This series for the Top 100 Places to Visit in Asia was created from the huge popularity from the recent 100 Places to Visit in Europe series we did, and from all of you asking when we would finally get to the rest of the world! I figured I would start with the biggest continent, and most difficult one to pin down ONLY 100 of the best locations in: Asia.
Asia is the worlds biggest continent, and to most westerners, probably the most exotic and intriguing, so it is going to be hard to only list 100 of the best locations here. I will be covering the best of Asia from the Middle East to Central Asia to South East Asia to the Far East and even Russia, which I did not cover in the Europe series.
Once again this will be a 10 part series, each part being 10 of the best places to visit in Asia, each location recommended and described by top travel influencers. Stay tuned each week for the next part in the series, and don’t forget to share on Pinterest and Stumbleupon!
100 Places to Visit in Asia Before you Die: Part One
1 Angkor Wat Temples, Cambodia
Text and photo from Rob at Love And Road. No doubt Angkor Wat is one of the most fascinating places we visited in Southeast Asia. There are so much history, faith and natural beauty there that it’s hard to explain how amazed you feel when exploring it. Before heading to the temples we visited the National Museum to understand the history and plan the best way to visit Angkor Wat We spent two long days strolling around the temples, climbing to the top of the ruins, visiting lakes and gardens, and didn’t get tired of it.
The sunrise and sunset at Angkor Wat are another spectacles you can’t miss. You will have to wake up really early and there will be many tourists around, but is totally worth it. Angkor Wat is the type of place you can visit many times, and will always find new ways to explore it.
2. Halong Bay, Vietnam
Text from Steph from Every Steph. Halong Bay, a Unesco World Heritage site and one of the most famous destinations in Vietnam, was definitely one of the highlights of my month in the country. You can book a cruise in Hanoi that will bring you around the bay area for 2 or 3 days. There are packages for all kinds of travelers: backpackers can choose the party cruises, couples and people looking for a more glamorous cruise will find luxury cruises. You can avoid tours if you want altogether: just base yourself in Cat Ba Island and negotiate a price with a boatman. If you are looking for amazing landscapes and places to visit in Asia, Halong Bay, Vietnam is the place to be.
3. Andaman Islands, India
The Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India are a unique and beautiful place to visit in Asia. They are situated far offshore from mainland India, in the Bay of Bengal almost to Myanmar. They are known for their amazing beaches, as well as some of the best diving in the world, but what makes them really unique is that they are home to the Sentinelese people, who have had no contact with any other people and remain mostly secluded from the outside world.
Even though this is fascinating to most people, you will have to be content with visiting these remote islands solely for their beauty and exotic charm, because you can not visit or even see the Sentinelese people, and they are heavily guarded and protected. But the good news is that the beauty of the islands will be sure to keep you happy.
4. Gates of Hell, Turkmenistan
Photo and text by the Dinos over at Nomadasaurus. If you’re the kind of person that loves getting off the beaten path then there are few places in the world that could compete with Turkmenistan in Central Asia. Besides being notoriously difficult to get a visa for, Turkmenistan also holds one of the most fascinating sights in all of Asia: The Darvaza Gas Crater, otherwise known as the “Door To Hell“. This man-made crater was formed when miners were drilling for gas in the desert in 1971 and the earth collapsed beneath them. Geologists threw a match into the gaping hole to burn the leaking methane gas and it has been alight ever since. For a real adventure you can even camp right next to the crater.
5. Terracotta Warriors, China
6. Varanasi, India
7. Pamir Highway, Tajikistan
Text from Jessica of How Dare She. The Pamir Highway (aka M41) touches four countries in the Stans, but is best known through Tajikistan. It gets the name from the Pamir Mountains that it so beautifully carves through and is the second highest highway in the world in terms of altitude.
Travelers take on the Pamirs by a variety of means – their own cars (a la Mongol Rally), renting 4x4s, brave ones bicycling it or as I did (and the locals do), by catching shared cabs across the country. I recommend the latter where you’ll end up in no name cafes and sharing laughs and tea with people with whom you can’t even share a language.
8. The White Temple, Chiang Rai, Thailand
Text from Johnny of One Step For Ward.The white temple in Chiang Rai is the most beautiful temple in Thailand, bar none. It had been on my bucket list for years but I never went that extra mile from Chiang Mai to Chian Rai (about 3 hours bus journey), finally last month I did it and WOW. This should be world famous, one of the most amazing sights in the world, really. You have to see it for yourself, an absolute must if you’re in Northern Thailand!
Chiang Rai, as an area to visit, holds so much. So take a break from the beaches and parties, head up to Chiang Rai and prepare to be amazed!
9. Borobudur Temples, Java
10. El Nido, Palawan, Philippines
Text and photo from Sabrina of Just One Way Ticket. El Nido in the Philippines has a special place in my heart. I had never seen anything like that before, it’s almost unreal, an absolute dream paradise: Imagine endless white beaches, dramatic limestone cliffs, turquoise lagoons and an underwater world, that will take your breath away.
Travelers come to El Nido for its superb diving, and fabulous island hopping opportunities. A boat trip through the archipelago will let you discover some of the most spectacular beaches and islands, and make you wish to stay forever. If you want to know how paradise look like, you’ll find it here, for sure.
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