If you’re looking for an adventure that’s full of excitement and unforgettable memories, then visiting the Asia Pacific should be top of your bucket list. It’s one of those destinations that truly astound you. If you’re up for an Asian adventure, then check out our top eight cities to visit on your next trip.
1. Shikoku, Japan
Japan is top of our list of the best places to visit in Asia. Why? It’s packed with exciting things to do and see, from the main cities of Matsuyama, Takamatsu, and the famous island of Naoshima as well as 11 other islands that are bursting with art and culture.
But all those places aside, it’s Shikoku that you want to be visiting. It’s home to the 88 Sacred Temple that pilgrims have been traveling for over 1,000 years. And that many people can’t be wrong.
Plus, if you’re a fan of art, then you’ll be excited to hear that the Setouchi Triennale Arts Festival is being hosted all through November. Thanks to this festival, Shikoku is finally getting some well-deserved attention.
Other than Shikoku, Japan has a plethora of other amazing islands that you can visit too, such as, Kyushu, Osaka, and Ishigaki. You can find awesome things to do in Osaka, visit the natural hot springs in Kyushu and explore the mangrove forest habitat in Ishigaki.
2. The Bay of Islands & Northland, New Zealand
The Bay of Islands and Northland of New Zealand promise lush forests full of extraordinary trees, beautiful surfing beaches and a multitude of spectacular islands. Did you know that the Bay of Islands has the bluest sky in the world, after Rio de Janeiro?
It’s here in Waitangi and Paihia that you’ll find tons of water-based activities, from kayaking and scuba diving to snorkeling and dolphin cruises.
Also, the inland towns of Kerikeri, Kawakawa, Kaeo and Kaikohe are full of nature activities, museums, historical sites, and, of course, excellent cuisine for you to experience.
3. Margaret River & Southern West Australia
Once you stand in front of Meelup Beach, you’ll wonder why you’ve never thought of visiting it sooner. The Margaret River and West Australian bush divide to reveal an ocean so beautiful and mesmerizing, you’ll likely never want to leave.
The magical coastline stretches from the Margaret River to the state’s southern region. Other than spending time on the beach, you can visit wineries, breweries, and restaurants with delicious cuisine.
All of the places you’ll visit lie between the kangaroo-dotted farmland and the forest of tall trees. The DIY coastal hikes in the region have been improved so much that they’re now accessible for everybody – perfect for adventurous holidaymakers.
And that’s not all. The fantastic surfing culture and whale watching opportunities are just a few more things you can do in West Australia. Make sure to add this destination to your bucket list!
4. Beautiful Singapore
In 2019, Singapore is celebrating its bicentennial, which marks the founding of modern Singapore 200 years ago. If you visit this year, you’ll be able to take part in the festivities, celebrating the city’s diverse and vibrant culture.
If you love food, you can have anything and everything you could dream of here! From fine dining at the Odette to having a plate of delicious yet cheap hawker chicken rice, you can indulge your taste buds without a worry.
The new and improved Changi Airport is both a tourist haven and an architectural genius. The detailed renovation and heritage draw you at the moment you step off the plane.
5. Central Vietnam
Vietnam is a beautiful country as a whole, but central Vietnam is considered to be one of the most diverse regions yet. Sure, you can visit the energetic cities of Ho Chi Minh or Hanoi, but central Vietnam holds its charm.
The city’s exquisite cuisine is believed to showcase its imperial legacy. Tuck into local dishes made with fragrant cao in Danang and go shopping or hit the beaches of magical Hoi An. The Han River is another destination that’s perfect for tourists.
Thanks to the international air links with many other Asian cities, you can easily visit the famous Golden Bridge in the Ba Na Hills. Exploring the caves, the rugged river and wild jungle of Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is a must for travelers who are all about the adventure.
6. Mesmerizing Fiji
Fiji’s high-spirited hospitality and astonishing landscapes will surprise you. From secret waterfalls and coral highways full of fluttering fish to mesmerizing beaches, you’ll find Fiji has everything you’re looking for.
Join the locals and enjoy a cup of soothing kava. Plan your trip in early October, and you can take part in the festivities of Fiji Day, marking their 50th year of independence. These festivities include lovo and make, which are meals cooked in traditional underground ovens and fire dancing.
As if all that isn’t sounding charming enough, you’ll also enjoy ukulele music while chilling on the beach or at the beachside restaurants.
But Fiji isn’t just about tourism for tourism’s sake. It’s also involved in plenty of environmental efforts, such as introducing solar-powered resorts. They also serve locally harvested food to the coral reef restoration projects and have limited the use of plastic.
7. Dramatic Palawan, Philippines
With new air routes and upgraded roads, Palawan is welcoming tourists from far and wide. You can enjoy the rich jungle full of wildlife contrasted with amazing seascapes.
The jewel of the Philippines is El Nido where beautiful skyscrapers rise out of Bacuit Bay. The blue water looks magical. You can also check out the backpacker haven of Port Barton or the new airport in new and improved San Vicente.
But not only is it a popular destination to explore, but it’s also great for eco-tourism. The 400km long main island has banned single-use plastic bottles on tour boats to stop marine pollution. The city has also restricted the number of visitors to key sights like the Big Lagoon and Miniloc Island.
Whatever you do, make sure you add Palawan, the Philippines to your next holiday!
8. Beijing, China
Last, but certainly not least, is China’s famous city of Beijing. It’s a city from the future, implementing schemes far ahead of the trend.
To tackle air pollution, the city has implemented bike-sharing schemes to reduce traffic congestion.
It’s also improved the subway system and added high-speed links that will take you to and from the marvelous starfish-shaped Beijing Daxing International Airport. Designed by the great Zaha Hadid, the airport is considered to be one of the largest airports in the world!
If you’re looking for more reasons to visit, Beijing is hosting the 2022 Winter Olympics and opening a Universal Studios in 2021. You can explore this fast-paced city by taking a walk around the famous Llama Temple, strolling the old alleyways of the hútòngs, and of course, visiting the Great Wall of China.
Asia has a multitude of cities, islands, and destinations – you’d need a lifetime to explore them all.
The eight we’ve mentioned above are worthy additions to the bucket list. With fascinating culture, excellent cuisine, great beaches, beautiful forests, and exciting water-based activities, you’re sure to find the adventure you’re looking for.
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