Travel to These 11 Asian Destinations for Experiences Unlike Any Other

by Gayatri Bhaumik
LIFESTYLE  |  November 01, 2018
  • Take a break from the city and explore these Asian gems instead. 
    1 / 12 Take a break from the city and explore these Asian gems instead. 

    The world is certainly full of wonders. But Asia is home to a wealth of unique experiences that can’t be found anywhere else. Get ready to book your next flight.

    (Also read: 10 Amazing Wellness And Fitness Retreats That Are Every Active Girl’s Dream)

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  • Explore the world’s largest cave
    2 / 12 Explore the world’s largest cave

    Vietnam’s Hang Son Doong is said to be the largest cave system in the world. Hidden in Phang Nha Ke Beng National Park, this cave was discovered in 1990, and visits are strictly limited for preservation. Local company Oxalis runs sustainable expeditions where you’ll embark on a tough two-day trek through dense jungle – overnighting at Hang En, the world’s third-largest cave – before spending two nights exploring Hang Son Doong.

    Photo: Shutterstock

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  • Climb the world’s largest mountain
    3 / 12 Climb the world’s largest mountain

    Everest hardly needs an introduction. While an attempt to ascend to its peak would be foolish for most of us, getting up to Everest Base Camp is achievable for most. You could hike to this legendary spot – which sits at 5,364 metres above sea level, but flying is also an option. Either way, you’ll get views of jaw-dropping panoramas of the Himalayas.

    Photo: Ann Dudko/

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  • Go hot-air ballooning over temples
    4 / 12 Go hot-air ballooning over temples

    Yes, you can go hot-air ballooning in many parts of the world. But only in Bagan, Myanmar, can you balloon over more than 2,000 temples dating from the 9th to the 13th A sunrise flight over these ancient structures becomes a truly unique spiritual experience.

    (Also read: 15 Travel Hacks to Ensure a Stress-Free Flight)

    Photo: Noppakun Wiropart/


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  • See authentic sumo-wrestling
    5 / 12 See authentic sumo-wrestling

    To truly understand the history and traditions around sumo wrestling, head straight to Tokyo. The traditional home of the sport is Ryogoku Kokugikan stadium in Sumida, where you’ll join a crowd of 13,000 spectators, all there to watch authentic matches. For the full experience, visit in the morning to catch the wrestlers’ training sessions at their ‘stables’.

    Photo: Flickr

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  • Celebrate Songkran in Thailand
    6 / 12 Celebrate Songkran in Thailand

    Traditionally, Songkran is about seeking blessings from your elders and performing Buddhist merit-making rituals. These days, the Thai New Year has morphed into a fun-filled festival celebrated with spirited water fights. Join the action at Bangkok’s Kao Sahn Road or Chiang Mai’s Thapae Gate.

    Photo: Decha Somparn/

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  • See Komodo Dragons in the wild
    7 / 12 See Komodo Dragons in the wild

    See the world’s biggest lizards in their natural habitat at Indonesia’s Komodo Island. As well as seeing these impressive reptiles, you’ll visit Komodo National Park, and hop on sailing cruises to explore the area’s volcanic islands and marine life.

    (Also read: 6 Beautiful Beaches in Asia for a Relaxing Getaway)

    Photo: Kongsak Sumano/

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  • Visit the world’s happiest – and first carbon-neutral – country
    8 / 12 Visit the world’s happiest – and first carbon-neutral – country

    Bhutan is now a hot travel destination, which gained serious exposure when the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visited in 2016. There’s plenty to love here, including Himalayan hiking trails, iconic ‘dzong’ temples, snow-capped mountains, and surprising local cuisine. But this is also one of the world’s happiest countries, and the world’s first carbon-neutral country.

    Photo: Prayuth Chiarakul/

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  • Follow ancient tea caravan routes
    9 / 12 Follow ancient tea caravan routes

    There are plenty of epic train journeys around the world. But only in Asia can you ride from China to Russia, tracing the ancient caravan routes that used to transport tea to Europe. From Beijing, a Trans-Mongolian trip will take you past the Gobi Desert, Lake Baikal, and the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar. With its range of landscapes and activities, the Trans-Mongolian is a train trip like no other.

    Photo: Shutterstock

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  • Monkey around with orangutans
    10 / 12 Monkey around with orangutans

    The island of Borneo is the natural habitat of these orange-furred primates, so there’s no better place to see them. Orangutans are endangered, but you can visit them by travelling to the Bornean jungles and staying at rainforest lodges, or going to one of its rehabilitation centres, like Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary. In Gunung Leuser National Park, the village of Bukit Lawang offers visitors the change to embark on treks to see these creatures in the wild.

    (Also read: These 13 Travelling Yogis On Instagram Will Inspire You To Do Yoga Anywhere And Everywhere)

    Photo: mariusz_prusaczyk/

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  • Stay in traditional Japanese accommodation
    11 / 12 Stay in traditional Japanese accommodation

    Ryokans have been part of Japan’s hospitality scene since the eighth century. At these traditional Japanese inns, guests sleep on mattresses laid out on tatami mats and feast on homey Japanese meals. Many even have access to onsens. Popular favourites include Yoshimatsu, Gora Kadan and Kayotei.

    Photo: Shutterstock

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  • Visit the Terracotta Army
    12 / 12 Visit the Terracotta Army

    In the southern Chinese town of Xi’an lies one of the world’s most unique attractions. The Terracotta Army is a vast collection of some 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots, and 670 horses (at last count), all created in the late third century BC and guarding the tomb of Qin Shi Huang, the first Qin Emperor.

    Photo: chuyu/

    (Also read: 10 Things That Should Always Be In Your Travel Medical Kit)

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