With 48 countries to pick from, Asia is every traveller’s dream destination.
It offers you everything. From towering peaks, mysterious rainforests, busting cities, vibrant nightlife, street food, backpacking meccas to idyllic beaches, verdant lakes, shopping opportunities, wildlife safaris and a diverse cultural cauldron that can stir your soul.
Irrespective of whether you seek leisure, pleasure or adventure, there is no better place than Asia.
That’s precisely what makes it an incredibly arduous task to pick just three destinations from it.
After considering a mind-boggling number of possibilities and taking into consideration diverse interests, we have managed to curate a list of our top three Asian destinations.
This is not the most decisive list of the best travel destinations that asia has to offer. But it’s as close as it gets.
#1 – Nepal
While it’s often the South East Asian destinations that garner eyeballs and footfalls, nestled away in the icy Himalayan peaks is a tiny and picturesque country renowned for its warm and welcoming people, Nepal.
Top Draw: Mount Everest and the innumerable other trekking routes that meander through its towering mountain ranges.
Best time to visit: Geographically placed between the Himalayan ranges and the Indian subcontinent, Nepal bears the brunt of a ferocious monsoon season during which sudden deluges are not uncommon. So, the best time to visit the country starts post monsoon, in October and November, during which the days are drier and the visibility is top notch even at higher altitudes. January and February will be bone-biting cold but rewarding in its own way as crowd is sparse.
Other reasons to visit: Think Nepal and you’d automatically associate it with Mount Everest. The recent catastrophes on the mountain range clubbed with the negative press have certainly not helped the country one bit. But there are ample reasons to visit Nepal even if you don’t fancy clicking a selfie on the world’s tallest peak. Nepal has a rich, colorful and vibrant cultural heritage. There are world heritage sites, temples, Buddhist monasteries and tranquil villages peppered throughout the landscape that do not even have mobile network connectivity. You can kick back your feet, read a book or just stroll through the countryside visiting tea-houses that dole out simple Nepalese cuisine. If you ever fancied getting lost in the old world while still having easy access to the best of luxury, pack your bags and head to Nepal.
#2 – Indonesia
It is surprising and a tad disappointing that Indonesia is synonymous solely with Bali for the west. The truth is that Bali does not even account for an iota of what the country has to offer. Once you are done drooling over the palm trees and the virgin coastline, here’s a peek into what the 17000 islands of Indonesia have to offer.
Top draw: The beaches of Bali for its surf and sun and the verdant rice-terraces, courtesy the Obamas.
Best time to visit: Indonesia has two different seasons, the dry season and the monsoon season. What makes things a little tricky is that the weather differs around the country. While the wet season lasts from November until March in Java, it starts as early as October in Bali. Nussa Tengara has a shorter monsoon season that lasts from Nov to Feb. Typically; September to March is considered to be the wet season in Indonesia.
Other reasons to visit: Go visit the Komodo National Park and witness the largest living lizard in the world. Head to the captivating island of Java and visit the Borobudu buddhist temple, the largest one of its kind in the world or if you seek a few thrills, head to one of 150 active volcanoes in the country. For the wildlife lover, the rainforests of Borneo offer plenty of photo opportunities.
#3 – Thailand
Thronged by tourists from all around the world, Thailand is one of the most popular tourist destinations around the world. This cultural hotspot blessed with a unblemished coastline dotted with coral reefs is a dream come true for both budget-minded travellers as well as luxury-seekers. Thailand is one of those places that pack the best of both worlds.
Top draw: The sandy white beaches, luxury spas and resorts and the inimitable night life scene.
Best time to visit: Thailand has tropical weather and enjoys three seasons. The cool season or winters has pleasant day temperatures and is the best time to visit the country. It lasts from November to Feb and also witnesses the most crowds due to the peak holiday season. The hot season which lasts from March to May can have temperatures as high as 35 °C. This is the time when most visitors hit the beaches. May to October is the rainy season and while it is not exactly torrential rainfall, it does rain for a few hours at least every day. Not to mention that it’s extremely humid too.
Other reasons to visit: Thailand is a gastronome’s delight. Be warned though, that the street food here ranges from the tepid to the bizarre. Once you are done catering to your tastebuds, hit the party scene. Go pub hopping or visit one of the ladyboy cabarets that is (in)famous all around the world. While the internet and movies would want you to believe that the Thai nightlife is rowdy, loud and comprises of sleazy clubs in shady neighborhoods, there’s lot more to it. During the day, go street shopping or visit one of the many Buddha temples that dot the country.