Fishermen in Ha Long BayCanon EOS T3i with EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II at 45mm 1/1250s at f/6.3, ISO 100

Top Asia Destinations

Oct 17, 2015 - ourglobaltrek

As regional experts in Asia, we are often approached for advice for where to go for an Asian vacation. The way we would answer that question would be to ask what kind of vacation one is looking for. A tropical beach getaway? An exotic cultural experience? An exhilarating adventure through the wild? It’s impossible to pick one favourite place during our Asian travels, but we know our favourites in every category.

Below we present what we considered the best of Asia destinations in each of the categories.

City

The most exciting cities were bustling urban centers filled with sprawling skyscrapers, megamalls, endless people, and always something to do.

Winner: Hong Kong

Junk Boat at Victoria Harbor
Victoria Harbor, Hong Kong

Honourable Mentions: Bangkok, Thailand; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Landmark

The top landmarks were world-famous iconic structures that symbolize … and attract millions of visitors from around the world.

Winner: Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Third attempt: amazing view of Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Honourable Mention: Taj Mahal, India; Bagan, Myanmar

Adventure

The best adventures on the road were not only scenic, but are unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences in remote and extreme locations.

Winner: Trekking the Himalayas, Nepal 

View from Upper Pisang, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal
View from Upper Pisang, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal

Honourable Mentions: Camel Safari in Jaisalmer, India; Volcano Trekking in Indonesia

Beach

The most idyllic beaches had the softest sand, clearest waters, as well as an abundance of marine life and aquatic activities.

Winner: Maafushi, Maldives

Classic palm tree photo, Maafushi, Maldives
Classic palm tree photo, Maafushi, Maldives

Honourable Mentions: Koh Kradan, Thailand; Boracay, Philippines

Wildlife

The best wildlife excursions were those where we observed animals not in captivity, but in their natural habitats in the wild.

Winner: Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

Wild elephant at the Yala National Park, Sri Lanka
Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

Honourable Mentions: Wildlife in Borneo; Snorkeling and Diving in the Maldives

Eye-Opening Experience

For the most eye-opening experiences, we caught glimpses of people and communities with a completely different way of life, places where it felt like a whole other world.

Winner: Varanasi, India

Row of dead bodies waiting to be cremated, Varanasi, India
Manikarnika Ghat, Varanasi, India

Honourable Mentions: Sapa, Vietnam; Inle Lake, Myanmar

Food

The best countries for a foodie tour were ones with a deep history of traditional cooking methods, local ingredients, distinct flavours, all combined for the full sensory experience.

Winner: Taiwan

Dan Zai Noodles, Tainan, Taiwan
Dan Zai Noodles, Tainan, Taiwan

Honourable Mentions: Vietnam; Thailand

This is the best answer we can give for what our favourite places were this past year, plus we hope it helps to inspire some awesome future vacations!