Heading to Asia? Many travelers flock to the same old destinations, such as Bangkok, Delhi and Tokyo, without considering the lesser-known but perhaps more exciting hotspots. Here are just five of those unexpectedly exciting destinations to visit in Asia.
If you’re heading to Japan you’re likely going to one of two cities – Tokyo or Kyoto. They’re both unmissable and strikingly different, the former offering bright lights and constant energy with the latter draped in history and culture. However, consider the lesser known Okinawa, a world away from anywhere else in the country.
This island is removed from Japan’s usual hotspots, with landlocked cities being the main appeal for many travelers. Okinawa is more of an escape, with constantly warm weather year-round, clear waters to dive into and inland jungles and other natural wonders to discover. If you want a beach holiday in a completely unexpected destination, this is the place for you.
Also read – Ultimate South East Asia Travel Budget
Chiang Rai, Thailand
If you’re visiting Thailand you’ll likely be heading to Chiang Mai, the city full of historical value what with being the centre of the Lanna Kingdom in the 16th Century. Don’t overlook the nearby Chiang Rai, however – it’s just as important and arguably even more intriguing than its bigger, busier sister city.
One of Chiang Rai’s most incredible attractions is its architecture – the White Temple is an important part of the Buddhist culture, and makes for one of the most unique religious buildings not only in Thailand, but in the entire world. Chiang Rai boasts many of these unique complexes for you to explore, so be sure to make the most of your stay.
The Philippines are unfairly overlooked by people travelling in Southeast Asia despite its massive appeal – Palawan is one of the most desirable destinations in the world. The Huffington Post calls it “the most beautiful island in the world”, and for good reason.
With luscious jungles, bright turquoise waters and secret lakes and lagoons to discover and explore, it’s a traveler’s paradise. Alongside this, Palawan has some stranger sights to experience – the Subterranean River is just one of these, where you can sail underground and discover one of the strangest yet most beautiful cave systems in the world.
Picture credit – http://meet-the-philippines.com
You might not have even heard of Tajikistan, one of the five major nations in Central Asia. Sharing borders with Afghanistan and China, this country isn’t exactly at the top of many travellers’ bucket lists, but it hides something you may not have realised – unparalleled opportunities for hiking and climbing.
You’ll be forgiven for needing a guide like this one to help you around the country, but it’s worth visiting if you’re looking for a very active and challenging holiday. Tajikistan is rough and rugged, with some gorgeous sprawling mountain ranges and dusty plains to traverse – be prepared, and you’ll be in for an unforgettable experience.
If you’re looking for an authentic cultural experience from your travels, consider heading to India’s Kerala. This lesser-known town is where you’ll be able to reside in a homestay, families opening their doors for travelers who want an insight into a traditional way of life.
With homestays you’ll be able to experience every aspect of Indian culture, from the cooking of traditional meals to the storytelling during the evenings. It’s a unique and exciting way to gain knowledge of the country, and will likely be the most interesting trip you ever make.
Also read – Road trip to Wayanad, Kerela in Monsoon
Have you been to these destinations to visit in Asia already?