Asia Pacific is a well-travelled continent and at least one country here will feature on the travel wish lists of most. But people tend to go the same places – Thailand, Australia and Japan, for example.
So, if you’re looking for countries that might have fallen off your radar, we’ve gathered some of the best.
Described by many as an assault on the senses, India can be an overwhelming place. But don’t let that put you off. Believe it or not, the chaos is part of the country’s charm and getting stuck in the crowds and traffic is an experience that will stick with you.
If the capital city, New Delhi, is going to feature on your visit, you can get more recommendations of places to visit here.
India has a calmer side too, and many people travel to the country to learn yoga, meditate or spend time at an ashram. Don’t worry if you’re new to yoga, though, as the country welcomes people with all levels of experience to learn in a traditional way.
#2 Papua New Guinea
Many people would assume Australia’s closest neighbour is New Zealand, but this title actually falls to Papua New Guinea (PNG). The country is only 3.7 kilometres away from Australian soil at its nearest point.
Despite this, it’s relatively untouched by tourism and you can feel like you’re stepping into the great unknown. There are even places where shells are accepted as currency.
To see PNG at its best, “culturally rich, friendly, affordable,” the Secret Traveller recommends spending time in Milne Bay or Kokopo. Milne Bay is a divers paradise, whereas Kokopo is home to many World War II relics.
If you’re looking for rest and relaxation, Laos could be the place for you. Join the locals in settling along the Mekong river with a beer to watch the sunset.
But what makes Laos different to its neighbours is the country’s commitment to responsible tourism. Laos is dedicated to being Southeast Asia’s premier eco-tourism destination. You can take part in community-based initiatives, or buy food from social enterprises. Travelling responsibly requires minimal effort in Laos and helps to keep the country as authentic as possible.
Mongolia isn’t a take-it-easy holiday destination. You can join nomadic herders and learn why they value the wide open spaces, wilderness and fresh water the country provides them in order to continue a life that is so unique in the modern age. Just be prepared to try fermented camel’s or mare’s milk.
Bring home some cashmere blankets or sweaters with you – you won’t find much softer elsewhere.
#5 French Polynesia
Now, there’s a valid reason you’ve probably not been here – it’s pricey. The country is a favourite for celebrities like the Kardashians, Nicole Kidman and Rob Lowe. But, should you feel flush, visit French Polynesia for beautiful beaches and tranquillity.
You can save money by cycling around, making use of the free equipment that most hotels offer and consider travelling off-season (November-May, excluding Christmas). Then you can spend your money on the things that matter in French Polynesia – diving, surfing and whale watching, for example.
Bhutan is considered the world’s happiest country in Asia, it is a unique country to visit both culturally and environmentally. Bhutan is the first country in the world to ban smoking and selling of tobacco.
Bhutan is predominately a Buddhist nation. The Taktsang Goemba aka Tiger’s Nest Monastery is one of the most important Buddhist monasteries in Bhutan. The monastery is located about 900 metres (3,000 ft) above the Paro valley, and Lifehack name it as one of the amazing places you should visit in your lifetime. There is a daily fixed rate of US$200 to US$250 for all visitors with a US$65 royalty component that goes to the Bhutanese education and healthcare fund.
It is located in the Himalayas and is home to Mount Everest which is the highest mountain on Earth. Nepal is well known for its trekking routes which include the Annapurna Region which compiles the wettest, driest, and windiest places in Nepal.
For dare-devils, Nepal would satisfy your needs with mountaineering, trekking, rafting, wildlife safaris, hot air balloons, paragliding, bungee jumping, ultralights, and more. You name it, they have it! It is one of the countries in Asia that is considerably low cost.
The lady starring Michelle Yeoh, which depicts the story of Aung San Suu Kyi, and Myanmar road to democracy. During 2015, Aung San Suu Kyi led the National League for Democracy came into power after many years of harsh military rule.
Myanmar is authentic, affordable and its people are remarkable friendly. It is house to more than 2000 temples at Bagan, check out the 7 wonders of Bagan. Myanmar is relatively safe, with very little to no crime. Be amazed by the beautiful and spectacular sunrise over the temples. From 1st December, Singaporeans travelling to Myanmar will have 30-days visa exemption.
There’s somewhere on the list for everyone, whether you’d like to find peace and quiet in Asia Pacific or take on an adventure. What are the places that you have visited in Asia Pacific that you feel should make into the list? Let us know below.