambodia, Nepal, Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, there is no shortage of places to visit.
Whichever way you decide to embark on your Asia travel experience, here are five must-see destinations to consider for your trip:
* The Great Wall of China. There are certain landmarks that have giant reputations, yet you can't help but be more amazed than you imagined when you see them up close, and the Great Wall is one of them. Featuring almost 4,000 miles of actual wall, and stretching for 5,500 miles total, the Great Wall spans mountains, lakes and all kinds of impressive terrain.
* The Taj Mahal. Its majestic dome and surrounding pillars make the Taj Mahal in India one of the most iconic and breathtaking works of architecture in the modern world. A whole day can be dedicated to exploring the famed mausoleum and the meticulously maintained gardens that surround it.
* Angkor. The 12th-century Angkor Wat temple sits at this vast Cambodian archeological site, which is twice the size of Manhattan. The temple holds an important place in both Hindu and Buddhist history. It is surrounded by a large moat and features impressive towers and devatas - sculptures carved into the temple walls.
* Vietnam. War is the first thing that comes to mind when many Americans think of this country. But those who actually make the journey here are treated to unique architectural attractions like unique pagodas, fascinating cities with long histories like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and some of the most beautiful shoreline in the world.
* Kyoto. This Japanese city was once the imperial capital city of Japan. Ancient temples and castles abound, as visitors can see Japan's history come to life before their eyes. The city is also well-known for its cultural attractions, with geisha performances and abundant restaurants serving traditional Japanese fare.