Far East Asia – a myriad of different cultures and languages, warm and welcoming people, and a variety of stunning landscapes to discover. These are just some of the reasons why holidaymakers are swayed to look here for their holidays. So where to start? In this article, we attempt to narrow down Far East Asia into four ‘must-visit’ holiday destinations. It isn’t easy to make a choice! Even China, with its stunning mix of historical sights and natural beauty, doesn’t quite make the cut, but it definitely deserves an honourable mention. So, without further ado, here are four destinations that make the list.
But First, Where is Far East Asia?
As the word says, it’s the farthest region on the East of the Asian continent. Specifically, the Far East countries in Asia include:
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There are 20 countries of Far East Asia on the list. To travel to all the 20 would definitely cost you a lot of time. However, you could start with the 4 beautiful countries picked in this post.
Malaysia is a country that is still a little off the main tourist trail, but it certainly warrants a visit. It is one of the best examples of how different cultures can harmoniously coexist in one country, and the result is a vibrant mix of people, languages, and without a doubt – food! The capital Kuala Lumpur is a sweltering metropolis packed with intrigue and interest. Towering over the city are the two Petronas skyscrapers, which offer a simply stunning vista over the city. Then there are the Batu Caves with majestic Hindu temples nestled into the limestone hill landscape. To partly enjoy the fascinating of the city, it would take you at least 2 days in Kuala Lumpur.
And how about Penang? Known as the ‘Pearl of the Orient’, this island off the coast is home to Georgetown, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with many gems remaining from its British colonial past. Here there is an intoxicating mix of Chinese, Indian and Malay culture, and that means scrumptious food from street-side tandoor ovens to bustling Chinese chicken eateries. Over on the mainland is the Cameron Highlands region where you can arrange a guided trek through the breathtaking trails; taking in the forests, valleys, peaks, and brilliant examples of wildlife. Ready for the beach? That’s no problem, as on the Malaysian island of Langkawi you can take in a spot of rest and relaxation on the Andaman Sea.
Japan, a country of many spellbinding landscapes, climates, and islands. It can be hard to create an itinerary that takes in all you want to see, but here are some of the highlights. Mount Fuji, on the island of Honshu, holds the status of being the highest volcano in the country. Ensure your tour takes in this genuinely remarkable natural landmark, which is one of the country’s three Holy Mountains. You can climb the mountain, and there are even opportunities for paragliding.
Looking for Japanese wildlife? Don’t forget to marvel at the snow monkeys, also known as Japanese macaque, which lives on the islands of Honshu, Kyushu and Shikoku. Kyoto’s temples are another top attraction; the Historic Monuments of Ancient Kyoto are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and also include shrines and a castle. They are worth devoting at least a day to as you savour the splendid scenery and timeless architecture.
When it comes to transport systems, you can find that Japan is revered all over the world for its efficiency. You can hop on a bullet train any time you like and experience speeds of up to 200mph. The trains encompass a large area of the country and are used by over a billion passengers a year.
Have you heard of the Japanese Alps? They are a group of mountain ranges on Honshu. Perfect for treks, skiing and letting the breathtaking landscape embrace your senses. And don’t forget about Himeji Castle, the majestic hilltop fortification in Hyogo which was in use all the way from the 1300s to 1800s. Just make sure you know the tips to travel to Japan, I’m sure you will have a great trip!
Thailand, the ‘Land of Smiles’, has so much to offer to different types of tourists. Culture vultures have the Grand Palace and temples of Bangkok to explore, with the ancient kingdom of Ayutthaya just a short journey away. Those in love with mountain vistas can head north to Chiang Mai; a cosmopolitan city with a large expat community, that also offers a plethora of nature-based activities.
Heading south and you have a choice of two seas, the Andaman and the Gulf of Thailand, both with a huge line up of water-based activities including surfing, kiteboarding and wakeboarding, as well as detox and spa resorts. To those who love the sea and the islands, an itinerary to the South of Thailand is especially something you must do in the Far East Asia region. And for those in search of the ‘real Thai’ experience, there is the vast northeastern region of Issan beckons with its notoriously spicy cuisine, or sex tourism as a real industry in some parts of Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya.
Among the Far East Asia countries, Vietnam is recently a just discovered gem that’s honing and exposing. From the North to the South, the country has different parts with its own beauties. You will definitely enjoy riding motorbike over the hills, watching beautiful flowers and rice terraces at the Northern mountain area. Or you can spend time relaxing at the top-notch resorts in the coastal areas in the Middle. Furthermore, the highland in the Middle of Vietnam could impress any visitors by its rich nature with mountains and forests, marking it the ‘hot’ spots for trekking lovers. Moreover, in the South, you would be interested in the whole Mekong Delta region with its main transportation is the boat, and of course, home to the floating markets.
It would be unsuitable to mention the most vibrant and lively city of the country, Ho Chi Minh City here; however, the World Heritage Sites would be more appropriate in a travel topic. In Vietnam, there are World Heritage Sites designated by UNESCO such as Complex of Hue Monuments, My Son Sanctuary, Ha Long Bay, Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long – Hanoi, Citadel of the Ho Dynasty, Trang An Landscape Complex. Just a quick additional note, on July 16th 2019, Google Doodle honored Hoi An Ancient Town, also a World Heritage Site, the most charming city in 2019.
How about travel to Vietnam for food? I’m sure you will find your decision is absolutely right. Vietnamese cuisine is honored among the top 10 in the world. At each land, the locals have their own masterpiece of foods that can surprise any food lovers. To list and describe in detail all the Vietnamese foods may cost me hundreds of A4 papers. Nevertheless, there are some iconic dishes at each area that you can take a try such as Bún Đậu Mắm Tôm of the North, Mì Quảng of the Middle, and Cơm Tấm of the South.
Those are just four of the destinations Far East Asia has to offer. With a large network of flight routes offering affordable transport from all over the world, there has never been a better time to tick the region off your bucket list.
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I hope this post brings you some ideas about your next travel destinations. If you would love to read more about places at the 4 top Far East Asian countries, here are those: