There are so many exciting top destinations in Asia. Whether you’re drawn by rolling countryside, isolated island, soaring mountain or eyeing a more exotic trip abroad, We pick out the best places to help you plan your travels. Hold onto your passport – these are the trends that will influence how and where you travel in 2018.
Thailand | India | Vietnam | Indonesia | Philippines | Mongolia | Taiwan | Japan | Kazakhstan | China
Ladakh or the ‘Land of High Passes’ is a barren yet beautiful region located in the north Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. Sharing its east border with Tibet, Ladakh has Lahaul and Spiti to its south and the Kashmir valley to the west. Strategically placed on ancient trade routes, Ladakh lies between the Kunlun Mountains in the north and the Himalayas in the south. The region originally comprised the Baltistan valley, the Indus Valley, Zanskar, Lahaul, Spiti, Aksai Chin and Ngari.
EL NIDO, PHILIPPINES
The northern part of Palawan province is blessed with crystal-clear waters, pristine beaches, and a wealth of flora and fauna. It is here that El Nido, spectacular ancient limestone cliffs tower over marine sanctuaries teeming with innumerable species of tropical fish and coral, as well as five species of endangered sea turtles. Lush forests abound with more than 100 species of birds. It is a truly exotic destination.
SON DOONG, VIETNAM
Son Doong Cave is in the heart of the Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, a Unesco-listed jungle area which contains some of the oldest karst mountains in Asia. It’s located in the Quang Binh province of Central Vietnam. Only recently explored in 2009-2010 by the British Cave Research Association, the cave has only been open to the public since 2013. Less people have seen the inside of Hang Son Doong than have stood on the summit of Mount Everest. Visitors must travel through the remote Ban Doong ethnic minority village, which has just 40 inhabitants.
TERELJ NATIONAL PARK, MONGOLIA
Terelj National Park is the most popular destination and the third biggest protected area in Mongolia. Visitors can take leisurely strolls on meadows carpeted with edelweiss and a dazzling variety of other wild flowers, view fascinating rock formations against a backdrop of pine covered mountains and wander along the wooded banks of a mountain stream. The park is located 80 km away from Ulaanbaatar and is one of the most beautiful places in Mongolia . There are also a huge number of adventure activities such as rafting, riding, hiking, skiing, camping and mountain biking.
PANJIN RED BEACH, CHINA
The Red Beach refers to the top scenic area of the city in a 100 square kilometers (39 square miles) reed field of Dawa County. The red color comes from a kind of grass that can grow in saline and alkaline soil. Set in the Red Beach and broad reed field, is a wonderful scenic wetland tourist resort area. Furthermore, wooden buildings in archaic style bring more elegance to the scenic area. You can find the endangered Crown Cranes and Black Beaked Gulls there, which is why the area is even called “home of the cranes”.
Taitung is situated on a small plain between the mountains and the ocean at the southern mouth of the East Rift Valley. The mountains are pristine, the water pure and the rice good quality; other agricultural products of which the county is rightly proud are tea, golden day lily, sugar apple, shaved fish and sailfish. This provides Taitung with not only spectacular scenery but also an ocean breeze that makes this tropical city surprisingly comfortable. These natural charms have earned Taitung the nickname as the “garden of Taiwan.” True to this reputation, Taitung is a bona fide paradise for a healthy and relaxing holiday escape in nature’s embrace.
“Nikko is Nippon” is the slogan spread on posters throughout this small town in the mountains of Tochigi Prefecture. And, true to the slogan, Nikko is a plain-looking little mountain settlement in which nestles a pay-to-view miracle of cultural achievement. Nikko showcases some of Japan’s most splendid – even gaudy – high culture in a serene and evocative mountain wilderness, and offers a unique combination of natural quietude and cultural opulence.
RAJA AMPAT, INDONESIA
Far from the view-blocking skyscrapers, dense and hectic concrete jungles, congested traffics, flickering electric billboards, endless annoying noises, and all the nuisances of modern cities, you will find a pristine paradise where Mother Nature and warm friendly people welcome you with all the exceptional wonders in Raja Ampat, the islands-regency in West Papua Province. With all the spectacular wonders above and beyond its waters, as well as on land and amidst the thick jungles, this is truly the place where words such as beautiful, enchanting, magnificent, and fascinating gets its true physical meaning.
Almaty, its biggest city, may have ceded capital status to its flashy young rival, Astana, but it remains the country’s cultural and financial centre, and custodian of the Kazakh soul. Spectacularly set beneath the snow-capped peaks of the imperious Zailysky-Alatau mountains, it’s a relaxed, pleasantly green city of fancy malls and fountains, black-windowed SUVs and broad, busy boulevards. It’s the sophisticated, modern hub of a booming petro-economy for sure, but one with enough surprises to make Almaty a
highlight of any visit to Kazakhstan.