Do you want to escape the crowds and find some nice places to relax in Asia? A place not too overcrowded and less visited?
Although completely off the beaten path in Asia is nowadays hardly possible as it is just not an off the beaten path kind of destination anymore, I have selected some of the best off beaten places to see in Asia that are not too crowded and worth visiting. Have a further read.
Koh Rong, Cambodia
Photo credit Aaron Bratford.
This is one of the nicest islands in Cambodia that is home to one of the best beaches in Asia. It is a perfect place to slung in a hammock, drink a cold beer and eat banana pancakes. It is just a two-hour boat ride from the beaches of Sihanoukville. It has 7 bays that stretch out over 43 kilometers. For years Koh Rong was almost completely undeveloped and an off the beaten track location. That has changed unfortunately; especially the beach of Koh Touch is nowadays a party place. If you are like me, this is not something you are looking for. If you are looking for a more quiet place then go to one of the other beaches, like 4K beach or Sonaya beach. 4K beach is a stretch of white sandy beach with only a few places to eat or sleep. Enjoy the magic of the illuminating plankton at night, a magnificent sight. Be quick though if you want to explore this island, as tourism development is going rapidly.
Iriomote Island, Japan
Photo credit Ippei and Janine Naoi.
Iriomote is one of the most natural environments in Japan and a remote Okinawa Island. Some even say it is a kind of Jurassic park kind of landscape full of untamed jungle. It is also home to the Iriomote Yamaneko, a rare seen wildcat and other exotic species of flora and fauna.
You can make beautiful hikes, kayak, dive or relax at the quiet beaches. You can easily spend days exploring this Island. There is so much to see. Go for example to Funauki Beach, Tsukigahama Beach or head to Nakano Beach, all great places for swimming or snorkeling. It is very easy to rent a car to explore the island.
Yungang Grottoes, China
Photo credit Xuan Che.
If you want to visit a historical place, off the beaten path in China, then go to Yungang Grottoes. This place is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is rich of 53 caves and over 51,000 Buddhist statues. There are thousands of statues and carvings you can explore. Be amazed by the sheer size of the statues and its stunning environment.
Photo credit Steve Cadman.
Raja Ampat Islands, Indonesia
Situated in the heart of the Coran Triangle, Indonesia. There are many hidden lagoons, white-sand beaches and spooky caves that are waiting to be discovered. On top of that, many endemic species at this place won’t be found anywhere else, including the Brown Spotted Cuscus. However, if you want to spend your time in the sea and you choose to dive deeper, you will probably see schooling yellow fish, pygmy seahorse, manta rays, white tip reef sharks, and snappers … Numerous activities can be found there like: kayaking, snorkeling, birdwatching, relaxing at one of the best beaches in Asia as well as jungle trekkings. You won´t be disappointed while visiting Raja Ampat. A place dedicated to divers and surfers. We have recently written a blog with tips to visit this Papuan paradise.
Xe Champhone Wetlands, Laos
Photo credit jinterwas/Flickr
This spot is a hidden gem, off the beaten track, situated in Laos. It is a perfect place to see Laos wildlife. It supports the endangered Elongated Tortoise, the largest population of the critically endangered Siamese Crocodiles and many other species. You can start your trip at the Monkey Forest where you can see one of the oldest monkeys in the world, the rhesus macaque. There will be almost a 100% guarantee that you will see them. After that, see the Asiatic Softshell Turtles in Turtle Lake. The lake is 90-100 years old, and home to over 200 softshell turtles.
Similan Islands, Thailand
Photo credit Fred van Lohmann
Situated about 50 Kilometers west of Khao Lak, this stunning destination remains hidden from the masses. Similan Islands is a group of nine islands, covered in tropical jungle and surrounded by gorgeous coral reef. The islands are highly recommended, especially for diving and snorkeling, given the fact that Similan is considered one of the most interesting dive areas all over the world. You can uncover all the marine life, including moray eels, triggerfish, surgeon fish, batfish, leopard sharks, etc. Moreover, there are plenty of colorful fish such as lionfish and clown fish. The only way to stay on the island is either by liveaboard or through the national park system.
Photo credit Jack versloot
Banton Island, Philippines
The best way to explore Banton Island is on your own steam. It is a hidden paradise located in Romblon Province, Philippines. It is a rocky volcanic island where you can explore mysterious caves and pristine beaches as well. If you want to spend some days at these pristine beaches, then go to Macat-ang or Siocan Beach Beach. Rent an umbrella, sip a nice fruit cocktail and stay overnight in one of the cottages. You can also explore various caves like the Ipot Cave in the Guyangan Cliffs, the Silak Cave or the Guyangan Burial Caves, which will give you a healthy dose of adventure.
As mentioned at the beginning it is nowadays hard to find really remote places in Asia that are still attractive. Nevertheless, I have picked the ones I think are still relatively quiet and stunning. Do you know of any off the beaten track places in Asia worth mentioning? Please let me know in the comment section below.
Looking for some off the beaten things to do or places to sleep? Check out these amazing local travel experiences in Asia!
This was a guest post written by Corine Smith.