If you’ve never been, Asia is an incredible destination for holidays and adventures. To inspire you we have selected some of the incredible Asian destinations that you might want to include on your #BookItList.
Asia is the largest continent in the world, covering over 17 million square miles and homing over half the world’s population. It’s an exotic place, with some of the most unique cultures on Earth and some of the most varied, exquisite foods.
The choices are almost endless: scaling the Great Wall of China … snorkelling near Amos Rock in the Phillipines … leopard spotting in Rajasthan … or even seeing North Korea, the most remote country in the world. There are places thought to be spiritually or religiously sacred, astonishing wildlife and scenery, enormous cities, bustling markets, tropical paradises and so much more.
Here are some our favourite picks for your Asian Adventure.
1. Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan – Discover the cutest place in the world
Known as the “kawaii” (adorable) capital of the world, the Harajuku district is famed for the vibrant outfits worn by countless people in the area. Some “Harajuku girls” almost seem to have become neon-coloured living cartoons, and embody the pop-culture cuteness of Tokyo’s wilder fashion trends.
There is far more to see than the Harajuku fashion on Takeshita Street, which is known as the “Mecca of Kawaii”, though. Cat Street is lined with hip boutiques and stylish stores, while nearby Shibuya is excellent for trendy clothes shopping and countless other goods.
When you need a rest from the shopping, pick up one of the highly popular crepes before taking a seat in one of the many animal cafes, where you’ll find yourself surrounded by cats, bunnies, owls, and more.
2. Indonesia – Go Komodo Dragon spotting
In 2017, Indonesia’s Komodo National Park was selected by National Geographic magazine as being among the world’s top ten destinations. It is the only place on the planet where you can visit a national park and have a close encounter with the largest living lizard species.
Visiting this park is an incredible adventure. Rangers will take you on safe walking tours to spot the majestic Komodo dragons, and while this experience is unique and enthralling there is more to see and do on Komodo Island. There is also a wide array of wildlife both on land and glittering beneath seawater which is perfect for diving, pink-sand beaches to laze upon, and even a nearby restaurant based on a refurbished sunken phinisi ship.
Komodo National Park has been praised by world-famous celebrities that include Gwyneth Paltrow and the legendary Italian MotoGP rider Valentino Rossi.
3. Sri Lanka – Chena Huts
This is the 5* experience of a lifetime: a stay in one of these exquisite accommodations, which stand in one of Sri Lanka’s most wildlife-packed coastal jungle, in Yala National Park. These stunning “huts” – which are more like luxurious suites – come with private pools and tall windows looking out into foliage where monkeys chatter, leopards stalk, buffalo roam, and even the occasional elephant pops by to show its gigantic face.
At Chena Huts, the staff keep the rooms meticulously clean and are on hand to serve drinks, prepare tasty a la carte food and fine dining, or take you on safari throughout the day.
These rooms aren’t cheap by any means, but the sensational experience and the unforgettable memories are well worth the price tag.
4. Agra, India – See one of the 7 wonders of the world, and more
Agra is known for being home to the Taj Mahal, the resplendent white marble mausoleum that attracts more than 7 million visitors every year. However, the Taj Mahal is just one of many reasons to visit this gorgeous and lively Indian city.
The architecture is superb throughout, showing contrasts between the opulence of the Mughal structures and the gritty vibrancy of the city markets. To see these differences, make sure to drop by Agra Fort, Kachhpura Village, the Old City Bazaars, the Jama Masjid, and the Buland Darwaza.
And don’t even get us started on the fragrant and delicious food!
5. Elephant Hills, Thailand – Meet Dumbo, for real
While most companies will no longer offer elephant rides – for good reasons – an Elephant Experience here will see you coming face-to-face with these incredible animals, feeding them, washing them, and interacting with them. A visit to this luxury tented jungle camp will give you the chance to experience Asia’s largest land animal in a way that few people can.
The Elephant Hills Elephant Experience was awarded the Thailand Green Excellence Award for Animal Welfare in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017, meaning that you can be reassured that their pachyderms are taken care of in an ethical manner, while enjoying one of Thailand’s most unforgettable wildlife experiences.
6. Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia – Cruise along the Mekong River
The Mekong River winds a path through 6 Asian countries, and a cruise along part of its 2,700 miles will take you on an inspiring journey through intriguing cultures and ancient traditions.
There is a wide choice of unforgettable cruises to choose from, depending on where you want to explore. Some visitors want to see the sweeping hills and ancient temples of Vietnam, before walking the streets of its fascinating capital, Hanoi. Others might prefer seeing the magnificent green Cambodian countryside passing by during the cruise, or to start in vibrant Bangkok with a boat ride through the famed canals in Thailand’s capital.
If you’re looking for luxury with a taste bud-tingling twist, start an elegant Vietnamese river cruise sampling a special tasting menu in the company of celebrity chef Luke Nguyen at his much-loved Vietnam House Restaurant.
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