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Top Ten Destinations in Asia

Updated on February 15, 2016

Asian culture

Apsara Dance in Siem Reap
Apsara Dance in Siem Reap | Source

Top Places to Go in Asia

China this, Thailand that. See Malaysia, Truly Asia! Incredible India. Cambodia, Kingdom of Wonder. More Fun in the Philippines! Where do you start when you get the first whiff of the Asia bug?

Well, I can't say I have the answer. But for the last 20 years we have wandered around Asia and have not seen it all. It is really not possible unless you just devote your time to travelling. But we have trudged through enough disasters to know what works for us. We are not young trekkers nor older retirees.

My husband and I work in Asia as consultants and have had a chance to dig into the cities and the rural areas where our work is often centered. We like to learn but we love to have a bit of fun. We know the highlights, the ahhhhhhhh lower lights, the fakes, stretched truth and tomorrow's hopes expressed as today's realities. So, based on our experience, here are the top destinations in our Asia list. None of them will disappoint you and we don't get a dime out of the sharing.

Royal Palace in Bangkok

Bangkok Royal Palace
Bangkok Royal Palace | Source

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Fresh Destinations in Asia - Why you need to visit Asia again

I have already been to Asia so many times. Why should I go again? Well, Agoda after analyzing bookings and customer reviews have released the top 10 fresh destinations. I can say, after years of working in Asia, I can claim to have visited only one. I had been to those countries where they are located but in the past some of these places were not in radar screen of travellers.

What about you?Which of these places have you visited? Tell us what you think if you have been to these places.

Some of Asia's Top Destinations - Beautiful, intriguing, and inviting

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Boudanath, Kathmandu, An Asian Buddhist EnclaveVientiane, LaosRoyal Palace, BangkokSigiriya, Sri LankaThe Bund in ShanghaiSri Lanka TempleA Temple in HanoiThe Bund in ShanghaiToul Tompong Market, Phnom Penh, A Fun Asian Market
Boudanath, Kathmandu, An Asian Buddhist Enclave
Boudanath, Kathmandu, An Asian Buddhist Enclave | Source
Vientiane, Laos
Vientiane, Laos | Source
Royal Palace, Bangkok
Royal Palace, Bangkok | Source
Sigiriya, Sri Lanka
Sigiriya, Sri Lanka | Source
The Bund in Shanghai
The Bund in Shanghai | Source
Sri Lanka Temple
Sri Lanka Temple | Source
A Temple in Hanoi
A Temple in Hanoi | Source
The Bund in Shanghai
The Bund in Shanghai | Source
Toul Tompong Market, Phnom Penh, A Fun Asian Market
Toul Tompong Market, Phnom Penh, A Fun Asian Market | Source

Singapore - Merlion or Chameleon of Asia?

Singapore
Singapore | Source

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1. Singapore

Singapore is the best place to try out Asia for the first time. The culture shock is not as hard on the psyche. You can also experience a city leading in urban solutions from transport to traffic management, waste management and security.

Singapore has really made a good decision around its ethnic centers. It has protected each one and made it into something they are proud of, not hide in today's modern world. We can't really escape from our own history, we can only cherish and enhance it. This is what Singapore has done.

Beyond culture, Singapore has consciously made its development green. There are many green spaces inside the city and one you should not miss is the Botanical Garden. Use the Hop On-Hop Off buses and this is one of the stops. From here, you can go shopping in Orchard Road and then take the river cruise which is included in your bus ticket. Or just stay in the bus and be amazed at Singapore's architecture. Of course, if you have kids, Sentosa is the place to be.

Singapore's Founder and Mentor - Read on Singapore's development

If you admire what is going on in Singapore right now, get this book on the one who spearheaded this development.

Lee Kuan Yew is the brain and heart behind Singapore's growth and development. No one else can tell the story better. Until now, his mentorship continues to benefit Singapore.

From Third World to First: The Singapore Story - 1965-2000
From Third World to First: The Singapore Story - 1965-2000

Even for your own personal life, Lee can indeed be an isnpiration. He is no different from us. He is just fully committed to his dream for his country. We can learn from this person how to be a leader and mentor.

 

A Temple in Asia

Temple in Laos
Temple in Laos | Source

Myanmar: The Changing Asian Country - Bagan is the latest hot destination in Myanmar

The Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon
The Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon | Source

2. Myanmar

Myanmar has been in the news lately with the government showing signs of change. The US government has removed sanctions and opened its embassy in the country. Several other countries have also done the same, others even earlier. Aung San Suu Kyi is now actively involved in government. And to top this all, the ASEAN has given Myanmar the chairmanship for 2014, a move that will further intensify reforms.

Myanmar has to deal with its own political problems but it is a must see place in Southeast Asia especially if you love temples in misty mountains, old colonial buildings and gems. You must have read Kipling's The Road to Mandalay.

This is what Myanmar promises: fog covered hills and mountains, beaches and nature, temples and pagodas on the hills and unspoilt villages hard to find nowadays.

Bagan in Myanmar - Top Myanmar Place to Visit

Bagan has really taken the interest of the tourist world lately. Rightly so with temples dotting its hills and its amazing gorges as well as its accessibility most especially through the famous cruiser of the Orient Express, The Road to Mandalay.

Been to Bagan in Myanmar? - Have you?

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Anker AK-A1206012 10000mAh External Battery Power Bank with PowerIQ Technology (2nd Generation)- Black
Anker AK-A1206012 10000mAh External Battery Power Bank with PowerIQ Technology (2nd Generation)- Black

This is one of the most popular travel product. There's always a point in your trip when you wished you have brought one of these. Often, tours are a day long and most likely, one of your batteries will give up so having this will make your trip much more smooth.

 

Sapa - Vietnam's best destination

Hue Vietnam
Hue Vietnam | Source

3. Vietnam

We worked in Vietnam immediately after it opened its doors to the West. We were based in Hanoi but traveled to Than Hoa and Haiphong. Now, we are back again in Hanoi and once again, are amazed at how much there is to enjoy in this city.

The tree lined Hoan Kiem Lake and the Old Quarter are my favourites as I can easily walk from where we live and explore its nooks and corners. There is so much to discover about the place.

We also visited Ho Chi Minh, Hoi An and Hue. Vietnam has the most hardworking people I have ever seen. This accounts for the development the country experienced recently. There are many interesting places to visit with Ha Long Bay as the top in my list. Hoi An and Hue are superb destinations in Vietnam. You have the beaches in Hoi An and in Hue, the ancient capital of Vietnam, some of the relics of the past.

We booked the Caravelle Hotel in Ho Chi Minh, featured in several movies on Saigon, and the center of Saigon in pre-Vietnam War times to just relive the history of that era. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and experienced first hand the fast pace of development in Ho Chi Minh.

But there is nothing like Sapa. The colorful ethnic costumes in the green background of the mountains is breath taking.

Know Sapa before you go

Sapa is indeed worth visiting. With so many of Vietnam's ethnic minorities living in this area, your visit will give you a glimpse of their varied interesting cultures. The customs and ways of the minorities as well as the products they offer all contribute to the colourful life in this area.

The place is cooler with its captivating mountains sometimes capped with snow or mist. Walking through the paths and meeting the locals really make for a very interesting experience.

Siem Reap: Where Angkor Wat Is

Angkor Temples Cambodia
Angkor Temples Cambodia | Source

Phnom Penh - The Capital City of Cambodia

Royal Palace Cambodia
Royal Palace Cambodia | Source

4. Siem Reap

For hundreds of years, Siem Reap has been welcoming visitors to the temples of Angkor. Yet, it is not much known as a destination. It has an international airport with flights from Singapore,South Korea, China, Thailand and Vietnam. Cambodian visas are available upon arrival. Make sure you have your passport with at least 6-month validity, a 4x6 photo and US$30 (tourist) or US$35 (business) for a 30-day visa. Tourist visas can be extended for another month but only once whereas business visas can be renewed indefinitely.

There are border crossings from Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. You can also fly from Phnom Penh, take the bus, or rent a car with a driver. For six hours, you can enjoy Cambodia`s rural villages and the life it offers. It is a very interesting drive especially for those who have not been to Asia before. The tourist infrastructure in Siem Reap is well in place. I particularly admire the latest improvement of the internet infrastructure as now surfing the web even in your hotel room is a much more pleasant experience.

There are excellent choices for hotels based on whatever budget from $10 to whatever luxury you require. The restaurants and pubs are world class. The Pub Street is not just pubs but art, boutiques and culture. Don`t forget to get yourself to an Apsara theater where you can watch traditional Khmer dance and the Khmer interpretation of the Ramayana. Another thing not to be missed is the bustling floating village in the Tonle Sap, the biggest body of fresh water in Southeast Asia. It is something you have not imagined. I know I'm exaggerating a bit but even the boat trip can be exciting.

But, of course, the biggest draw are the Temples of Angkor considered by many to be one of the best examples of architecture from the distant past. They are monuments to the power and influence of the Khmer Empire that dominated the area from 9th to the 12th centuries AD. At its height, Khmer kings constructed waterworks and grand temples which now represent the pinnacle of Khmer art and civilization. But do not limit your visit to Angkor Wat. Go and explore the other temples like Banteay Srei. I love the intricate red sandstone carvings in this temple. 16 kms. more and you will reach The River of a Thousand Lingas, a riverbed with Hindu sculptures. Come now when you still can come close to authenticity.

There is more to Cambodia than just Angkor Wat - Visit other attractions in Cambodia

Friendship Monument Phnom Penh
Friendship Monument Phnom Penh | Source

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Phnom Penh

Situated at the confluence of the Mekong, Tonle Sap and Bassac rivers, Phnom Penh is a fresh travel destination that is developing its own personality with its little boutique hotels in the river front, its restaurants and bistros, art galleries and its little silk shops all over the city. Historical sites such as the old temples, the Royal Palace, the National Museum, the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum, and the Choung Ek Memorial.

Phnom Penh's phsars or markets are shopping destinations you should not miss. Take a tuktuk and go to Russian market through its packed aisles lined with hand loomed silk and silk bags, silk scarves, silver jewelry, fabrics, DVDs, ceramics and wood carvings. Other markets including Central Market, Olympic and O'Russei are still the traditional ones found in many countries in Asia years ago and to go shopping to these places is quite an experience. It is still free of super malls so it has a charm that delights those who have never seen some of these old market places.

Shanghai: A Fast Developing Asian Destination - The Host of the World Expo 2010

The Bund in Shanghai
The Bund in Shanghai | Source

A Visit to Shanghai

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5. China: Shanghai

Shanghai just recently finished hosting the 2010 World Expo, the most attended expo ever. For this major event, Shanghai has changed tremendously. The city has renovated most of its historical landmarks. The spectacular trip to and from the airport through the Maglev, the only one in the world is an experience. It takes you as fast as 301 kms. per hour.

The Bund has been renovated and its old buildings, when Shanghai was a famous international port in the past, declared heritage properties. Go in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, the former Shanghai Club, and try out The Long Bar restored to its former glory. The evening walks and river cruises are spectacular.

Watch how much Shanghai has changed

Shanghai has really put its best effort in making the place a major destination thereby catching the coveted honour of hosting the World Expo. It was as well the most attended what with China's population alone, there is no way to beat that. But we just visited and it is indeed spectacular.

Your Top Destination in Asia - Vote for the top place to visit in Asia

Inside Temple in Laos
Inside Temple in Laos | Source

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Bali, Paradise of the Gods - A Popular Destination for Generations

Traditional dinner in Bali
Traditional dinner in Bali

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6. Indonesia: Bali and Ubud

Bali has, of course, been a favorite since. What is amazing, however, is how Bali has maintained if not reinvented itself to continue as a major holiday destination.

The gods must be happy here as people offer daily beautifully arranged baskets of flowers, food and other symbols of worship. Everyday, women with their beautifully crafted baskets line the streets to the temple. This is one traffic stopping spectacle. I wish as a tourist that I understood better what they were doing so I could join in their worship.

In front of stores and restaurants, women place flowers daintily on the front steps or the spirit houses or shrines that intermix with stores and houses making Bali communities unique than other places in Asia. One can't help but behold this scene and breathe in the smell of the flowers partaking in what is offered to the gods.

There is, of course, the ocean where one can enjoy not only a swim, a snorkel, a dive or a surf but also fresh seafood dinners on long beaches most especially on the shores of Jimbaran. Or the rice fields and fishponds that hide some of the amazing restaurants you can find. One of these is Sakti, a vegan restaurant in a healing center, Fivelements Puri Ahimsa located right on the Ayung River. There you can sample some of the culinary delights from its chef, Made Runatha, a Balinese who trained in the world's best raw vegan cuisine school, California's Living Light Culinary Arts Institute.

Shopping is a delight in Seminyak and Ubud where stores offer beautifully designed and crafted items. One can also visit villages where weavers and wood carvers as well as basket weavers show their craft and how these are made.

The Temple of Besakih and the Holy Spring Temple are a must see as well as the Court of Justice of the old Kingdom of Klungkung. Mount Agung, Mount Batur and Lake Beratan offer scenic views of springs and creeks and rice terraces in various hues of green. It is also interesting to see the ancient village of Bali Aga in Tenganan. Here you can walk around the original village and watch Ikat and basket weavers. The Ikat weavers do a sarong with the map of the community, a very interesting sociological feature.

If you love neon lights and some nightlife fun, go to Kuta.

Ubud - The Artists' Haven

Store Entrance in Ubud
Store Entrance in Ubud

Visit to Ubud

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Ubud

What a great place to be in. Chosen by Conde Nast patrons as the top city in 2010, it certainly fits the bill. We were lucky to have decided to spend half of our Bali holidays in Nusa Dua and half in Ubud. From Ubud, it was easy for us to drive to some of the places we wanted to see in the first place. These places included Mt. Agung, Mt. Batur and Lake Beratan, KlungKung, Gianyar, Besakih and Tenganan.

Aside from these trips, our resort though in the middle of the ricefields is close to Ubud center. We had our own villa with its own private pool. The resort is also a museum, the ARMA Museum and Resort. Right in our hotel, there are traditional Balinese cultural presentations and guided participation in some of the rituals and ceremonies called yadnya. What an enhancing cultural experience. There are also cultural workshops in which one can learn traditional Bali dances and arts from the Bali masters themselves. One evening, we tried the Madibong, a traditional Balinese cuisine and we truly enjoyed it.

The whole stay in Ubud was a living experience of Balinese culture. There are galleries and artisans all over the place. There is so much to give the senses its delight as one walks through the streets, some natural and others beautifully crafted and presented.

Bangkok Royal Palace
Bangkok Royal Palace | Source

Been to Bangkok? - Top Destination in Asia for Many People

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7. Bangkok, Resort and Shopping Destination in Asia

Bangkok is still the favourite destination in Asia for many people. As their national airlines say, "Sawasdee", smooth as silk. It is easy to go to Bangkok. There are many flights, free entry upon arrival, no more departure fee to line up for, and all kinds of choices for transport: air, rail, water or ground.

Bangkok has also evolved to become the shopping destination of the world. Upscale shopping malls outdo each other in size and quality. Other local markets like Chatuchak, Pratunam and Sampheng compete for space in the shoppers' bags and suitcases. Arrive in the weekend so you can enjoy Chatuchak market. But if that is not possible, go to the night market. Even if you are a committed shopper, you will find yourself unable to go through the goods offered in so many stalls. Many are the same sellers at Chatuchak. The design has really improved and also the quality of the goods especially in women's fashion and accessories. You can also check out the Bang Lamphu Market, Sam Phaeng and the Bo Bae Wholesale Clothing Market.

You can see foreigners from various countries walk through the streets of Bangkok. The favourite for the younger ones and backpackers is Khao San Road. But don't forget that Bangkok is also the gateway to so many other beautiful places in Thailand. You can go for day trips to Ayudhaya, the ancient capital. Or, if you love the hills and mountains, go to Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai. If you are a history buff, visit the Bridge in the River Kwai. If you prefer the beaches, choices are plenty: Phuket, Koh Samui, Rayong, Hua Hin, Surathani, Trang and many more.

Durbar Square
Durbar Square | Source

8. Nepal, Top South Asian Destination

As you approach Nepal, the Himalayas seem to transport you into another world, the world of magic and dungeons and dragons as the mountains reveal itself through the clouds. And as you get nearer, the mustard yellow fields add color to the blues and the grays and the greens of the landscape and it is just mystifying to someone who sees it for the first time. You think Switzerland but no. It has its own unique beauty. The Himalayas are so different from the Alps of Switzerland, Italy and Austria or the Pyrenees of France and Spain. Does this comparison hold?

Kathmandu, its capital has its history of trend. Freak Street in the 60s. Maybe, you, younger ones have not heard of this place so check it out. Now, Thamel has taken over. If you want fun and excitement, this is where you stay. But even for those who like the quiet, there is a little nook in Thamel you can stay in:The Courtyard Hotel. Most people found this hotel in one of their walks around Thamel and they could not believe how far it is from the hazzz and buzz of Thamel though it is right there. To hear interesting stories from fellow travellers, go to the Library in the evening. The Courtyard's Library is full of guests at around this time enjoying their drinks from the bar adjacent to it. The owners are there, too. So you can bug them about your room. There is a good collection of books but also of guests. And I tell you, you won't regret it. The stories are from all over the world and the people, too.

Of course, Kathmandu has 7 UNESCO heritage sites which will take up much of your time after your trek. Boudanath is still untouched by cosmopolitanism so you can enjoy much of the Buddhist traditions and culture when you visit this stupa. For those who want to explore more the Hindu influence on Nepal, go to Changu Narayan. There is Patan, the Durbar Square, Pashupatinath Temple, Swayambunath Temple, and Bhaktapur.

In these places, you will see the intriguing mix of Hinduism and Buddhism which perplexes only foreigners, not the Nepalese. This adds to the color and mystery and age old forms of worship taking place every day in many nooks and corners of the city or in temples and homes.

Maldives, Top Asian Beach Holiday Destination - Beautiful Atolls

Resort in Maldives
Resort in Maldives | Source

9. Maldives: A Beach Paradise

Maldives is the sure winner for beach resorts. Yes, it is paradise. No other beach holiday destination can beat Maldives. The water is crystal clear that diving and snorkeling are utterly enjoyable. The visibility is almost perfect. And not only that. You can also see so many species of fish and corals and other sea creatures as the Maldivians generally only eat tuna. As they use spears not nets to catch these tuna, this is a safe haven for sea creatures. The fish and turtles (even the sharks given so much food to target) are so friendly that sometimes, they enjoy swimming along with you.

Almost all the resorts have their own in-house reefs so diving and snorkeling are within easy reach. You can laze in the beach and then go for a snorkel any time you want. What more can you ask for? The sand is powdery white. The resort is usually the only inhabitant of the whole island so the guests enjoy their privacy especially when you have your own bungalow from where you can swim, snorkel or dive in the ocean, wade in your own pool, and have your butler deliver all your food and drinks. With a staff-guest ratio of 4-1, this is the holiday of a lifetime. Enjoy the pampering.

The Beauty and the Beach of Asia - Maldives is indeed the beach holiday destination

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The beach in an island resort in MaldivesThe beach in another resort in MaldivesYour villa in a resort in MaldivesYour villa in a resort in MaldivesYour villa in a resort in MaldivesYour own beach in a resort in MaldivesYour villa in a resort in Maldives
The beach in an island resort in Maldives
The beach in an island resort in Maldives | Source
The beach in another resort in Maldives
The beach in another resort in Maldives | Source
Your villa in a resort in Maldives
Your villa in a resort in Maldives | Source
Your villa in a resort in Maldives
Your villa in a resort in Maldives | Source
Your villa in a resort in Maldives
Your villa in a resort in Maldives | Source
Your own beach in a resort in Maldives
Your own beach in a resort in Maldives | Source
Your villa in a resort in Maldives
Your villa in a resort in Maldives | Source

Sri Lanka, a Unique Haven in Asia - Kandy would be at the top

Sigiriya
Sigiriya | Source

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10. Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka or Ceylon as it was called in the past is truly a garden. From the cities with beautiful old trees to its tea plantations and rice fields, green is Sri Lanka's color. Sri Lankahas one of the world's greatest botanical gardens flooded in the songs of birds. And its beaches are worth idling in. Head to the beaches in Trincomalee and Batticaloa. Its pristine beauty is there to enjoy but only for a short time as tourists are flocking to the newly opened places. The price is right.

Don't miss Kandy, Sri Lanka's ancient capital as it has its own charm and mystique. Worship with the locals in Sri Dalada Maligawa, a sacred Buddhist shrine set on a lake. And, of course, Sigiriya with its ancient water systems that was one of the best at its time.

The Pinnawela Elephant Orphanage especially when you go right when the elephants go for their daily bath in the river is quite an experience. It is fun to watch some of those naughty elephants stunting for the tourists.

Add history and culture to all these and you certainly have a holiday worth remembering. And don't forget, if you want to get your hands into Buddhism and Ayurvedic healing, this is the place to go. But plan more days if this is your interest.

Jaipur, India

11. India

India is really developing as a political and economic power in Asia but because of the old civilization that developed in the Indus River Valley, there is so much to see there not only in terms of places but also what they have accomplished through centuries like in textiles, food, architecture, film and more.

For me, the Taj Mahal in Agra is worth a visit and also Jaipur.

Luang Prabang Rural Asian Destination - The UNESCO World Heritage Site in Laos

Laos
Laos | Source

Luang Prabang Visit

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12. Laos: Luang Prabang

Laos as a whole is pretty laid back even Vientiane, its capital city. But this is the charm of the country. The European Union Council on Tourism and Trade awarded it The World's Best Tourist Destination for 2013. This Land of a Million Elephants won the title largely because of its effort in community based tourism and its protection of its heritage sites such as Vat Phou and the Plain of Jars.

You can walk the streets and ride through the countryside and see many Asian cities in the same shape in the 50s and 60s. It typifies a life not ruled by targets and deadlines. One can just enjoy life and savour it.

You can enjoy a walk along the banks of the Mekong and sample some French food as there are still French restaurants around. You can shop for some Laos fabric and scarves and some of the Hmong handicrafts. Or maybe enjoy interacting with the locals in the market and the streets. I enjoy its rural setting as it reminds me of the places when I was growing up in Asia.

But if there is one place to visit in Laos, Luang Prabang is at the top of my list. Believe me, it is not short on adventure. You can go tubing, cave hunting, or trekking.

Nestled where the Nam Khan River meets the Mekong in north-central Laos, Luang Prabang is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was the royal capital and seat of government of the Kingdom of Laos until the Communist take-over in 1975. This wonderful history is laid out and totally accessible. Believe me, this is one of the winners.

13. Japan: The UNESCO Heritage Pilgrimage Route in Asia - Kumano

Japan is one place I love to visit. It is a mix of modernity and tradition. But what I like most are its natural landscape which for me is spiritually invigorating. The Japanese seem to always go out to their countryside to seek spiritual communion in its luxuriance and sacred shrines dotting these places. A favourite is the old Kumano passage where one can take sort of a pilgrimage as one visits the sacred shrines and temples built as early as the 9th century surrounded by rivers, streams and water falls. It is one of only two pilgrimage routes dubbed as a UNESCO world heritage site.

The recent earthquake and tsunami has terribly damaged Japan and it will take time for the country to be on its feet again. It is, however, very efficient in facing the challenge so before you know it Japan will be again as strong as it has been.

Manila Top Asian Destination
Manila Top Asian Destination | Source

14. Philippines

The Philippines has one of the best beaches in the world. Its over 7 thousand islands will always ensure beaches that are as yet not tourist trodden. Its dive sites attract divers over and over again to come and enjoy a dive. But over and beyond this, the hospitality of the Filipinos is unrivalled. They will take you in as part of the family the very moment they meet you.

I don't have to write much about the Philippines as so many lensmasters have already done a marvelous job. Just do your squidoo search and you will be surprised how many lenses will turn up.

15. South Korea: Jeju Island

Its recent hosting of the G20 has indeed placed South Korea in the international map. Its fast advancing companies now leading internationally in a number of sectors are in itself a fascinating study and a good reason to visit.

We visited Seoul one weekend and enjoyed going around the city. It is a very easy city to go on your own using public transport. But once you're there, make sure you go to Jeju.

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    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 8 months ago from Olympia, WA

      There's a big world out there I'll never see, Mary, but at least you provided me a glimpse at some of it. Thank you!

    • sujaya venkatesh profile image

      sujaya venkatesh 2 years ago

      a good travelogue

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 2 years ago from Orange County, California

      Fabulous article! I have never been to Asia, but I would love to go. Great job with this information.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Thanks Mary. Maybe someday. You're very welcome.

    • aesta1 profile image
      Author

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thanks Kristen. You can easily put together in one trip those 3 countries. They are worth exploring.

    • Kristen Howe profile image

      Kristen Howe 2 years ago from Northeast Ohio

      Wow Mary! Great list of top ten Asian designations you have there. My brother had been to India a few times, to Thailand and Phillippines for work at a bank and changed jobs this fall. Hong Kong, China and Japan are where I would love to go someday. Voted up!

    • aesta1 profile image
      Author

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      That is fantastic. The Philippines has so much to offer. I still have to visit Batanes.

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      I've visited some of the countries on your list, but not the particular places you mentioned. This year we are planning a trip, but we want to keep it in the Philippines because going abroad has made me realize that I should also appreciate home. Since the hubbey and I love animals, we are planning to visit some tiger place in Subic.

    • aesta1 profile image
      Author

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Maybe you can take time out and visit me.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 2 years ago from England

      Great hub Mary, I would love to visit all of these amazing places, I have never been that far, only Greece and Spain, oh and Africa! Nearly forgot that! lol! have a great day, nell

    • aesta1 profile image
      Author

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Thank you Susie. Maldives is so beautiful.

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      Such beautiful and interesting places to see in Asia. I would love to vacation at Maldives. Since you won't get in airplane, that will not be happening. Thank you for a wonder tour or the top places to see, Mary.

      Awesome hub!

    • aesta1 profile image
      Author

      Mary Norton 2 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Hong Kong and Japan are great, too. For you, it is an easy trip from Australia as well.

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 2 years ago from Australia

      This has been a wonderful trip through Asia. I wholeheartedly agree with your comment about Singapore being a great introduction to Asia - it wasn't my first Asian destination, but followed closely after Hong Kong and Japan, but it remains one of my favourite places in the world because every trip is just so positive.

    • profile image

      VictorVoice 3 years ago

      I tend to prefer visiting countries of Southeast Asia over the more developed countries of the Far East. I love Thailand, and, of course, Vietnam. The Philippines is also a pleasant place to visit with countless beautiful islands and beaches everywhere. I have found that people of Southeast Asia are a lot friendlier and endearingly humble, whereas my experiences in the countries North of Southeast Asian countries weren't as personable.

    • Heidi Vincent profile image

      Heidi Vincent 3 years ago from GRENADA

      Superb Asian travel lens, aesta1!

    • profile image

      peacefullyhappy 3 years ago

      My Daughter is in Bali, I plan to go and visit her soon!

    • TravelTourist profile image

      TravelTourist 3 years ago

      I just got back from Vietnam, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia on an organized tour which was great. In particular i enjoyed Laos, I don't really know why but it just seemed to me to be the least touristy and more friendly area. I love looking at wild places and wild animals and happily the tour allowed the flexibility for me to organise some of my own side tours, which is the mark of a great tour I think.

      Anyway I went on the Nam Nern safari and that was absolutely fantastic. It has a lot to do with sustainable wildlife management but you get to see some amazing wildlife including tigers if lucky. Here is a link to the tour company that I used if anyone is interested in a great trip through Asia http://greattraveladventures.net/.

      All I can say to anyone thinking about traveling to Asia is just do it, yep there are a few risks but they exist everywhere and a bit of common sense goes a long way to making sure nothing bad happens, you will regret it if you don't :)

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      Michael Yoshinaka 3 years ago from Honolulu, Hawaii

      Oh, I wish I could do what you do and travel like that. So Interesting !

    • chardonnay1313 profile image

      chardonnay1313 4 years ago

      Myanmar is very beautiful, I would love to visit there. Thank you for your recommendations.

    • rt8ca profile image

      rt8ca 4 years ago

      We visited Bangkok and then on to the Island of Koh Samui last spring. Loved the people and food!

    • Elaine Chen profile image

      Elaine Chen 4 years ago

      seems like traveling is your hobby as you have so many beauty photos to share here :-)

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      topbuilderlist 4 years ago

      I love Singapore the most as this is my first employer abroad.

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      hmommers 4 years ago

      Wow, you have seen a lot in Asia. Thanks for sharing! It looks beautiful!

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      sybil watson 4 years ago

      Everything you write is so amazing, and this lens is no exception. I'm torn between visiting Bali and Shanghai!

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 4 years ago from New York

      I have always wanted to visit Asian countries. How fortunate for you that you have had the opportunity to travel for your work to these ancient, beautiful cultures. I was very surprised to see that the bamboo dance is done in VietNam the same as I learned it from the the Philippines. The videos of Freak Street in Kathmandu are very different from the Kathmandu of the 60's and the Maldives have always been a dream destination. I could go on and on. This travel guide lens of Asia is nothing short of AMAZING! So very well done and so very interesting. I so want to be there! May, thank you so much for creating this knowledgeable lens! *Squid Angel Blessed and pinned to my "Wanderlust Travel" board.

    • siobhanryan profile image

      siobhanryan 4 years ago

      Blessed-super lens and I learned a lot about Asia

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      SteveKaye 4 years ago

      This amazing lens is like a complete course in geography. Fantastic.

    • LornsA178 profile image

      LornsA178 4 years ago

      I enjoyed reading this lens, I like taking the quizzes. Great job, as always.

    • tfsherman lm profile image

      tfsherman lm 4 years ago

      Going to hubs, good advice. Gorgeous lens -- this is one that will not be marked "thin content"!

    • aesta1 profile image
      Author

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @Melissa Miotke: I suggest that you go first to cities which are big hubs as there are many flights and hotels so you can get good value. Also, these places are easier for new travelers to Asia. Think of Singapore, Bangkok, HongKong or Seoul.

    • Melissa Miotke profile image

      Melissa Miotke 4 years ago from Arizona

      I've actually never been to Asia yet. When I do get to go I have no idea where I'll go first, so many great choices!

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      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @Spirality: It has the best museum of Chinese artifacts. We had a great tour there of their colleges which were very impressive.

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      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @audrey07: I love Sabah as well. Our College had a project there and so I had a chance to go and visit the place.

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      Spirality 4 years ago

      Taiwan is one of the places in Asia I want to see most. I hear if you want authentic Chinese food Taiwan is the best place to get it from. The capital, Taipei, seems like a tech savvy metropolitan city.

    • audrey07 profile image

      audrey07 4 years ago

      There are so many places in Asia that are worth mentioning and visiting. And each is different with their own history, culture, food, people and places of interest. I like Sabah for its beaches and green lungs.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Taiwan.

    • jamesonsquidoo profile image

      jamesonsquidoo 4 years ago

      Wow, such a nice lens. Glad you mentioned Sapa, my favorite destination of all

    • mrsclaus411 profile image

      mrsclaus411 4 years ago

      I love visiting places in Asia. I will definitely try to visit more places soon.

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      I love Asia! This is my birth place.

    • wagedonkey profile image

      wagedonkey 4 years ago

      I live in Chiang Mai Northern Thailand great food and nice scenery, I love Asia

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      coolmon2009 lm 4 years ago

      I enjoyed viewing your selection of pictures and videos; nice lens on the top travel destinations in Asia.

    • chas65 profile image

      chas65 5 years ago

      Looks like several in the IM community have recently moved to Thailand. Must be an inexpensive place to live.

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 5 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      Loads of great information. Thank you:)

    • aesta1 profile image
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      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @music-philippines: It is really a great place to visit.

    • aesta1 profile image
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      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @msseiboi: India is really exotic and a must visit place.

    • aesta1 profile image
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      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @Wedding Mom: There are just as in other parts of the world.

    • aesta1 profile image
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      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @vaigavenugopal: Thanks. I hope you'll schedule your trip to see some cultural events.

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      vaigavenugopal 5 years ago

      I was planning a tour in asia. Accidently i have seen this lens. The thing i m stucked is the explanation on culture in some places. Really informative, and a great effort..:)..keep postin all the best..

    • Wedding Mom profile image

      Wedding Mom 5 years ago

      There are so many great places to visit in Asia.

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      msseiboi 5 years ago

      Of course, India..

      India has one of the greatest little explore adventure tourism...

    • music-philippines profile image

      Klaus Biesel 5 years ago from Cebu Philippines

      The Philippines are indeed a Top Destination, though the tourism is not that organized as for example in Thailand, the Philippines are a top destination for individualists and adventurers.

    • aesta1 profile image
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      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @LornsA178: Thank you.

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      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @booknow: I am in Hanoi now but only came here in May.

    • aesta1 profile image
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      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @leafspirit lm: Good for you. It is not hard to do so from Thailand as there are many countries around and many direct flights as well.

    • leafspirit lm profile image

      leafspirit lm 5 years ago

      For me no other place will compare to Thailand. I am moving there in a few months to marry my girlfriend. But we'll have to visit the rest of Asia too, as we've made it our goal to share a kiss in every country of the world.

    • booknow profile image

      booknow 5 years ago

      Amazing lens. I really love Asia. Just visited Vietnam in March. And I would really like to visit Laos next year.

    • LornsA178 profile image

      LornsA178 5 years ago

      Great job on your lens! Loaded with beautiful pictures and a lot of information.

    • aesta1 profile image
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      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @anonymous: They are. Yes, I am lucky as this is part of earning a living.

    • aesta1 profile image
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      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @Spiderlily321: I had been to Japan but there are small islands there I want to visit. I am also intrigued by its culture.

    • aesta1 profile image
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      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @debnet: Thank you for the generous comment and of course, the blessing.

    • aesta1 profile image
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      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @iijuan12: Thank you so much for blessing this lens.

    • iijuan12 profile image

      iijuan12 5 years ago from Florida

      Gorgeous photos! Thank you for sharing!

    • debnet profile image

      Debbie 5 years ago from England

      What a comprehensive look at Asia for the traveller! This must have taken you forever to put together. I love the way you've mixed quizzes in with information, photos and videos. Full of original content and guess what? ~~Blessed~~

    • Spiderlily321 profile image

      Spiderlily321 5 years ago

      Wow, what a beautiful lens. I love your pictures. I would love to visit Japan some day. Thanks for sharing this/

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Dear Aesta,

      You are lucky to have traveled to these many places, I haven't seen half of what you have seen. I am sure the places you have mentioned are really worth a visit.

    • aesta1 profile image
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      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @futurefocus57: There are so many places to visit in China. I only talked about Shanghai here.

    • aesta1 profile image
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      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @anonymous: I hope you will have a chance to see other countries in Asia. I had been to Sabah, Sarawak and Kuala lumpur and really enjoyed these trips to your country.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I'm a Malaysian but I've never been to other Asia countries-_- One of best moments to travel in my own country(especially the islands) is to observe the tourists ;) By the way, I appreciate the beautiful pictures and you've describe the places well :] Thanks for sharing your story with us!

    • futurefocus57 profile image

      futurefocus57 5 years ago

      Good job. Need to visit China.

    • aesta1 profile image
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      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @mastholiday: Thank you for the visit.

    • aesta1 profile image
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      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @Mariajomith: I hope so. It is now easy to arrange a trip to Asia and it is still cheap.

    • Mariajomith profile image

      maria 5 years ago

      great lens, i hope to go someday

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      mastholiday 5 years ago

      ohh what a mindblowing lense this is .......

    • aesta1 profile image
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      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @anonymous: Good to see you visit my lens.

    • aesta1 profile image
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      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @Write4U LM: Better go when you still can enjoy its uniqueness.

    • aesta1 profile image
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      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @nikitakapoor: Thank you for the visit. I certainly will.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      My most favorite countries are Cambodia and Thailand ;) Love this wonderful travel guide lens.. Another gorgeous works of you.. dear aesta1 :)

    • nikitakapoor profile image

      nikitakapoor 5 years ago

      Great lens, loved it! Do drop by my lens sometime and do let me know how do you feel about them!

    • Write4U LM profile image

      Write4U LM 5 years ago

      What a great example of what a good lens should be for a newbie. I've been to Malaysia, Singapore and Malaysia. I better get cracking on these other destinations.

    • aesta1 profile image
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      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @RetroMom: Thank you for visiting this lens.

    • RetroMom profile image

      RetroMom 5 years ago

      Wow, I love this lens. Very nice photographs of places.

    • aesta1 profile image
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      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @indiavacationplans: Glad you enjoyed it.

    • aesta1 profile image
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      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @Prescriptiondrugrehab: You are right. There is so much to explore.

    • aesta1 profile image
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      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @writerkath: Thanks for the blessing. Hope you get an overseas contract. It is through these that we have visited so many places.

    • aesta1 profile image
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      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @mary lighthouse15: Hope you enjoyed your Asian tour.

    • aesta1 profile image
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      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @sousababy: Worth visiting.

    • aesta1 profile image
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      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @sousababy: Worth visiting.

    • aesta1 profile image
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      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @ThaWorkzMedia: Pei's buildings are worth looking at if you love architecture.

    • aesta1 profile image
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      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @anonymous: Thanks again for the blessing.

    • aesta1 profile image
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      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @YHONG04: We just went to South Korea and enjoyed going around. It is easy.

    • aesta1 profile image
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      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @Dmarieinspires: There is so much to know about Asian culture.

    • aesta1 profile image
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      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @DakshaDesign1: Thanks for the visit.

    • aesta1 profile image
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      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      @ottnepal: Our one month stay in Nepal is one of the most memorable.

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      ottnepal 5 years ago

      Nepal is the Best Country in Asia to travel you Must travel Once in your life. Here are many Mountains which are in the list of top highest mountain in the world. Mount Everest is located in Nepal. Nepal is celebrating 2012 as Lord Buddha year. So Visit Lumbini (Nepal) Birth place of lord Buddha.

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      DakshaDesign1 5 years ago

      I like your lens, very useful and inspiring. thank you

    • Dmarieinspires profile image

      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Great lens! The Asian culture fasinates me!!! Very beautiful!

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      YHONG04 5 years ago

      Of course my home town Philippines, my comfort zone and there's a lot of beautiful places that i haven't visiting yet. 2nd is South Korea i like their culture, food, language and places as well. Thanks for sharing this beautiful Asia tour lens! Hope you can visit also my topic about Philippines.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Returning to be once again amazed with your detailed and beautiful presentation of the 10 top destinations in Asia. I'm also amazed that I haven't blessed this yet...have now and so very well deserved!

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      ThaWorkzMedia 5 years ago

      Singapore. I love all their modern architecture. I want to go and visit the Ion Orchard Mall.