Asia is the world’s largest continent, so it’s no surprise that it’s packed with great places to see. From the ancient temples of Sri Lanka to ultramodern cities like Tokyo and Seoul, there really is something for everyone —and yes, there are plenty of paradise beaches where you can just chill out with a coconut in hand, too. Whether you’re an adventurous spirit looking for your next hiking expedition or you want to shop ’til you drop in designer stores, you’ll find what you’re looking for in Asia. Here are just a few of our favourite destinations:

Thailand: where perfect beaches meet spiritual adventures

Thailand is known as the Land of Smiles, and we reckon you’ll be grinning from the moment you land. There’s a reason so many people consider this country an ‘Asia must see‘. Of course, Thailand is well known for its world-class beaches, so make sure to pack your swimsuit! You’ll want to spend some time island hopping to decide which of the country’s many islands is your favourite. Don’t ask us, because we really can’t choose! From the legendary full moon parties on Koh Phangan to the peaceful bliss of Koh Lanta, we love all of them.

Aerial view of a pristine tropical beach on Koh Phangan, Thailand
Koh Phangan

There’s more than islands to keep you happy, though. The city of Bangkok is, without a doubt, one of the best places to visit in Asia. This is where you’ll find some of the continent’s most awe-inspiring Buddhist temples. We particularly love Wat Pho, famous for its enormous gold reclining Buddha. You’ll need a wide-angle lens to capture this impressive sight! After exploring the temples, head to one of the city’s bustling street markets and indulge in some spicy green curry —another reason Thailand makes our list of the best places to travel in Asia.

We haven’t even touched on the northern part of the country yet! If you’re not much of a beach bum but love the great outdoors, then head for the lush green paradise of Chiang Mai, where adventure awaits. White water rafting, hiking and getting to know the local elephants are just a few of the most popular activities here.

A stunning view of Wat Rong Khun, the White Temple, in Chiang Mai, Thailand
White Temple Chiang Mai

Ready to explore Thailand? Join us for a 12-day adventure that will let you see the very best of the Land of Smiles and meet some awesome fellow travellers along the way!

More about Thailand’s wonders? Check out our guide on What to see in Thailand for an in-depth look at the must-visit spots!

Indonesia: the world’s best island-hopping adventures

If you want to go island hopping, then there’s no better choice than the world’s largest island nation! In fact, Indonesia has a whopping 17,508 islands, and we reckon that quite a few of them are among the best places to visit in Asia.

Let’s start with the most famous of them all: mystical Bali. The Isle of Gods has attracted visitors for decades, drawn to its beautiful beaches, its lush rainforests and its deeply spiritual society. Go for a walk in the sacred monkey forest, or take a hike up the side of Mount Batur for the best sunrise of your life.

Ulun Danu Beratan Temple in Bali
Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, Bali

Close to Bali, you’ll also find the Gili Islands. These are three tiny islands, each with its own distinctive character. Gili Trawangan is known as a party destination, while Gili Air has a classic hippie vibe. Gili Meno, on the other hand, is all about peace and relaxation. All three are just a short ferry ride away from Bali, and they’re an ideal addition to your itinerary.

Where else? Well, Komodo is one of our favourite places to visit in Asia if you’re looking for wildlife, as it’s home to the fearsome-looking Komodo dragons. Raja Ampat boasts the best coral reefs in the world, making it an absolute haven for scuba divers. Interested in exploring new cultures? Try Sulawesi, home to an unusual religion, where families keep their dead relatives in their houses for up to a year before splashing out on the most extravagant funeral you’ve ever seen.

Our 13-day trip to Indonesia will take you to some of our favourite islands. Still, it’s impossible to see all of this wonderful country in such a short time. You’ll be planning your next trip before you’ve even made it back home!

Vietnam: a journey through history

For many years, the name Vietnam conjured up the horrors of war, but not anymore. Today, this Southeast Asian country has become one of the most popular Asia travel destinations. If you’re still thinking of Apocalypse Now, then come with an open mind and prepare to be surprised —because there’s so much more to Vietnam than you might realise.

Vietnam earns its spot on our list of the best places to visit in Asia for its outstanding natural beauty. The glorious rugged cliffs of Halong Bay, the spectacular winding roads of the Ha Giang Loop, and the serene rice paddies of the Mekong Delta should all be added to your bucket list. Adventurers will also love the opportunity to explore these areas in different ways. The best way to see the Ha Giang Loop is from the back of a motorbike, whether you drive yourself or hire one of the area’s famous Easy Riders to steer you around. You can enjoy a multi-day cruise through Ha Long Bay, admiring the stunning views. As for the Mekong Delta, try exploring it by boat or by cycling through the narrow paths lining the rice fields.

Local women rowing traditional wooden boats through the emerald waters of Halong Bay, Vietnam
Halong Bay

The cities of Vietnam are also well worth visiting. Check out the historic buildings in Hanoi or visit the sobering war museum in Ho Chi Minh City. Discover the ancient art of Vietnamese tailoring in Hoi An, or if you prefer just chilling out, head to the beaches of Phu Quoc Island. And we haven’t even mentioned the food yet, which is definitely some of the best in Asia!

Bustling street scene in Ho Chi Minh City at night, filled with neon signs
Ho Chi Minh

Our 13-day trip to Vietnam is a true odyssey, taking you from the north of the country to the south and letting you really get a feel for this magical nation. Why not join us and see it for yourself? You’ll soon see why we think Vietnam is one of the best places to visit in Southeast Asia.

Want to know more about this amazing country, right? Then check out What to see in Vietnam.

Nepal: hiking the roof of the world

The most famous spot in Nepal is, of course, Mount Everest, but don’t worry —we don’t expect you to climb it! This tiny landlocked nation deserves a spot on our list of the best places to visit in Asia, and not just for being home to the world’s highest mountain. We love Nepal for its untamed wilderness, which makes it the perfect spot if you really want to get away from it all.

Prayer flags flutter in the wind against the backdrop of the majestic Everest mountain, Nepal
Mount Everest

Nepal is, without a doubt, one of the best countries to visit in Asia if you’re into hiking. In fact, forget hiking —we’re talking intense, multi-day treks at altitudes that will quite literally take your breath away. You’ll be surprised by the varied landscape that awaits you, from snow-capped mountains to dense jungles. Make sure you’ve got a sturdy pair of hiking boots, and bring some blister plasters. Trekking in Nepal is not for the faint of heart.

While it’s the stunning nature that makes us really love Nepal, we should also mention its fascinating towns and cities. Admire the colourful temples that you’ll find in every settlement. Enjoy the gentle sound of Tibetan bells that announce the sunset each day. That blend of spirituality and pure nature is one of the reasons we think you’ll fall in love with Nepal.

Our group trip to Nepal is a must for adventurous travellers. You’ll spend nine days exploring the country, discovering its remarkable culture and tackling some of the best hikes of your life. Are you in?

Sri Lanka: the safari capital of Asia

Wondering where to go in Asia to see wildlife? As far as we’re concerned, there’s one option that stands head and shoulders above the rest. Sri Lanka is simply one of the best places to visit in Asia if you long to see wild animals roaming free. In particular, this island nation is famous for its wild elephants that can often be seen chilling by the side of the road, wandering the forests near cities, and even heading down to the beaches to relax. It’s also the best spot in Asia to see leopards, with Yala National Park being a particularly good place to find these elusive big cats. Plus, the island offers some of the best whale watching in the world. With incredibly high chances of seeing the gentle giants of the ocean in the right season.

A majestic leopard in Yala National Park

There’s more to Sri Lanka than just wildlife, though. The country is also known as the cradle of Buddhism. Visit the city of Kandy to see the sacred Temple of the Tooth, where one of the Buddha’s gnashers is kept as a holy relic. From here, it’s easy to take a day trip north to Sigiriya, the legendary fortress perched high on Lion Rock. Head out early if you want to climb up to the fortress, as the Sri Lankan sun can be treacherously hot.

The country is also known for the most beautiful train journey in the world. The line that runs from Kandy to Ella. No spoilers here —you’ll have to see it for yourself, but just know that this epic journey will take you through tea plantations and forests over dizzyingly narrow bridges and high gorges. Sri Lankans like to sit in the doorway of the carriages with their legs hanging out. If you’re feeling brave, you might well join them!

Passengers lean out of the windows of a red train in Sri Lanka

Our 12-day trip to Sri Lanka will let you visit beaches, mountains and lush green landscapes, giving you a chance to see some of that amazing wildlife. Come join us for an unforgettable holiday!

More? Check out The best things to see in Sri Lanka for an in-depth guide to this amazing country.

Japan: ancient tradition and hyper-modernity

How could we make a list of the best places to visit in Asia and leave out Japan? The Land of the Rising Sun is a country that needs no introduction, and it’s a bucket list destination for thousands of travellers. There’s so much to see and do here! Come in cherry blossom season if you want to see the famous sakura flowers in bloom, or visit in winter for Asia’s best skiing. Decide whether you want to chill out on the subtropical beaches of Okinawa or lose yourself in the massive metropolis that is Tokyo. One thing’s for sure: when you visit Japan, you’ll never be bored.

A serene beach in Ishigaki Island, Okinawa
Ishigaki Island, Okinawa

There are so many great cities worth checking out on your Japanese adventure. As well as Tokyo, you should consider paying a visit to Osaka —or, as we like to call it, foodie heaven. Okay, of course, you’ll eat well, no matter where you go in Japan, but Osaka is famous for its world-class cuisine. For a touch of history, try Kyoto. A stroll here can feel like a walk back in time as you admire the old temples and historic buildings, all showcasing unique Japanese architectural styles. A visit to Hiroshima, where the first atomic bomb fell in the Second World War, is an incredibly touching experience. You can see how the city has rebuilt and rediscovered itself in the decades since.

A bustling street in Osaka, Japan

We haven’t even touched that much on the weird and wonderful world of Japanese culture. From Pokemon-themed cafés to Hello Kitty amusement parks, this country has so many things that will put a smile on your face.

Join us for a trip to Japan. In 11 days, you’ll see some of the best sights that this amazing country has to offer. It’s going to be an epic adventure!

And if that’s not enough, read What you should see in Japan.

South Korea: the coolest country around

In recent years, more and more travellers have been adding South Korea to their list of places to go. It’s not surprising when you consider how Korean culture has become a true global force to be reckoned with. We’ve come a long way from Gangnam Style. Nowadays, K-pop and K-drama are popular around the world. If you want to see where it all began, then you’ll need to head to this fascinating country.

We love the blend of tradition and modernity in Korea. From the bustling streets of Seoul to the ancient temples of Gyeongju, this is a country of contrasts. Before going on a shopping spree in Seoul’s upmarket Gangnam neighbourhood, admire the traditional hanok houses built in a quintessential Korean style in smaller cities. It’s amazing to think that it’s all the same country!

A pagoda peeks through autumn trees at Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul, South Korea.
Gyeongbokgung Palace in Seoul

Let’s not forget the incredible nature in South Korea, either. If you find that you need to get away from the busy Seoul lifestyle, there are plenty of options! There are the beautiful beaches of Busan and the winding hiking trails of Jeju Island. The centre of the country is known for its spectacular mountain ranges.

Our 10-day trip to South Korea is a great introduction to this intriguing country. We can’t guarantee that you’ll meet BTS, but we can promise you’ll have a great time!

Things to see in South Korea? Read here.

Which Asian country will you be visiting next? We love all these great destinations, and we’re sure you will, too. Why not join us for a trip you’ll never forget?

WeRoad Team
Written by WeRoad Team