Simple Guide to Appreciate The Best of Asia
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Want to discover the Best of Asia? This continent is a treasure trove for travelers—from its pristine islands to mouthwatering cuisines, historical sites to ultra-modern cities, and rich traditions to diverse populations. The world’s largest continent offers countless travel possibilities and Asian destinations, dominating the list of the most visited cities in the world in 2015.
Asia’s vast expanse makes it a daunting terrain for many travelers. Confronted by the continent’s breadth and depth, you might wonder where and how to begin. Orient yourself with a general idea of the best of Asia. Relax and read on.
Cradle of Civilization
Rich cultural heritage gives the region a unique identity. The most beautiful places in Asia have inspired since ancient times a growing body of literary and artistic work popular around the world. Asian philosophy and religion also underpin the world’s earliest civilizations, and their influence continues up to this day. You may know this already from books, but a tour to Asia will give you a real taste of its opulence.
Enrich your knowledge by exploring outside your comfort zone. Take, for example, the amazing Angkor Wat—the largest religious monument which attracts travelers from all over the world. The movie Tomb Raider may have elevated its popularity, but no movie can contain Angkor Wat’s breathtaking beauty. Even if you’re not spontaneously drawn to temples, Angkor Wat is still amazing to see as it’s a living testament to human ingenuity. The place is a must-visit, and it’s extra-magical when you allot a few days to explore the complex.
Slices of Heaven
Asia’s biodiversity is home to exotic plants, animals, and marine life. Largely for this reason, the region’s best islands are sought-after for their nature-inspired travels. Ko Tao in Thailand, Palawan in the Philippines, Sipadan in Malaysia, and the Coral Triangle of Indonesia have the richest marine habitats in the globe. Southeast Asia alone has one-third of all coral reefs in the world!
Explore the region at a fraction of the cost. Go ahead and splurge. Asia, being the large continent that it is, can offer you both the most expensive and cheapest travel spot you ought to visit. You want to escape the harsh winter? Head on out to the best beaches in the Philippines. Lie on the powdery soft sand, soak up the sun, and cool off in the crystal blue water. Or go extra the mile with island adventures such as helicopter tours and horseback riding along the seashore.
The Bromo volcano in East Java is another travel destination to add to your bucket list. The island’s national park and the unforgettable sunrise are more than amazing. Visit in July to mid-August to experience the Kesodo, a ritual in honor of the god believed to have created the Bromo. Experience something different by climbing the volcano with the locals, and then throw offerings such as fruits and flowers into the crater for good luck.
Not only is Asian food delicious, but it can also be a great way to connect with others and the local culture. Perhaps there is nothing more enjoyable than satisfying the basic need for food when traveling. Traveling and great food allows you to discover something new about yourself and feel happy in the process. Asia offers many of the most delicious and savory dishes you will ever taste.
Consider the three Michelin-starred sushi restaurant of master chef Jiro Ono, located under a train station in Tokyo. But if you’re in a budget, you can still enjoy a wide selection of foods in Asia because they’re generally inexpensive. Think of the Pad Thai, one of the most famous dishes in the world. Taste the authentic version served in the narrow streets of Bangkok. You’ll discover the delicious taste of this noodle, peanut and tofu dish on a whole new level.
Many consider Asia to be the best place in the world to have great adventures because of the variety of adventures you can experience on one visit. Day tours, in some countries, are mere $20 or at times even less. Bungee jumping, scuba diving, and parasailing can set you back a little, but surely you’d appreciate these activities better in Asia than other regions.
Want to overcome your fear of heights? Do the “walk of faith” on the edge of Tianmen Mountain in Hunan, China. Being perched some 4000 feet above a rocky ravine is an exhilarating way to view the dazzling canyon below. Or why not stay in Boracay, Philippines and try parasailing?. Soar like a superhero as you enjoy the scenery of blue, white and green in one of the most beautiful islands in Southeast Asia.
Tip: Avoid overpaying by booking any tour or activity until you get to your country of destination. There’s a great number of deals you can haggle for the best price from tour operators and small shops in backpacker streets.
Do As The Locals Do
Beautiful cultural sites abound in Asia. But don’t forget about the region’s cultural practices. The UNESCO calls this intangible cultural heritage, transmitted from generation to generation, and performed by communities. The Baci ceremony in Laos is a good example of a heartwarming tradition where travelers are invited to sit in a circle and receive a special blessing. Asia’s exceptional hospitality profoundly enriches the overall journey of travelers wise enough to experience it.
As the most populous and culturally diverse region in the world, Asia bursts with electrifying energy. All throughout the region, modern values are celebrated, while tradition is preserved. The eclectic mix ensures that having fun is never hard to find. Dancing the night away on the sand and to the tune of local beats is a nightly occurrence in this side of the world.
Have fun to your heart’s content, but be respectful of the culture and stay smart and vigilant when hopping from one Asian destination to the next. Respect and observe local rules and customs to avoid trouble with authorities. Drink moderately, especially if you are traveling alone. Befriending some locals and other travelers is a good idea, especially if it’s your first time to visit.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. You surely have heard this old Asian proverb before. Appreciating the best of Asia begins when you learn more about it beyond your preconceptions. You’ll then realize that you are spoiled with choices, presented with tons of travel inspirations. So what are you waiting for? Start realizing your Asian adventure today.