The Anti-Tourist

I like to beat new paths for myself.

4 Must-See Asian Highlights

By 13:16:00

For anyone who considers themselves to be a true tourist, the continent of Asia is alway one that needs to be discovered. For one thing, it is just so large and there's so much there that you can’t possibly overlook it in favour of other planets forever. What’s more, you will find that the culture is diverse, the people friendly and welcoming, and there is plenty to be learned from travelling around Asia which you might not be able to chance upon when you in other parts of the world. In this post, we are going to look at some of the best must-see Asian highlights, so that you can be sure of planning your next trip to Asia in the right way. As long as you see these, you can be sure that you have seen a decent cross-section of Asian life.


Although it is actually one of the less-visited places in Asia, it is also one of the best-known, and this paradox can be seen clearly in the experience you can have while visiting there. There is a bustling tourism industry, but one which is still a little disjointed, as Malaysia do not get the same number of visitors as, say, Thailand or India. But for anyone looking for a slice of genuine Asian life, there are few places to go which are able to provide that quite so effectively as Malaysia. Above all, what you can hope to get is a great experience of the countryside, with some of the most beautiful National Parks and forestry that you will find anywhere in the world. You can also visit some of the towns and cities such as the stunning Ampang, home to a number of fantastic temples and a good place to stay for some peace and quiet. If you find a house for rent in Ampang you will be able to stay there a while fairly cheap, and see plenty that you would not otherwise expect to see. All in all, Malaysia is a great spot which you have to try out at least once.


It is known as being one of the true wellsprings of the spiritual world, and that has always been the case for this particular piece of land. If you want to go somewhere where you can expect to see some of the world’s religions come together in a unique and fascinating way, there is really nowhere better for it than India. This country is vast, and you can easily spend many months they're getting lost and still have money left over at the end of it, thanks largely to the fact that it is dirt-poor culture on the whole. But for a religious awakening or spiritual opening, you will find that there is really nowhere more suited, and if nothing else it is a fantastically engaging culture which will draw you in and force you to open your eyes to many facets of the human experience. You can’t really say you have visited Asia until you have been around India at least a little, so even if just for that reason you should definitely consider this for your next trip.


For whatever reason, people often overlook or forget about Japan when travelling Asia, even though it is also one of the biggest tourist spots anywhere in the world. It is one of the much more developed parts of Asia, and you will find that it is, in many respects, alarmingly westernized as a culture too. This may be disappointing, but that is only really the case in the very centre of some of the cities, including the illustrious Tokyo, the busiest city in the world. A long time in this city might not be the most enjoyable experience, but a brief stint there followed by a longer period of time spent out in the countryside could be the ideal way to see Japan for what it truly is. Visiting Japan might even feel like coming home to an old friend - there is something about the land which seems to have that kind of intoxicating effect on people - and you will find that the people are diverse and honourable, honest and humble in their dealings, and happy to help a visitor who treats them with the necessary respect and politeness. There is an undercurrent of kindness through everything the Japanese do. This country is well worth a visit, and doing so will mean that you have gained more of a complete understanding of what it means to be Asian.


For an experience which is a little more rough and ready, you might want to think about visiting Nepal. This small country is situated in the Himalayas, nestled alongside India, and it is almost entirely made of hills and mountains. This makes it an especially good place to go trekking, but it is also worth visiting even if you just want to visit the capitol, world-famous Kathmandu. This city had to be rebuilty not too many years ago after a seriously devastating earthquake, and if nothing else seeing how they have done so is to witness what humans can truly do when they get together to achieve something great. The Nepalese are a polite, friendly and hugely welcoming people, and they are always happy to have guests in their home and lodgings at any time. Seeing Nepal is seeing a side of Asia you won’t read about as much - but a side which is enormously respectful, and which commands respect in return.

The four mentioned above are all quite different aspects and experiences of Asia, but they are each equally valid in their own right. If you have visited all four, then you will have a strong sense of the Asian continent on the whole. Whereas if you still have to visit some of them, it is definitely worth doing so in order to ensure that you are going to appreciate Asia for what it truly is.

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