Top 10 Asian places to see before you die
1. Lhasa, Tibet
One of the most fascinating cities in Asia, Lhasa has to be top of the list. It will definitely be a literal highlight of any round the world trip. Home to the iconic Potala Palace, Drepung and Sera Monasteries and Jokhang temple, this has to be one of the most spiritual places on earth. The smell of incense, yak butter and burning rosemary seems to linger in the air. Don’t let the Chinese visa and permit formalities put you off – just go!
2. Hoi An, Vietnam
Easily the most charming town in the whole of South-East Asia, Hoi An isn’t all about the tailors. There’s also fantastic food, an almost deserted beach and beautiful colonial architecture. Rent a bicycle and soak up the atmosphere.
3. Bhaktapur, Nepal
Not far from the capital, Bhaktapur’s architecture and UNESCO status easily lures travellers down its narrow streets. A great place to pick up pottery and other souvenirs, a walk through its crooked alleys feels like a trip back in time.
4. Luang Prabang, Laos
Often referred to as a tonic for the soul, Luang Prabang has something for even the most jaded traveller. There’s the fantastic temples and monuments, the incredible food, the tree-lined colonial boulevards and the orange-robed monks collecting alms. The relaxed atmosphere is so infectious it’s easy to get stuck here. Don’t fight it, just go with the flow.
5. Angkor Temples, Cambodia
One of the few places that really does live up to all that hype. There truly is something magical about the incredible temple complexes at Angkor. Perhaps it’s the sheer volume of temples, the size, the intricate detailing, or the age of these incredible structures. Whatever the reason, scrambling through the jungle ruins and clambering up ancient steps, makes you feel like a real explorer.
6. Ko Tao Island, Thailand
Without a doubt Ko Tao has some of the best diving in the country and offers a great place to take a break from travelling around the world. Brightly coloured coral and tropical fish are the perfect bait for those seeking to gain their PADI certificates. But it’s not all about the diving; unlike many other Thai islands, Ko Tao has a real chilled-out feeling and beaches that are often deserted during the day – since everyone else is out diving.
7. Pushkar, India
Numerous temples, stunning Pushkar lake and a market you could get lost in, this should be an essential stop on your trip to India. When you’re planning your round the world trip, aim to stop here in November and catch the Pushkar Camel Fair and see who wins the infamous longest moustache competition.
8. The Great Wall, China
As impressive as it sounds; the Great Wall of China should not be missed. It’s a real round the world travel favourite. Trekking along the wall will take you a few hours’ minimum and work up quite a sweat, especially in the summer months. But the feeling you’ll get when you reach the end of your journey is unbeatable. Try to opt for the less visited sections of the wall for a more authentic, though unstable, experience.
9. Everest Base Camp, Tibet
Better viewed from the Tibetan side, Everest fills those who view it with awe. Stay on the right side of the Everest Guesthouse for views of the mountain from your window. While, there you can also visit the highest monastery in the world at Rombuk. Adding an Everest Base Camp trek to your Round the World trip will be something to remember forever,
10. Plain of Jars, Laos
The enigmatic Plain of Jars make a great day trip from Phonsovan. Rather than visiting all the fields one after another, it’s best to break them up with trips to local villages. There are numerous producing Lao Lao (Laotian Whiskey) and some can even offer you lunch.
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