Travel From palaces to presidios: 5 places to visit to immerse yourself in the Asian and Pacific Islander experience

01:15  09 may  2021
01:15  09 may  2021 Source:   thepointsguy.com

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The Pacific Northwest just oozes with character and charm and with an underlying sense of humor, the area has a unique character all of its own. Here are just five of the fabulous places you really must visit ! Vancouver has often been voted one of the best places to live and work in the world and with good reason. Vancouver offers something to suit all ages and interests and is Western Canada’s largest city. A sparkling clean city, dense waterfront forest and beautiful snow capped mountains, its easy to see why so many people come to visit , live or work here.

This island is a bit less than 23 square miles and is home to almost two million residents. Add in the daily influx of workers, and the island routinely holds close to four million people. No other city in the world offers the frenetic energy of New York City. Be sure to also make time for a visit to or even better, a drive across, the Golden Gate Bridge. This monument to modern engineering genius spans the strait that connects San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. The almost two-mile-long, six-lane bridge connects the Northern California city with Marin County.

a close up of a busy city street with Chinatown in the background © Provided by The Points Guy
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May is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. It’s a time to celebrate those who descended from the Asian continent and the Pacific Islands of Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.

In 2021, the celebration is particularly noteworthy amidst the increase in anti-AAPI hate crimes across the U.S.

There are many ways to recognize the rich history and culture of the generations of Asian and Pacific Islanders who have contributed to America’s diversity. One of those ways is to visit one of the parks, memorials or historic sites spread across the U.S. that tell the stories of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

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Immerse yourself in Dutch culture by eating raw herring, or satisfy your sweet tooth with stroopwafels. You can also do as the Dutch do and rent a bicycle to tour the city. A spectacular cluster of three waterfalls, Niagara Falls is a must-see if you want a glimpse of some of North America's best sites. You can experience the falls from below on the famous Maid of the Mist boat tour or marvel at the scene from above in the Skylon Tower. There are also miles of hiking trails around the falls that provide breathtaking views.

A popular place for travelers is the country's Emerald Coast. It's a roughly 30-mile span of pristine Pacific coastline and dry tropical forest. You'll find world-class surf here, friendly locals and luxury resorts that have an ecology focus. History buffs and architecture fans will want to head to Leon, between Lake Managua and the Pacific . Parque Central is a great place for people watching and soaking in the culture. For travelers who like to snorkel and scuba dive, the Corn Islands off the Caribbean coast may prove to be an irresistible lure.

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While visiting a city’s AAPI district (i.e. Chinatown in New York or Japantown in Los Angeles) is an easy way to experience that subgroup’s culture, there are many places to immerse yourself that are under the radar.

Here are five of those lesser-known sites that you can visit this month, or any time of year.

Related: Review of Hotel 50 Bowery, a Hyatt hotel that pays tribute to its Chinatown neighborhood

In This Post

Niles Canyon Transcontinental Railroad Historic District

Where is it: Between the towns of Sunol and (Niles) Fremont, California

a train on a steel track: Niles Canyon Transcontinental Railroad (Photo by Michael Marfell/Getty Images) © The Points Guy Niles Canyon Transcontinental Railroad (Photo by Michael Marfell/Getty Images)

If you’ve ever taken a train that crisscrosses the continental U.S., it’s likely the hands of Chinese laborers that helped build it.

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Places to stay: Hostelite Brunei, The Brunei Homestay, Poni Homestay Places to eat: Singa Chicken Rice, Restoran Semporna Enak, Big Papa’s Restaurant Top attractions: Gadong Night Market, Kampong Iyer, Bandar Seri Begawan, Ulu Temburong National Park, Muara Beach Suggested Home to places like Kuta, Ubud, and more, Bali has always been a popular place to visit in Southeast Asia . Irrespective of what time of the year it is, this place continues to look like a tropical paradise, offering utmost luxury and comfort to its travelers in the lap of nature. So, if you ever plan on having a blissful

Kayangan Lake in Coron Island , Palawan | The Philippines' Palawan Island was voted the most beautiful island in the world by Conde Nast Traveler readers. Vacation: Our goal is to inspire you to travel and match you with an expert travel agent best suited to customize a vacation you're gonna love! Vacation is a travel planning service that provides inspirational content combined with the services of travel agent experts who customize an experience that truly celebrates the reasons why you travel.

Completed in 1870, the Niles Canyon Historic District is the final segment of the First Transcontinental Railroad which provided the first-ever rail connection between the San Francisco Bay area and the rest of the U.S.

Thousands of Chinese laborers were forced to construct this section of the railroad and it’s considered to be one of the most significant engineering achievements of the 19th century.

Today, Niles Canyon is incredibly well preserved and is a transit lover’s dream. In fact, it’s one of the only remaining railroad corridors that has not been substantially altered for modern transportation projects.

Related: California dreaming? 10 cool towns to visit in the Golden State

Presidio of San Francisco, CA

Where is it: San Francisco, CA

a large body of water with a city in the background: Presidio in San Francisco, CA (Photo by DianeBentleyRaymond/Getty Images) © The Points Guy Presidio in San Francisco, CA (Photo by DianeBentleyRaymond/Getty Images)

The Presidio of San Francisco, now a park, is located at the mouth of the San Francisco Bay. It’s a major recreation hub with an idyllic setting near the base of the Golden Gate Bridge offering miles of trails, a golf course and various scenic overlooks.

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See most popular tourist places to visit in Coimbatore, top things to do, shopping and nightlife in Coimbatore, find entry timings, fees about various attractions in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. Kovai Kutralam falls is an exhilarating water fall located in the scenic region of Siruvani. The water fall is about 37 kilometers away from Coimbatore city and the water fall is predominantly manifested for its exaltedness.

Previously, the Presidio served as a military outpost, playing a pivotal role in the mass incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. In fact, this was the headquarters for the U.S. Army command responsible for forcibly removing 120,000 Japanese Americans and people of Japanese descent from their homes.

Related: 6 great road trips from San Francisco

Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience

Where is it: Seattle, WA

a car driving down a street in front of Chinatown-International District, Seattle: Seattle Chinatown (Photo by Bruce Yuanyue Bi/Getty Images) © The Points Guy Seattle Chinatown (Photo by Bruce Yuanyue Bi/Getty Images)

The Wing Luke Museum is housed in a three-story building first built by Chinese immigrants in 1910. It has the distinction of being the only community-based museum in the U.S. exclusively dedicated to the history of AAPI immigrants.

Located in the heart of Seattle’s Chinatown, the museum houses exhibits and art showcasing the history of immigrants to the area, including Bruce Lee memorabilia.

Seattle’s Chinatown, along with the surrounding neighborhoods, eventually became one of the most diverse immigrant communities in the U.S., with people from China, Japan, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, the Philippines and various Pacific Islands living together alongside African Americans.

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Iolani Palace

Where is it: Honolulu, HI

a large building with a clock on the side of a road with Iolani Palace in the background: Iolani Palace in Honolulu, HI (Photo by gregobagel/Getty Images) © The Points Guy Iolani Palace in Honolulu, HI (Photo by gregobagel/Getty Images)

Hawaii was first settled by Polynesian voyagers in the 18th century before being exploited by U.S. interests.

The Iolani Palace is the only royal palace in the U.S. and acts as a symbol of the former Hawaiian kingdom before U.S. forces overthrew it in the late 1800s. The palace was the official residence of the Hawaiian Kingdom’s last two monarchs: King Kalakaua and his sister and successor, Queen Liliuokalani.

The grounds around the palace are considered to be the site of an ancient heiau (place of worship). Today, the palace has been partially restored including the first and second floors, which are open to the public.

Related: I visited a reopened Kauai in Hawaii — 5 things to know before you go

Butte-Anaconda Historic District, Montana

Where is it: Butte, Anaconda and Walkerville, Montana

a street filled with lots of traffic: Butte, Montana (Photo by Feifei Cui-Paoluzzo/Getty Images) © The Points Guy Butte, Montana (Photo by Feifei Cui-Paoluzzo/Getty Images)

In its heyday in the early 1900s, this area of Montana produced one-third of the entire world’s copper and was one of the centers of the U.S. labor organizing movement.

Chinese immigrants played a huge role in mining, with their arrival in the Butte area in 1868. However, they were eventually forced out of the industry, as economic depression heightened anti-Chinese sentiment. As a result, Chinese immigrants began opening various businesses — from noodle parlors to laundry establishments — to support the local community (and themselves). Thus, a Chinese enclave began to form.

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Today, the Butte-Anaconda Historic District is a well-preserved reminder of the town’s mining prosperity and highlights the Asian experience in Montana.

Interestingly, the Pekin Noodle Parlor in Butte is not only still in the original building, but it’s also considered the oldest continuously operating Chinese restaurant in the U.S.

Related: 6 of the best Colorado ski towns

Featured photo of Chinatown in New York City by Alexander Spatari/Getty Images.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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