(CNN) — Nearly every week, it seems there’s a new disturbing video or news report of attacks on Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders in the United States.
Here are 13 sites that might provide a deeper understanding of the history of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders during Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month and beyond. Be sure to check with the sites before visiting as hours and operations may have changed during the pandemic.
Angel Island Immigration Station (San Francisco)
Located on Angel Island in San Francisco Bay, the US Immigration Station (USIS) was the main entry point for immigration from Asia after it opened in 1910. Also known as the “Ellis Island of the West,” nearly 500,000 people from 80 countries were processed or detained there between 1910 and 1940.
Many of those detained were Chinese because of the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, the first law to restrict immigration based on race. This law allowed for only certain exempt groups of Chinese to immigrate to the US, which resulted in an influx of immigrants with fake documentation.
Poetry and other inscriptions were chiseled into detention barrack walls at Angel Island Immigration Station.
Courtesy of Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation
In an effort to uphold the Chinese Exclusion Act, authorities subjected many Chinese immigrants to rigorous interrogations on Angel Island. They were held in unsanitary and deficient quarters, anywhere from several weeks to several months before being deported or being allowed to enter the country.
Today, USIS serves as a museum dedicated to the history of immigration in the United States. For many visitors, the most moving moment is seeing more than 200 poems chiseled into the walls by detainees.
Details and tips: To visit, take the Angel Island/San Francisco ferry to the island and then take a scenic hike, tram ride or bicycle the 1.5-mile journey from the dock to the site, located inside Angel Island State Park. General admission is $5, and guided tours are available Wednesday through Sunday.
Iolani Palace (Honolulu)
This national historic landmark in Honolulu previously housed Hawaiian monarchs, including the Hawaiian Kingdom’s last two rulers, King Kalakaua and Queen Liliuokalani. Completed in 1882, Iolani Palace features Italian Renaissance-style architecture.
The throne room of Iolani Palace in Honolulu is fascinating.
Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images
After the monarchy was overthrown and an attempt to restore Queen Liliuokalani to the throne failed, she was charged with treason and imprisoned in 1895 in an upstairs bedroom for almost eight months.
After serving for decades as government offices, the palace was restored and opened to the public in 1978.
South Asia Institute (Chicago)
Founded by art collectors Shireen and Afzal Ahmad, the South Asia Institute features art acquired over more than 45 years ranging from miniature paintings from India’s Mughal Empire to contemporary South Asian art.
“The Sindhu Project: Enigma of Roots” will be debuting on June 10, showcasing an artistic interpretation of archaeological sites and artifacts across northwest India and Pakistan.
The South Asia Institute features a range of art collected by Shireen and Afzal Ahmad.
Jonathan Castillo/Courtesy of South Asia Institute
Details and tips: The SAI is open by appointment only while the facility installs its upcoming exhibit. Email firstname.lastname@example.org. An online exhibit called “Diasporic Rhizome” explores how 21 participating South Asian artists interpret the concept of diaspora.
Korean Bell of Friendship (San Pedro, California)
This 17-ton, elaborately engraved bronze bell in the Korean-American Peace Park section of Angels Gate Park was gifted to the United States by South Korea in 1976 to celebrate the friendship between the two countries and the bicentennial of US independence.
The Korean Friendship Bell is rung on several holidays, including Korean American Day on January 13.
Courtesy of Scott Gray
Korean American actor Philip Ahn spearheaded the efforts to deliver the gift. The Korean Bell of Friendship was named a Los Angeles Historic-Cultural Monument in 1978. The bell is rung on several holidays, including Korean American Day on January 13.
Details and tips: The community of San Pedro is about 25 miles south of central Los Angeles. The Korean Bell of Friendship, on the 37th and Gaffey street corner, is free to visit.
Watt Munisotaram (Hampton, Minnesota)
Thirty miles south of St. Paul, Minnesota, Watt Munisotaram hosts the largest Cambodian Buddhist temple in the United States. About 10,000 Cambodians live in Minnesota — most came in the 1970s as war refugees fleeing the Khmer Rouge regime — and it’s a significant spiritual and meeting place for the community.
Watt Munisotaram is a 40-acre complex hosting the largest Cambodian Buddhist temple in the US.
Courtesy Chanda Sour
The 40-acre complex features an old temple that serves as the monks’ dwelling, plus shrines, meditation and gathering halls and the ornately designed 60-foot-tall main temple structure.
Details and tips: Mid-April is the most festive time to visit, as thousands gather to celebrate Cambodian New Year. This is considered a sacred space, so dress accordingly — knees and shoulders should be covered. There are volunteer guides available on-site. Visitors should bring cash for the donation boxes.
Paolo Agbayani Retirement Village (Delano, California)
Filipino farmers played a significant role in the agricultural worker movement in the 1960s, and the Paolo Agbayani Retirement Village was built by the movement via volunteer labor to support elderly Filipino farm workers in 1974.
Paolo Agbayani Retirement Village was built in 1974 to support elderly Filipino farm workers.
Courtesy of Dennis Dahlin
Latte Stone Park (Hagåtña, Guam)
The Chamorro — Guam’s indigenous people — arrived in Guam roughly 4,500 years ago from Southeast Asia and the Philippines. Visit the Senator Angel Leon Guerrero Santos Latte Stone Memorial Park in Hagåtña, Guam, to marvel at the ancient stone structures known as latte stones.
Latte stones served as foundations for Chamorro homes in Guam.
Courtesy Guam Visitors Bureau
Serving as foundations for Chamorro homes, each features a circular bowl-like rock known as a “tasa” stacked atop a stone pillar. The tallest is almost 20 feet tall, and the oldest dates back 1,500 years. No other culture is known to have used latte stones.
Details and tips: After your visit to the park, take an easy five-minute walk to the Dulce Nombre de Maria Agana Cathedral and Basilica built by the first missionary in Guam in the 17th century.
Latte Stone Park, 232 W. O’Brien Dr., Hagåtña, Guam 96910-5130 Mariana Island, + (671) 646-5278
Hakone Estate and Gardens (Saratoga, California)
A recently opened exhibit called “Hakone Gardens and Executive Order 9066” tells the story of Hakone gardener and caretaker James Sasaki and his family’s internment at the Topaz War Relocation Center in Utah.
Hakone Estate and Gardens is hosting an exhibit about Executive Order 9066, which led to the internment of Japanese Americans.
Courtesy of Hakone Gardens
The gardens and estate, including an Upper House and Lower House featuring traditional Japanese architecture, were created for philanthropists Isabel and Oliver Stine by Japanese imperial gardener Naoharu Aihara, architect Tsunematsu Shintani and numerous artisans in the early 1900s. It is now run by the Hakone Foundation.
Details and tips: General admission is $10. A public tea ceremony is held on the first Sunday of the month from April to November. Several classes are also available on-site, including tai chi, origami for kids and Zen study.
Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience (Seattle)
This 60,000-square-foot museum in Seattle uses exhibitions and programs to tell stories of Asian Pacific American history, culture and identity. One notable permanent exhibit is in commemoration of Wing Luke, the first Asian American elected to public office in the Pacific Northwest.
The Wing Luke Museum is named after the first Asian American elected to public office in the Pacific Northwest.
Another exhibit, “Vietnam in the Rearview Mirror,” highlights the Vietnamese immigrant and refugee experience. “I am Filipino” looks at Filipino American identity and history.
Details and tips: General admission is $17. Virtual tours and events are available.
Locke Historic District (Locke, California)
Founded in 1915, this Northern California town is the “most complete example of a rural, agricultural Chinese American community in the United States,” according to the National Park Service.
The Chinese American agricultural community of Locke was founded in 1915.
Locke is about 30 miles south of Sacramento.
Pu’uhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park (Hōnaunau, Hawaii)
Puʻuhonua o Hōnaunau National Historical Park on the Island of Hawaii spreads over approximately 420 acres and contains more than 400 years of native Hawaiian history.
Notable sites include Hawaiian temples, the abandoned Ki’ilae fishing village and the 1871 Trail — used by pack mules as a trading route for local villages. Cultural demonstrations are available, featuring Hawaiian games and handicrafts.
Pu’uhonua O Hónaunau National Historical Park chronicles native Hawaiian history.
Details and tips: The park is open daily from 8:15 a.m. to 15 minutes after sunset. General admission is $20 per vehicle or $10 for walk-ins. Food is not available on-site.
Wat Nawamintararachutis (Raynham, Massachusetts)
Also known as the NMR Buddhist Meditation Center, this 110,000-square foot building is the largest Thai Buddhist temple in the United States.
Inside the massive building are a meditation room, a museum dedicated to the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej, a library, living facilities for monks and guests, a courtyard and a 180-foot gleaming golden spire.
The Thai buddhist Wat Nawamintararachutis incorporates New England style gables.
Courtesy Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) New York
The design of Wat Nawamintararachutis, built in 2002, also incorporates New England-style gables. The site was chosen because it is close to the Cambridge birthplace of Bhumibol.
Details and tips: Guided tours are available for groups of 10 or more, or you can explore the temple on your own. There are also free yoga classes, meditation groups, Dhamma talks and Sangha chanting available on-site.
Wakamatsu Farm (Placerville, California)
Established in 1869, the 272-acre Wakamatsu Farm was the site of the first Japanese settlement in the United States. Issei migrants used their farming skills here and planted tea, mulberry for silkworms, persimmon, bamboo and rice.
Wakamatsu Farm, once the site of the first Japanese settlement in the US, is still an active farm and event site.
Courtesy of Melissa Lobach
The Wakamatsu Farm is still active, leasing 110 acres of lands to independent farming operations for livestock and crops. On-site, there are many activities available such as visiting the on-site tea house, a wheelchair-accessible lake trail and more. The farm also serves as an event venue.
Details and tips: The Wakamatsu Farm is privately owned by the American River Conservancy, which purchased the property in 2010. Visitors should view their calendar for events and tours. Docent tours are available if scheduled at least two weeks ahead. Visitors are also welcome for open farm days to hike, picnic and tour the grounds.
Kaila Yu is a journalist based in Los Angeles who is obsessed with manatees.