Looking for a unique experience, perhaps a new adventure across the best places to visit in Asia that leads you off-the-beaten-path?
Buckle up then; we’re about to trod into a journey that’ll inspire you to discover beyond the usual!
Asia is one of the most diverse continents in the world, and traveling around Asia is more than just the usual visit to Thailand for the beaches or Kuala Lumpur for a shopping spree.
However, a treasure trove of hidden gems remains lesser-known and undiscovered, waiting to be discovered.
Best places to visit in Asia: Off the beaten path destinations
The Asian region is a mecca for travelers. Nevertheless, finding an authentic encounter and heading towards off-the-beaten-path destinations in Asia will offer a gratifying experience.
This list of the best places to visit in Asia, that’ll lead you off-the-beaten-path will keep your adventures unique, exciting, and fresh.
So, get ready to feel out of the world with a new vision!
1. Har Ki Doon Valley, India
Har Ki Doon Valley is nestled in the Garhwal Himalayas, in the Uttarkashi district. Har Ki Doon Valley is regarded as the most sought-after trekking destination of Uttarakhand. It is a cradle-shaped hanging valley situated at an elevation of 3566 m above sea level. It falls under the Govind Ballah National Park. The valley provides astounding unprecedented views of the rugged and verdant beauty of the mountains. This valley is one of the most popular trekking spots in Uttarakhand.
The trek trail meanders through the alpine meadows and the charismatic pine forests. The hilly landscape all along the trek route is embellished with cascading waterfalls, snow-capped mountains, pious rivers, and thick pine and oak forests. Har Ki Doon trek’s path crosses through 2000 years old primitive villages. It provides a great insight into village life.
This valley is also famous for bird-watching and is perfect for nature and bird lovers. This valley offers a 360o wide view of Kala Nag, Bandarpoonch, and Swargarohini peaks. The best time to visit this trek is from April to June and from September to December.
2. Quy Nhon, Vietnam
Quy Nhon, dubbed as the Maldives of Vietnam, is an extraordinary destination with secluded beaches, Cham temples, and more. Despite not being as famous as other places in the country, this quaint village is where you’ll find white sandy beaches like in the Maldives.
TIP: For breath-taking vistas of the unspoiled countryside, head over here by a motorcycle taxi.
3. Champasak, Laos
Champasak is a town situated along the borders of Thailand and Cambodia and home to impressive, age-old, colonial-style palaces and rural streets lined with traditional wooden houses. A land of rivers, and lush rice paddies covered in mist, Champasak is a unique spot in a country that is already off the beaten path. Today, this beautiful town is best-known for the Wat Phu, a series of complex Khmer ruins recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
TIP: Champasak has a subtropical climate, so the best time to visit is during the dry season, from November to March.
4. Camiguin Island, Philippines
Camiguin Island dubbed the “Island Born of Fire,” was formed by volcanic eruptions and earthquakes years ago and created a sensational destination full of natural wonders. This is an under-the-radar, a world apart from the usual, overcrowded destination. The stunning paradise in the Philippines offers postcard-worthy beaches lapped by cerulean blue waters, bumper-to-bumper volcanoes, hot springs, lush jungles, and yet this island has remained untouched. So, if you’re looking at the best places to visit in Asia that’s off-the-path, Camiguin Island is the place to be!
Best places to visit in Camiguin Island:
- White Island Camiguin
- Sunken Cemetery
- Tuasan Falls
- Burias Shoal
- Ardent Hibok-Hibok Hot Spring
5. Perhentian Besar, Malaysia
The Perhentian Islands in Malaysia have been a popular beach destination, split into two, Kecil and Besar. The larger, lesser trodden Perhentian Besar, considered one of the best off-the-beaten-path destinations, with its jungle interior, beaches, and jagged rock. It offers more serenity, seclusion, better waters brimming with marine life, and rock formations perfect for snorkeling and diving.
TIP: You should plan your trip between March and early November to avoid monsoon weather
6. Kharkhorin, Mongolia
Mongolia is globally famous for the Gobi Desert, its expansive plains, volcanoes, and one of the least densely populated countries. However, Mongolia is becoming popular thanks to its unique beauty and enthralling nomadic culture. Kharkhorin is the best place to go off the beaten path to enjoy an authentic experience turning it into a perfect base to arrange a nomadic homestay to experience Mongolian culture. Experiencing this land of extremes and its rural lifestyle is an absolute must and, in return, is an encounter loaded with authenticity, appeal, and adventure.
Things to do in Kharkhorin:
- Stay in a Ger camp
- Visit the Erdene Zuu Monastery
- Karakorum Museum
- Khustain National Park
- Orkhon Valley
7. The Gate to Hell, Turkmenistan
In the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan, you can find one of the most unusual natural sites globally, The Gate to hell or the Darvaza Gas Crater. This is not for the faint-hearted, as this is a tricky task to accomplish. The mistakenly created crater is an underground natural gas cavern that has been on fire non-stop for almost 50 years. The crater might look good during the day, but it’s more impressive during the night.
TIP: Start organizing your Turkmenistan trip at least six months before you plan to go and choose a multi-day tour to sort out transportation and lodging.
8. Bukhara, Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan is the epicenter for many cultures, drenched in history, tradition, and home to unique, untouched landscapes. The brilliantly well-preserved, 2000-year-old Silk Road city of Bukhara is one of the main reasons for many travelers to Uzbekistan. And traveling here is like going back in time. You can actually feel the influence of history permeating the area. There’s no shortage of adventure here, from hiking, trekking, and wildlife encounters.
TIP: Travel light as you will do most of your traveling by foot or camel rides.
For more tips on efficient hiking: https://turtleverse.com/trail-etiquette-101-5-basic-rules-every-hiker-should-take-note/
9. Engilchek, Kyrgystan
Whether you are an adventurer looking for off-the-beaten-path destinations, Kyrgyzstan should unquestionably be on your bucket list. This underrated country sees only a few travelers—the desolate Soviet town Engilchek, situated just a few kilometers from the Chinese border. High cliffs of the Tien Shan surround the mesmerizing ghost town. It is the perfect place with great opportunities to explore by hiking in the nearby mountains, climbing the Engilchek Glacier, and swimming in natural hot springs.
TIP: There are no hotels in the valley, and the only way to stay here is with a local family, which a local guide can organize.
10. Jebel Jais, United Arab Emirates
Thousands of tourists head to the UAE for luxurious holidays, but few know that the UAE boasts a hidden gem – a high-peak mountain range. Jebel Jais is the highest mountain in the UAE, located just out of Ras Al Khaimah. A hike to the top will reward you with panoramic views of the desert to mountain views that’ll have you awe-struck.
Things to do in the UAE:
- Admire Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Mosque
- Experience UAE’s deserts
- Have fun at the theme parks
- View Sharjah art museum
- Take a trip to Jebel Hafeet
11. Farasan Island, Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is probably the last country you would expect to be an off-the-beaten-path destination, let alone a beach destination. But the country has many hidden beaches along the Red Sea coast, waiting to be discovered. One of these beaches is located on Farasan Island. This secluded beach is a gorgeous place with white sand bars and electric blue waters. These marine life-filled beaches are perfect for snorkeling or dreamy shores to laze round in the sun all day. Other popular activities on the island are birdwatching or Farasan Gazelle spotting, native to these islands.
TIP: You can reach Farasan Island only by one of the two daily free ferry rides from Jizan, and the journey takes around one hour. So, be sure to find out the ferry timetable.
12. Kamikochi, Japan
Popular cities like Tokyo, Osaka, and Kyoto usually flash across your mind when planning a trip to Japan. But Japan is much more than just pretty streets and cherry blossoms, and not exploring it off the beaten path would be a mistake. The diverse land of Japan has so much to offer, from ancient forests to beautiful gardens. If you’re looking for authentic and the best places to go in Asia, Japan should be on top of your list. Kamikochi is one of those hidden places, a beautiful valley surrounded by majestic mountains.
Things to do in Kamikochi:
- Walk across the Kappa Bridge
- Summit the top of Mount Yakedake
- Outdoor camping
- Admire the Taisho Pond
- Hiking the trails along the Azusa River
13. Bumthang, Bhutan
Bhutan, one of the tiniest and most rural countries in Asia, has been high on many travelers’ bucket lists. Many monasteries and Buddhist monks teem in this special place of prayer and meditation. The country itself is an off-the-beaten-path destination, and if you should ever visit here, Bumthang is the right place! Overlooked by cities and underdeveloped, Bumthang is a beautiful remote town situated on a mountainous area, peppered with moss-covered fields and ancient monasteries.
TIP: Bumthang is home to 29 temples and monasteries, including the ancient Jambay Lhakhang, so there’s a lot to cover. Don’t forget to pack a sarong or scarf when visiting these temples.
For more travel inspiration here’s another read – https://blog.travelcenter.uk/spice-the-plate-with-far-eastern-cuisine/
So, there you have it, my list of the best places to visit in Asia that will take you on an off-the-beaten-path journey.