Southeast Asia, with its picture-perfect beaches and beautiful lush greenery, is a treasure trove of hidden gems. From the stunning islands of Thailand with limestone karsts and turquoise waters, to the intriguing temples of Bali, the region is one of the most breathtaking in the world. It is not surprising then, that Southeast Asia is home to 37 UNESCO designated world heritage sites.
Singapore itself has its own little treasure, the Singapore Botanic Gardens on Cluny road, which was inscribed as a UNESCO site in 2015. Home to heritage trees and over 10,000 types of plants, the 150-year-old park also boasts the earliest ornamental lake in Singapore. How’s that for putting the lion city on the world map?
Of course, the Singapore Botanic Gardens is only one out of the 37 UNESCO sites — and is certainly not representative of Southeast Asia’s heritage sites. There are many other lesser-known ones, ranging from lush rice terraces in the Philippines, to parks in neighbouring Malaysia and Indonesia. Here are 5 of the most underrated spots for your reading (and travelling) pleasure. So the next time you’re booking your vacation, keep these in mind for an offbeat experience.