You might want to take a break simply to find out more about your new home country. Or invite friends and family to join you for a holiday to familiarise them with it. Either way, here are the top five holiday destinations in Asia, as voted by the Trip Advisor community.
Siem Reap – Cambodia
Siem Reap is close to the breathtaking Angkor Archaeological Park, in Cambodia’s scenic north west, which is probably the biggest reason it has become so popular with holidaymakers. Tourism there is booming, with numerous smart new hotels, eateries and night clubs, but the surrounding countryside is unspoiled and unique. You can even fly over it, courtesy of a light aircraft. The city sits on the shore of the Tonle Sap Lake, the biggest freshwater reserve in south east Asia, and is home to a national museum and war museum, a crocodile farm, bird and animal sanctuaries, a zoo, countless stunning temples and a National Park.
Beijing – China
Beautiful Beijing is home to the Summer Palace, Forbidden City, the Pearl Market, Tian’anmen Square, the Great Wall of China and the Temple of Heaven, a teeming city packed with remarkable contemporary architecture as well as incredible ancient buildings. Plus the Lama Temple and Panda garden. The Great Wall is apparently much less crowded at Mutianyu, providing a better ‘feel’ for this amazing piece of ancient defence work. There’s the Beijing Opera to enjoy, plus the Ming Tombs and, of course, the Olympic stadium – the famous bird’s nest.
Shanghai, also in China, comes third on the list so I thought it would be more interesting for our readers to go straight on to the next destination, in Thailand.
Chiang Mai – Thailand
Glorious, hot Chiang Mai is a visual treat full of ancient historic sites and tempting street food, most famous for its elephant camps and nature parks, both extremely popular with tourists. The Wat Chedi Luang temple, 600 years old, once housed the precious Emerald Buddha. The waterfalls at Doi Inthananon are absolutely amazing, as are those at Mae Sa, and the Wat Suang Doc Temple, built on the ancient site of a 1300s king’s gardens, is the site of a Buddhist university and a fascinating place. Plus there’s the Museum of World Insects and Natural Wonders to visit, big game fishing, fitness boot camps, Doi Suthep-Pui National Park, meditation holidays and more.
Male – The Maldives
Male is the capital of the Maldives, a vibrant place full of high rises and quirky, narrow streets loved by people who appreciate great food. The Fish Market is particularly interesting, as is the marvelous vegetable market, a visual feast of exotic colours, shapes, textures and aromas. The famous wooden dhoni boats and the beautiful Friday Mosque, with its golden dome, are top attractions. Sultan Park is a lovely, fresh green spot to relax in and Male is particularly popular with scuba divers because of the incredible atolls, home to an amazing variety of sea creatures.
Goa – India
Goa includes endless stretches of glorious sandy beaches, some of which are crowded with partygoers, others remote and unspoiled. Sinquerim beach comes highly recommended, especially at 2am when the moon sets. Anjuna market day is an exciting destination with hundreds of vendors selling clothing, jewellery and souvenirs. A flotilla of delicate boats sets out every evening at Mandovi, complete with cold beers and traditional Goan dancing. The Dudhsagar Waterfalls, at 2000 feet, are India’s highest. There are water sports galore and Old Goa itself, once the site of the Portuguese capital, is a breathtakingly pretty complex full of exotic churches, monasteries and cathedrals.
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