The pandemic has put a stop to most of our 2020 travels, but that doesn’t mean we can’t dream a little and plan. Asia is a worthy destination for any bucket list, whether you’re a backpacker or planning a trip with your family. There’s so much to see so where should you begin? To help you out, here are eight of the top picks for an adventure in Asia.
You can’t get much closer to paradise than Bali, this charming island is the was Jake’s honeymoon spot and serves as a perfect getaway, whether you’re looking for action or relaxation. When in Bali, you’ll want to head to the Ulun Danu Temple, located close to the famous Baratan Lake. Here you’ll find a serene and calming place; this beautiful temple was built in honour of the lake goddess. Come and marvel at the four shrines, each to represent a different god.
Those who like diving simply must head to Padang Bai, one of the most famous diving spots in Bali. Expect to find coral gardens, turtles, pygmy seahorses and blue-ringed octopuses! For snorkelling, Amed is an amazing place, and here you won’t find many tourists.
Myanmar is well known for its stunning mountainous scenery; you might know Myanmar by its old English name of ‘Burma’. Travellers who love the beach should head on down to Ngapali, one of the most stunning beaches in here. With stretches of palm trees, beautiful waters and white sands, Myanmar is nothing less than a tropical paradise. Some Asian beaches can be overcrowded, but Ngapali is quiet, with all the charm of an ancient fishing village.
Shwedagon Pagoda is the most renowned landmark in Yangon Myanmar. At 99 meters high, this exquisite pagoda will take your breath away with its diamond spires and gold plates. The ‘Golden Pagoda’ is the most famous Buddhist site in Myanmar. The stupa represents the Gautama Buddha.
One of our earliest podcast spotlights, Boracay island has fast gained popularity amongst backpackers in the last few years. The east side of the island is great for watersports, and don’t miss the observation deck for some truly spectacular views. Ariel’s Point is a popular spot for cliff diving; there’s a long-tail boat which takes visitors out here. At Ariel’s Point you’ll have a fun-packed day of diving, paddle boarding and snorkelling. Those who fancy a bit of kite-surfing should head to Bulabog Beach. This beach gets some seriously strong winds, (the perfect weather for it)!
Among our favorite city-centric getaways in Asia, Singapore is perfect for culture lovers in search of a vibrant city. Whether you’re looking for five-star cuisine, great shopping or wonderful museums, Singapore has got it all.
While you’re in Singapore, be sure to visit Singapore Botanic gardens. These gardens are the ideal place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Stroll along the boardwalk, through the dense ancient forestry, tranquil lakes, and an orchid garden. These tropical orchids have been growing here since back in 1928. There are around 1,000 species, and many of the orchids have been named after famous politicians!
At The National Museum Of Singapore, the rich history of the country really comes to life. Here you’ll learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the culture in Singapore. The museum allows you to explore the culture through film, photography, fashion and food. There’s an impressive gallery of Goh Seng Choo, with beautiful botanical watercolors from the 19th century. Throughout the History Gallery, you’ll learn all about the early beginnings of Singapore from the Malay sultans to the British colonial period.
The city is suited to a range of budgets, whether you’re looking for luxury or to save money. If you’re a backpacker on a budget, you’ll easily find a cheap single room for rent in Singapore.
Kandy, Sri Lanka
Kandy is a huge city, yet its mountainous surroundings provide a natural and secluded atmosphere. One of the top attractions to see in Kandy is the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. It’s one of Sri Lanka’s holiest places; legend has it that the gold roof houses the tooth of Buddha. During the annual perahera, the tooth is paraded around Sri Lanka, along with elephants decorated in many colors.
For a relaxing day out, be sure to visit the Peradeniya Royal Botanical Garden. These stunning gardens house 4000+ species of plants including palm trees, medicinal plants and orchids. Closeby you’ll find some delightful markets where you can purchase local spices including cardamon, nutmeg and cloves.
To get your museum fix, check out Dalada Maligawa. These relics tell the story of how Buddhism began in Asia and across the globe. Here you’ll learn about the origins of Buddhism in India, and get to grips with the cultural roots of this enchanting city.
Phuket is a real dream destination, with its crystal clear waters, limestone cliffs, and white sands. A real famous landmark in Phuket is the ‘Phra Phutta Ming Mongkol Akenakri’, better known as ‘ The Great Buddha of Phuket.’ This forty-five-foot buddha statue is constructed from precious Burmese marble. It’s a beautiful sight to see in the sunlight, along with the elegant sounds of the dharma music.
Toh Sae Hill, commonly known as ‘Monkey Hill’ is home to around 400 macaques! For a unique day out, head here and have some fun with the monkeys (just watch out for your belongings)! At the bottom of the hill, there’s a shrine which was built in honour of the holy spirits Toh Sae Kaow, Toh Sae Dam and Toh Sae Dang. Monkey Hill is considered one of the best places to visit in Phuket!
Skip to the end of the video for our Mt. Fuji Flyover
Mount Fuji is famous all over the world, it’s a stratovolcano, but thankfully the volcano hasn’t erupted since back in 1708. For a truly spectacular sight and experience, Mount Fuji is a real must-see destination in Asia. Whether you just want to marvel at the mountain, or you’re interested in climbing, you’re sure to enjoy your time here. To reach the summit of Mount Fuji there are four different routes; you’ll find plenty of lovely teahouses, shrines and monuments along your way.
Hoi An, Vietnam
In Hoi An, you’ll find a charming trading port, it’s been a commercial stop for ships since the beginning of the 15th century. The architecture here is truly beautiful, and most of it original. Here you’ll find French-colonial styles, ancient Chinese roofs and buildings made of timber frame. The historic center of Hoi An is a wonderful place to stroll and take in the rich culture. Each full moon the people here celebrate with a Lantern Festival; it’s an occasion which uses light to honour their ancestors. Every light is turned off and replaced with candles and colourful lanterns.
For a stress-free travelling trip, get as organized as you can before you set off. Applications like MAPS.me, Momodo and RometoRio are all helpful tools for keen travellers.