Bucket List: A Taste of Asia's Top Destinations
If you are thinking of planning out your next holiday or long-term travel, then you might find that you can get everything you want out of such an experience by solely traveling around Asia. If you recall, my first solo travel out of the country was to Thailand. To say it was one of the most amazing experiences I've had would do it no justice.
This sprawling and beautiful continent has long been the traveler's dream, and it’s not hard to see why that might be. There is so much to do and see, and such a great and fantastic variation of culture and history, that you won’t ever feel like you need to go anywhere else. Of course, if you are thinking of traveling around Asia, you will want to have some kind of plan in place, so it is helpful to know about some of the top Asian destinations which you might prefer to visit.
Consider adding any of these to your list for a memorable time abroad.
If you have never been out of the country, or to a state that completely differs from your own, or you have not spent much time in Asia yet, then you will want to start out somewhere fairly easy. Start in a place where you are not going to suffer too much at the hands of culture shock. This is why Thailand is often a favorite first place to go, as although it is absolutely truly Asian, with its own set of cultural norms and so on - it is also incredibly tourist-friendly, and in many ways can act as a kind of introduction for tourists wanting to get used to the Asian ways of life. Again, I did this solo for a little over a week and managed well. What’s more, as a country there is just so much going for it that you might even want to stay here longer than you expect.
For a start, you have - of course - the world-famous capital of Bangkok. This is where I began my Thailand trip. This vibrant and moving city is a true tourist hub, but the genuine culture remains strong and steady too, and it is one of the few cities which you must visit at some point in this lifetime. You could take a temple tour one day and be out drinking in the tourist center the next, or you could spend time in some of their many shopping malls along the way. You might even want to go up the top of the world-famous Banyan Tree hotel, and see the city from its rooftop bar - one of the highest points in the city and in all of Asia.
There is also the opportunity to have a lot of fun, and if you go around the time of the Thai New Year, then you can also take part in their famous Songkran festival, in which everyone in the city attacks each other with water pistols and water bombs. It’s a truly entertaining time which everyone should experience at least once in their lives.
Along with Bangkok, Thailand has plenty more to offer as well. Another of the most popular tourist destinations here is Phuket, a party-island with many beautiful beaches, the kind of beaches that look exactly how you expect an idyllic spot to look. You might even decide to go out to one of the famous full moon parties on the beach, or just relax in your pool villa and soak up the sun. wherever you go in Thailand, you are bound to find plenty to do and to be able to experience plenty of genuine Asian culture in an easygoing way and surrounded by beautifully happy people. It’s well worth considering the ‘Land of a Thousand Smiles’ for your first, or even your fiftieth, time in Asia.
Although it is distinctly less-visited than other places such as Thailand, Singapore has plenty to offer, and in a way, because of this it is also less spoiled, so you might even get more out of it than other destinations. If you have never been to Singapore before, like me, you might well be wondering what you can expect. It is said to be one of the most vibrant and fast-paced places in the world, and yet it has a seriously friendly undertone which runs throughout. With one of the lowest crime rates anywhere in the world, it’s a great spot to travel around for just about anyone - and it can be a truly exciting time for anyone wanting a little true slice of Asia. but what is it that you might actually be able to expect in this glorious destination?
For the foodies out there, this is one of the most well-respected food stops in Asia, and that is saying something. Whether you want to experience some genuine Asian street food, or even spend some time at a top world-class restaurant, Singapore has a little of every kind of dish. No matter your cuisine or your tastes, you are bound to be cared for here, so you should find that it is extremely welcoming to any palette. Even if food is not really your passion, you will find that Singapore is a great place for making you feel welcome and at home, and providing you with plenty to do and see along the way. If you really want to let your hair down, you might even be able to coincide your visit with one of their annual festivals - truly exciting explosions of color and culture which will leave just about anyone dazed and happy. And if you like a little action form your journeys, you’ll find there are plenty of extreme sports and other opportunities of that kind align their way as well.
Something that should entice you is that in Singapore you will often be able to sleep and stay very well. Thanks to its large number of Duplex apartments, four- and five-star hotels, and beautiful private villas, there is always somewhere to stay which you can consider being pure luxury. You will also find the people to be extremely friendly, and it’s likely you won't ever want to leave once you feel settled in. A truly amazing Asian experience for just about anybody wishing to have one can be found in beautiful Singapore.
So far we have been looking at some parts of Asia which are particularly well-developed and much like many other cities on Earth. However, much of Asia is obviously much less developed, and often these are the truly exciting Asian destinations, the ones which are going to really give you a sense of how people actually live. One of the tops of those kinds of countries has to be Nepal, which - although its economy relies almost entirely on tourism - is a very low-developed country on the whole. For that, however, it is also incredibly beautiful and full of some of the most friendly and nicest people you are ever likely to have the good fortune to come into contact with.
Culturally, there are few places anywhere with as much of a deep and rich history, Nepal is, after all, the birthplace of the Buddha and therefore full of spiritual meaning and profound understanding. It is a small country in size, but big in heart and spirit, and known for its incredibly friendly people everywhere you go. If you want a little of an action-adventure holiday, you might want to go trekking around the Annapurnas or the Himalayas. Or you could just stay in the capital city of Kathmandu, and see some of the real vibrant lives working busily around you. All in all, a truly amazing destination for anyone keen to see some interesting and different cultures.
Next time you are going to Asia, be sure to consider the above three destinations. Each of them will instill you with a particularly interesting experience, and they are all the kinds of places you’ll want to return to.
Have you ever been? Let me know which country is your favorite to visit in Asia!!