25 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Asia
Considered the largest and most populous continent in the world, Asia covers around 30% land area of the Earth, the birthplace of major religions, from Hinduism and Buddhism to Christianity and Islam. Asia is known for its captivating cities, unique cuisines, and exciting nightlife. Apart from its diverse religion, Asia is home to breathtaking beaches, luscious valleys, rugged mountains, and historical and cultural landmarks, which will surely pique the interest of each traveler.
So if you’re wondering where to start, here are the top 25 best places to visit in Asia:
1. Tokyo, Japan
First on the list of the 25 best places to visit in Asia, Tokyo is the futuristic capital of Japan, known for electronics, video games, Anime, and manga. Tokyo is also one of the most populous and quirkiest cities worldwide, boasting the Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo Skytree, robot parties, and cat cafes.
Aside from its cutting-edge technology, the neon-lit city is famous for its cuisine, cherry blossoms, calligraphy, and the Asakusa historic district filled with museums, gardens, and temples.
Next on the list is one of the top summer destinations in Asia, Maldives, a tropical paradise worth visiting. Located in the Indian Ocean, Maldives is a stunning group of islands with crystal clear blue waters and fine white sand beaches, one of the best getaway destinations, especially for honeymooners.
Maldives is also known for its pounding nightlife, iconic luxurious floating accommodations, and fascinating underwater world, perfect for scuba diving, snorkeling, and other water sports activities.
3. El Nido, Philippines
One of the best places to visit in Asia, El Nido is a tiny beach town in Palawan, Philippines. El Nido offers a rustic rural vibe and breathtaking natural wonders, featuring white sand beaches, gigantic limestone cliffs, jagged islets, and clear blue waters filled with abundant marine life and beautiful coral reefs.
Unlike Boracay, El Nido doesn’t have sky-high luxury hotels and is less crowded, so tourists can explore the lagoons and its caves, coves, and islets by outrigger boats or kayak.
4. Phuket, Thailand
Phuket is a word class summer destination and is the largest island in Thailand, a must-visit for tourists who enjoy nightlife and beach bumming. Located in the Andaman Sea, Phuket is a mountainous fairy-tale-like island with powdery white sands, turquoise waters, and towering limestone cliffs.
In addition, the island is home to exotic beaches and the Big Buddha white marble statue. Phuket also has a vibrant nightlife, hiking paths, and one of the best spots for scuba diving.
5. Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok is the perfect destination for adventurers who loves historical and cultural landmarks. Located beside the Chao Phraya River, Bangkok is the capital city of Thailand, famous for its ancient, magnificently decorated palaces and temples, attracting tourists from around the world.
Besides cultural landmarks, Bangkok offers pulsating nightlife, lively street markets, and one of the best culinary destinations in the world. Despite the rapid modernization, the Land of Smiles has one of the friendliest people and maintains its centuries-old customs and traditions.
6. Coron, Philippines
Another must-visit tropical paradise in Asia, Coron is a small island in Palawan, one of the top tourist destinations in the Philippines. It’s a fishing village with around 40,000 populations where some areas are not developed and are in pristine condition.
Considered the wreck diving capital of the Philippines, Coron boasts world-class World War II wrecks that attract divers worldwide. Coron has a rugged topography and features limestone karst landscapes, fine white sands, coral gardens, crystal clear beaches, a saltwater hot spring, and freshwater lakes.
7. Boracay, Philippines
If you’re looking for a romantic destination with your special someone, then Boracay is the place to be. Situated in the Western Visayas region, Boracay is a small island in the Philippines loved by tourists for its powdery white sands, azure waters, and dense palm trees, a postcard-like tropical paradise.
Boracay offers plenty of high-end resorts, water sports, and lively nightlife. Also, it’s one of Asia’s most popular honeymoon destinations, offering beautiful sunsets and a laid-back ambiance.
8. Hong Kong
A fascinating destination to visit in Asia, Hong Kong is famous for its diverse culture and rich history. Hong Kong’s central district will surely capture the interest of many adventurers for the fusion of nightlife, centuries-old temples, and skyscrapers.
Resting on the Pearl River Delta, Hong Kong is home to over 4,000 100m high-rise buildings and over 500 150m skyscrapers. There are also many things to do in Hong Kong, like shopping, visiting theme parks, eating Cantonese cuisine, and watching dragon boat racing.
9. Tiger’s Nest, Bhutan
Be amazed at the epic scenery since Bhutan’s Tiger’s Nest is worth adding to your bucket list. Also known as Paro Taktsang, Bhutan’s Tiger Nest is a Vajrayana Himalayan Buddhist monastery, sitting on a cliffside 3,000 feet above Paro Valley.
This historic site originated from the 747 AD legend of Taktsang, when Guru Rinpoche selected a meditation cave, introducing Buddhism to Bhutan. In 1692, the cave was constructed as a monastery and considered the last Himalayan Buddhist kingdom.
10. Chiang Mai, Thailand
Founded in 1296, Chiang Mai was the former capital of the Lan Na Kingdom until 1558. Resting on the banks of Ping River, New City is one of the top tourist destinations in Thailand, protected by ancient city walls, where you can see magnificent temples, stupas, museums, and pagodas.
The Wat Phra Singh Buddhist temple is Chiang Mai’s most famous and attractive temple. Although the city has a laidback vibe, Chiang Mai has a bustling night bazaar you shouldn’t miss while in town.
11. Bali, Indonesia
Are you in search of a relaxing and soul-soothing getaway? Then, search no further, as Bali got you covered. Located on the Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia, Bali is one of the top travel destinations in the world, boasting beaches, temples, paddy fields, and volcanoes that will certainly calm your senses.
This spiritual oasis is perfect for leisure and honeymoon destination, a go-to spot for adventurers and nature lovers, featuring beautiful villages, jungles, and waterfalls.
12. Kyoto, Japan
Travel back in time by visiting Kyoto and experiencing the old Japan era. Kyoto was the former capital of Japan for over a thousand years, located on Honshu island. It’s known for its ancient streets, picturesque gardens, and centuries-old structures and served as the emperor’s residence from 794 to 1868.
Kyoto has over 2,000 Buddhist and Shinto shrines to explore, such as the Ryoanji Temple, Kinkakuji Temple, and Imperial Palace. Also, Kyoto preserves formal traditions, like the kaiseki dining and geisha often seen in the Gion district.
Singapore is one of the most densely populated cities in the world, famous for its top-of-the-line airport and a World Heritage Site Botanic Garden, which houses the most beautiful tropical flora. It is located at the southern end of the Malay Peninsula, with plenty of shopping malls and skyscrapers.
The Garden City is multicultural, offering local delicacies from three ethnic communities: Kampong Glam, Little India, and Chinatown.
14. Jaipur, India
Situated in Rajasthan’s northeastern part, Jaipur is one of India’s most popular tourist destinations, reflecting the royal family that formerly ruled the region. Also known as the Pink City, the old city is known for its trademark color, like the Amber Fort, constructed in pale pink and yellow sandstone.
Jaipur is also home to majestic temples, monuments, and palaces, such as the City Palace and Jantar Matar, centuries-old structures dating from the 1700s.
15. Hanoi, Vietnam
Another exciting place to visit in Asia, Hanoi, is Vietnam’s capital, which exhibits the rich culture and impressive colonial-era architecture influenced by the French and Chinese. Hanoi has many ancient pagodas and temples, such as the One Pillar Pagoda and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.
When in Hanoi, exploring the Old Quarter is a must, where visitors can shop cheap finds and try local street food. Also, don’t forget to visit the Lotte Observation Deck to enjoy the best city views.
16. Taipei, Taiwan
Taipei is the capital of Taiwan, a fascinating modern city with a unique and rich cultural heritage with Southeast Asian, Japanese, and American influences. The city has a lively and contemporary vibe with numerous high-end shopping malls, massive skyscrapers, bustling markets, and street food scenes.
Moreover, visitors can enjoy the city’s beautiful skyline by visiting the 509m tall bamboo-shaped Taipei 101 skyscraper complex or hiking up the 183m high Elephant Mountain.
17. Seoul, South Korea
From neon lights and towering skyscrapers to places, pagodas, and Buddhist temples, Seoul is undeniably one of the best places to visit in Asia for the fusion of old and new. Aside from its deep tradition, Seoul is known for its technology and fashion, attracting millions of visitors annually.
Some of Seoul’s most popular tourist attractions include the Dongdaemun Design Plaza and Joseon dynasty structures, such as the Suwon Hwaseong Fortress and Gyeongbokgung Palace.
18. Osaka, Japan
The next largest metropolitan in Japan after Tokyo, Osaka is a multicultural city loved by tourists for its nourishing street food, nightlife, and modern architecture. Referred to as the Nation’s Kitchen, Osaka is a gourmand’s paradise, offering okonomiyaki as its most famous dish.
Apart from food, the Manchester of Japan offers many tourist attractions, like the centuries-old Osaka Castle, the neon-lit district Dotonbori, and the Umeda Sky Building Floating Garden Observatory, a 40-story skyscraper offering the best view of Osaka.
19. Siem Reap, Cambodia
Siem Reap is Cambodia’s major tourism hub, a small resort town where lies world-famous monuments. It offers massive high-end hotels and budget-friendly accommodations to visitors dying to enter the gateway of Angkor Wat, considered the largest religious structure in the world.
Besides the Angkor temples, Siem Reap has a lot in store, from local entertainment and cuisine to countryside cooking classes and exploring the Bayon and Ta Prohm temples.
20. Kathmandu, Nepal
Sitting in a valley encompassing the Himalayan mountains, Kathmandu is the most populous city and the capital of Nepal. Also known as the City of Temples, Kathmandu boasts centuries-old historical sites, like the Pashupatinath Temple, the largest and one of the oldest temples in the world.
Kathmandu also has maze-like alleys called the Durbar Square, where king coronations, royal events, and Hindu and Buddhist rituals are once held. Also, don’t forget to appreciate the unique Newari architecture of the Kathmandu Valley, exuding antiquity and history.
21. Hoi An, Vietnam
A charming and eclectic central coastal town resting on the South China Sea, Hoi An is an Ancient town in Vietnam boasting well-preserved architecture with Vietnamese, Japanese, Chinese, and French influences. Hoi An is home to ancient residences, temples, and pagodas, a must-visit for history buffs.
When exploring Hoi An, include your tour of the Quan Cong Temple, a 17-th century Chinese pagoda, and the town’s oldest Buddhist temple, the Chuc Thanh Pagoda.
22. Kerala, India
Known for its beautiful backwaters and palm-lined beaches, Kerala, India, is another worth-visiting place in Asia with unique traditions and culture. Kerala has a varied demography where tourists can explore spice, coffee, tea plantations, and wildlife sanctuaries, such as the 92km Eravikulam National Park.
This coastal state is famous for its spices, so it’s referred the Spice Coast of India. Kelara offers spices from varying cultures, including Christians, Jews, and Muslims.
23. Bagan, Myanmar
Boasting over 1500 years of history, Bagan is an ancient city in Myanmar, a UNESCO World Heritage Site showcasing over 10,000 religious monuments from varying periods. One of the most important archaeological sites in Asia, Bagan is proof of mankind’s achievement before technological advancement.
It once served as the capital of the Bagan Kingdom from the 9th to 13th century, a sacred landscape with ancient monasteries and small villages worth exploring.
24. Luang Prabang, Laos
Located in northern Laos, Luang Prabang is an ancient town in a valley where the Nam Khan and Mekong rivers meet. A former royal capital until 1975, it offers a scenic view surrounded by waterfalls, rainforests, and mountains, perfect for trekking, kayaking, and river cruises.
Besides the natural wonders, Luang Prabang has plenty of Buddhist temples, such as Wat Mai, the former residence of Laotian Buddhism head, and the 16th century Wat Xieng Thong.
25. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Finally, Kuala Lumpur is one of the best places to visit in Asia for tourists who are into shopping, culture, and food. As the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur boasts a modern skyline, famous for its Petronas Twin Towers, which stand 451m tall, featuring a sky bridge and observation deck.
In addition, Kuala Lumpur has huge shopping malls, cultural museums, ancient temples, mosques, minarets, and the 400-year-old Batu Caves, making it an exciting place to visit.
Overall, Asia is a great continent to explore, offering varying attractions, from cultural and historical sites to modern structures, tasty cuisines, and magnificent natural wonders. Whether you’re into a tropical paradise, food haven, modern technology, or melting pots of history, Asia will not disappoint. So on your next adventure, include these 25 best places to visit in Asia on your bucket list.
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