When it comes to travel through Asia, it is no surprise that places such as Thailand, Vietnam, Japan, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Beijing, and Osaka are one of the most popular vacation spots. There are still many destinations out there. Underrated places might offer lower prices and they can also be less crowded and offer adventure, wildness, and natural beauty.
Here are 10 of the most underrated places in Asia to consider for your next visit to the diverse continent of Asia:
10 Underrated Destinations In Asia
Located on India’s west coast, Goa is a beach destination, that can please anyone interested in water sports or dolphin watching. Some of the best beaches in Goa are Vagator Beach, Calangute Beach, Baga Beach, Anjuna Beach draws many visitors and offers many adventure sports. Goa is a unique holiday destination with many tourist attractions. Old Goa is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that shows the colonial architecture from the Portuguese.
Some of the attractions drawing not just religiously minded travelers are historical churches, Pilar monastery, Saligao seminary, and Rachol seminary. Other attractions include the Dudhsagar waterfall, Arvalem waterfall, the caves of Khandepar and Arvalem.
Goa’s wildlife sanctuaries boast of more than 1512 documented species of plants, over 275 species of birds, over 48 kinds of animals. Goa was compared with the Amazon and the Congo basins for its rich tropical biodiversity and recognized as one of the biodiversity hotspots of the world.
Hue was the country’s capital during 1802-1945 and home to the Nguyen dynasty of the 19th century, the last ruling family of Vietnam.
You’ll find many historic sights like temples, tombs, and palaces such as Khai Dinh Tomb and Thien Mu Pagoda, many viewable from a scenic boat tour along the Perfume River. The Imperial City at Hue is a walled enclosure within the citadel on the north side of the Perfume River and it is the best-preserved and reminds of a vast citadel and royal palace complex that once existed. Inside the citadel was a forbidden city where only the emperors, concubines, and those close enough to them were granted access and it was meant to resemble the Forbidden City of Beijing.
UNESCO declared the ‘complex of Hue monuments’ a World Heritage. The forbidden city, a remarkable cluster of buildings that reflects Vietnam’s history over the past two hundred years.
Krabi is a coastal province in southern Thailand on the Andaman sea. It is located between Phang Nga and Trang, and it is the perfect holiday destination for those seeking a relaxing area. It is famed for its amazing beaches and limestone formations.
There are over 150 islands featuring towering limestone cliffs, caves, waterfalls, and exotic wildlife. Travelers can relax at the white-sand beaches and turquoise waters or enjoy a wide variety of activities such as snorkeling, sea kayaking, rock climbing, scuba diving.
The best time to visit Krabi is between the months Nov-Apr when the area’s climate is cooler. The cuisine features Malay, Indonesian, and Indian mix.
Hangzhou is located along the Southeast coast of China and one of China’s seven ancient capitals. Here you’ll find two World Heritage Sites–West Lake and the Grand Canal. At a length of more than 2,000 kilometers, the Grand Canal is the longest canal or artificial river in the world. The lake features a combination of temples, pagodas, ornamental trees, gardens, and artificial islands. Visitors can also take a cruise around the lake on a traditional-style boat.
The city has many historical relics, scenic spots and the scenic area near the Fuchun River and the Xinan River, Thousand-islet Lake, Tianmu Mountain, Qingliang Peak, Xixi National Wetland Park, Solitary Hill, Peak Flown from Afar.
Hangzhou is famously home to one of China’s most popular varieties of tea, Lingjing green tea. It is selected for five years as “The Happiest City in China” in the annual national survey.
Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Johor Bahru is a rapidly growing city and it is Malaysia’s third-largest city, situated along the Johor Straits, just across from Singapore. Here you’ll find many activities for the whole family – from the world’s first VR Lego coaster at Legoland Malaysia or the Legoland Malaysia Water Park to the Finnish theme park at FANPEKKA. Johor Bahru is the location of numerous conferences, congress, and trade fairs. It is the first city in Malaysia to practice a low-carbon economy. The city is a unique mixture of Malays, Chinese, and Indians with each retaining their ethnicity.
The Royal Abu Bakar Museum located within the Grand Palace building is the main museum in the city. Most of the tourist places are well spread throughout the city including a well-mixed balance of things to see from historic, cultural and religious places, traditional and modern landmarks, sports and entertainment venues, as well as nature from city parks and seafront places.
Luang Prabang, Laos
Luang Prabang is a small city of traditional Lao wooden houses and hints of European architecture mix, in northern Laos, the former capital of Laos and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The best time to visit Luang Prabang is from October to April when it is the dry season. The city represents a blend of French, Chinese and Vietnamese influences. It was called “the best-preserved city in Asia” by UNESCO.
You can find many Golden-roofed wats (temples), decorated with mosaics and murals of the life of Buddha and surrounded by a lush of greenery and rugged mountains.
Some of the tourist attractions and activities include swimming in the turquoise blue pools of Kuang Si Falls, visiting the Golden City Temple, exploring the handmade local crafts at the Luang Prabang Night Market or enjoying a relaxing massage at one of the many spas in the city.
Kaohsiung is Taiwan’s third-largest city and its largest port. The city is famous for its wild and colorful temples and delightful markets. The area has been inhabited since the late Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). In recent years, the city has made great strides in transforming itself from a primarily industrial city into one of the greenest cities on the island.
Natural attractions include the mountains surrounding the city, coral reefs in the harbor, the Yushan National Park, Lotus Pond, and the Dapingding Tropical Botanical Garden. Lotus Pond is an artificial lake containing a large number of lotus plants and a popular destination located at Zuoying District. Kaohsiung is home to the Kaohsiung Confucius Temple and Kaohsiung’s most famous landmark, The Dragon and Tiger Pagodas.
At the end of Chinese New Year, near the Kaohsiung harbor and along the Love River, is the annual Kaohsiung Lantern Festival, filled with a variety of traditional lanterns and more modern light sculptures, nightly fireworks shows.
Mandalay is the second-largest city in Myanmar, after Yangon. It is located about 300 miles north of Yangon on the Ayeyarwaddy river. Mandalay was the capital of the last, independent Burmese kingdom. Myanmar is known under different names: Suvanabhumi, Bermah, and Burma. It was well known for its ancient archaeology and rich culture.
Most notable attractions include 240-meter Mandalay Hill which offers an incredible view of the whole area. Travelers can enjoy caving and rock climbing on the east side of Mandalay, where is located Waterfall Hill.
Myanmar food is highly influenced by neighboring cultures.
Raja Ampat, Indonesia
The Raja Ampat islands are remote and relatively undisturbed by humans. Raja Ampat, or the Four Kings, is an archipelago comprising over 1,500 small islands, cays, and shoals. The territory within the islands covers over 9.8 million acres of land and sea, home to 540 types of corals, more than 1,000 types of coral fish and 700 types of mollusks. As the area consists of islands, the only meaningful way of travel is by boat.
According to The Nature Conservancy and Conservation International, Raja Ampat is home to around 75% of the world’s species.
Raja Ampat is one of the few places on the planet where you will see such a wide range of marine life in their natural habitat.
Suzhou is a major city located in the southeastern Jiangsu Province of East China. The city is situated on the lower reaches of the Yangtze River and the shores of Lake Tai and belongs to the Yangtze River Delta region. Travelers can enjoy the museums, refined Chinese music and theater, some old buildings, and the gourmet restaurants. Suzhou festivals showcase the ancient city’s unrivaled beauty, diverse culture, and rich traditions. This is an ancient Asian city with over 2,500 years of history.
One of the main attractions are the ancient Chinese gardens. Nine of the 60 Classical Gardens of Suzhou were added to the list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Humble Administrator’s Garden, Lingering Garden, Net Master’s Garden, the Mountain Villa with Embracing Beauty, Canglang Pavilion, Lion Grove Garden, the Garden of Cultivation, the Couple’s Garden Retreat, and the Retreat and Reflection Garden.
Don’t forget to check some of our other travel resources and destinations in Asia.