Awesome Asia – The Best Bits Unveiled

Asia is certainly up there on many people’s must-see list. There are so many wonderful countries, each with their own incredible cultures. And then, of course, is all the amazing food you can sample from each region! So what would you most love to see in Asia next time you’re traveling? Needless to say, a long-haul flight or two will be necessary, but which bits of Asia would make it all worthwhile?

Vietnam

It’s hot, it’s humid, and it’s stunningly beautiful if you’re lucky enough to explore some of the countryside here. But did you know that you don’t have to be in the countryside to see the beauty and the charm of this country? Cities like Hanoi have an elegance and grace that reflects the time-honored traditions of the Vietnamese people. And in the city, you’ll find a much wider choice of food. Hanoi is the capital city that keeps on giving. There are some fabulous places to eat and some stunning architecture to admire. You’ll find beautiful Vietnamese parks to stroll through too.

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Hanoi image from Flickr

Japan

People most often come to Japan for two reasons. The first is business, which is understandable in the tech world! The second is for the beautiful cherry blossoms. You find these almost anywhere, but two cities really do stand out for their floral displays and their elegant architecture. Kyoto, with its Temples and Shrines rarely disappoints any visitor. Hakone has gorgeous springs, beautiful lakes, and a fabulous view of Fuji. Check ahead for the best anticipated dates for a full bloom.

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Japanese Cherry Blossom image from Pexels

China

From the moment you land at the airport, you can enjoy the best of modern China. You might start somewhere like your Xi An Hotel where you can enjoy a room with a view. From there, you might travel into the city to explore the marvelous Terracotta Army. Incredibly, these 6000 figures were only discovered about 40 years ago. After Xi An, you might explore more of this magnificent and historic country. Check out Shanghai for the best eclectic mix of ancient and modern China.

Indonesia

This nation is an absolute must for any traveler that loves the great outdoors. Indonesia is actually a large collection of volcanic islands. This makes for some of the most extraordinary landscapes in the world. But the beauty of this place doesn’t stop there. It’s hard to find beaches anywhere else that are quite so lovely. Beyond the sandy coastlines, you can also find lush jungles that are home to elephants, tigers, and orangutans. Check out the Komodo dragon and listen out for the gentle gamelan music.

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Indonesia image from Pexels

Thailand

Many Thai communities live by or even on the water. Fishing is a big part of life here, so you can find some of the more flavorsome dishes you know and love made with fish. The Emerald Buddha Temple is a firm favorite among tourists, and it is certainly worth visiting this incredible place. Bangkok is a weird and wonderful mix of old and new and is far more modern in some places than you would expect. Enjoy your tour of Asia.

 

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5 Cultural Gems To Discover This Summer

If you’re looking for a summer holiday with a difference, why not unleash your inner culture vulture? Make this the year you visit some of the world’s most treasured gems. If you’re a history enthusiast or you’re eager to get some of those bucket-list sites ticked off, here are some ideas.

  1. Chichen Itza, Mexico

A stunning example of Mayan ruins, Chichen Itza is one of Mexico’s star attractions. The highlight of this ancient city is a domineering stone pyramid, which forms the backdrop for many a holiday snap. The city dates back to 600AD, and it has been beautifully preserved. Take a tour to learn all about the Mayan civilization and the significance of the El Castillo pyramid. Stick around for sun down and appreciate an entirely different aesthetic. By night, the pyramid is illuminated. You can appreciate its intricate decoration and striking geometry in a different light.

  1. Petra, Jordan

All the pictures and postcards in the world could never prepare you for seeing Petra with your own eyes. This rose colored ancient city is a worthy wonder of the world, and it has to be seen to be appreciated. Enter through an ornate doorway carved into the rock face and prepare to be amazed. Book one of the many education tours on offer to gain an insight into the architecture and design. Take in the incredible sights and sounds and marvel at the attention to detail. Make sure you have sturdy, comfortable walking boots with you and keep your camera handy.

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Image via https://www.flickr.com/photos/archer10/2216880341

  1. Great Wall of China

An engineering feat and a breathtaking landmark, no trip to China is complete without a tour of the Great Wall. Stretching more than 21,000 kilometers, you probably won’t manage it in its entirety, but it’s fascinating to see it and learn more about it. Local guides are happy to impart their knowledge and wisdom, and there are tours available throughout the country. If you’re visiting Beijing, you can easily arrange a day tour.

  1. Machu Picchu

An iconic symbol of Inca culture, the lost city is a magical and mysterious place. Established in the 15th century and located almost 8,000 feet above sea level, it takes a little effort to reach the site. But it’s well worth it. The ruins have been tended to meticulously and they remain in excellent condition. You can also enjoy staggeringly beautiful views over Peru. Fly to Lima and spend a couple of days exploring this vibrant and hectic city before heading to Cusco. It’s worth doing a little training before you trek up to Machu Picchu, as the altitude can be draining.

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Image from https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidstanleytravel/7914096100

  1. Taj Mahal, India

India is famed for its mesmerizing scenery and nothing lures intrepid travelers in like the Taj Mahal. Built in the 17th century as a memorial to Emperor Shah Jahan’s wife, this giant mausoleum is made from pristine white marble. It glistens in the sun and the dome penetrates the Agra skyline. Wander around the manicured gardens and soak up the tranquility. Visit at sunrise or dusk to avoid throngs of tourists.

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Image courtesy of https://www.flickr.com/photos/archer10/2215341546

If you’re after something different, why not inject some history into your holiday? There are so many awesome sights out there to discover.

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