Traveling in Asia is in fashion right now. You just have to take a look at your Facebook feed: everyone is in Thailand, Vietnam or Japan. And maybe you’ve already visited these places yourself! But Asia is gigantic. The best places to visit in Asia are not limited to the borders of the island of Bali. There is so much to discover …
Here are six of the best places to visit in Asia that are totally underrated! To your backpacks!
The Island of Taiwan – One of the Best Places to Visit in Asia
The most underrated destination of all Asia, and probably of the planet, at present, is Taiwan. Stunning beaches, an ultramodern metropolis and Taiwanese street food all put Taiwan at the top of places to discover. Add to these the generous and smiling locals, and surprises such as the city of Kaohsiung and you have several reasons to explore this island nation.
Is Taiwan a country in its own right or a Chinese province? In Taiwan, they speak Mandarin, that is to say, the same language as the whole of China. And despite the political turmoil that afflicts the place, Taiwan has its own currency. Also, the Taiwanese are very proud of their culture – something that is not to be taken lightly in the universe of China.
Taiwan is a complex place… in a good sense. Taipei is a pleasant city to discover despite its somewhat grey side. And the beaches of Kenting, at the southern end of the island, are worth a visit.
City of Cebu in the Philippines
Cebu Island, Philippines – One of the Best Places to Visit in Asia
The fashion of egotourism and the Philippines go hand in hand. The islands of Boracay and Palawan are mecques of egoportraits and photos in bikini. Everyone wants to go there: the young people want to, the old ones talk about it with desire.
However, real life in the Philippines takes place in cities. Since Manila is rather unappealing, many stay at the airport and travel to places considered more heavenly. Fortunately, the informed traveler is aware of the existence of an alternative.
Cebu Airport is a portal to several great destinations across the country. But that’s not all. The island of Cebu, host of the city of the same name, has several quality tourist destinations. These include Moalboal and Oslob. The beautiful island of Siquijor, supposedly haunted by witches, is also nearby. One can also visit the small colonial town of Dumaguete from Cebu.
Bhutan is located between India, Tibet, Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar. Visiting this tiny, authoritarian, landlocked country is like returning to the 1960s. There are very few telephone lines, and cell phones and the internet are scarce… And crime is rarely seen!
It is a kingdom led by a young, charismatic sovereign named Jigme Khesar Namgyel Wangchuck. His reign began in 2008. He immediately began to establish democracy in his country. He is worshiped almost universally. In fact, it’s the law to worship him!
The scenery is breathtaking. Built on mountainous terrain, the country has pagodas, peaks and edifices extraordinaire. This presents a good opportunity for egotourists to fill up their “likes” on Instagram!
On the track of Southeast Asia, Laos is a little bit like a forgotten child. Of course, the English and the Australians go to Vang Vieng for the famous drunk tubing thing… But aside from vulgar amusements, Laos is a destination that longs to be discovered.
The capital of Vientiane celebrates Buddhist Lent every year. It’s divided into several festivals. The boat races on the Mekong River represent the biggest party of the year. Vientiane is bustling with people on the banks of the river. The road that lines the river is filled with kiosks where people sell t-shirts, sunglasses and other items. And the streets are in full effervescence.
But beyond celebrations, the main reason to visit Laos is for one to experience the kindness of its residents. They smile – they always do! These smiles remain imprinted in the minds of travelers and are transformed into nostalgia almost immediately.
Dian Lake, Kunming, Yunnan, China
Yunnan Province, China
China is such a gigantic country that it would be impossible to describe it in a single column. However, Yunnan Province is probably one of the most accessible to “Western” tourists.
In China, elbowing in public transport and constantly jostling for space is commonplace. It’s a matter of culture. The normal way of behaving over there is extremely exotic to us.
That said, Yunnan and its capital, Kunming, may represent a “light” version of mainland China. The city is inevitably a giant (this is China after all) with 6.6 million inhabitants! Nevertheless, the old town has an almost European charm. It is easy to get access to the countryside and there is a true reflection of ancestral China, unlike the fake old villages surrounding Beijing. The cuisine resembles that of neighboring Vietnam, which is more accessible than the Sichuan’s hyper-spiced dishes, for example.
Most of the destinations on this list are easily found on a map. Andaman & Nicobar? Perhaps not so much.
Did you know that off of Thailand’s coast is an archipelago that belongs to India? 380,000 Indians live a few kilometers from Thailand, between Myanmar and Malaysia, on islands barely explored by Western tourists! Idyllic beaches, fragrant meals, cheap beer… Why not?
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