Where to Travel in Asia: Epic Destinations for Your Bucket List

Ready to map out your next adventure in Asia? Let This City Knows chart your course to unforgettable experiences.

Smiling couple in winter wear at Gyeongbokgung Palace in South Korea, a must-visit for Asia travelers
Smiling couple in winter wear at Gyeongbokgung Palace in South Korea, a must-visit for Asia travelers

Unveiling Where to Travel in Asia: Every Explorer’s Dream Canvas

Did you know that Asia is so vast it spans 11 time zones?

From the moment the sun rises over Japan’s Mount Fuji to when it sets on India’s Arabian Sea shores, Asia offers a day-long spectacle of wonders. This sheer size and diversity mean deciding where to travel in Asia can feel like picking your favorite star in the sky— it’s challenging, but oh-so-rewarding. But Asia’s appeal as a travel destination isn’t just in its breathtaking landscapes. It is also in its ability to seamlessly blend ancient traditions with the rush of the future. Without a doubt, there’s so much more to discover than what you might know on this side of the world.

Diving into this blog, we’ll journey from the tropical paradises of Thailand to the countless islands of the Philippines to the architectural wonders of India. Whether you’re drawn to serene beaches or spiritual heritage, finding where to travel in Asia is an adventure in itself. 

And don’t worry about the planning; This City Knows is here to guide you through. Our treasure trove of travel wisdom and tips makes discovering Asia’s best-kept secrets and celebrated gems an exciting, hassle-free experience!

With that, let’s start this journey together because when it comes to exploring Asia, knowing where to start is everything.

1. Japan: Where Past Meets Future

Perfect for: tradition, tech, and nature lovers

Exploring Asia’s hidden gems leads you straight to Japan, a country where ancient traditions seamlessly merge with futuristic innovations. Kyoto’s historical temples, like Kinkaku-ji, transport you centuries back, while Tokyo’s Akihabara district, otherwise known as ‘Electric Town’ offers a glimpse into cutting-edge technological advancements and pop culture. Meanwhile, the iconic and revered Mount Fuji is a symbol of natural beauty and serenity. It is best viewed from October to February for crystal-clear skies. 

As you dive deeper into Japanese culture, staying in a ryokan can surely provide you with an authentic experience. It combines traditional hospitality with the peaceful elegance of Japanese design.

Insider tip: The bamboo groves of Arashiyama offer a tranquil escape in Kyoto, perfect for those seeking peace away from the tourist trails.

2. South Korea: A Pop Culture Phenomenon with Historic Roots

Perfect for: K-pop, history, and food fans

If you’re still wondering where else you can travel in Asia, South Korea is another top-of-mind recommendation. Here, tradition and modernity also coexist in harmony but in a totally different spectrum than in Japan. In Seoul, you can step back in time at Gyeongbokgung Palace, a testament to the Joseon dynasty, and then experience the height of modern culture with the city’s K-pop scene, featuring global sensations like BTS and Blackpink. 

When it comes to food, the streets of Insadong serve up traditional dishes like kimchi jjigae and bulgogi that are sure to delight any palate. For an authentic Korean experience, consider staying in a traditional hanok, where you can live like locals did centuries ago but with all the modern comforts. In other words, South Korea offers a unique blend of the old and the new, with unique flavors you can’t find anywhere else.

Insider tip: Head to N Seoul Tower in spring to catch the breathtaking cherry blossoms against a city skyline backdrop.

3. China: A Civilization Unfolding

Perfect for: Ancient history buffs, urban adventurers, lovers of the great outdoors

Asian travel destinations often boast rich histories, but China is on another level. China’s past is palpable with the Great Wall winding its way across the countryside and the Terracotta Army standing guard for millennia. 

Nonetheless, modernity is just as present as the remnants of the past. In cities like Shanghai, where the skyline seems to stretch into the future. For a touch of nature’s majesty, Zhangjiajie National Forest Park offers landscapes so mystical they inspired the floating mountains in Avatar. And for those seeking to immerse themselves in China’s bustling city life, The PuLi Hotel and Spa in Shanghai efficiently combines luxury with cultural richness.

Insider tip: For a quieter visit to the Great Wall, the Mutianyu section is less crowded but just as stunning.

4. Thailand: Beyond the Tropical Paradise

Perfect for: Beach, culture, and food enthusiasts

If you find yourself asking where to travel in Asia for a taste of everything, Thailand is your best bet. From the spiritual calm of Wat Pho’s reclining Buddha in Bangkok to the lively streets where you can savor pad thai or mango sticky rice, Thailand is a true delight for the senses. 

The Tongsai Bay on Koh Samui offers serene beaches and luxury amidst nature, providing a peaceful retreat from the bustling city life. This serves as a testament to how Thailand combines cultural depth, culinary excellence, and natural beauty that is simply unparalleled.

Insider tip: Earning the nickname “the Maldives of Thailand,” Koh Lipe is your go-to for pristine beaches away from the crowds.

Hikers gaze at towering misty cliffs of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in China, a top Asia travel destination for adventurers
Hikers gaze at towering misty cliffs of Zhangjiajie National Forest Park in China, a top Asia travel destination for adventurers

5. Vietnam: A Tapestry of Nature and Culture

Perfect for: Scenery, coffee, and culture seekers

Vietnam is another Asian hotspot that presents a treasure trove of experiences for those pondering where to travel in Asia. The streets of Hanoi are a live gallery of the country’s history and modernity, with the serene Hoan Kiem Lake and bustling Old Quarter. Here, you can enjoy a strong, freshly brewed Vietnamese coffee or indulge in local culinary staples like pho and banh mi

On the other hand, Halong Bay’s tranquil waters offer a quiet reprieve from the city’s energy, and staying at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi will add a layer of colonial charm to your visit. Vietnam’s vibrant culture, breathtaking landscapes, and rich history truly make it a standout Asian destination.

Insider tip: Experience the Lantern Festival in Hoi An for a truly enchanting evening, best seen in February when the town glows with lantern lights.

6. Philippines: Archipelago of Adventures

Perfect for: Nature, culture, and adventure buffs

The Philippines, with its sprawling archipelago of over 7,100 islands, exude a vast gamut of natural wonders and cultural richness. From the stunning lagoons of Palawan to the ancient, verdant rice terraces of Banaue, the country offers diverse landscapes waiting to be explored by even the most intrepid wanderer. 

The Philippines’ rich biodiversity includes unique species found nowhere else on Earth. For divers, Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park is a must-visit, renowned for its vibrant marine life and coral gardens.

Insider tip: Surfing aficionados should head to Siargao Island in the summer. Its charm extends beyond the famous waves, including hidden lagoons and secluded beaches. A bonus tidbit: this island paradise is also featured as the scenic setting for a music video by the K-pop group The Boyz!

7. Indonesia: Island Dreams and Cultural Mosaic

Perfect for: Cultural trip seekers, nature lovers, spiritual explorers

Cultural trips in Asia often spotlight Indonesia, as a vast archipelago where the spiritual and the natural world entwine. 

Let’s enumerate: Bali enchants with its ceremonial dances and intricate temple ceremonies, inviting visitors into its deeply spiritual life. The Komodo National Park, home to the fascinating Komodo dragons, showcases the country’s wild side. Then there’s Borobudur, the world’s largest Buddhist temple, standing as a monument to Indonesia’s historical and spiritual depth.

Insider tip: For a serene retreat, consider staying in Ubud, where the surrounding rice paddies and tranquil temples create a soothing backdrop for relaxation and reflection.

Scuba divers explore the vibrant coral reefs of Tubbataha Reefs in the Philippines, a popular destination in Asia for marine beauty
Scuba divers explore the vibrant coral reefs of Tubbataha Reefs in the Philippines, a popular destination in Asia for marine beauty

8. Nepal: Where the Earth Meets the Sky

Perfect for: Spirituality, adventure, and nature fans

Nepal promises every visitor a profound journey into spirituality against the backdrop of its awe-inspiring Himalayas. Kathmandu, the capital, is dotted with ancient temples like Swayambhunath, offering insights into Nepal’s rich cultural and religious fabric. 

But the Himalayas are not just another trekker’s paradise. It proves to be a unique symbol of nature’s sublime beauty, with Mount Everest as its crowning jewel. The Sherpa people, renowned for their mountaineering expertise, embody a deep connection with this landscape.

Insider tip: For those seeking a unique experience, the trek to Everest Base Camp in the spring or autumn provides spectacular views and a sense of accomplishment while avoiding the extreme winter cold.

9. India: A Symphony of Colors and Chaos

Perfect for: Culture, food, and history aficionados

If you’re mapping out where to travel in Asia, India’s kaleidoscopic blend of cultures, flavors, and histories is unparalleled. The Taj Mahal isn’t just an architectural marvel; it’s a monument to love, captivating visitors with its poignant story. From the spicy street foods of Delhi to the coastal curries of Goa, India’s culinary scene is as diverse as its languages— over 1,600 of them. 

However, to truly immerse yourself in Indian culture, time your visit with festivals like Diwali or Holi, where the vibrancy of Indian traditions comes alive.

Insider tip: Experience royal luxury by staying in a palace hotel in Udaipur, where you can live like Maharajas and Maharani, surrounded by the serene beauty of the lakes and grandiose architecture.

10. Uzbekistan: Echoes of the Silk Road

Perfect for: History, architecture, and adventure lovers

Where to travel in Asia for a taste of history? Uzbekistan beckons with its storied cities and Silk Road sagas. Samarkand’s Registan Square, with its awe-inspiring Islamic architecture, transports you to the time when caravans laden with silk and spices passed through. 

The country’s rich heritage is absolutely woven into every corner— from the intricate tileworks of its mosques to the ancient silk weaving techniques still practiced today.

Insider tip: Don’t miss Bukhara’s bazaars, where you can find authentic souvenirs ranging from handwoven rugs to intricate ceramics. 

Know Where to Travel in Asia with This City Knows

We’ve just taken a whirlwind tour of Asia, stopping by some of the coolest spots you can imagine. From Japan’s mix of old-school cool and futuristic vibes to the Philippines’ endless beaches, we’ve covered some premier ‘where to travel in Asia’ spots. Whether you’re into tasting the best local dishes, snapping pics of ancient wonders, or diving into crystal-clear waters, there’s always a worthy Asian hotspot just waiting for you.

When it comes to hitting the road, knowing a few insider tips can really make a trip. This City Knows is all about helping you get the most out of your travels, ensuring you know the best times to visit, the coolest places to stay, and how to find those hidden gems. 

Thinking about exploring Asia? 

Plan your trip with This City Knows, and prepare for an Asian adventure that’s tailor-made just for you!

Author: Lei

Armed with curiosity and a knack for planning, Lei loves finding cool stuff to do and places to see that aren't packed with tourists. This City Knows becomes her platform to guide you through the world's wonders, sharing easy tips for making your trip awesome and packed with memories.

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