1. Phraya Nakhon Cave and Pavilion, ThailandIf you haven’t heard about Phraya Nakhon Cave, be prepared to be mind blown by this unearthly place. This impressive sinkhole cave is one of the most mysterious landmarks in Thailand. The striking part is it contains a 125-year-old Thai Pavilion. In order to reach the cave, it requires a strenuous one hour hike through rugged terrains and lush green forests. After entering the cave, the jaw-dropping sight of the Kuha Karuhas Pavilion is soothing to the eyes as well as to the soul. This man-made wonder is dedicated to King Rama V. And it is guaranteed that you will be awestruck by the spectacular vision that looks straight out of a movie set.
Tip: The entire trek is through Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park. So do not forget to lather yourself with mosquito repellent. Also, the terrain is rough and rugged, so make sure to wear solid shoes.
2. Phnom Kulen, CambodiaThe mystical mountain of Phnom Kulen is located at a two hours driving distance from Siem Reap. There are popular attractions at the bottom of the mountain but what you will find on the top will amaze you. It is not a popular attraction that you will find on the tourist map. But this place is the best-kept secret of Cambodia and doesn’t even have a name. There is a beautiful shrine that adorns the top of the mountain. It is believed that if you wish in front of the shrine, it gets granted by Lord Buddha.
Tip: The best way to soak in the magic is to visit the place with a local guide. Especially with someone who knows about the existence of this shrine.
3. Dungtse Lhakhang, BhutanDungste Lhakhang was built by Thangtong Gyelpo in the year 1433. It is said that the monument was constructed on the body of a monster that was causing harm to the inhabitants. There are mysterious stories about this place and locals believe that the divine power of the temple would retain the demon from coming back to life. The building is in the form of a diagram-mandala and different floors represent the earth, the heaven and the hell. The horror-inspired frescoes on the walls leave visitors dazzled and add to the mystic charm of this place. Dungste Lhakhang is carefully preserved and it requires special permission from the authorities to get into the landmark.
Tip: There is no light inside the temple so it is better to carry a flashlight when you are planning to visit Dungtse Lhakhang.
4. Temple of the Sacred Tooth, Sri LankaTemple of the Sacred Tooth is the most important Buddhist relic in Sri-Lanka. It houses the holy tooth of Lord Buddha which is preserved in a gold casket. The tooth was brought to Sri-Lanka from Kalinga, India in the 4th century. The relic has been moved around innumerable times and finally got settled in the Sri-Lankan city of Kandy. During special occasions, the heavily guarded room that houses the religious relic is open to visitors. However, you can only get a glimpse of the precious box in which the tooth is kept. Thus, devotees visiting the Temple of the Tooth find comfort in their divine being.
Tip: Wear such clothes that cover up the knees otherwise you can carry a sarong with yourself.
5. The Fengdu Ghost City, ChinaThe Ghost City of Fengdu has a history that is 2000 years old. Perched atop Ming Mountain on the bank of River Yangtze, this city is overflowing with shrines and monasteries with demonic representation related to hell. Fengdu is named as the ‘Ghost City’ by the Eastern Han Dynasty. The people living here believe in life after death and follow the combine teachings of Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism. They also believe that the dead walk among the living beings. One of the most bizarre sights in Fengdu is an eerie, unfinished hotel that takes a human form.
Tip: The paths are uneven so it is essential to wear comfortable shoes to avoid discomfort. The annual temple fair that takes place every year in the month of March is worth a visit.
6. Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, CambodiaPart of the 7 'Wonders of the World' List, the massive Angkor Wat is spread over 208 acres and is built in the 12th century by King Suryavarman II. So apart from the crazy beautiful architecture and scale of this ancient attraction is the fact that it has quite the mystery to it. The sandstone bricks used to build the Wat weighed over 1,500 kgs AND to top it off, the temple was surrounded by dense forests and the only source of stones was from mountains that were kilometres away!
So, various discoverers and locals put in the possibility that the temple was built by giants or Gods. But a recent study disproved this theory finally putting to rest the various propositions that the stones were in fact, transported via hundreds of canals.
Tip: Visit the temple for the sunrise. Be present the location around 5:30 AM and you will not be disappointed.
7. Tianmen Mountain, China
Also known as the 'Heaven's Door', the Tianmen mountain attracts visitors worldwide. Well, this literal 'stairway to heaven' has over 999 steps to be precise and this gateway is said to be formed in 263 AD when the side of the mountain collapses forming this 430 feet x 190 feet wide opening on the mountain face. Also, you can visit the thousand-year-old Tianmenshan Temple for a truly spiritual experience.
Tip: When visiting the Tianmen Mountain, keep aside an entire day and explore other places in the park.
Unbelievable isn’t it? So pack your bags right away and feel the thrill of exploring these mystic places.