Asia is a huge continent with such cultural and geographic diversity that it’s no wonder it’s a number one destination for many travellers. On top of that, it’s easy to get around, it’s relatively safe and many countries in Asia are very cheap. The ideal continent for traveling, therefore.
Whether you are passionate about history, architecture, art, or simply want to discover magnificent landscapes or relax on a fine sandy beach, you are bound to find that in an Asian country, without talk about the many activities that it is possible to do (diving, surfing, etc.). And I haven’t even mentioned the phenomenal cuisine!
There is no specific season to visit Asia given the size of the continent. So remember to find out about the weather in each country before going there, especially in Southeast Asia where it can rain a lot.
In this ranking I limited myself to 25 things to do but I could easily have extended this list to the top 50. It will give you an idea of the variety of what there is to see in Asia , either to prepare a future travel or to give you inspiration. If you have already been to Asia, do you think there are places that I should have added?
Here are the top 25 must-see things in Asia .
1. The temples of Bagan (Burma)
An archaeological site covered with pagodas and temples that form an incredible landscape. Bagan is for me the number one thing not to miss in Asia. Better than Angkor Wat? I would say yes.
2. Mount HuangShan (China)
The most beautiful mountain in China, which has inspired many Chinese artists. Rather accessible (only 1800 m), you can see gigantic granite peaks between which clouds float.
3. See the sun rise at Mount Bromo (Java, Indonesia)
One of the most impressive landscapes in Asia, to be seen imperatively at sunrise for the ‘woow!’ effect. The Bromo volcano is a sacred place for the Hindu inhabitants of Java.
4. The ancient city of Hampi (India)
The last Hindu capital of Vijayanagar, whose palaces and temples were ransacked and then abandoned, and which sits amidst a landscape of majestic rocky hills.
5. Banaue Rice Terraces (Philippines)
One of the wonders of the world, the Banaue Rice Terraces were created 2000 years ago by the Ifugao tribe. They are found in the northern Philippines.
6. The Terracotta Soldiers of Xian (China)
A gigantic and impressive archaeological site. Thousands of human-sized terracotta soldiers were buried.
7. See the cherry blossoms in Kyoto (Japan)
If you plan to go to Japan, don’t miss spring, which is the season of Hanami, the cherry blossom season. Seeing this spectacle of nature in the middle of the temples of Kyoto is unforgettable.
12. Borobudur Temple (Java, Indonesia)
One of the largest Buddhist monuments in the world is located in the heart of the island of Java in Indonesia. It looks like a monumental pyramid decorated with superb bas reliefs.
8. Taroko Gorge (Taiwan)
Very few visitors go there but the Taroko Gorge is impressive to visit and worth the trip to Taiwan (not to mention the Taiwanese cuisine).
The beaches of Asia, particularly in Southeast Asia, are among the most beautiful in the world.
10. Zhangjiajie (Chine)
A national park in the province of Hunan where you can discover an extraordinary landscape with about 3000 peaks of 200 meters in height as well as other very beautiful geological formations.
11. The temples of Angkor (Cambodia)
One of the main archaeological sites in South East Asia which houses the remains of the ancient capital of the Khmer empire. Angkor Wat is the best known of these.
13. See animals
Whether on land with komodo dragons, elephants, tigers, giant bats, pandas, leopards (Sri Lanka) or underwater with whale sharks (Philippines), Asia has an incredible variety of wild animals.
14. Phang Ga Bay (Thailand)
One of the most beautiful landscapes of Thailand to explore in Kayak and thanks to which one can approach and evolve in the middle of the immense limestone cliffs.
15. The Taj Mahal (India)
Perhaps the most famous tourist site in India, which is in fact a huge mausoleum made of white marble, unfortunately more and more damaged due to pollution.
16. See Everest (Nepal)
The highest peak in the world (8848 m) located in a landscape of majestic snow-capped mountains.
17. HaLong Bay (Vietnam)
1600 Islands form a superb natural landscape in the North-East of Vietnam, made of caves, arches and remarkable karst peaks.
18. Ajanta and Ellora Caves (India)
Buddhist caves and monuments with millennial paintings (in Ajanta). The two sites are separated by a hundred kilometers but are complementary and worth the trip.
19. The Great Wall (China)
No need to introduce it, it is a wonder of the world in its scope and size.
20. Bali (Indonesia)
The most beautiful island to visit in Indonesia, thanks to its landscapes, its beaches, its volcanoes, its authentic Hindu culture.
21. Yangshuo (Chine)
For lovers of superb natural landscapes, the conical peaks crossed by the Li River in Yangshuo are not to be missed.
22. Cities of Asia
Cities like Hong Kong, Bangkok, Singapore, Tokyo, Taipei or Shanghai are full of places to explore, are great for shopping or going out to party.
Scuba diving is a must do activity in Southeast Asia if you can. Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia have internationally renowned diving spots.
24. Sapa (Vietnam)
A landscape of magnificent rice terraces located in the North West of Vietnam.
25. Climb Mount Kinabalu (Malaysia)
The highest mountain in Southeast Asia (4095 meters), located in Malaysia on the island of Borneo. It is located in the natural park of the same name which is rich in protected flora and fauna, and which is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.