Asia Favorites: Mysteries and delights at every turn
When you travel to Asia and she gives up her mysteries, you return to your homeland forever changed. The continent’s most famous destinations, and some that are less known, will reveal to you a world beyond your imagination. Here’s your chance to see things you’ve never seen, do things you’ve never done, and eat things you never knew you could.But where do you start? There’s no better place to begin than China. And the most wonderful thing about traveling to China is that because it is so huge and diverse, no two trips will be the same. Ask someone who’s been to Yunnan what China is like, and you’ll get a completely different response from someone who’s been to Beijing. Or for a real sense of other-worldliness, get yourself over to Nepal, with its breathtaking views and the incredible diversity of the Kathmandu Valley.
Asian Cuisine: Vacation starts in the Stomach
What do you spend most of your day doing when you’re on vacation? You’ll spend time visiting tourist attractions, laying on the beach, and shopping for souvenirs, but eating takes up a surprisingly large portion of your day. And when you’re in a foreign land, it’s one of the greatest pleasures. Not only do you get to experience new tastes, you get to experience them in different surroundings. You can visit Macau and enjoy the unique blend of European and Asian that makes up Macanese cuisine (and don’t forget to try a Portuguese egg tart, one of the most delicious treats you can find there). Or, drop by Thailand, where dining can range from a casual open-air restaurant on the sidewalk, to an elegant five-star experience by the river bank. The food is fiery and delicious, and in the capital city, you can’t go a single block without encountering a tasty treat.
A Shopping Frenzy
Bring an empty suitcase, because after you’ve finished eating, you’re going to go shopping. And while you’re still in Bangkok, you can start at the incredible Chatuchak Market, one of the largest bazaars in all of Asia. It’s easy to get completely lost in the rows upon rows of vendor stalls, and whatever it is you’re looking for, you’re sure to find it here. Come prepare to haggle and to be amazed. And for a real shopping experience that takes you far afield from the shopping mall routine, fly over to India, where virtually all retail is conducted by small-scale, family-owned shops. Go to the state of Assam for some tea, drop by Kashmir and get one of those world-famous carpets to take home with you, and when in Delhi, you’ll have everything at your disposal. And of course, if you’re going to Singapore, you can’t miss the “Great Singapore Sale” for some of the best bargains in Asia.
A Relaxing Recovery
After you’ve shopped until you’ve dropped, then there’s only one way to recover and get ready for the next day, and that’s a trip to the spa for a relaxing massage. Your masseuse will rub those tired feet and press those aching muscles and make you feel young again. Every Asian country has its own style of traditional massage and spa therapy, and each one will leave you feeling refreshed, and ready for another exciting day. Bali is particularly well known for its soothing spa and massage therapies, and no matter where you are, you’re not going to be far from a masseuse. The Balinese approach balances treatment for beauty, health, and relaxation, and you’re sure to be a new person when it’s done. And all throughout Thailand, spas are legendary, and the traditional Thai massage is an ancient practice that is invigorating, rejuvenating, and surprisingly inexpensive.
From Honeymoons to Family Vacations
Your first trip to exotic Asia may be to celebrate your honeymoon, but it won’t be your last. You’ll return there time and again, and if your kids are lucky, you’ll return with them when they’re old enough. For that blissful honeymoon, there’s nothing like an Asian vacation for romance. What could be more romantic than sitting on the beach in the Maldives, where you can still find a secluded beach not too far from your cozy room. And if you are able to pull yourselves away for some adventure, there’s no shortage of it there, and you’ll find the world around the Maldives underwater to be as exciting and beautiful as what’s above. Or for a honeymoon that is truly unique, Vietnam has plenty to offer the honeymooner, and the country has some of the most scenic honeymoon spots in all of Southeast Asia.Once your honeymoon is over and you’re relishing those memories, then it’s time to bring the kids over, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised to find plenty of family-friendly destinations throughout Asia. No more indulgent nights in the spa resort for you-but you’ll still delight in the wonderful destinations that bring smiles to your kids’ faces and to yours as well. The whole family will enjoy a trip Down Under, with fabulous parks and zoos, kangaroos everywhere, and some of the best beaches in the world. And New Zealand is a great place to bring the family, and if your kids are “Lord of the Rings” fans, you’ll be their hero when you take them to see Queenstown, where the movie was shot.
Find your Favorite Destination in Asia
From the Great Wall of China to the dazzling casinos of Macau; from the mysterious Kabuki theater in Tokyo to the other-worldliness of Sri Lanka; there are destinations everywhere that will surely be one of your own favorites. This vast and magnificent continent is home to the world’s wonders, great cuisines, amazing beaches and friendly people. Whenever you go, wherever you visit, you’ll find something there that you will remember forever. And next time you go, visit someplace different, and you’ll find a new favorite.
Articles in Favorite Destinations
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