Inspiring indeed. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) actively seeks out, protects and preserves outstanding cultural heritage the world over. Far-flung and diverse places they may be, but a deep universal bond binds them all, inspiring future generations with a sense of place and time, a reminder of how far we’ve come as a civilization.
These world heritage sites span the globe from Egypt’s wondrous pyramids to Australia’s magical Great Barrier reefs, making travel to these finite sites a different kind of vacation - an exploration and an adventure.
And certainly, it is equally laudable when iconic hospitality brands lend their fervent support as well. With the Banyan Tree and Angsana Hotel and Resorts Group, discerning travelers and culture buffs can embark on some truly amazing heritage sites, experiencing rich historical journeys, infused with luxury; who says an adventure needs to be tiring?
In Laos, there is the former French colony Luang Prabang, called the City of Monks. It was the Laotian royal capital between the 16th and 19th century, and became a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1995. Proffering panoramic views of the iconic Mekong River, soaring mountains and old monasteries, must-visits include the Royal Palace, Mount Phousi and the famous Pak Ou caves with Buddha imagery. Angsana Maison Souvannaphoum, a former royal residence, makes for a great base from which to explore the historic town.
Central Vietnam offers some Unesco World Heritage sites, like the ruins of My Son, the ancient capital of Hue, and the charming town of Hoi An. My Son Sanctuary, for instance, which encompasses connecting temples and towers, was an imperial city during the Cham dynasty from the 4th to 12th centuries. Close to the sites lies Banyan Tree Lăng Cô and Angsana Lăng Cô,. Banyan Tree Lăng Cô offers 49 all-pool villas while Angsana Lăng Cô has 229 stylish suites and overlooks a 3km beach.
In Mexico, there is the sacred site of the pre-Hispanic City of Chichen-Itza, a memorable Mayan centre of the Yucatan peninsula. And the Banyan Tree Mayakoba on the Riviera Maya, set amidst mangroves and forests and coral reefs, is a 2.5 hour drive from Chichen-Itza.
Some other Unesco heritage sites near Banyan Group hotels and resorts include Emperor Qin’s Terracotta Warriors, some 15 minutes from Angsana Xi’an Lintong; West Lake Cultural Landscape of Hangzhou, about 30 minutes from Banyan Tree Hangzhou and Angsana Hangzhou, and Changdeokgung Palace Complex, just 30 minutes from Banyan Tree Club & Spa in Seoul. Revel in history, reside in plush.