Are you planning a trip to Asia soon? We all know about Hong Kong, Bangkok, New Delhi, Jakarta and Seoul, but Asia has so much more! What’s in between all of these widely recognized hot spots?
The best way to travel is off the beaten path. The road less travelled by promises novel experiences – a small glimpse of what is hidden behind the curtain of tourism. Include these overlooked, up-and-coming hotspots in your next Asian adventure!
1. Shodoshima, Japan
Shodoshima: the home of soya sauce and olive plantations. Shodoshima is a large Asian island with a Mediterranean feel. Mountains cover the interior, sheltering a beautiful gorge; white sands cover the coast.
Shodoshima is a growing hot spot for art and food, especially with the abundance of fresh seafood. Permanent art installations from the Setouchi Triennale art festival are scattered throughout the island. And don’t forget to visit Shodoshima’s monkey park during your stay!
2. The Wild Wall, China
When you think of China, I’m sure your first image is of the Great Wall, but what about the Wild Wall? Travellers ignore entire sections of the Great Wall of China. These areas are not maintained, but they are pieces of the original wall.
The original sections of the wall promise unforgettable memories of rolling isolated land, overgrown greenery, and blue skies – perfect for hiking and camping! While some tours guide travellers along small sections of the Wild Wall, going it alone is an explorer’s dream.
3. Koh Kood, Thailand
Koh Kood is an unspoilt island in the Gulf of Thailand. However, travelling to Koh Kood is a bit more difficult than your average destination. You can reach the island by boat or plane, from daily pickup spots in major mainland cities.
A large resort rests in the middle of Koh Kood, but the island also houses neighbouring towns easily accessible to visitors! Blue waters, white sand, and a botanical garden to match – relax in welcomed isolation at Koh Kood.
4. Pekan, Malaysia
Pekan, Malaysia is a beautiful royal town situated serenely at the end of the longest river in the country. The Sungai Pahang River leads travellers through clean streets and picturesque fruit orchards.
Many religions mingle in the scenic streets: the Lei Shen Gong Buddhist Temple on one street, the Abu Bakar Mosque on the next, with a Chinese Temple on another!
However, you won’t find a party here – the population of Pekan loves to relax. Travel to Pekan to recharge under clear skies, or soak in the peaceful heritage.
5. Serosugil, South Korea
Serosugil is the growing urban hub surrounding Garosugil, Seoul. Garosugil has been on every tourist’s agenda for years now, but the outer lying streets of Serosugil have recently gained attention – it is every foodie’s dream! The streets are slathered in a thin layer of shops, restaurants, bars and cafes. Whether you come to shop or eat, you won’t regret straying away from the larger city center.
6. Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Kaohsiung, once a small trading town, grew to a large industrial area, and now to an increasingly popular tourist spot. Some sites to check out are the Love Ricer, Xiziwan Bay, Baolai Hot Springs, and the Old City of Zuoying. Since Kaohsiung also has more urban forms of entertainment, such as malls, an amusement park, and museums.
7. Sagada, Philippines
Home of the hanging coffins, Sagada is a quieter town in the Mountain Province of the Philippines. The hanging coffins hold mummified bodies hung in coffins from caves. This continued burial practice paints an interesting picture of the small town. Sagada has lots of land to explore: caves, waterfalls, and trails. Join in the tribal celebrations, or try a guided tour of the quaint mountain town.