Travelling in Asia doesn't have to be just about visiting iconic and famous sights. If you’re looking for something a little more off the beaten path, somewhere less touristy and more authentic, we’ve combined five alluring destinations that put you away from your ordinary city or beach escapes. Start exploring now.

 

Myanmar  Bhutan  Nepal  Laos  Sri Lanka

Myanmar (Burma)

After decades of isolation, Myanmar has exploded onto the tourism scene as one of Asia’s most anticipated hotspot, offering richly layered history, breath-taking natural beauty and all of the edginess that comes with a country in a state of flux. From the thousand-year old Buddhist temples and stupas scattered across Bagan to the crumbling colonial buildings of Yangon, Myanmar is the ideal destination for intrepid travellers. Bordering China to the North, Laos and Thailand to the East, India to the West and the Andaman Sea to the South, Myanmar is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the region – guaranteed to offer even the most seasoned traveller with a never-seen-before wealth of wonders.

Read on: Discover Myanmar

Holidays in Myanmar

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Bhutan

Imagine a land hidden from the world for centuries, a pristine natural environment free of pollution and crime. Welcome to Bhutan, known to its people as Druk Yul-Land of the Thunder Dragon. Dubbed as the “Happiest Kingdom on Earth” where the Gross National Happiness takes precedence over material wealth, Bhutan offers an experience like no other. The scenic majesty of its soaring mountains and pristine valleys, coupled with the vibrancy of its cultural life, makes Bhutan one of the last undiscovered destinations: an adventure to feed the soul and enrich the senses.

Insider tip: Bhutan remained closed to the outside world until the 1960s and tourism nowadays is based on a high value, low volume principle in a bid to avoid the destructive effects of mass tourism. Visitors must spend a minimum of USD250 per day on a pre-determined itinerary. Therefore, visiting Bhutan is much easier through a registered tour operator.

Holidays in Bhutan

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Nepal

Beautiful, scenic and endlessly rewarding, Nepal is a seasoned traveller’s dream destination. Pack your walking shoes to explore the countless temples, monasteries, museums and palaces that nestled in the heart of the Himalayas. Head to Durbar Square, where you’ll find the Hanuman Dhoka, a breathtakingly beautiful complex of royal palaces, along with the Kumari Bahal, home to Kathmandu’s “living goddess. The stunning UNESCO World Heritage site Boudhanath Stupa is Nepal’s largest temple and its vast stature is simply awe-inspiring, whilst the narrow streets of Thamel are packed with independent shops and market stalls, making it a must-visit for Nepalese handicrafts to take back home.

Read on: Trekking The Himalayas

Holidays in Nepal

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Laos

Laos is one of the few truly exotic travel destinations, yet it is left rather unexplored, but those who visited Laos will understand its secret charm. The most prominent tourist destination is Luang Prabang, the UNESCO world heritage site. All along the small town of Luang Prabang are excellent examples of traditional architecture and Lao urban structures. The Phra That Luang Temple is Laos's National Symbol, and has several terraces to represent different levels of Buddhist enlightenment. The Wat Si Saket is a beautiful temple that is home to 2000 Buddha statues of different structure. A trip to Laos must also include a cruise along the Mekong River to view different parts of local culture, and grab a fantastic view of the sunset.

Read on: Luang Prabang: A Tonic For The Soul

Holidays in Laos

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Sri Lanka

After the end of a decades-long war, the teardrop island of Sri Lanka is back on the map. Explore the emerald hills of Bogawantalawa, otherwise known as Sri Lanka’s “Golden Valley of Tea”, take a stroll through the enchanting Dutch colonial town Galle, or head to the island’s biggest wildlife sanctuary Yala National Park. With its pristine beaches, waterfalls and rolling hills Sri Lanka is the perfect romantic escape for newlyweds or couples. Surfers, as well as adventurous souls, will also adore Sri Lanka, as the country’s eastern coastline boasts some of the best – and still untapped – beaches and breaks in the world.

Read on: Culture and Beach… Sri Lanka Has it All

Holidays in Sri Lanka

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