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UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Southeast Asia

Angkor Temples, Cambodia
The Angkor temples near the present-day city of Siem Reap are all that's left of what was once a massive Khmer empire, laid low by environmental damage and successive invasion from neighbouring empires. Even in its relatively ruined state, the collective Angkor temples are a sight to behold, particularly Angkor Wat: a huge temple complex of both massive height and breadth, delineated by a square moat.

Angkor Wat was built as a stand-in for the Khmer conception of the Universe: the towers are representative of Mount Meru where the Hindu gods reside, while the moat stands for the oceans surrounding the earth. Its visitors, mostly unaware of the temple's cosmological meaning, stand transfixed at the sheer grace and power of this massive temple complex in the midst of Cambodian countryside. (Photo by Thinkstock)

Eight amazing UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Southeast Asia

You don't need to travel across the world to see its most majestic tourist sites. All the sites in the next few pages can be found within Southeast Asia, having been granted the ultimate tourist accolade: World Heritage status by the international body UNESCO. These sites have special cultural and historical significance: they're considered to be massively important to humanity itself, thus the need for special preservation.

What UNESCO World Heritage Sites can you find in your own backyard (give or take a time zone or two)? Proceed to the next page to start your journey. By Mike Aquino for Yahoo Southeast Asia