Fancy an Asian vacation with a difference? Then sit tight and check out this curated list of 4 lesser-known Asian destinations you may want to visit next!
By Callum Brown, General Manager of Flight Centre Asia
One of the best things about being a travel-phile based in Asia is the sheer number of destinations that are within easy reach and yet, despite their geographical proximity, each one is a world away from the next when it comes to culture, language and topography. While there is nothing wrong with craving for a touch of romance in Paris, savouring delectable cuisine in Rome or partying all night long in Ibiza, one of the best advice I can offer to travellers who are fortunate enough to call Asia their home is to look nearer, rather than farther, for their next big adventure.
There’s so much more to discover beyond the well-traversed cities of Hong Kong, Bangkok, Taipei or Tokyo. As we approach another new year, consider adding these offbeat locales to your travel bucket list.
1. Luang Prabang, Laos
During the next long weekend, wow your Instagram followers with the untouched beauty of Luang Prabang. The UNESCO world heritage site is just five hours away (inclusive of transit) with connecting flights from Lao Airlines and SilkAir via Vientiane, Lao’s capital. Alternatively, you can stop-over in Bangkok for a plate of pad thai and some shopping before jumping on a connecting flight on Bangkok Airways.
Start your adventure with a calming cruise along the Mekong River before disembarking at the sacred Pak Ou Buddha Caves, a dramatic limestone cliff lined with over 4,000 Buddha icons. Plan a day trip to the Kuang Si Falls, a 45-minute tuk tuk ride away from the city centre, where you can take a dip in the middle of a lush tropical jungle and unwind with the soothing sound of the cascading waterfalls. After a leisurely afternoon nap, head over to the Luang Prabang Night Market (opens nightly from 5pm – 10pm) to sample some local street food and purchase ethnic handicrafts.
Tip! Starting at daybreak, devotees line the streets for the alms-giving ritual where they offer food to Buddhist monks in orange saffron robes. This ritual is the source of their only meal. As this is a sacred Buddhist tradition of Laos, observe the ritual from a distance and use non-flash photography when taking photos of the ceremony.
FEMALE says: Check out our very own Deputy Lifestyle & Features Editor Vasenta’s 48-hour Luang Prabang travel journal!