Asia continues to fascinate most holidaymakers, whether you already know what to expect, or your mind is full of the images of colonialism. Indeed, Asia has a lot to offer: Varied landscapes, beautiful beaches, a new path to your spiritual self, and amazing temples that ooze with the history of the past. It is difficult not to want to pack your bag and disappear for months among the wonders of the Asian life. But before you go, here are some of the best cities to visit in Asia through your tour. Every single one is different from the others, and all together they are the most honest portrait of the diversity of this poorly understood continent.
1. Beijing, China
Beijing, in China, is one of the most expensive cities in Asia after Tokyo. Yet it still feels like a bargain for western travelers who are used to deal with different prices. Beijing offers a lot of entertainments and visits, so it’s a good idea to plan your trip in advance. The city is only a two-hour drive away from the breathtaking Great Wall, for a start. You will also discover the mystery of preserved walls from ancient buildings in the Forbidden City. Beijing is often described as the best place for European travelers to begin to understand and discover the myths of ancient China. So take a trip to this wonderful city to dive into the history of one of the world’s most powerful nation.
2. Bali, Indonesia
Bali, in Indonesia, has been a favorite for married couples to spend their honeymoon holiday. Indeed, the luxury hotels are amongst the most affordable in the world, and they even offer private access to the beach for their residents. It seems impossible not to want to spend some time in this paradise that combines ancient temples and sandy shores. Adventures lovers and nature enthusiasts will also find everything they need in Bali! If you have spent countless hours playing the original versions of Tomb Raider game, you would have come across the adventurous side of Bali too! However, if you are planning a trip, make sure to avoid the rain season, as landslides are not uncommon in this region.
3. Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong in China is one of these places that belong to a country without really belonging. It’s China without being China. Indeed, the ex-British colony was returned to China in 1997, after having developed a very European taste for business and lifestyle. Hong Kong has two official languages: Chinese and English, and it also has its own currency, the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD). The differences don’t stop there, as the place has its own independent judiciary system. Hong Kong marries perfectly the urban lifestyle with breathtaking skyscrapers and a buzzing business life, with stunning natural and mountainous landscapes. For many travelers, Hong Kong is a mystery and a pleasant surprise. Don’t worry too much about the language they speak or the social life they enjoy, just embrace the magic of this dynamic jewel.
4. Tokyo, Japan
Japan is famous for its diverse lifestyle that combines urban dynamism and traditional beliefs. Tokyo is the perfect representation of the diversity of the Japanese culture. It’s an incredibly fast-paced environment that makes it almost impossible for visitors to keep in touch with the fashion, traffic and accommodation news. Yet green parks and temples are creating surprising pockets of peace into this animated city. In truth, if you are going to Tokyo, it’s best to organize your Japan holidays in such a way that you can spend a few days in each Japanese regions. For example, comparing the activities in Tokyo to the peace on the Kumano Kodo trails will be a revealing experience that will bring you closer to the Japanese culture.
5. Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai is a little place that is often ignored between Bangkok and the Thai islands. However, if you are planning to see Thailand, do make a conscious stop in this low-key city that has a lot to offer. Chiang Mai is not only a very relaxing and friendly place, but it has stunning ancient temples and a very lively Night Market too. More and more tourists are discovering the peaceful approach of the town, and are learning to appreciate its particular charm. Besides, if you are up for sporty vacations, Chiang Mai is a trekking highlight that is not to be missed!
6. Luang Prabang, Laos
Luang Prabang, in Laos, is the main tourist city in the country. It is also one of the nicest towns in Laos as it offers a charming and scenic atmosphere to all tourists. With time, the town has attracted more holidaymakers and is becoming a trendy destination. However, don’t be put off by this: Despite being trendy and offering many touristic attractions, Luang Prabang remains extremely affordable. Don’t miss the old colonial center that has been renovated to hold many restaurants, souvenir shops, and fashion boutiques. Luang Prabang is a little piece of paradise in Laos.
7. Pokhara, Nepal
Most visitors who go to Nepal choose to focus on the breathtaking scenery and the trekking trails, with the desire to climb to Kathmandu. But don’t miss the charming beauty of Pokhara, which, despite its apparent poverty, has understood how to treat its visitors. Indeed, you will find in this lakeside neighborhood a lot of cheap restaurants offering delicious food to hungry tourists. If you are up for a trekking adventure, you should know that the Annapurna circuit starts in Pokhara. Don’t worry if you don’t have the right equipment; you will find plenty of high-quality trekking gear in town! The only piece of advice that you should remember is that Pokhara is chilly and rainy for six months of the year, so pick your dates carefully!
8. Goa, India
Goa, in India, remains an attractive place for those who love luxury holidays and those who want to experience an authentic vacation. It might seem odd that these two different types of people could enjoy their holiday in Goa. But, in truth, Goa combines fantastic white sand beaches with temples rich in history, dynamic nightlife with wild and stunning sceneries. It is the perfect place for relaxing: Everything in Goa feels authentic as you will not find many chain restaurants, hotels, and shops. Additionally, there’s no tax on alcohol, so it’s perfect for the party mood too!