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Best Countries To Visit in Asia
Asia is a land of the exotic. Of elephants by riverbeds and pagodas rising from terraced paddy fields, of the Great Wall of China and the atolls of Malaysia, of royal palaces of India and the Himalayan ranges of Nepal. Of course, you can’t go to all the countries of Asia at once. It is that big. So to make things easier and prioritise your trip well, we have compiled a little list here detailing the best countries to visit in Asia.
One of the most forward and developed countries in Asia., Hong Kong is a coveted business centre as well as a tourism hub. With its tall skyscrapers and a very rooted Chinese culture that has embraced westernisation, Hong Kong streets are the best to just stroll across. Shopping is a thing here and you cannot go for a holiday without keeping funds aside to shop your heart out. From purses to perfumes to cute apparels, Hong Kong sells it all. Some great places not to miss are the Madame Tussauds Hong Kong, Disneyland and Victoria Peak. Do also makes sure to see the traditional dragon dances and fire-shows as well as carnivals on streets.
A country that is close to Hong Kong in its city life but starkly different in its culture, Singapore should be on your list of Asian countries to visit. It has a melting pot of varied cultures, including and not limited to Chinese, Malay, Tamil and even Eurasian. It is home to some of the most plush restaurants, pubs, hotels and sites. Do visit the Universal Studio, Woodlands, Merlion, Marina Bay Sands, Sentoza Island and Gardens by the Bay.
Imagine long stretches of isolated beach bays, atolls and caves peeping from corners, a fruity chilled drink in your hand and the sun setting in the distance. That’s Thai beaches for you. Now imagine endless shops in some of the most upmarket malls, selling everything from first copies to originals at throwaway rates. That’s Thai cities for you. So now you know what to expect when in Thailand. Beach vegetating and shopping, for one. Amazing food, for second. And some intense sightseeing of monasteries, temples, animal and bird sanctuaries and night shows.
The Japanese are some of the most resilient people on this earth. Calamities hit them, manmade and natural, and they keep fighting and emerging stronger from them, again and again. Of course, that just adds a nice touch to its beauty, with all the modern marvels they have built in cities like Tokyo and Kyoto, while maintaining the pristine beauty of its smaller villages. Visit this country during April to get the full blown experience of the country’s favourite season - Sakura, also known as Cherry Blossom. Everything is baby pink and white in nature, tasty spring deserts grace cafes and shops, and open picnics are organised everywhere. While there, do see the Kiyomizu-dera and Sanjusangendo temples in Kyoto, Tokyo Imperial Palace and Mount Fuji.
Renowned for its beaches and ancient temples, Cambodia is a backpacker’s delight. You will be thrilled with the number of things that you can do here. Visit the popular beachfronts, explore Angkor Wat temples, make your stay in the city of Siem Reap and enjoy its resort-town like feeling, and revel in the amazing food that you get in local home-stays and small hotels. Other sites worth enjoying include pagodas, Buddhist monasteries, Hindu temples and palaces peppering the cities and towns of Cambodia.
The land of unity in diversity, India is not a one-trip destination. You can never cover it in one trip, not even its most highlighted parts. However, some of the places that you need to explore on your first trip here are Delhi, Agra (yes, that Taj Mahal one), Jaipur, Udaipur, Kerala and Kashmir. From royal Rajasthani palaces and forts to backwaters that open into the Arabian Sea, from the Himalayan peaks and meadows of Kashmir to the rugged beauty of the Golden Triangle - India is a wonder waiting to be worshipped. A must-visit country in Asia.
This Southeast Asian country on the shore of the South China Sea, Vietnam is known mainly for its great cuisine and coffee. World’s best producer of coffee, also a major country for mangoes and banana and pineapples, Vietnam has made its name for the tropical paradise that it is. Visit places like the Ho Chi Minh City for its colonial French charm, go to Hanoi for its temples and Da Nang for its coast. Hoi An is also highly coveted nowadays for its rustic small town feel and the streets that are lit by lamps by evening. Go for boat rides in creeks and eat the best pho noodles you’ve ever tasted.
Another Southeast Asian country that is home to some beautiful archipelagoes, beaches, cities with wonderful contemporary skyscrapers and shopping that is lucrative with amazing deals. Visit Kuala Lumpur and its vivid skywalks and skyscrapers, walk its streets for some of the best Southeast Asian and Chinese as well as Malay cuisine, visit the Petronas Towers and check out the islands of Langkawi. Mount Kinabalu is great for hiking and backpacking while Sipidan is good for beach caves and deep sea diving.
One of the most serene countries of the world, where Buddhist and Hindu temples glorify every town and city, where monks walk freely across mountains and the magnificent Mt. Everest rises like a beacon from the Himalayan chain of mountains. Nepal is one of Asia’s best countries for a holiday. You can go to Kathmandu and explore the capital’s temples (Pashupatinath), squares and markets, go up to the Chitwan National Park for some nature therapy, visit places like Patan and Pokhara and the Annapurna Circuit. Mountaineers and avid trekkers find this country a fascination, as Everest stands tall, waiting to be conquered.
The land of pristine beaches and paddy fields, of volcanoes and dragons, of coffee and smoothie bowls - Indonesia is famous for its honeymoon capital Bali. Of course, there is a lot more to explore here. From Jakarta’s modern marvels to Yogyakarta and Java and Ubud. There are Buddhist temples, active volcanoes, banana farms and coffee plantations that beckon you with open arms. Bali is of course the best. With plush luxury resorts and beaches, it is the ultimate chill destination. So visit this country when in Asia and experience a mix of nature, heritage and thrill.
Myanmar is a small country neighbouring India. Formerly called Burma, this country is famous for its cuisine, still called Burmese. Other than the food of course, you can find varied places and things of interest here. The pagodas, the lakes, the hot air balloons flying over distant lands… they all give Myanmar a unique image in the minds of those who visit. Bagan is the place you can take hot air balloon rides over, you can visit Yagon (erstwhile: Rangoon) to see the city life of Myanmar, and don’t miss the two ancient pagodas : Shwedagon and Sule Pagoda. Myanmar can sure show you a good time when in Asia.
Tropical paradise, haven for beach babies, luxury personified. That is Philippines for you. The country hosts two main seasons - wet and dry. Choose the drier one for the most amazing time. This is between November and April, when the rains are almost gone, the temperatures are mild and the sea merciful. Explore the city of Manila, Rizal Park and Cebu. Go to the Banaue Rice Terraces to experience the lush green plantations of this country. Visit the Bohol neighbourhood for sandy shores and chocolate hills, enjoy the gorgeous landscapes of Palawan and let your hair down at the parties in Boracay.
An island country south of India, located in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is a brilliant amalgamation of nature, heritage and history. There are highland ranges ripe with tea and coffee plantations, as well as beaches that kiss the shore of the Indian Ocean. There are colonial heritage towns with some of the most brilliant architectural wonders as well as trains and trams that remind you of a vintage era. Visit places like Kandy, Galle, Nuwara Elliya and Colombo when on a trip here. In addition to sightseeing, you will also enjoy treks, yoga workshops, spas and local shopping.
Bhutan is another small nation in the crook of India’s east. A hilly mountainous terrain, Bhutan is supposed to be the home to some of the happiest people in the world. The land itself has such strong peaceful positive vibrations, credited to the monks who meditated here centuries ago after a terrible war resulted in the land becoming bloodied. Since then, even the dynasties and governments of Bhutan have ensured that peace prevails here. Visit its small towns and cities, Buddhist monasteries and mountain spas to partake in that serenity.
Technically, Russia can also be called a Eurasian country. But since for the most part it shares the Asian name, one can safely say that it is a great country to visit when touring Asia. Lying in the north of the continent, Russia depicts a starkly temperate, going towards arctic climate. The summers here are mild while winters freezing, unlike the rest of Asia. Visit Moscow for its pagoda temples with candy floss like striped exteriors, St Petersburg for the palaces and Kazan for its museums. Then of course, there is vodka everywhere you go!