Asia is a diverse, multicultural, and largest continent by size and population. It has the oldest civilizations where you can get a glimpse of both skyscrapers and majestic views of nature.
Aside from that, each country in Asia has different cultures that will learn to love. You would want even to seek and go back to once you have visited them.
So, if you are looking for countries where you can experience both urban and rural life, here are some of the best places in Asia that you can visit.
Mount Fuji, Japan
Mount Fuji is an active stratovolcano. It last erupted in 1708 and is one of Japan’s “Three Holy Mountains”. Traditionally, it is believed to hold volcanic power.
The base of the mountain is home to Aokigahara. It is considered “The Suicide Forest” because of its dense forest that grows on hardened lava. Home to ice caves, Mount Fuji will give you an eerie feeling of solitude.
Many travelers visit this World Heritage List Cultural Site for its picture-perfect landscape. Though some travelers visit Mount Fuji for recreational activities like climbing.
There are four (4) routes to reach the summit, and each route will lead you to shrines, historical monuments, and teahouses.
You might also consider visiting Japan to get a glimpse of the luscious and colorful cherry blossoms.
Dead Sea, Israel
The Dead Sea in Israel is another picturesque destination in Asia. It is actually not a sea but a lake that has dark blue waters. It borders both Jordan and Israel. It sits at the lowest elevation on Earth, at over 340 meters below sea level.
It is ten (10) times saltier than any other oceans on Earth. Dead Sea has a salt concentration of about thirty-one (31) percent. It is so thick that nothing can sink in it.
People visit Israel for its religious tourism. Cities like Jericho are some of the best go-to destinations . It is the city where Jesus was believed to have healed blind beggars.
Other cities that hold monumental events in the bible like Sodom and Gomora along with Zoar and Admah are also located in Israel.
Visitors not only love it for its magnificent locations. But they also its nature reserves where they can see hares, foxes, and leopards.
More than Thai fashion, Thailand is also famous for its wonderful sceneries. Phuket is the largest island that boasts the best beaches in Thailand. Kata, Hat Karon, and Kamala beaches are the best places to visit during the high season which is from November to February.
Marvelous coral reefs attract visitors for activities like snorkeling and diving. If you enjoy kayaking and island hopping, then Phuket Thailand should be your go-to destination.
If you want to have a short break from the waters, you can visit Wat Chalong. It is the most vital temple on the island.
They also held several festivals where you can witness and experience their culture. The Ghost Festival, held during the seventh (7th) Chinese lunar month, is dedicated to ancestor worship. People usually release lanterns into the ocean that are said to help guide lost souls.
Another festival that you can experience is the Vegetarian Festival. It is celebrated during the ninth (9th) Chinese lunar month. This is not celebrated only for food. But for purification of the body by putting it to tests like fire walking and hanging from hooks. You can get to know more about Thailand in Gia Culture.
Beijing is the oldest and one of the most populated cities in the world. It is home to seven (7) UNESCO World Heritage Sites including the Imperial Summer Palace. It is the oldest canal in the world.
The Forbidden City served as home for China’s emperor for 500 years. It is made of almost 1,000 buildings which is one of Beijing’s most extraordinary tourist destinations.
Beijing is also home to several unique pagodas, temples, and museums. If you’re into museums, you should definitely visit the Military Museum of the Chinese People’s Revolution and the National Art Museum of China. You can also view a part of China’s great wall in Beijing.
Hoi An, Vietnam
Hoi An, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is home to Vietnam’s oldest trading ports. It is a major commercial spot for trading ships. They still maintain its structures in the form of timber frame buildings, colorful French-colonial shutters, and Chinese-tiled roofs.
This city holds both religious buildings, courtyards, and shophouses side by side. Every full moon cycle they celebrate the Lantern Festival to honor their ancestors.
The night before the full moon, all ancient town lights are turned off. They replace them with lanterns and candles that are placed on their windows.
Hongkong is the third most densely populated city and has the largest number of skyscrapers in the world. So, if you are into skyscrapers and city life, visit Hongkong. It houses a number of 355 skyscrapers which is 75 more than New York.
One of the most popular tourist spots is in Victoria Harbor. It has one of the most stunning coastline skylines in Asia. You can climb to the top of the VIctoria Peak. It is Hongkong’s highest hill that houses a leisure and shopping complex.
It is also home for Disneyland park, ocean park, and amusement parks. Lan Kwai Fong District has a large number of restaurants and clubs. It is the best place for socialites who enjoy the city life.
But if you want to witness Hongkong’s culture deeply, you can visit Lantau Island. It is where you can see its spiritual side. It is home to the Tian Tan Buddha statue which is one of the largest sitting buddha statues in the world.
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Siem Reap is the entrance to the Angkor region. It houses several grandiose temples that are left behind by the Khmer civilization. Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world, is located in the Siem Reap.
The city is a mix of Chinese and French colonial architecture. It is where you can witness Chinese influence mixed with French delicacies like bakeries, galleries, and rice paddies.
If you are into museums, you can check out the Cambodia Landmine Museum and Relief Center and the Angkor National Museum where you can learn archeological ruins and dazzling civilization.
Singapore is the financial powerhouse and one of the most fun countries in southeast Asia. Although it doesn’t have a lot of beaches, it offers that best themed attraction, luscious forests, and coastal fun.
If you are looking for extreme activities, you can try bungee jumping from the top of the Marina Bay Sands resorts. You can also enjoy their infinity pool and skybridge.
They also offer nature parks like the magical Gardens by the Bay. People can enjoy artistically designed trees and flowers. Another nature-themed location is the Jewel Changi Airport. It flexes the world’s tallest indoor waterfall.
Kingdom of Bhutan
Bhutan is a landlocked island. It is surrounded by the Himalayas, tibet, and parts of India. It is known for its steep mountains, green valleys, and swift rivers.
Gangkhar Puensum, the world’s highest unclimbed mountains, is located in Bhutan. But if you are someone who loves hiking, you can visit the Tiger’s Nest Monastery.
The country implements a pre-paid travel package and they don’t allow free travel. They implement this to protect the biodiversity and historical heritage of the country.
Kathmandu is Nepal’s capital and largest city, which is known as “The CIty of Temples”. It has great influence from Hindu and Buddhist religion.
Boudhanath, Nepal’s holiest spot, is included in UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list. Swayambhu, one of the oldest temples, is home to holy monkeys. These places offer great religious influences and majestic, camera-worthy scenes.
Climbers around the world visit the Everest Base Camp trek. Some just want to capture the splendid view of the Himalayas.
Jaipur in India is known as “the Pink City” because of the unique colors of the many structures in the city. It is home to artisans and craftsmen, who produce block printing, blue pottery, shellac work and stone carvings.
Bandhani is famous for its unique art of decorating tie-dyed textiles. Many of the attractions in Jaipur are architectural structures like the Jal Mahal palace.
Another tourist destination is at Jantar Mantar. It is where you can see the world’s largest stone sundial.
Luang Prabang, Laos
Luang Prabang is part of UNESCO’s World Heritage list. It is home to a marvelous mix of cultural and architectural heritage.
The Wat Xieng Thong, known as the “Temple of the Golden City” showcases Laos arts and crafts. It is where Kings were crowned. In the center of the city is Mount Phou Si, which offers the best views over the town once you reach its summit.
It is the best place to visit where you can walk or ride on a bike. You can roam around the narrow alleyways to get a view of temples, houses, and colonial buildings.
But if you want to visit the natural side of the city, you can go to Pak Ou Caves. It is home to hundreds of miniature wooden buddha statues.
Charyn Canyon and Tian Shan, Kazakhstan
Charyn Canyon and Tian Shan are destinations for photographers. It is home to stunning Alps-like mountain ranges that separates Kyrgyzstan from Kazakhstan.
The city boasts its glacial lakes, scraggy peaks, and large population of snow leopards. It is also where hidden Soviet-era observatories are located.
Most travellers visit the marvelous plains in Charyn Canyon National Park. Most would only reach until the Valley of Castles. But if you want to get more unique, yet scenic views, you can go far to the Temerlik and Bestamak canyons.
Coron Island is a top-rated destination in the Philippines. It is known for its quiet yet pristine beaches. The stunning limestone cliffs gave Coron the reputation as a holder of nature’s majestic beauty.
It is where many shipwrecks from World War II are preserved. If you are into water sports and activities, Coron is a must-visit place for you.
You can enjoy water sports in lakes where there is an unusual mix of fresh and sea water. There are hot springs and other island hopping itineraries in the city.
Malacca Malaysia is a food centric city where you can experience expressive cultures. It has been a vibrant port for traders from countries like China, India, Middle East, Portugal, the Netherlands, and the UK.
Since it is a port for different countries, the city is influenced by different cultures. You can witness the influence of those countries from its architectural structures and unique Malaccan cuisine.
The history of the city is still under debate since most are based on myths and legends. However, some of the roots are traced from Sumatra and Thailand.
Tips for a Good Landscape Photography
Getting great photographs where you can keep good memories is one thing most people do when they travel. So, here are some tips to help you get those great landscape photographs.
- When you are capturing images, make sure to create a sense of depth. To do this, you need a small aperture from f/16 to f/22. Then, make the objects in the foreground and background sharp.
- Use a wide-angle lens to capture a broader view of the scene. This will give the image a sense of wide open space
- Use photographic filters but limit it to only two. Polarizing filters can make the sky darker which can bring out the blue of the clouds. Neutral density filters block too much light from entering the camera. You can use it during bright days.
- Capture moments like the moving water or moving vehicles. You can do it by using TV in Shutter-Priority mode and choosing an exposure of two (2) seconds.
- Another trick is by using the water as a mirror. It can create beautiful effects and reflections. The best shots for this effect is during the first hour of the sunrise and last hour of the sunset. Set your camera on TV or Shutter-priority mode.
- Use the rule of the thirds. Try to imagine two horizontal lines and two vertical lines. Put the main subject off the center to create an aesthetical photograph. Using the Rule of the Thirds, you can also include people and put them off the center as well.