Surrounded by the stunning seascapes of the Pacific and the Indian Ocean, Asia considerably is the largest continent on Earth. Also, one of the culturally rich continents that gets its coastal culture and cuisine from its expansive water bodies. Apart from traditional opulence, Asia also boasts awe-inspiring mountain ranges, rivers and UNESCO sites. No matter where you travel, you will always be accompanied by islands, ancient history and boundless adventures. Asia has something for everyone! Of all the 48 countries in Asia, here’s a rundown of our 10 most favourite and must-explore destinations.
1. Incredible India
Steeped in rich traditions, India is a country of vivid contrasts. This incredible nation is famous for its magnificent architecture, UNESCO sites, tranquil beaches, cultural heritage, spices and enchanting travels. However, more popular for its unity in diversity pledge. Therefore, to entirely feel the magic of India you must travel across the country. For instance, explore the royal castles of Jaipur, take a boat ride in Varanasi, and traverse into the interiors of Bandhavgarh Wildlife sanctuary. Each location will help you create a special memory. Some of the best cities to visit in India are Manali, Udaipur, Agra, Kochi, Goa, Hyderabad, Rishikesh, Pondicherry, Vishakhapatnam, and Haridwar.
The Sci-fi and garden city of Asia, Singapore, is yet another fascinating destination worth exploring. If you think you will be consumed by the city’s towering expansiveness then wait till you visit its museums and gardens. This economic powerhouse of Asia will surprise you at every corner. So much so, that either the high lifestyle standards will leave you inspired or downhearted. To get inspired, take your tastebuds on an adventure with the Singaporean food tasting, whether it be street food or a Michelin star fine dining. Do not leave the city until you try the Chilli Crabs and the Laksa noodles. After that, venture out to explore the city’s public art, distinctive architecture and the Botanical Gardens of the Bay. To unwind, take a leisurely walk by the Marina Bay Center. Or for an adventurous day out, visit Madame Tussauds and the Universal studio.
Next to Singapore, is Malaysia, a country with an entirely different culture. Engulfed with remote islands, 875 white sand beaches and a rather sunny countryside, Malaysia is where you will see the best of the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand. Malaysia is a melting pot of diversities and exotic cuisines. This land of eternal summer engages tourists throughout the year. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital is famous for Petronas Twin Towers, skyscrapers, historical heritage and colonial architecture.
The Cambodian territory has plenty of attractions to excite your travel palate. In this enchanted Asian land, you will find the best of temples, history, culture, people, museums, nightlife, markets and adventurous activities. Siem Reap, Cambodia’s primed capital houses the most-spoken ruins of Angkor Wat. The 12th-century Angkor Wat is one of the world’s largest religious complex with a remarkable collection of ancient structures. This complex along with Angkor Thom Royal City express Cambodian mythology.
China opens doors to the finest-remnants of the imperial past. From cultural heritage to modernism, China’s wealth of history and sightseeing is unmatchable. China’s 800-year-old capital Beijing holds the treasures of Ming Tombs, Forbidden City, Great Wall and the Hall of Harmony. In addition to which, you must also take a look at the imperial styled palaces, porcelain-laid spires, relics and establishments like the Mao Memorial Hall and Tiananmen Square. The traditional Chinese architecture of Ngong Ping village and Victoria Peak are certainly explore-worthy. While here, spend your evenings at the traditional shopping areas, outdoor markets, floating markets, Wangfujing Street, Qianmen Street and the Silk Market. Also, eat dim sums and drink Chinese tea.
Indonesia is a melange of exotic offerings. From scrumptious gastronomy deals to iconic beaches and historic culture, Indonesia features the best of coastal culture in Asia. Whether you choose to sip a summer cocktail by the bay or immerse in glorious sunsets, Indonesia will give you all the right reasons to extend your vacation. Indonesia also features the best Asian Spas and shopping avenues. The culinary retreats vary from spicy coconut to local high-flavoured concoctions.
Thailand has been rated as one of the most economical and beautiful destinations of Asia. From adventure sports, shopping, sightseeing to Spa, Thai adventures are endless. However, to truly experience the cultural essence of Thailand, you must visit its white sand beaches, floating markets, gardens, Grand Palace, Siam Square, Buddha temples and the 15th-century emerald sculpture. Patong Beach is one of Thailand’s best where you can enjoy phenomenal sunsets, coastal seafood and homemade noodles.
Japan is a small island country but it’s also the world’s most expensive. This Asian destination is, not only, a powerhouse of pop culture, but also, features the world’s best Michelin-starred restaurants, ancient temples and urban karaoke bars. In Japan, where culture meets couture, you can taste sophisticated flavours, enjoy the indigenous richness, sit under cherry blossom trees and admire unique art forms. This East Asian country situated in the Pacific Ocean, stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea.
9. Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, the teardrop country of Asia is situated in the Indian Ocean near the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea. Famous for tea and spices, Sri Lanka is a coastal nation that also flaunts pre-historic human settlements dating back to at least 1000 centuries. Immersed in a rich cultural heritage, Sri Lanka is also where you will unearth the 29 BC ancient Buddhist writings, deep harbours, untapped wildlife, colonial architecture and expansive tea estates.
The Philippines is a Southeastern Asian archipelagic country in the Pacific Ocean consisting over 7,600 islands. It is the world’s 5th largest island country surrounded by the Philippine and the China Sea. The Philippines boasts the world’s richest biodiversity, prehistoric archipelagos, maritime states and Hispanic colonization. The island country is famous for its remarkable beaches, monuments, heritage towns, rainforests, and diving spots amongst the most popular landmarks. While here, do taste the Filipino Kare Kare, Chicken adobo, Lechon and Balut and ‘Halo-Halo’ in desserts.