Wondering where to go in Asia? Travel today is much easier than ever before. Whether you are a food lover, a history explorer, or an outdoor adventurer, Asia has so many destinations to offer. But the more you search, the more you are confused with dozens of names coming up from the internet. Aware of that, we are having a list of destinations for you to discover in 2019, every month. Start packing your suitcase now.
Is there any time in a year we need a vacation more than in January? Getting fat by New Year food and cold by the winter, spring is the time to rejuvenate our mind and body. You need a place with little rain and lots of sunshine. Somewhere amazing and uplifting like Burma. After decades of being off-limits, Burma now becomes one the of most intriguing destinations of exotic Southeast Asia. It’s full of untouched beaches, ancient temples, misty mountains, tropical islands, and rich culture to keep you impassioned.
- Discover the hidden temples of Bagan from a hot-air balloon: Over 2,200 ancient Buddhist temples and pagodas of Bagan spread across the plains, making Burma the best rival of Angkor Wat. The best way to catch in eyes the breathtaking panorama view of Bagan is from a hot-air balloon at sunrise.
- Bagaya Kyaung: Was built in 1834, Bagaya Kyaung is the most tourist attraction in Inwa, Burma. Its decoration is impressive with Burmese architectural works such as carvings, floral arabesque, and the artistic works of Inwa Era.
- Boat tour in Inle lake: Take a boat tour in Inle lake to find out the secret life of a thousand people who reside in floating villages. You can try a traditional Intha leg-rowing fishing technique or buy local handicrafts of locals.
- Find Sadan Cave under a mountain: Close to the Thai border, Sadan Cave is home to impressive karst mountains similar to Ha Long Bay of Vietnam - but without the crowds and less water.
- Walk on the U Bein Bridge: Named as the longest teak bridge of the world, the surface of this wooden construction is made of teak planks taken from the old royal palace of Inwa. It has a certain unique and royal history to tell you.
- Wear Thanaka: Thanaka paste is a yellowish paste made by the mixing of ground bark and roots of Thanaka trees with water. It is applied to the face of Burmese women and children as a skincare product to protect their skin from wrinkles and acne.
- Essential Myanmar: A classic and essential Myanmar tour that brings you to the most iconic destinations of this alluring country.
- Paradise in the Mergui Archipelago: This tour highlights The Mergui Archipelago -“one of the planet’s most unspoiled destinations, “untamed wilderness and primal seclusion” that can hardly be rivaled by any other place.
- Best of Myanmar: an expedition deep into Burmese glorious nature and culture, filled up with amazing experiences in three cultural hubs of the country – Yangon, Bagan, and Inle
Nice beaches, beautiful nature, 2000 - plus years of culture, friendly people, famous tea and flavourful food make Sri Lanka incredible. Many travelers have passed this country to other parts of Southeast Asia or India, but all has changed now. Sri Lanka is moving forward quickly as more and more people discover its charm. If you haven’t been there yet, that you should in this February when the western beaches still stay sunny.
- Gal Vihara: This is a rock temple of the Buddha situated in the ancient city of Polonnaruwa in North Central Province, Sri Lanka. It dates back to the 12th century by Parakramabahu I. The central feature of the temple is a group of 4 Buddha statues which have been carved into the face of large granite rocks. These images are the best examples of ancient sculpting and carving arts of ancient people.
- Buduruwagala: Another ancient Buddhist temple in Sri Lanka. The complex consists of 7 statues date back to the 10th century. The largest of the standing Buddha statues is 51 feet height, considered as the largest standing Buddha statue of the island.
- Abhayagiri Dagoba: Founded in the 2nd century BC, it is one of the most extensive ruins in the world and one of the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage cities in the nation. The Saddharma Rathnawaliya scripture records that a statue of a golden bull was buried in the core of the stupa.
- Uda Walawe National Park: With herds of elephants, wild buffalo, sambar, jackals, water monitor lizards, lots of crocodiles, sloth bears, leopard, spotted deer and giant squirrel, this national park is one of the most attractive places in Sri Lanka.
- World's End: Located in Horton Plains National Park of Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka, World’s End is a sheer cliff that plunges 4,000 feet. It is one of the biggest attractions of Horton Plains National Park as well as of Sri Lanka.
- Hike Hill Country: The southern slopes of the Hill Country are surrounded by a giant blanket of green tea trees make it one of the best view of Sri Lanka.
- Go to the beaches: Tangalla is the gateway to the endless beaches of southeast Sri Lanka. With white soft sand and lush jungles, beautiful beaches here might blow your mind.
There's no better time to explore this compelling country when the sticky humidity vanishes in March and sunshine foreshadows the driest month of the year. It's the ideal time to laze on the charming old town of Hoi An with its enchanting streets, galleries, classic stores, Chinese temples, elegant cafe shops, Japanese bridges, and yellow colonial houses.
- Explore the town on a bike: Cars and motorbikes are banned from the center of Hoi An, so the best way to explore the most well-preserved town in Vietnam is on a bike. It is a peaceful feeling when cycling through the wooden bridge, Chinese shops, pagodas, and the countryside close to the city.
- Try the tasty food: From the Cao Lau (hand-cut noodles are tossed with sliced pork, crunchy rice crackers, and fresh herbs) to grilled pork wrapping in a rice paper with herbs, there are so many mouth-watering dishes in Hoi An to try.
- Hit the beach: 5 km further north of the center is An Bang - a tranquil beach with plenty of soft sand. Pay $2 US, you will have an umbrella and a pair of sunbeds to relax.
- Recall the past with old architectures: Japanese wooden Bridge (dated in 18th-century) or Fujian Assembly Hall (built around 1690 and functions as a traditional assembly hall for the Chinese ethnic group from Fujian, China to socialize) are two of many places in Hoi An that you can learn the town’s history from.
- My Son Sanctuary: 4 hours driving from Hoi An, My Son Sanctuary - the UNESCO World Heritage - is a secret with rich landmarks related to the ancient capital of the Champa Kingdom
Thailand attracted more than 21 million international visitors into the capital in 2016, making it the world’s most visited place. To accommodate the massive number of visitors, the metropolis is welcoming some of the nicest hotels in 2019 such as The Waldorf Astoria Bangkok, the 155-room Bangkok Edition, the Four Seasons, and Capella have properties in the works drawing attention to one of the world’s most dynamic cities. April hosts lots of travelers pouring to the city to join Songkran - the biggest Thailand’s Festival.
- Get wet in Songkran (Water festival): Songkran is an annual festival which takes place 3 days between April 13 to 15th to celebrate Thai New Year. The city will be sunk in music, dancing, drinking, and thousands of people drenched from head to toe.
- Explore the city on a tuk-tuk: Tuk-tuks is an amazing experience to get around Bangkok. Hop into a tuk-tuk and explore the atmosphere of the city in every corner of the streets.
- Shop at the floating markets: Get up early in the morning to get to one of the famous floating markets in Bangkok. The locals sell tropical fruit, vegetables, coconut water, and many other things on their small boats.
Khao Yai National Park: Khao Yai National Park is one of the most visited national parks of Thailand with lush landscape, rich valleys, beautiful waterfalls, and biodiversity of hundred species and thousand types of plants.
- Experience Thai food: Thailand is the best city for street food. From Khao Niew Ma Muang, Tom Yum Goong to Panang Curry, and Gang Massaman, there are many dishes for you to try.
- The Grand Palace & Wat Prakeaw: The Grand Palace is certainly the must-see sight in Bangkok. Built-in 1782 by King Rama I, this place continues to lure visitors with its amazing architecture.
May is one of the best trekking months in Nepal especially when this country is home to 8 of the 10 tallest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest. Temperatures in May are always cool with low precipitation and low humidity. Visibility is also excellent, makes this ideal time for trekking. Buddhists celebrate the birthday of Gautama Buddha on May 23 with a big and special festival.
- Historic Durbar Square: Located around the Durbar Square at the capital city, Kathmandu's ancient old city was home of the royal family until the 19th century and designated as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. Sadly, a huge earthquake in 2015 damaged many Hindu and Buddhist temples which date back to the 12th century.
- Swayambhunath: This is a famous Buddhist temple in Nepal, sits on the top of a hill of Kathmandu. To access Swayambhunath, you have to walk up 365 steps among hundreds of monkeys roaming around. The monkey is believed to be holy, they are respected by the local people.
Pashupatinath: Located on the banks of Bagmati River, the Pashupatinath Temple is a famous, sacred Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Pashupatinath. You will see here many of Hindu ascetics with painted faces on the vast grounds. The best time to visit is from 7 am to 10 am to see the open-air cremation of bodies on funerals along the river bank, and from 6 pm to see the aarti (a worship ritual with fire). The temple closes at noon until 5 pm.
- Trekking: With eight of the top ten highest summits in the world and some of the most beautiful landscapes which are only reachable on foot, trekking in Nepal is one of the unique experiences that you shouldn’t miss. Annapurna and Everest are two main trekking regions. A number of other popular treks that are just as beautiful but not as famous and less traffic such as Manaslu Circuit and Upper Mustang.
June starts with the first rains in some Southeast Asia countries. So if you are planning a trip to this region, consider Bhutan. This country is less crowded in June, it means you can easy to visit many of its holy temples and have more private time to explore other attractions.
- Taktshang Goemba: The 'Tiger's Nest Monastery' is the cultural icon of Bhutan and one of the Himalaya's most incredible sites. It is perched on a cliffside, 900 meters above the Paro valley. This complex was built in 1692, around the Taktsang Senge Samdup cave where Guru Padmasambhava is said to have meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, three days, and three hours in the 8th century.
- Punakha Dzong: Punakha Dzong is absolutely the most beautiful Dzong in the country. It lays between two famous rivers of Bhutan, Pho Chu, and Mo Chu. Was built in 1676 by local ruler Gyaltsen Tenzin Rabgye, this dzong was considered the royal place until the middle of the 20th century. All of Bhutan's kings have been crowned here.
- Kyichu Lhakhang: Kyichu Lhakhang is one of Bhutan's oldest and most beautiful temples. It was built in 659 by King Songtsen Gampo of Tibet. You will see a lot of elderly pilgrims constantly wander around the temple spinning its prayer wheels.
- Shop at Thimphu’s weekend market: The market locates the west bank of the Wang Chhu. It lasts from Thursday until Sunday night. You can find many interesting things here to buy, from aromatic raw ingredients, wild honey, jackfruit to a leg of yak.
Home of sushi, Kobe beef, and many amazing sceneries, Japan is a fascinating country at any time of year, each season has a reason to visit. But in July, you will find traditional and modern festivals across the country. The country is less of tourists so it’s easier to move around, book tickets and find cheaper accommodations. July is also the best time to climb the Fuji Mountain.
- Gion Matsuri: This is perhaps Japan's best-known festival. Running the entire month of July each year — it's also one of the longest. The festival is named after Gion district in Kyoto which is famous for Geisha. The peak of this event is the Yamaboko Junko parade takes place on the 17th and 24th of July. Participants dress in traditional yukata. The float (Yamaboko Junko) weights over 12,000kilograms, makes an impressive sight.
- Climb Mount Fuji The Mount Fuji climbing season begins in July. The opening date varies by year depending on the weather. It’s peak reaches the height of 3,776 meters and can be seen from hundreds of kilometers. Climbing Mount Fuji is somewhat challenging for people who love outdoor activities.
- Tenjin Matsuri: Tenjin Matsuri is the Osaka's biggest summer festival. It also claims to be the world's biggest boat festival which has been celebrated more than 1,000 years. 3,000 celebrants dressed in Heian era costumes parade in the streets of Osaka. River bonfires are lit in the evening.
- The Sumo Nagoya Basho: This is one of the six annual Grand Tournaments of Sumo which is held in Nagoya in July. The other cities that host sumo are Tokyo, Osaka, and Fukuoka but in different months. The Nagoya tournament is 15 days with only 7,000 seats. So if you want to see in person a real Japanese Sumo, you need to book your ticket soon.
The best time to visit Bali is during the dry season especially in August when the weather is dry, and the days are sunny. The winds are quiet so the waves are best for snorkeling, surfing, and kayaking in a country which has more than 8,800 islands.
- Besakih Temple: Known as Mother Temple for over 1,000 years, Besakih is the largest and holiest temples of the Balinese, surrounded by breathtaking and scenic rice paddies, hills, mountains, and streams.
- Tanah Lot Temple: This is one of Bali’s most important landmarks, famed for its unique setting and sunset backdrops. Perched on top of a huge rock, surrounded by the sea, Tanah Lot serves to worship the Gods of the sea.
- Tegallalang Rice Terraces: These rice terraces are not being the pride of local people, it is also one of the most tourist attractions in Indonesia. With true deep green color and high palm trees, the terraces lure a large number of visitors, photographers and painters come here to capture the picturesque and exotic landscape of it.
- Ubud Monkey Forest: one of the most popular attractions in Bali, this natural forest is home to a horde of grey long-tailed macaques.
- Water sports: Many people come to Bali for culture, arts, temples but one thing for sure it is also for the beaches. Bali is famous for its long stretches of white sand beach, crystal clear water, best waves which are perfect for swimming, scuba diving, and windsurfing.
Borneo is the third-largest island in the world and heaven on earth for those who love nature, wildlife and adventure, a place where you can sense the adventure in the air along with the green color from thousands of square miles of rainforest. Many beautiful islands surrounding Borneo are waiting to explore. It seems you might need to change your travel plan to a longer one just to stick around this destination.
- Explore the rainforest: With only $3.5US you can learn about the diversity of plants, insects, and animals of Borneo’s rainforest which only opens to the public since 2006. This is a world-renown environmental education center where you can spot rare birds and orangutans when trekking along the trails.
- See Wild Orangutans: Borneo is one of the two places in the world where you can see orangutans in wildlife (the other place in Sumatra, Indonesia). You can view the smartest primates at The Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in East Sabah or Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre just outside of Kuching.
- Scuba dive: Borneo boasts some of the world-class scuba diving sites. Compare to other diving sites of its neighbors, diving in Borneo is not cheap; however, from turtles to whale sharks, you get what you pay for. You can go to Sipadan where only 120 permits are issued per day as an effort to preserve the reefs or Mabul - the premier dive site for underwater macro photography.
- Stay in with the local: When you’re at Borneo, don’t miss a chance to visit Sarawak and stay at the longhouse of Iban people, try authentic foods, learn traditional dance and shoot a blowpipe gun.
October is one of the best months to visit Korea: crisp air, colorful leaves, and mid weather warm up our soul. Fans of technology come to see the country of Samsung, LG, and Hyundai looks like in person while foodie is attracted to Seoul where street food becomes the biggest trend in the last decade.
- Gyeongbokgung Palace: Located in central Seoul, this Place was built in the very late of the 14th century. It was destroyed during the Japanese invasion in the 1500s but was rebuilt about 200 years ago. Gyeongbokgung Palace was home to the Joseon dynasty. It is now one of the most visited sites in the city, opens from Wednesday – Monday, closed on Tuesdays
- Bukchon Hanok Village: Right next to Gyeongbokgung Palace, Bukchon Hanok is one of the most interesting places to visit in Seoul. Walk on the walking route to see traditional Korean houses or stop to sample street food, buy the souvenir at boutique shops and have lunch at nice small restaurants are great experiences.
- Jogyesa Buddhist Temple: This Zen Buddhist temple is always busy with locals and tourists getting in and out. These ancient trees which considered over 500 years old are one of the coolest attractions of the temple.
- Myeongdong: Shopaholics shouldn’t miss Myeongdong - the busiest shopping center in the town. You can find here from famous Korean cosmetic brands to trendy sneakers. It might take half of your day for shopping but don’t worry, there’s a massive collection of food stalls, ice-cream shops, snacks, and drinks everywhere.
- Korean Barbecue: Seoul is literally a heaven on earth for foodies and Korean barbecue is the most delicious dish to try. Sit at a table with your own personal grill, they serve you places of meat, vegetables, and sauce. You grill your meat, roll it in a leave of lettuce with garlic, dip your roll in the sauce and enjoy. It’s lots of fun and tasty.
Cambodia is a small country but a huge history. Travelers flock to the legendary Angkor Wat, but this iconic attraction is only the beginning of Cambodia’s glamour. From pristine beaches, untouched jungles to the stunning architectures, this country has many things to offer. November is the best time, the weather is mild enough to explore the temples but warm enough to sunbathe by the coast.
- Angkor Wat: Siem Reap’s legendary temple doesn’t need to introduce. This attraction is the greatest impetus for many travelers to visit Cambodia to appreciate the 14th century Khmer architecture of Angkor Wat as well as thousands of Apsaras carvings and nymphs, each of which is astoundingly unique.
Koh Ker: Koh Ker is an intriguing archaeological site dating back from 928 to 944 AD, and it was abandoned for centuries. The highlight is Prasat Thom, a seven-tier sandstone temple pyramid with a mythical half-man half-bird standing on the top.
- Untouched beaches: Koh Rong and Koh Tonsay of Cambodia are two of the best beaches in Southeast Asia with white sands and turquoise green water that could compare with any of Thailand’s islands.
- Phnom Penh: With colonial buildings, crowded markets, and picturesque riverside walk, Phnom Penh has its own beauty. This city has emerged from the damaged world to be a pearl of Asia.
- Preah Vihear: Spread over more than 2,000 feet, Preah Vihear is a notable Khmer temple constructed mainly between the 11th and 12th centuries. The temple is decorated with intricate carvings and dedicated to the Hindu god.
- Finding Vietnam & The Lost Temples of Angkor: this tour covers the quintessence of Vietnam and Cambodia. It’s like a journey through times, where you are transferred from the hustle-bustle of modern cities like Hanoi and Saigon to the unique heritage of Hoi An ancient town and the ever so impressive Angkor Wat.
- Cambodia Hidden Charm: Highlight of the trip is the travel by helicopter to view the great Preah Khan temple from above. Your luxurious Cambodia trip completes by checking out the best places in the capital city Phnom Penh.
- Indochina Essence As the name suggests, this tour is truly the essence of Indochina. Visit the historically and culturally important sites of the three countries Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia to understand their people, their way of life as well as the natural wonders that these countries hold dear.
South-East Asia is wonderful in December, the climate just right to visit. The city of Laos, Luang Prabang, might be quieter than its neighbors like Hanoi or Bangkok, but its golden Buddhist temples, French-colonial architecture, hiking trails, nearby elephant sanctuaries are happy to welcome any visitor.
- Almsgiving the monks: Every morning, hundreds if not thousands of monks wander on the streets. The locals awake at sunrise and offer the monks sticky rice with their bare hands.
- Visit Wat Xieng Thong: Wat Xieng Thong is the greatest and the oldest temple in Luang Prabang. You can see monks reading exercise books; children playing along with the back wall; the faithful arriving with jasmine blossoms to lay in front of numerous Buddhas.
- Wat Mai: Located on Sisavangvong Road, Wat Mai is one of the city's most photographed temples. Founded at the end of the 18th century, but Wat Mai wasn’t finished until the late 1890s.
- Elephant Village Sanctuary: Close to the banks of the Nam Khan River, the Elephant Village Sanctuary provides a peaceful future for rescued Lao elephants. Starting by saving the elephants from often brutal logging work, the sanctuary now is home in the jungle for the elephant to rest and recover.
- Ban Phanom: Ban Phanom is a village that the locals earn their living by making traditional textile. The woven products were once supplied to the royal family today use the same techniques and patterns, resulting in a distinctly old-fashioned look.
- Indochina Essence: this tour is truly the essence of Indochina. Visit the historically and culturally important sites of the three countries Vietnam, Laos & Cambodia to understand their people, their way of life, as well as nature, wonders that these countries hold dear.
- Rhythm of Laos: Laos was known as the tranquil country. Explore this tour to feel the “Rhythm of Laos” by exploring the different areas of this culturally rich environment: Tak Bat ceremony in every early morning, experience the local life at the Mekong riverside, explore all the beautiful landscapes in the countryside of Laos. All the activities, the ceremony creates a special melody of Lao life. Take a glance at this tour to feel it!
- Charming Laos: Take a look at this itinerary of Charming Laos, explore all the wonderful landscapes of Laos. It’s easy to say that Laos is charming, but actually, how is it charming? Join this tour to feel all of them.
Now you have in hand all the names you need for a trip in 2019. Pick up one, make a plan, save your money, pack your suitcase, and ready to explore the world.