Underrated Asian Locations You Shouldn’t Miss

Asia is a continent with much to offer. Whether you’ve spent a lot of time there or never even set foot on Asian soil, there’s a lot for you to discover for the very first time. Of course, we all know about the wonders of Hanoi, Seoul, Tokyo and Shanghai, but these aren’t the only places in Asia for you to explore and enjoy. Every country in Asia has a few hidden treasures that not too many people know about.

If you’re an avid traveler looking for places to visit that are off the beaten track and away from the usual tourist traps, you’re going to love the information outlined below. There are so many great locations that fly under the radar, but it’s time to uncover some of the best and reveal their secrets and wonders.

Read on now to learn about some of the very best and most underrated locations in Asia right now. These are the places that you have to experience to truly appreciate, so once you’ve read about them and found out why they’re worth visiting, you can’t start putting those travel plans in place.

Busan, South Korea

When it comes to major South Korean cities, all the attention understandably goes to Seoul. It’s a fantastic city, but it shouldn’t be allowed to eclipse the other beautiful towns and cities that this country has to offer. Chief among them is Busan, a bustling hub or urban development and social buzz. It’s the kind of place that you want to stay for longer than you’d arranged to once you delve beneath its surface. As well as being a vibrant metropolis, it has a coastline that’s simple devine so make sure you appreciate that while you’re there too.

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Sharp Island, Hong Kong

Most people aware away of what Hong Kong has to offer. It’s a sprawling and dazzling metropolis with so much to see, hear and taste. But people often look past the smaller places like Sharp Island that are just out of the main city area of Hong Kong. It’s a short boat ride off the main area of Hong Kong, and it’s a big contrast to what you find there. It’s natural, clean and quiet. Because so few people actually make this journey, its beaches are quiet and easy to enjoy, so be sure to make the most of them when you’re there yourself.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Cambodia is all about immersing yourself in everything it has to offer and everything there is to see. It’s very different to the capital cities in other Asian countries such as Thailand or Indonesia. There is less of the buzz and busy atmosphere, and that can be a really positive thing when you are want to take things a little easier. The best part of the country is undoubtedly the people the populate it, and there are fantastic markets and food stalls that will send your senses into a tailspin. You certainly won’t regret taking this trip.

Majuli, India

India is a very popular destination for people who want to experience Asia in all its glory, but not so many people think of heading to Majuli. It flies under the radar, mainly because it’s not easy to get to it for everyone, you’re going to be traveling up a remote river to get to the island, but if you ask me, it will all be worthwhile for you in the end. The sad fact is the island might not be there for much longer, and the water could subsume it completely, so it makes sense to see it and experience it first-hand while you still have the chance to.

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Dalat, Vietnam

More and more people are starting to realise everything that Dalat in Vietnam has to offer. If you’ve never been there or never even heard of it, you should give it a try. It’s a location that has just as much to offer as more popular parts of Vietnam, such as Hanoi, so you shouldn’t be put off by the thought that you’re missing better areas in other parts of the country because that’s simply not true. The highlands in Dalat are simply stunning, so if you want some examples of genuine natural beauty, look no further than this.

Java, Indonesia

Java is a relatively small island in terms of its land size, but it’s home to a startling 145 million people, making it the most populous island on the face of the earth. Its transport links are improving all the time, and it becomes a more modern location with each passing year. It also has some stunning natural wonders across the island for you to explore. Head to rumahdijual.com/bekasi/ if you want a place to stay. And be sure to visit the Borobudur Temple while you’re there; it’s one of the most impressive structures in Asia.

Yakushima, Japan

The subtropical region of Yakushima in Japan is a must-visit region for fans of stunning natural landscapes and nature reserves. If you enjoy being at one with nature, there is no better place for you. It’s a UNESCO reserve, meaning it’s fully protected for people to see and experience first-hand, which has to be a good thing for you and future generations. It’s an island with hot springs, stunning fauna and the kinds of animal species that you might not natural associate with Japan. If you’re going to be in the country, don’t leave without seeing Yakushima.

Pai, Thailand

The juggle regions combined with the laid back atmosphere of the village itself make Pai one of the most fascinating and most underrated spots in all of Asia, if not the entire world. You should definitely make sure you head to this part of the country if you’re going to be there anytime soon. If your only previous taste of Thailand has come in the form of Bangkok, you’ll be in for a surprise because it’s entirely different in Pai. It couldn’t be more relaxed and laid back if it tried, and that’s all part of what makes it such a wonderful place to visit.

Plain of Jars, Laos

The name of this place is just as good as the place itself. Plain of Jars is found in the tiny country of Laos near Vietnam and Cambodia. The name comes from the huge stone jars that you will find scattered around this strange and unique city. Many of them have been there for thousands of years. It’s a quietly beautiful location that not many people are aware of, so you should certainly add it to your itinerary if you’re going to be exploring Asia in the near future.

Kuching, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur is great, but that’s only one side of Malaysia, and you should try to see the other side of it while you’re there to. That’s why Kuching is such an essential visit for anyone who wants to see another side of the region. It’s the kind of place that offers the quiet and solitude that can be so hard to find in modern life. And you can learn a lot about the Chinese heritage of Malaysia while you’re there as well.

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As you can see, Asia is such a vast and varied continent, and even if you think you understand it and know what it has to offer, it still has the capacity to surprise you. Be sure to check out the locations mentioned above; you’re sure to find at least a couple that appeal to you.

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World Cities Where East Meets West

There is no doubt that travelling to Asia an unforgettable experience for everyone. The culture, languages, food and architecture are just a few of the things that make the continent such a fascinating and intoxicating place to visit. But there are also cities where western culture has had a very clear impact, and these are the places we are going to be talking about in this article.

This fusion of East and West is incredible to behold, and these cities also provide the perfect introduction to Asia if you have never visited before. You will be able to see the familiar and the not-so-familiar sitting side-by-side. We will also look at a couple of European cities where the Eastern influence has been obvious. So, let’s start looking at each place in more detail.

Hong Kong

Though it is part of China once again, Hong Kong has a very different feel to the rest of the country. After decades of British rule, the remnants are still there despite being handed back 20 years ago. A centre of business and commerce, people still flock here from all over the world to live and work. While the stonework of many of the buildings makes the city feel distinctly Eastern, just look at the road signs and street markings to see the British influence. Depending on which district you visit, you will experience something different every time.

One of the highlights of a visit is a trip between the two main islands on the Star Ferry, where you can truly appreciate the grandeur of the place. Another way to do this is to hop on the Peak Tram for panoramic views over the city. And while you can wander down one of the main shopping streets and feel like you are in London, you can just as easily wander over to the 10,000 Buddhas Monastery and feel like you are in a different world.

Bangkok

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The capital of Thailand has been a melting pot of different cultures, races and religions for hundreds of years. Today, that legacy still lives on, and many people use the city as a gateway to Asia, helped by the fact that one of the region’s busiest airports is located here. While there are big parts of the city where the traffic, noise and sheer number of people can feel overwhelming, there are plenty of hidden corners where you can get some much-needed peace and quiet.

The main party district of Khao San Road is where you will find party-lovers from all over the world. But for more traditionally Eastern sights, you will find numerous temples around, as well as the mighty Grand Palace. An unmissable traditional sight is the floating river markets where you will get a better idea of why Bangkok is sometimes known as the Venice of the East. As for the cuisine, there is no better place to try the many dishes which have become so popular all over the world.

Istanbul

If you are looking from a purely geographical perspective, Istanbul is a city where East and West literally meet. But there has also been plenty of cultural influence from both of the European and Asian continents that the city straddles. There are three main areas of Istanbul where you can see this clearly – Asian, Modern European and the old city of Constantinople. While you will see incredible Islamic buildings like the Suleymaniye Mosque, you will also find dazzling Christian monuments like the Church of St Saviour in Chora.

For fans of shopping and food, Istanbul’s markets are a dream come true. And one of the main pleasures of visiting this city is simply wandering the street to witness the pace of life and diversity of sights, sounds and smells. The city is a unique one that you will want to take your time to appreciate in its entirety.     

Sarajevo

Still one of the most overlooked cities in the whole of Europe, Sarajevo is small but it packs a lot into what it has. Surrounded by hills on all sides, you can hike up here for a spectacular sunset over the city. At the same time, you will hear the call-to-prayer echoing from the minarets which will make your feel like you have travelled a lot further east than you actually have. But there are still plenty of Christians living here as well, and there aren’t many other cities where you can find a church, a mosque and a brewery on the same street!

Sarajevo still bares the remnants of its four-year siege during the 1990s, but there is a peaceful feel to wandering the city now. You can enjoy a coffee (served thick and black in the Turkish style) and wander around the various markets. At times, it is easy to forget that you are still in Europe! Best of all, the city is small enough to explore entirely on foot.

Singapore

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With its towering skyscrapers mixed with an undeniable sense of Asian culture, there is no doubt that Singapore is a place where East meets West. Okay, so technically Singapore is a country, but it is small enough to feel like a city. Next door to the obvious symbols of Western modernity, you will find plenty of Chinese shop houses, Hindu temples and Malay mosques.

There are also plenty of job opportunities for people all over the world, so take a look here if you are looking for room for rent. But it is also great for travellers as well, and the perfect ‘decompression chamber’ for first-time visitors to Asia. Though Malay is the official language, you will find that English is spoken pretty much everywhere you go. One of the most cosmopolitan places in the world, people largely value openness and an acceptance of other cultures. And when it comes to the climate, the temperature stays warms and appealing all year round.

Ho Chi Minh City

Another place where colonial rule has had its influence is Ho Chi Minh City. When you first arrive here, you will probably think that Eastern culture has taken over, but take a closer look at the elegant buildings and leafy boulevards and you will clearly see the French influence on Vietnam’s capital. But at the same time, in the Old Town, you will see plenty of Buddhist pagodas and Chinese temples

The city has become such a backpackers hub that people from across the globe flock here to get an introduction to this beautiful country. And it is probably the most developed place as a starting point, before you snake your way up the country towards the capital of Hanoi. Of course, there are still the sad reminders of Western influence on the country which you can see when you go to the landmarks and museums dedicated to the Vietnam War.

Shanghai

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Not so long ago, the whole of China was off limits to foreigners. But the city that has embraced Western culture more than any other is Shanghai. Just take a stroll along the Bund and stare at the modern skyscrapers or wander the charming streets of the French Concession and you will see how the city has been influenced. But, at the same time, it has still not lost its roots as you will see from attractions like the 16th century Yu Garden.

Alongside many local Chinese eateries, you will also find plenty of big brand foot outlets and European themes restaurants so you really can take your pick. If you are looking for a spectacular view over the city, take the elevator to the top of the World Financial Centre to stare across at just how far this city has come in a few short decades. You will also get a glimpse at China’s potential for the future

Take Your Pick

If you are very much used to Western culture and the idea of travelling to Asia scares you, choosing one of these cities as a starting point is a good idea. As well as some sights that will surprise you, there will also be many that seem a lot more familiar. Once you have gotten your first taste of the continent, it is likely that you will want to experience more and visit some places that are a little more off the beaten track. But the beauty of starting in one of these cities is that you will have easy access to many of your home comforts so you don’t feel too disoriented!   

With the exception of Sarajevo, all of these cities have busy international airports so they are easy to fly into from most places in the world. Best of all, the cost of flights is steadily decreasing so there are more opportunities than ever to explore each of these incredible destinations. The East is much closer than it ever was before, so now is the time to get exploring!    

 

 

 

  

The Best Asian Travel Destinations for Summer 2017

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Asia is home to some of the most beautiful sights to be seen in the world. However, many people visit the continent during the winter months. Perhaps they are scared off during summer due to the potential for excessive temperatures and an impending rainy season. But that’s not enough reason to completely strike Asian travels from your list of potential summer trips. There are many beautiful parts that are at their peak from July to September, and it would be an awful shame to miss them. So here are a few different destinations you might like to check out in the summer of 2017.

Bali

Bali’s sees most of its visitors pass through from July through to August. Unlike many parts of Asia at this time of year, the region is dry during this time, making summer the ultimate season to visit. Because of its summertime popularity, you might want to avoid busier areas and tourist traps. Try seeking out the alternative side of Bali: trek rice terraces, seek out waterfalls and skirt the edges of temples. Head out early in the morning to secure good spots at beaches and book into restaurants you might like to try out early during your stay.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is urban, making it suitable to visit at any time of the year. The bustling country has so much to offer. From historic sites and temples, such as Tian Tan Buddha and Wong Tai Sin Temple, to Disneyland. There’s something to suit everybody. We’d recommend, as with most urban city breaks, to book into a reputable hotel, such as hotel causeway bay. Hong Kong is a highly popular destination, and you don’t want to leave your accommodation down to chance once you get there, as all hotels in the local area may well be fully booked.

Malaysia

If you’re drawn to the sea and sand, Malaysia might well tick all of your boxes for the holiday of a lifetime. The Tioman and Perhentian islands are highly recommended during the summer months, as the islands’ climes during this period result in calmer seas, which allow for extraordinary snorkeling experiences. If you have your heart set on a more urban retreat, visit Kuala Lumpur, the country’s capital. Book day trips and excursions in advance to avoid disappointment on the day.

Ladakh

Ladakh is a Himalayan region located in North India. It is a summer favorite, with azure blue skies and beautiful weather throughout the summer months. Try exploring the stunning landscape and visiting Buddhist temples along the way. Roads in the region are closed from October to May, so make the most of them being open. Hire a vehicle and take a drive through one of the most spectacular mountain ranges known to man.

Koh Samui

If Thailand has captured your heart, you might fancy taking a trip to Koh Samui. Better known destinations, such as Phuket, are located in the Andaman Sea and experience wet seasons during summer. But Koh Samui lies in the Gulf of Thailand, which has sunny and dry weathers at this time of year.

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