Asia is the world’s largest and most populous continent. It has a past that is deeply soaked in culture and it has otherworldly landscapes, sumptuous cuisine and the friendliest people. These are the reasons why it is one of the most visited places in the world. I am Asian and I am incredibly proud of my heritage.
I am ashamed to admit that I have not explored much of my continent’s wonderful culture and history. So, I have made it my resolution to explore Asia more in 2014. Here are my top Asian travel destinations in 2014. I hope to visit all these places by the end of next year.
Bagan can be found on the banks of the Irawaddy River and its collection of Buddhist temples, pagodas and other religious structures, most dating from the 11th and 12th centuries, is just staggering. You will find many travel lists with Bagan, Myanmar on it and the graceful aging of the temples is one of its main attractions.
There are many significant threats to the area such as erosion, wind chipping away at the buildings, and the Irawaddy River flowing to the riverbanks. It is definitely one of the places which one should go to before it disappears.
Japan’s capital since 1603, Tokyo has been named as the cleanest and safest city in the world in 2012 by World City Survey. It is a bustling metropolis with more than 13 million people offering sumo traditions with sushi, shopping districts, flashing neon lights and cosplay on every corner. The best time to visit is in March when the cherry blossoms are in bloom.
Tokyo is a perfect example of the harmonious existence of modern living and technology with old-fashioned manners. It can be terribly crowded but it can also be very quiet at the same time. Some of the things which you must not miss in Tokyo are sumo, the Meiji Shrine, Yoyogi Park and Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden.
The third smallest Malaysian state, Malacca or Melaka, is located in the Southern region of the Malay Peninsula. Once a simple fishing village until it caught the attention of a Hindu prince, it became a port which provided easy access to the Spice Islands and attracted merchants from all over the world. Some of the places worth going to in Malacca are the Christ Church, Dutch Square, and the Malacca Planetarium.
The only island in Indonesia where the principal religion is Hindu, Bali is one of the most beautiful places in the world. It has a colorful landscape which is unlike any other and it is like a lucid and vivid dream which you never want to wake up from. The colors, the smells and the sounds, how I long to experience them!
Even as a child I have always dreamt of seeing The Great Wall of China. We were taught that it was the only man-made structure which can be seen from the moon. That may or may not be true anymore but I still want to see the Great Wall. The Forbidden City, Tiananmen Square, the Temple of Heaven, the Ming Tombs and the Summer Palace are the other places which are worth visiting in Beijing.