Whether you’ve been to Asia before or this is your first time travelling there, it can be so difficult to pin down which places you want to visit. Asia is huge and has so many foodie capitals, UNESCO sites and cultural adventures just waiting to be unlocked. If you’re planning your first big trip to Asia, consider adding these hotspots to your list.
South of Tokyo, Japan
South of Tokyo has two must-see cities for anyone who has Japan in their sights. These are Yokohama and Kamakura, and both are less than an hour from the capital and offer contrasting sights and sounds, meaning you’ll get the most out of Japan on a trip to the South of Tokyo. Yokohama’s bayside appeal and neon lights serve as the perfect backdrop for any photo opportunity, while it also features hidden gems such as microbreweries. Kamakura, on the other hand, is a relaxed seaside town with rolling hills, shrines and temples. Surfing, seaside cafes, restaurants and an iconic Buddha statue are just some of the reasons to visit.
A food and shopping mecca, Singapore is one of the most pleasant places you’ll ever visit, not to mention the cleanest. This little haven (“little” when compared to other Asian cities) has some of the best food in the world thanks to its unique blend of cultures, along with mega-mall shopping to entice travellers who can’t resist bargain hunting while away on holiday.
The Hill Country, Sri Lanka
Tea lovers will be in good company with the world-famous Ceylon Tea Museum there to give lessons on the country’s most famous export, while hikers will also enjoy one of India’s fastest-growing hiking centres, Ella, which offers great local trails and a delightful high-street with cafés and restaurants. Sinharaja Forest Reserve, Horton Plains National Park & World's End, and Uda Walawe National Park are also highlights for nature-lovers.
George Town, Malaysia
The historic buildings of Pinang Peranakan Mansion & Straits Chinese Jewelry Museum, Blue Mansion and Khoo Kongsi are not just some of the top things to see in George Town, but also in all of Malaysia. These buildings combine centuries of ancient cultures along with indigenous and colonial architecture, and will all make great additions to your Instagram grid. George Town is especially unique as it combines history and culture with the lines of mosques, temples, skyscrapers and villages all existing alongside one another. Unsurprisingly, you can also enjoy some of the best food in Southeast Asia—and you shouldn’t expect anything less from a spot where so many cultures and styles of cooking exist together.
Featured in Elizabeth Gilbert’s worldwide best-seller, Eat, Pray, Love, you can experience an awakening of your own in this beautiful Indonesian spot. Streets of shops, cafés, restaurants and artisanal goods to return home with give you the opportunity to experience culture without compromising on quality or comforts. Ubud’s popularity makes it the ideal place for travellers because when it comes to food and accommodation, there’s something for everyone, no matter your budget. The stunning rice fields are also a sight to behold, and perfect for sunset strolls.
Northern Kerala, India
Not as popular as its southern beaches, Northern Kerala is the ideal spot to enjoy privacy as you practically get to have the beach to yourself while other tourists flock to the south, meaning these are some of the most pristine beaches in the area. The new international airport in Kannur will also make this underrated part of the state easily accessible. You can also enjoy Wayanad, a gorgeous wildlife sanctuary that is as peaceful for the tourists who travel through it as it is for the elephants and other animals that safely inhabit it.
Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City ticks all the boxes—budget travel, amazing food and drinks, trekking and adventure, coasts, islands, wildlife and more! Ho Chi Minh City region will definitely satisfy whatever it is you’re after. Famous sites include the War Remnants Museum, Giac Lam Pagoda, and Phuoc An Hoi Quan Pagoda, and you definitely can’t leave without eating your way through a street market or visiting the Cu Chi Tunnels.
These are just some of the phenomenal hotspots to tick off of your Asian Tour bucket list. Have a look at the Asian adventures we’re offering and get started on planning your trip today.