The 5 Best Places to Visit in Asia in 2024

If you’re looking for the best places to visit in Asia, you’ve landed in the right spot. From Japan to Thailand, India to South Korea — prepare to explore dynamic cities buzzing with nightlife or relax on pristine beaches while indulging in delicious cuisine.

Who hasn’t dreamed of a trip to Asia? Holy temples and ancient palaces are nestled in buzzing cities and serene jungles. The cultural variations in architecture, dress, and customs are captivating, while regional cuisine offers delightful spicy, sweet, and umami flavors.

It’s a large continent, home to 60% of the world’s population (around 4.7 billion people) and 49 countries. Each one has its own story to tell with awe-inspiring sights that can change the way you see the world — or simply make for an awesome trip.

But without a clear guide on where to visit while you’re in Asia, you risk missing out on some of the most fascinating cities, villages, and beaches around the continent. Here’s our list of the 15 best places to visit in Asia and what you can expect at each!

1. Tokyo, Japan

Tokyo’s shrines, zen gardens, and ancient temples contrast with futuristic skyscrapers and crowded streets, highlighted in colorful lanterns and cherry blossoms (sakura) during the springtime, stunning autumn shades during fall, and lush green in summer.

This is a sophisticated city that remembers its history and knows how to have fun. Sumo wrestling, kabuki and geisha performances, and holy Buddhist temples and shrines are ingrained in its matrix of modern streets and diverse neighborhoods.

2. Bali, Indonesia

The Indonesian island of Bali is known as a hotspot for relaxation, spiritual rejuvenation, and a rich culture that’s apparent in its many ancient temples, holy sites, and festivals. Both a backpacker’s paradise and scenic and romantic enough for a honeymoon, this is a must-visit destination in Asia no matter your travel goals.

Its idyllic beaches, picturesque terraced rice paddies, and stunning temples make it a memorable place to visit. From nightlife in Kuta to yoga classes and retreats on its inviting shores, Bali is a place that can change you.

Ubud, the spiritual and cultural hub, is home to the Sacred Monkey Forest and the 9th-century Goa Gajah, or Elephant Cave, Buddhist temple with intimidating faces carved into stone at the entrance.

3. Siem Reap, Cambodia

Best known as the site of the famed Angkor Wat temple complex, Siem Reap sits in the jungles of Cambodia and it’s the place to visit if you want to feel like a true adventurer, exploring temples and ruins. Ancient jungle cities, museums, and historic villages make it an amazing destination in Asia.

The sprawling Angkor Wat temple complex, located in the city of Angkor dating back to the 12th-century Khmer civilization, should be at the top of your list in Siem Reap. Here, you can tour the largest religious structure in the world by tuk-tuk, bus, scooter, or private car.

The impressive Bayon Temple is nearby, Ta Prohm Temple is just east, and a lesser-known temple, Beng Mealea, appears seemingly out of nowhere in the dense Cambodian jungle. Archaeologists are still uncovering lost cities in the jungles that tell stories of advanced societies from centuries ago.

Bring it back to the present day with a visit to Pub Street, lined with bars, pubs, and nighttime entertainment, all just down the road from Angkor Wat.

4. Seoul, South Korea

South Korea’s capital, Seoul, marries the modern day with Korea’s storied past in an alluring metropolis that’s less busy and crowded than many of Asia’s other capital cities. It’s the 2,000 year-old cultural hub of South Korea, filled with royal palaces and temples, K-pop music, and natural beauty preserved over the years.

There’s the 14th-century Gyeongbokgung Palace standing proud in the northern part of the city. The fascinating trapped-in-time Bukchon Hanok Village is an unexpected glimpse of traditional hanok, or Korean homes, in the city with the Changdeokgung Palace another 15 minutes east.

5. Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai, located in northern Thailand, is one of the best places to visit in Asia for sacred Buddhist temples and beautiful scenery, ranging from rugged mountain views with gleaming temple spires to sacred caves and ancient moats.

The Old City center of Chiang Mai is home to hundreds of Buddhist temples, so take a day or two to see some of the highlights here, walled in and guarded by ancient moats.

Start with the 14th-century Wat Phra Singh temple, home to the Phra Singh Buddha image, gilded naga (serpent) gables, and a golden, 5-tiered Chedi housing an inner chamber filled with artifacts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *