Solo Holiday Ideas Travel Blog

6 Countries to Visit in Asia

Magnificent mountain ranges, tropical jungles, Arabian deserts, and thronging, modern cities – this is Asia, the largest continent on earth. It is home to over half the world’s population, with a dazzling array of cultures, beliefs, and languages, each unique in their own way. Asia’s countries are, in fact, so numerous and diverse, that it’s incredibly difficult to  decide which ones to visit. With such natural beauty, rich heritage, and warm hospitality in every corner of the continent, you’re undoubtedly going to find a destination that suits you. Here are our top six countries to visit in Asia if you are looking for solo holiday ideas in Asia:

1. Japan, the Archepelago on Asia’s Eastern Edge

Although it consists of more than 14,000 islands, the majority of Japan’s tourist attractions can be found on its four largest islands: Hokkaido, Honshu, Kyushu, and Shikoku which is why most visitors will base their Japan trips here. On Honshu Island, visitors can marvel both at the futuristic sights of Tokyo, as well as appreciate the wonder of age-old temples in Kyoto. Japan is the ultimate destination to experience the merging of the new and old.

But don’t let the popular tourist destinations stop you from venturing out to experience more of the culture Japan has to offer. With its abundance of mountains and forests, Japan also boasts stunning landscapes and scenery just begging to be photographed, and the country is home to multiple UNESCO World Heritage sites. Hokkaido, for example, boasts beautiful nature, with 6 huge national parks, hot springs, countless ski resorts, and a historic port city. Honshu Island, on the other hand, is also home to the snow-capped Mount Fuji, the tallest mountain in Japan, the world-famous Shibuya Crossing, and the poignant Hiroshima Memorial. And if you happen to be an avid anime fan or know one, you can be sure to find unique souvenirs to bring back home with you.

2. Singapore, Where High Tech Meets Tradition

Singapore, the smallest country in Southeast Asia, is a thriving island and city state attracting travellers from all over the world. As English is one of the official languages, fledgling tourists will find Singapore one of the easiest countries to visit in Asia to visit and will be delighted by its cleanliness and efficient public transport.

Singapore also has a reputation for glamour, courtesy of its many world-class hotels, awe-inspiring skyscrapers, theme parks, and dazzling architecture, such as the ArtScience Museum, which is shaped like a lotus flower and a great art destination to visit with kids. It isn’t all over-the-top indulgence, however. There are also breathtaking mountain views and the authentic Asian charm of neighbourhoods, such as Kampong Glam and Little India.artscience museum in Singapore

3. South Korea, the Land of the Morning Calm

Perhaps best known as being the home of K-Pop and Kimchi, South Korea may not be as popular as a touristic destination as Japan or Thailand, yet it is attracting more and more visitors every year.

The country is steeped in a rich and unique history, and alongside its gleaming shopping malls, you can also find palaces and temples that have stood for centuries, such as the Gyeongbokgung Palace and the Changdeokgung Palace & Secret Garden in Seoul. Nature lovers will marvel at the ethereal beauty of Naejangsan National Park, which boasts waterfalls, temples, and cable car rides and can be reached from the capital in 2.5 hours by train. An equally beautiful destination is Jeju Island, home to the tallest mountain in Korea, 350 volcano shaped peaks and lava caves, as well as stunning golden beaches and coastal trails.

You will find that there is a general lack of tourism infrastructure, and you might struggle with language and cultural barriers. Whilst it is perfectly safe to travel solo, you will undoubtedly see more of South Korea’s beauty by booking a group holiday because planning an itinerary for South Korea is not as easy as it is in other countries in Southeast Asia. You might even want to book a food tour to make sure you get to taste more than just the popular Korean dishes. If you are adventurous, you will discover a new dimension of South Korean cuisine whether you are on a food tour or not. From Seoul to the furthest corner of the country, there are tasty dishes waiting to be sampled!

4. Sri Lanka, the Island Country in the Indian Ocean

The country has been hard-hit in recent years, not least due to COVID and an ensuing economic downturn but is set to see growth in 2024 with an increasing number of tourists returning to the small island country off the south of India. This is not least because of the weak rupee compared to the pound. So, if you are looking for affordable solo holiday ideas, Sri Lanka is the place to go.

It is no doubt one of the best countries to visit in Asia for a beach holiday, with a tropical climate, and stunning beaches perfect for swimming, diving, and snorkelling. Sri Lanka really is beach lovers’ paradise, with white sandy beaches stretching for miles, and clear emerald water. It is also becoming very popular for blue and sperm whale-spotting between the months of December and April.

It also boasts spectacular scenery, such as mountainous tea plantations and waterfalls, as well as wonderful wildlife, including Sri Lanka’s iconic Asian elephants and leopards. There are no less than 22 national parks here where you can spot these majestic creatures as well as crocodiles, storks, ibis, and other birdlife.

Sri Lanka’s many archaeological sites and cultural landmarks are a vivid testament to the country’s rich history. From ancient temples to colonial forts, the island bursts with diverse and unexpected treasures, such as the ancient sites of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, and Kandy.tea plantation in Sri Lanka

5. Nepal: Mount Everest and the Himalayas

A popular destination amongst those who like to stay active, Nepal is famous for its trekking and mountaineering opportunities. The Manaslu treks are less known than some of the world’s most famous hiking trails but are also less crowded and as picturesque. However, even for those who prefer a more sedate pace, the country is well worth a visit for its breathtaking scenery, including the Himalayas, home to the tallest peaks on Earth including Mount Everest.

Nepal also has a fascinating history and culture, and the country is dotted with temples, palaces, and monasteries. The most famous of these is the Maya Devi Temple in Lumbini, the birthplace of Buddha. The capital city of Nepal, Kathmandu, also has plenty to offer, such as Swayambhu or ‘the monkey temple’, bustling bazaars, and the Shivapuri National Park.Nepal: countries to visit in Nepal

6. Bangladesh: The Land of the Bengal Tiger

The small country gained its independence from India in 1971 and has been thriving ever since. If you are looking for countries to visit in Asia that are off the beaten track, Bangladesh should be top of your list! Tourists are scarce and foreigners are welcome. You don’t need to worry about being scammed. Nevertheless, we do not recommend travelling solo to Bangladesh as it has a high petty and violent crime rate, especially at night.

Bangladesh has an abundance of hidden treasures for the intrepid traveller, including ancient Buddhist temples, fascinating old mosques, and historic palaces, some fallen into ruin and others flamboyant as ever. Not surprisingly considering its ancient history, some of the oldest Buddhist, Hindu, and Islamic relics have been found in Bangladesh.

You will be surprised to learn that Bangladesh has 17 national parks. From sweeping tea plantations to hills and ravines, from bamboo forests to hidden waterfalls, there is no shortage of natural beauty here. The country is also home to the longest beach in the world, Cox’s Bazar Beach stretching for 120 km, a vibrant place with magnificent cliffs, waterfalls, and bustling street markets. Another great destination for a beach holiday is St. Martin’s Island.

If you love exotic animals, you won’t be disappointed here. The national symbol is the Royal Bengal Tiger of which around 100 remain. You will also find the likes of Indian elephants, Indian leopards, the Hoolock gibbon, the black giant squirrel, and many other exotic species here.

countries to visit in Asia: Cox Bazaar Beach in Bangladesh

Whichever one of these six countries you choose to visit in Asia, you will find no shortage of rich culture, gorgeous beaches, delicious food, and stunning natural beauty. Each country has its own unique characteristics that makes it a fascinating destination to explore. We hope that our list of the top six countries to visit in Asia helped you decide where to go on your next solo holiday.

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