8 countries in Asia Pacific you probably haven’t been to (but should) 29


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.

#1 India

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Taj Mahal, Image Credits:Telegraph

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

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Papua New Guinea Tribes, Image Credit:Wikipedia

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.

#3 Laos

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Patuxai War Monument

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.

 

#4 Mongolia

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Mongolia Horse Racing

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

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Bora Bora, 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.

#6 Bhutan

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Taktsang Goemba, Tiger’s Nest Monastery

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.

#7 Nepal

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Swoyembhu Nath, Nepal

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.

#8 Myanmar

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Myanmar Pagoda

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.

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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.

Asia 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. Asia 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.



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29 thoughts on “8 countries in Asia Pacific you probably haven’t been to (but should)

  • Svetoslav Dimitrov

    Bernie, what a great list you have compiled here. I want to visit all of them since I have only been to the UAE and China.

    I’d love to visit Laos, Myanmar, and, most of all, Bhutan – having read about it so much.

    Cheers,
    Svet

  • Vyjay

    Lovely post, I would love to visit Bhutan and French Polynesia. Your post and the pictures vividly bring alive the vibrant and colourful character of all these countries.

  • Janna

    You’re right, most of the places you listed haven’t really crossed my mind. The only one I’ve been dying to visit is French Polynesia. But thank you for making this list. I’ll definitely keep them in mind!

  • Laveena Sengar

    Great post! I have known a lot about all these places being an Indian but haven’t visited them yet. The facts about Mongolia did really make me think twice about how different my opinion was about it.

  • Norman

    Damn, this article reads like my bucket list. Papua New Guinea and Buthan are like…i can’t even begin how badly I want to visit these two. India is a third, but somehow I got qualms about visiting india..mostly cuz i don’t really like the food.

  • Isabel

    Mongolia’s Ulaanbaatar is starting to become commercialized where many of the open spaces had been fenced already…. Some more years and it will be just like any other city…

  • Kassie

    Awesome post! Laos absolutely stole my heart when I visited last year. The people are so kind and welcoming, the food is amazing and the natural beauty of the country is unreal. I’d love to visit some of the others on this list. Myanmar and India are my next Southeast Asia adventures for sure!

  • Julie

    Great list, but probably best to note that PNG is not the safest of places to go and one should go with a guide… I would also add East Timor to this list – was absolutely amazing!

    • A D Pant

      Swyambhunath Temple

      This Buddhist Stupa, Which is said to be 2000 years old, is located 4km/2.5miles west of Kathmandu city. It is known as Monkey Temple among the visitors. The main structure is composed of a solid hemisphere of brick and earth supporting a lofty conical spire capped by a pinnacle of copper gilt. On the four sides of the spire, is the all seeing eyes of Lord Buddha.

      Boudhanath

      This stupa is one of the biggest in the world. It stands on an octagonal base inset with prayer wheels and is ringed by houses of Lamas or Buddhist priests. Built by King Man Deva at the advice of Goddess Mani Jogini, it is situated 8km. east of Kathmandu city. It has four pair of eyes in the four cardinal directions keeping watch for righteous behavior and human prosperity.

  • EG III

    This is an awesome list! I’ve only been to one country on the list, but if I had to make an addition it would definitely be Sri Lanka. Don’t let the size fool you…there’s a lot to both see and do there!

  • Cherry

    You should include Philippines. There are so many to explore among the 7,107 islands. Among the famous ones are Boracay and Palawan. But you may want to see Tarsiers in Bohol, hot bath in big claypots in Antique, perfect cone of Mayon Volcano, sea of clouds in Mt. Kiltepan in Mountain Province, flower festival in Baguio and a lot more!!!