10 most exotic places to visit in Asia compiled by Lonely Planet [Updated]
If you are planning a vacation to an exotic and piquant location in the next few months, then look no further than the Lonely Planet guide for guidance .
Lonely planet has featured less visited but splendidly beautiful and enchanting places in Asia – spanning across far east, central Asia, Buddhist caves in China and backwater lakes in the quaint North Kerala. Gansu, in China, tops the list. Gansu is one of the least populated regions in China and it has become accessible to tourists only recently with the development of high speed trains. The most noticeable attraction in Gansu is the Danxia National Geo Park, which has rocks with stripes of various colors that give a rainbow like appearance. The Mogao caves, which house ancient collection of Buddhist artifacts, are also uniquely spell binding. Lanzhou, the provincial capital, is the nearest big city to Gansu, and it is a foodies delight for its hand made noodles.
At the second place on the list are Japanese cities of Yokohama and Kamakura. Yokohama is known for its architecture, local cuisines and microbreweries and Kamakura is famous for its ancient shrines and temples.
The underrated and less explored beaches of North Kerala are at the third place. Beaches of North Kerala offer a mind-soothing serenity away from the crowds and the maddening rush. North Kerala has many homestay options too, that makes it easy on the pocket, unlike other beach resort towns.
Here is a complete list of Lonely Planet:
1. Gansu, China
The ancient caves and Danxia park are a must visit in the Gansu region, which is one of the least populated regions of China and was very difficult to reach before high-speed railways were developed.
2. South of Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo is a bustling megacity with high rising skyscrapers, commercial centres and fast cars. But the cities of Yokohama and Kamakura, to the south of the Japanese capital, have a lot to offer to tourists.
3. Northern Kerala, India
The lagoons, backwaters, pristine beaches and cottages of districts of North Kerala offer a very good alternative to popular beaches like Goa or Cochin, which are on the popular tourist trail and are crowded as a result
4. Keong Saik Road, Singapore
Keong Saik is a one-way street in Chinatown, Singapore. In the 1960s it was notorious for brothels and petty crimes, but today Keong Saik is the most vibrant and hip localities in Singapore. It is well known for cafe’s, pubs, bars and array of fine dining restaurants and hotels.
5. Astana, Kazakhstan
The capital of Kazakhstan, the largest nation in Central Asia, Astana is a planned city and an emerging tourist destination. The city is famed for its aerial view, modernistic and futuristic architecture and old Soviet era buildings.
6. Takayama, Japan
Takayama is a mountainous town in Japan that is known for its old wooden houses and the annual spring Takayama festival, which is amongst the best in Japan.
7. Xi’an, China
Xi’an is a cultural and historical centre, which is amongst the birthplaces of Chinese civilization and was the easternmost point of Silk Road. Xi’an has a large number of historical monuments and it is famous for the Terracotta warriors.
8. Sri Lanka’s Hill Country
The northern island is picturesque and a scenic delight for those who love valleys, lush greenery, tea plantations and hills.
9. Melaka City, Malaysia
Also known as Malacca city, this former trading entrepot on the strait of Malacca is a UNESCO world heritage site. The city is known for its varied cultural influences – Chinese, Malay, Portuguese and British. It has many antique shops, cafés and restaurants. Street food is another speciality of Melaka city.
10. Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Raja Ampat translates to “Four Kings”. It is an archipelago in West Papua, the easternmost region of Indonesia, that consists of many islands, most of which are uninhabited. Raja Ampat is known for its biodiversity, beaches, coral reefs, marine life and ancient rock paintings. It is a paradise for nature lovers and scuba divers.