What are your top city picks for traveling in Asia? I will possibly be traveling alone for 2-3 months. I am looking for a well rounded trip that includes everything from history, arts, culture, religion, beaches, hiking, etc. Also, if you could include the length of time you suggest for visiting each place and highlight anything I shouldn't miss. Thanks!
I am not sure if you were interested to know cities or regions. Anyway, some tips for start that might be your compass:
India & Sri Lanka:
pros: culturally very rich and diverse, lots of ancient cities, great hikes in the Himalayas and nice beaches and jungles, tea fields on the south.
contras: huge poverty, might be shocking, low hygienic conditions and other annoyances
North: Himalayas, Amritsar, Varanasi, Rishikesh, Agra/Fathepur Sikri, Jaipur, Pushkar, Udaipur, just to name a few
South: Mumbai, Goa, Gokarna, Hampi, Kochi, Munnar, Varkala, etc
Sri Lanka: a bit like south india, more laid back atmosphere
pros: interesting culture, booming cities, authentic countryside, beautiful nature, hassle-free, great food
contras: too much concrete (in big cities), language difficulties
Some provinces to start with: Yunnan, Sichuan, Guanxi
pros: easy, good backpacker infrastructure, exotic, nice beaches and mountain areas, great food
contra: too touristy, scams/touts
Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Bali in Indonesia, Philippines, Burma
Middle East, Turkey and Iran:
pros: rich culture, great hospitality, excellent food
contra: current political instability
Syria, Jordan, Turkey and Iran are all fabulous countries
Central Asia, Mongolia:
pros: unique culture, beautiful landscapes, perfect field for adventurous travellers
contras: visa, security situation (although not too bad)
Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia offer splendid scenery and introduction to nomadic life
pros: interesting culture, highly developed, beautiful nature
But let's see what others comment as well...
Hope the above helped to start reading more about the areas in line with your interest...
Thanks so much. This will help me get started!
Hey Goa will be an amazing destination for traveling when u r desiring to be acquainted with the history, arts, culture, religion, beaches, hiking and more. Goa offers everything that will exhilarate the tourists.
Have a safe and secure journey…
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]
Singapore is a great city to start with. It's clean and safe, lots of people speak English, and it has great food (Chinese and Indian especially). Plus, it's easy to fly from there to anywhere in S.E. Asia.
I'm kinda biased but I love SE Asia. Since it's your first time probably better to stick to the more travelled areas that have infrastructure for tourism. You can spend a good 2-3 weeks exploring Cambodia, of course seeing the ancient Angkor Wat in Siem Reap. Los of people like Sihanoukville for the beaches although I prefer Koh Kong but it's not as travelled. In Vietnam Dalat is definitely worth a visit from Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City, then Nha Trang also has beautiful beaches.
Lots of poverty in these countries, so cost is low so if you're on a budget SE Asia is the place to be. On the flip side though it may be different for folks who need the comforts of more developed countries.
come visit varanasi for sure.. "da holy cit"
drop me a mail if you are interested i am from here only, i am sameer 18..
hope to see you soon..take care..
[ Edit: Sorry, no personal details please. ]
I didn't have any experience on traveling SE Asia countries except Malaysia as i was living here. I would say that Malaysia have everything you asking for, from culture, history, arts, religion, beaches, hiking,relaxing, modern skyscrapers and etc. Malaysia got 13 states and 2 federal province. Language is not a barrier here as most of Malaysian speak in English except in certain rural area. In term of cost i would say that Malaysia still provide affordable cost yet cozy accommodation and easy to find food. Well here i have some listed places that you should check it out if you interested:
Culture, Religion & History: Malacca or Penang
Food paradise: Penang
Arts: Terengganu, (Batik) Kelantan (wau Bulan, Wayang Kulit)
Hiking: Mount Kinabalu, Sabah
Beaches @ Island: Sipadan, Sabah ( one of most beautiful island in the world), Redang / Perhentian, Terengganu
Exotic Caves: Mulu Caves
Rainforest: National Park, Jerantut, Pahang
Modern skyscrapers/ architecture: KLCC, KLIA, KL Tower (Kuala Lumpur), government building (Putrajaya)
Agriculture: Cameron Highland
there are lots more but i hope this can help you..
Have a happy trips!