Asia is one of the most mystical and remarkable places on the planet, and there are very few contenders for that crown. As a continent, it is full of life, color, and hope, with so many potential adventures just waiting there for visitors to discover.
It has its faults, as is the case with all destinations, but today, we're going to focus on the positives as we run through ten countries in Asia that should definitely be on your bucket list. Some may not quite be your cup of tea, but it's nice to step out of your comfort zone from time to time.
History can tell us a lot of things about the great nation of Japan, but you aren’t really going to get a good grasp of what it’s like there unless you experience it for yourself. Tokyo is the most popular tourist destination, as you’d expect, but there’s so much more to the country than meets the eye.
The culture is louder than your average Asian nation, it’s extremely advanced, and it’s one of the most beautiful places on the planet. As the Land of the Rising Sun, we tend to believe that the symbol of hope still lives within this great nation.
China is regarded as the quieter, more established older brother of Japan by a lot of casual travelers, but that doesn’t even begin to tell the entire story. The Great Wall of China gives you an idea as to just how much larger than life this place is, and just how special the people are.
Everything from the structures to the quaint countryside towns makes you feel like you’re on a different planet entirely, and that’s no exaggeration. It’s a peaceful country due to its size, but boy oh boy is it heavily populated.
The low-lying plains are enough to take away the breath of any traveler. The Central Market oozes class, style, and uniqueness. Angkor Wat, one of the most famous temples in the world, is almost enough of a reason to visit Cambodia by itself.
The temples as a whole give you an idea as to what kind of country Cambodia is: proud, bold, and strong. It’s a really safe destination in the grand scheme of things, and it doesn’t seem as if that’s going to change anytime soon.
Thailand is a booming tourist destination right now, and it looks set to stay that way as we look ahead to the future. From Bangkok to Phuket to Chiang Mai and beyond, once you’ve experienced Thailand, you’ll either be dying to return or you’ll have memories to last you a lifetime.
The beauty of martial arts lives deep within the nation’s roots, but if that isn’t really your scene, then the utterly stunning beaches and iconic temples should get you up to speed pretty quickly. It’s different, but different is fun sometimes.
6 South Korea
We’re not sure there’s a destination that gives you a bigger contrast of Asian life than South Korea does. The fishing villages and tropical islands are often so secluded and peaceful, but on the other hand, the high-tech cities such as Seoul are as intimidating as you could possibly imagine a city to be.
It feels as if they’re living 15-20 years in the future, and most of us are left back here to catch up. That can be a fun position to be in, but you need to travel there with the right kind of mindset.
Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, has experienced its fair share of atrocities and it doesn’t seem as if that’s going to slow down any time soon. Still, as we continue to see steps being made towards a resolution, we must shine a light on all of the beauty that is held within this great country.
From Yangon itself to Old Bagan to Kalaw and beyond, we imagine this is what it feels like to reside on some kind of Star Wars-based planet. Truly, this is one of the most remarkable countries on the face of this Earth.
Even if you don’t like cricket, there is a place for you in India. This bustling country has a population of well over one billion people, and in addition to having one of the best cuisines in the world, it is also one of the most diverse nations on the planet.
From Hindi to English to Punjabi to Bengali and beyond, there’s a lot to learn when you head to India. You’ve also got the stunning Taj Mahal, the growing strength of the cities, and a group of natives that are incredibly proud of where they come from.
For a place that has such a war-torn history, Vietnam sure has been able to bounce back in ways that very few other nations have. If you head to Ha Long Bay then you’ll understand why, as the islands and the waters make up one of the most incredible natural vacation spots imaginable.
Ho Chi Minh City gives you a bit of a change of pace from that in the form of city life, which is why so many expats decide to make their way over there. It’s cheap, and it’s stunning.
2 Sri Lanka
If you ever take it upon yourself to head to Sri Lanka, then heading deep into the heart of the countryside is your best bet. Discover the world-class beaches and phenomenal views, as you feel like you’ve been transported to a wonderful desert island.
You can swim with the elephants, spend time with the natives, and generally experience what it feels like to be in a place where 95% of the locals don’t know what it means to be cruel or have hate in their hearts. It’s honorable.
Singapore may not be your standard Asian country/state/city, but it really doesn’t need to be. The way in which they’ve been able to build it up over the course of the last few decades is a real accomplishment, and there are some hidden gems that we’d encourage everyone to travel over in order to see.
The Marina Bay Sands is obviously a highlight for anyone that decides to make the journey over, but on top of that, you’ve got such pleasures as the Indoor Stadium, the Gardens by the Bay and the Botanical Gardens. The Gardens by the Bay, especially, are just so unbelievably special.