The 5 Hottest Asian Destinations to Visit Right Now

One could spend a lifetime exploring Asia and still not be able to see everything it has to offer. Expansive and richly diverse, the continent is home to countries that will afford you limitless delights, sights, and sounds. All of these elements will tease and excite you no matter what sort of tourist you are, whether you’re a solo traveler, a couple looking for your next holiday spot, or a family going on vacation. Of the 48 countries in the continent, these are the ones that you need to have your eye on right now if you want an unforgettable escape.

Vietnam

This country of stark contrasts is by far one of the best bang-for-your-buck vacation destinations in Asia. Here, you can lounge on pristine white beaches, have one-of-a-kind experiences, and eat like royalty without shelling out too much cash for the privilege. 

Once you’ve booked your Traveloka Vietnam travel package, it’s a good idea to start looking into the areas that you’d like to visit. Many guests opt to head for the historical capital of Hanoi or vibrant Ho Chi Minh City when they’re visiting Vietnam for the first time. Also popular are the areas of Da Nang, Nha Trang, and Phu Quoc, especially among backpackers and beach babies in desperate need of “vitamin sea.” 

Maldives

A perennial favorite of celebrity honeymooners and members of the elite, the Maldives counts among its fans celebrities like Joe Jonas and Sophie Turner, Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Falchuk, David and Victoria Beckham’s entire family, as well as world-renowned chef Gordon Ramsey and his brood. 

It used to be prohibitively expensive to travel to this South Asian nation. Accommodation choices were limited to high-end resorts, and transport around the islands can only be done by boat or by plane, further driving up the cost. Nowadays, on many inhabited, non-resort owned islands, you’ll be able to find reasonably priced places where you can stay. These include the islands of Maafushi (best for solo travelers who like to socialize), Guaraidhoo (popular with surfers), or Fulidhoo (if you’d like to sample authentic Maldivian cuisine). 

There’s never been a better time to go to this country. Because the Maldives is one of the countries that are most affected by the devastating effects of climate change, substantial parts of the island nation could sink into the ocean within the next 80 years or do.

South Korea

Inspired by the Hallyu wave, 11.1 million tourists came to South Korea in 2012, catapulting the East Asian nation to become the 6th most visited country in the continent. Nowhere is the country’s newfound status as a global tourism hub more evident than its capital of Seoul. At the cutting edge of everything that’s hip and trendy, this city is a dizzying metropolis that’s buzzing with verve and energy—and it does this while managing to retain its old soul. Places like the Gyeongbokgung Palace, the Gyeonghoeru Pavilion, the Bukhansanseong Fortress, and countless other historical landmarks are still standing, thanks to the meticulous preservation efforts of the local authorities. As a result, these locations continue to attract tens of thousands of visitors today. 

There’s something for everyone in South Korea, whether you’ve come here as a fan of K-pop and K-dramas, you’re looking to sample the country’s fiery cuisine, or you’re hoping to experience its healthy drinking culture for yourself. Seoul is always a good jumping off point for first-time visitors, but those seeking a less frenetic experience can head down south to laidback Busan or to South Korea’s summer capital of Jeju Island. 

Singapore

This island state is the epitome of a model city: Singapore is clean, orderly, and everything just works. Indeed, it’s for the traveler who values convenience. It’s been said that you can walk from one end of the island to the other within a single day, give or take. However, with the city state’s excellent public transport system at your disposal, you wouldn’t ever need to. Still, this is a city best experienced at ground level, so make sure to pack your walking shoes. 

Right from the get go, you’ll be able to experience the very best of contemporary Singapore when you step into Jewel Changi Airport, the newest commercial nexus of the three terminals of the Changi Airport. Within this complex is the world’s largest indoor waterfall, whose sheer scale and graceful beauty alone will surely remind you why the Changi Airport has been voted the world’s best airport for seven consecutive years since 2013. 

Beyond the city-state’s gateway, you can head for the glittering Marina Bay or Orchard Road areas to see Singapore at its most modern and fashion-forward. Conversely, neighborhoods like Little India and Chinatown put this tiny country’s impressive multicultural heritage at the forefront. In these places, you can walk leisurely from one historical building to the next while savoring fantastic street food in between sightseeing. Singapore is also a great country to visit with kids in tow.  Case in point, a trip to the Singapore Zoo or Jurong Bird Park will surely keep the little ones entertained and engaged. They’ll also love visiting the only Universal Studios theme park in Southeast Asia, on top of the many other family-friendly attractions on Sentosa Island.  

Sri Lanka

Voted best country to visit in 2019 by the community at leading travel site Lonely Planet, Sri Lanka is fast emerging as the ecotourism destination nature lovers shouldn’t miss. Most of the country remains pristine, with its best highlights comprising a mixture of gorgeous beaches, verdant rainforests, and ancient ruins. Indeed, Sri Lanka is home to no less than eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites, so you know there’s plenty to see here.

Going on a safari in Sri Lanka is also being touted as an excellent alternative to going on one in Africa, and it’s not all that surprising. At the Uda Walawe National Park, for example, you may be able to spot wild Asian elephants bathing in the reservoir, in addition to catching a glimpse of Sri Lankan leopards, langur monkeys, various species of deer, golden jackals, and golden palm civets. If you’re also interested about marine life, you can head over to the coastal town of Mirissa for a myriad of ocean-related amusements, including whale watching. Indeed, pods of whales and dolphins often congregate in the waters that surround the town, unbothered by observers and the fisherfolk who ply their trade in the area. 

Despite the short distances between attractions and the plenitude of things to see and do, Sri Lanka remains relatively calm and uncrowded, which is why you should look into it as a country to visit in the future.  

Asia is a large and diverse continent that offers a multitude of attractions for all types of travelers. Which of the countries above do you fancy as your next holiday destination?

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