From iconic landmarks to remote islands, Asia provides more sights and activities than the majority of tourists can encounter in a lifetime, thanks to its bustling great cities, an abundance of historic and cultural sites, and a variety of natural settings. We made an effort to focus and came up with a list of 50 best places to visit in Asia as a foreigner.
Asia is a continent that is steeped in history, culture, and natural beauty. From the majestic mountains to the pristine beaches, Asia offers something for everyone. Whether you are an adventure seeker or a history buff, Asia has a plethora of destinations that will leave you awestruck. But with so many places to choose from, where do you start?
Fear not, as we have compiled a list of the 50 Best Places to Visit in Asia. Whether you’re planning a solo trip, a romantic getaway, or a family vacation, this list has got you covered. From bustling cities to serene countryside, from ancient temples to modern skyscrapers, this list has it all.
We understand that traveling can be daunting, especially when you’re visiting a new continent. That’s why we’ve taken the time to research and curate this list of must-visit places in Asia. Our aim is to help you plan the trip of a lifetime and make unforgettable memories.
But this list isn’t just for those who are planning a trip to Asia. It’s also for those who love to learn about different cultures and explore new places through the eyes of others. It’s for those who want to see the world from a different perspective and discover the hidden gems that Asia has to offer.
So join us on this journey as we take you through the 50 Best Places to Visit in Asia. We guarantee that by the end of this post, you’ll have a whole new bucket list of destinations to explore. So buckle up, grab a cup of tea, and get ready to be inspired!
Map Of The Continent Of Asia
50 Best Asian Vacation Destinations: Your Ultimate Travel Guide
1. Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai, Thailand’s second-largest city and de facto cultural capital, has beautiful old temples, excellent street food, and arguably the best night market in the country.
2. Bali, Indonesia
Bali has a mystical island paradise reputation, thanks to its emerald-hued rice paddies, thick tropical jungles, and worthy architecture. While it’s easy to spend most of your time just admiring the scenery, there’s plenty to do here, especially if you enjoy surfing, rafting, yoga, or daily massages.
3. Andaman Islands, India
The Andaman Islands are part of India but are physically closer to Thailand, as evidenced by the landscapes. There’s a lot of powdery white sand and crystalline waters here. In comparison, the majority of the archipelago is off-limits to tourists.
4. Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo values tradition as much as high-tech modernity, so you’re just as likely to come across an ancient shrine as a futuristic skyscraper during your visit. The Japanese capital also has some of the best shopping malls in the world.
5. Luang Prabang, Laos
With its beautiful old temples and traditional and Gallic architecture, Luang Prabang has long been regarded as Laos’ cultural capital. At sunrise, you’ll almost certainly see hundreds of local monks wandering through the city streets, collecting alms from the faithful.
6. Angkor Wat, Siem Reap
Cambodia’s most famous attraction and the incredibly preserved Angkor Archaeological Park provide a glimpse into life during the Khmer Empire. Angkor Wat, the most well-known temple here, is the world’s largest religious monument.
7. Sri Lanka, Kandy
Kandy, located in Sri Lanka’s Central Province, is best known for the Temple of the Tooth Relic. The UNESCO World Heritage site got its name from a tooth recovered from Gautama Buddha’s funeral pyre.
The Maldives archipelago is known for its white-sand beaches, turquoise waters, and abundance of gorgeous resorts, most of which have romantic overwater bungalows. Visitors can enjoy a variety of educational experiences and rides on traditional Maldivian dhoni boats in addition to swimming, sunbathing, and snorkeling.
9. Railay Beach, Thailand
Railay Beach near Krabi, with its white-sand beaches and imposing limestone cliffs, is one of Thailand’s most photogenic spots. It’s also a popular rock-climbing destination, with plenty of routes for novice and experienced climbers. This is the best place to visit in Asia as a foreigner.
10. Rishikesh, India
Rishikesh, the world’s yoga capital, is the ideal place to find your zen. This holy town has dozens of ashrams, many of which offer residential programs. Every year, it also hosts an international yoga festival.
11. Petronas Twin Towers, Kuala Lumpur
The landmark towers of Kuala Lumpur are no longer the tallest buildings in the world but the enormous twin towers. Take in the spectacular city views from Tower 2’s observation deck.
12. Great Wall of China
The Great Wall of China refers to a series of different walls that collectively span thousands of miles; however, this ancient fortification remains one of the country’s most important attractions.
13. Taj Mahal, India
The Taj Mahal, India’s most famous landmark, was built as a mausoleum for Mughal emperor Shah Jahan’s beloved wife, Mumtaz. Come early in the morning to see the marble structure perfectly mirrored in the long reflecting pools stretching out in front of it.
14. Huanglong, China
This beautiful section of the Minshan Mountains, officially known as the Huanglong Scenic and Historic Interest Area, is known for its forested landscapes interspersed with colorful ponds, lakes, and beautiful waterfalls. This area is also home to various flora and fauna, including giant pandas.
15. Goa, India
Goa, India’s smallest state, has long been known as a party destination, particularly for its all-night psychedelic trance parties. This seaside resort is also worth a visit for its stunning old Portuguese churches and miles of palm-fringed beaches.
16. Petra, Jordan
One of the best places to visit in Asia as a foreigner is Petra. This ancient archaeological site in Jordan is famous for its rock-cut structures dating back to the Nabatean era. Allow a couple of days to explore this massive complex of temples, tombs, and civic buildings.
17. China’s Zhangjiajie National Forest Park
Zhangjiajie National Forest Park inspired the conical landscapes in the animated film “Avatar” in Hunan Province. This park is well-known for its pillar formations, formed by millennia of erosion.
18. Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Bukhara, the capital of Uzbekistan, has been inhabited for over 5,000 years, resulting in many historic attractions, many of which have been beautifully preserved. The Po-i-Kalyan complex is regarded as one of the world’s finest examples of Islamic architecture
19. Nasir al-Mulk Mosque, Iran
The Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz is not the oldest attraction in Iran, but it is one of the most beautiful. This structure, also known as the Pink Mosque, is famous for its beautiful colored glass that shoots multicolored hues of light through its intricately embellished interiors.
20. West Bank city of Bethlehem
Bethlehem, as the birthplace of Jesus Christ, draws religious pilgrims worldwide to worship at the Church of the Nativity and the Milk Grotto.
21. Halong Bay, Vietnam
Visitors are drawn to this UNESCO World Heritage site by its limestone karsts and caves, tropical islands, dense mangroves, and aquamarine waters. Most visitors to Halong Bay arrive by boat, often on overnight cruises that take them deep into the bay.
22. Prambanan Temple, Yogyakarta
Even though Bali is Indonesia’s only practicing Hindu island, the granddaddy of all temples, Prambanan, is located on Java, just outside Yogyakarta. This Shiva-themed complex contains hundreds of beautifully preserved stone temples dating back to the eighth century.
23. Dead Sea, Jordan, West Bank, and Israel
The Dead Sea is located at the earth’s lowest point on land, approximately 430 meters (or 1,410 feet) below sea level. It’s also one of the world’s saltiest bodies of water, making it ideal for a relaxing buoyant float. This is the best place to visit in Asia as a foreigner
24. Boracay, Philippines
Boracay, the Philippines’ most popular beach destination, attracts hordes of tourists with its white-sand beaches and turquoise waters. The calm waters of the island’s White Beach are ideal for swimming and snorkeling. In contrast, the windier Bulabog Beach on the opposite side of Boracay draws visitors looking to windsurf and kiteboard.
25. Kerala Backwaters, India
The backwaters, a network of brackish waterways flanked by lush tropical foliage, dominate a large portion of the South Indian state of Kerala. The best way to see the area is to take an overnight or multi-day cruise on a traditional houseboat through the waters.
26. Gobi Desert, Mongolia
The Gobi Desert is Mongolia’s most well-known natural area, defying the widespread belief that deserts are always hot. Several historical Silk Road trading sites can be found in this vast, desolate expanse.
27. Fanjingshan, China
Fanjingshan, the highest peak in the Wuling mountain range, has long been revered by Chinese Buddhists, who believe the Maitreya Buddha attained enlightenment here. The surrounding area is one of the most biodiverse in all of China.
The most cosmopolitan city-state in Southeast Asia, with four official languages and a foreign resident population of nearly 40%. The shopping, dining, and entertainment options are a massive draw in true big-city fashion.
29. Dal Lake, Srinagar
Dal Lake, known as the “crown jewel of Srinagar,” is one of Kashmir’s most enchanting natural attractions. This lake is known for its beautiful houseboats and is set against the backdrop of the Pir Panjal mountains.
30. Kathmandu, Nepal
Kathmandu, Nepal’s capital city, is famous for its historic Hindu temples and Buddhist stupas, many of which date back centuries. The Durbar Square, located in the city’s heart, offers an intriguing glimpse into life before Nepal’s unification.
31. Lhasa, Tibet
Lhasa, Tibet’s capital city, is known for its architecture, notably the Potala Palace, which served as the Dalai Lama’s residence until he fled to McLeod Ganj in India during the 1959 Tibetan uprising. It is also one of the highest cities on the planet, standing at 3,656 meters above sea level.
32. Kumano Kodō, Japan
The Kumano Kod, the collective name for several ancient Buddhist pilgrimage routes, leads across the Kii Peninsula through beautiful forests and past ancient shrines. At the same time, many people who travel the way today are pilgrims.
33. Gyeongju, South Korea
This coastal city is a must-see for history buffs due to its numerous archaeological sites. Bulguksa, a Silla temple complex with beautifully preserved halls and pagodas, and the nearby Seokguram grotto, which houses a beautiful Buddha sculpture within its walls, are arguably the most notable sites that make it the best place to visit in Asia as a foreigner.
34. Tiger’s Nest Monastery, Bhutan
Bhutan’s most recognizable attraction is Paro Taktsang, built on a cliff overlooking the Paro Valley. The sight of the monastery perched precariously on granite cliffs is reason enough to visit, but most visitors hike up to explore its colorful interiors.
35. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, is distinguished by its beautiful architecture, combining French, Cantonese, and indigenous influences. And, despite being Vietnam’s largest city, it feels surprisingly compact.
36. Beijing, China
China’s massive capital city offers a fascinating look at the country’s past and present. Modern architecture and international fast-food restaurants coexist with some of the world’s most beautifully preserved historical attractions.
37. Old City of Jerusalem, Israel
Many of the city’s most important historical and religious attractions are housed in this tiny, walled-off section of Jerusalem. The Temple Mount, the Western Wall, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Dome of the Rock can all be found here.
38. Cappadocia, Turkey
Cappadocia’s main draw in Turkey’s central Anatolia region is its landscape, which features a large expanse of hoodoos. Although many visitors come to see the natural scenery, either on foot or by hot air balloon, it is worthwhile to visit the Churches of Göreme.
39. Mount Everest, Nepal, and China
Mount Everest, located on the border of Nepal and China, is not only the highest mountain in the Himalayas but also the highest mountain in the world.
40. Mumbai, India
On India’s west coast, Mumbai is neither the capital nor the most significant city (both honors go to Delhi), but it is unquestionably the most cosmopolitan. Formerly known as Bombay, the city is rich in Raj-era architecture and historic temples, mosques, and churches.
41. Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok is a must-see for anyone who enjoys the vibrancy of big-city life, with great nightlife, incredible shopping, and arguably the best street-food scene in the world. It also houses some of Thailand’s most important cultural treasures, including the Emerald Buddha Temple.
42. Sumatra, Indonesia
One of the best things about Sumatra is its beautiful jungle landscapes without the crowds of more popular destinations like Bali. If you’ve ever wanted to see orangutans in their natural habitat, the northern village of Bukit Lawang is one of your best bets.
43. Golden Temple, Amritsar
The Golden Temple, officially known as Harmandir Sahib, is one of the most important pilgrimage sites for Sikhs. It gets its name from its gold-plated exteriors.
44. Bagan, Myanmar
Bagan, home to the world’s most important archaeological site, was the capital of the Pagan Kingdom, which flourished from the 11th to the 13th centuries. You could easily spend days walking around the temples.
45. Lahore, Pakistan
It is one of the best places to visit in Asia as a foreigner. Lahore, widely regarded as Pakistan’s cultural capital, is home to numerous historical and religious attractions and some of the country’s best museums. Badshahi Masjid, a massive 17th-century mosque, is a must-see.
46. Hong Kong
Hong Kong is best known for its urban vitality, with great museums, restaurants, and shopping. However, this global financial center has a quieter side. You won’t have to travel far from the dense city center to get into nature.
47. Ayutthaya, Thailand
The former Siamese capital of Ayutthaya is one of Thailand’s most important archaeological sites and is only a day trip from Bangkok. Founded in 1350, this city thrived for centuries before being destroyed by Burmese forces in the 1900s.
48. Beirut, Lebanon
Lebanon’s capital city has been inhabited for over five millennia. Even though parts of Beirut were destroyed during the Lebanese Civil War, much of it has since been rebuilt. This vibrant, fashionable city is home to fantastic museums, thriving nightlife, and world-class shopping.
49. Rajasthan, India
This northern Indian state is known for its stark desert landscapes, ornate, fanciful architecture, and vibrant local art and clothing. Even camels, which are used for transportation and agriculture, are frequently decorated with bright colors.
50. Andaman Sea
This walkable Andaman Sea islet might be your ticket to paradise if you’re looking for a quiet, laid-back alternative to some of Thailand’s more popular island destinations. It is ideal for families due to its shallow waters and white sand.
Common FAQ’s About Asia;
What countries are considered part of Asia?
There are 48 countries that are considered part of Asia, including Afghanistan, China, India, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and Turkey.
What is the largest country in Asia?
The largest country in Asia is Russia, which spans both Europe and Asia. Its Asian part alone covers an area of about 17 million square kilometers.
What is the population of Asia?
As of 2021, the population of Asia is estimated to be around 4.6 billion people, making it the most populous continent on Earth.
What is the most spoken language in Asia?
The most spoken language in Asia is Mandarin Chinese, with over 1.3 billion speakers. Other widely spoken languages include Hindi, Bengali, Arabic, and Japanese.
What is the climate like in Asia?
The climate in Asia varies greatly depending on the region. Tropical climates can be found in Southeast Asia, while much of the Middle East has a desert climate. Siberia and northern China have subarctic climates, while parts of India and Southeast Asia experience monsoon seasons.
What are the major religions in Asia?
The major religions in Asia are Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, and Christianity. Confucianism, Taoism, and Shintoism are also practiced in some parts of Asia.
What is the currency used in Asia?
There are many different currencies used in Asia, including the Chinese yuan, Japanese yen, Indian rupee, and Thai baht. Some countries, like Brunei and Singapore, use the same currency – the Singapore dollar.
What are some famous tourist destinations in Asia?
There are many famous tourist destinations in Asia, including the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal in India, the Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia, Mount Fuji in Japan, and the beaches of Bali, Indonesia.
What are some popular dishes in Asian cuisine?
Some popular dishes in Asian cuisine include sushi from Japan, dumplings from China, Pad Thai from Thailand, kimchi from Korea, and curry from India.
What is the history of Asia and its impact on the world?
Asia has a rich and complex history that has had a profound impact on the world. Ancient civilizations such as those in Mesopotamia, India, and China were some of the earliest and most advanced in the world. Asia has also been the site of many important religious and philosophical movements, including Buddhism, Confucianism, and Islam. Today, Asia is a major player in the global economy, with many of the world’s fastest-growing economies located in the region.
What are the top 5 most popular countries in Asia?
The top 5 most popular countries in Asia, based on international tourist arrivals, are:
- South Korea
These countries offer a variety of attractions and experiences for tourists, including historical landmarks, beautiful natural scenery, vibrant cities, and unique cultural traditions.
What is the top 5 beautiful country in Asia?
Beauty is subjective and can vary greatly depending on personal preferences. However, here are five countries in Asia that are often considered to be particularly beautiful:
- Japan – known for its stunning natural scenery, including cherry blossoms, Mount Fuji, and traditional gardens.
- Indonesia – with over 17,000 islands, Indonesia boasts beautiful beaches, volcanic landscapes, and diverse wildlife.
- Vietnam – from the limestone cliffs of Ha Long Bay to the terraced rice paddies of Sapa, Vietnam offers breathtaking scenery.
- Nepal – home to the Himalayan mountain range and Mount Everest, Nepal is a paradise for adventure seekers and nature lovers.
- Thailand – known for its tropical beaches, crystal-clear waters, and vibrant cities, Thailand is a popular destination for tourists seeking both relaxation and adventure.
As we come to the end of our journey exploring the 50 best places to visit in Asia, it’s clear that this continent truly has something for everyone. It offers a diverse range of experiences that can satisfy even the most discerning traveler.
As you’ve read through this post, you may have been struck by a few places that you’re dying to visit, or you may have discovered a new destination that you never would have thought to explore. Whatever your reaction, we hope that this post has inspired you to start planning your next adventure.
But don’t stop here. There are countless other amazing destinations to discover in Asia, each with its own unique culture, history, and beauty. So why not use this post as a starting point and delve deeper into the wonders of this incredible continent?
Whether you’re looking for bustling cities, peaceful nature, or a mix of both, Asia has it all. So pack your bags, grab your passport, and get ready to explore some of the most spectacular destinations on Earth.
As you embark on your journey, I encourage you to keep an open mind and embrace the new experiences that await you. Who knows? You might just discover your new favorite place in the world. Happy travels!
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