underrated places In Asia: 12 Unbeaten Paths FOR BACKPACKERS

 Underrated Places in Asia: When it comes to discovering other sides of life with itineraries, Asia presumes to be the best destination to land upon. As a land of heterogeneity, the entire Asian continent allures explorers to levitate and doz on the cloud of astonishment. From natural wonders to cultural realms Asia is not just a continent with hidden magical sparks but a truly diverse land that engulfs travellers with remissible wandering experiences. Here arises some specific good news. Despite traditional travelling, the throbbing excitement of rolling over Asia gets exponentially explored for the explorers who affine more to offbeat travelling. Enlisting a wide number of countries with hundreds of states, the list of Asian offbeat destinations is indeed unfinishable. Therefore, in this article, sidetracking the regular tourist attractions for a while we are confined to drilling out 12 underrated places in Asia that are ideal for adventure-freak backpackers. Therefore, uncover the places before heading in.

underrated places in Southeast Asia

Southeast Asia is a backpacker’s paradise and so is for lay travellers. Therefore, whenever you are in the endeavour of uncovering underrated places in Asia, SE Asia calls for attention within a minute. However, despite the cumbersome task of ensembling all offbeat SE Asia destinations, we’ve kept the eyes peeled for 3 unbeaten paths in SE Asia which are indeed impeccable choices for backpackers.

1. Kampot, Cambodia

underrated places in se asia

Located in southern Cambodia, Kampot is a laid-back town surrounded by lush green hills and rice paddies, Kampot is a true hidden gem in SE Asia. which is why nowadays it is getting hypes of applause as one of the spectacular underrated places in SE Asia which must be deplored by backpackers. It’s known for its pepper plantations, salt fields, and riverfront seafood restaurants. Visitors can explore the nearby Bokor National Park, hike to waterfalls, or take a boat ride on the Kampot River.

Things To Do In Kampot| Top 10 Unavoidable Attractions

  • Explore the Bokor National Park: Take a trip to the Bokor National Park and explore the lush green forest and cascading waterfalls. The park also features an abandoned French colonial hill station, which offers a glimpse into the region’s history.
  • Visit the Pepper Plantations: Kampot is famous for its Kampot pepper, which is considered to be some of the best in the world. Visit one of the many pepper plantations in the area and learn about the cultivation and production of this prized spice.
  • Take a River Cruise: A boat ride along the Kampot River offers a unique perspective on the region’s natural beauty. You can enjoy the sunset or sunrise and watch the local fishermen in action.
  • Relax on the Beaches: Kampot has several beaches, including Kep Beach and Rabbit Island, where you can relax, swim, and enjoy the ocean views. You can also try some seafood from the local restaurants.
  • Explore the Caves: The region is known for its limestone caves, and a guided tour through one of these caves can be an exciting adventure. The Phnom Chhngok Cave Temple is a popular attraction in the area.
  • Visit the Salt Fields: Kampot is also famous for its sea salt production. Visit one of the many salt fields in the area and see how salt is harvested using traditional methods.
  • Try the Local Cuisine: Kampot has a unique culinary culture, and you can sample some of the local dishes in the many restaurants in the area. Some popular dishes include Amok, fish curry, and crab dishes.
  • Take a Bike Tour: Rent a bicycle and explore the scenic countryside of Kampot. There are several bike tours available, which will take you through the lush green countryside and offer you a glimpse into the local way of life.
  • Visit the Kampot Market: The bustling Kampot Market is a great place to shop for souvenirs, fresh produce, and local crafts. You can also try some of the street food, which is a favourite among locals and tourists alike.
  • Visit the Kep National Park: The Kep National Park is located just a few miles from Kampot and offers some breathtaking views of the coastline. You can take a hike through the park or relax in one of the many picnic areas.

2. Ninh Binh, Vietnam

underrated places in se asia

In the second position, Ninh Binh pops up. It is a scenic region in northern Vietnam, known for its karst landscapes, rice fields, and ancient temples. Coiling in the last page of the SE tourism roster, Ninh Binh is now making a place as an unbeaten SE Asia destination. Visitors can explore the Trang An Landscape Complex, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which features limestone caves, grottoes, and rivers. Other attractions include the Hoa Lu Ancient Capital and the Tam Coc-Bich Dong complex.

Things To Do In Ninh Binh| Top 10 Unavoidable Attractions

  • Explore Trang An Landscape Complex: Trang An is a UNESCO World Heritage site that features stunning limestone cliffs, rice paddies, and winding rivers. Take a boat tour through the complex to admire the natural beauty and visit the ancient temples and pagodas.
  • Visit Bai Dinh Pagoda: Bai Dinh is one of the largest Buddhist temples in Southeast Asia and is home to many beautiful statues and intricate carvings. You can also take a hike up the hill to enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
  • Bike through the Countryside: Rent a bicycle and explore the scenic countryside of Ninh Binh. There are several bike tours available that will take you through the lush green fields and offer you a glimpse into the local way of life.
  • Climb Hang Mua Peak: Hang Mua Peak offers some of the most spectacular views in Ninh Binh. To reach the top, you must climb up 500 steps, but the breathtaking views of Tam Coc and the surrounding countryside make it well worth the effort.
  • Explore Tam Coc: Tam Coc is known as the “Halong Bay on Land” and features towering limestone cliffs, rice paddies, and meandering rivers. Take a boat tour through the area to admire the natural beauty and visit the ancient temples and pagodas.
  • Visit the Hoa Lu Ancient Capital: Hoa Lu was the ancient capital of Vietnam and is home to many historic temples and ruins. You can explore the site and learn about the region’s rich history.
  • Try the Local Cuisine: Ninh Binh has a unique culinary culture, and you can sample some of the local dishes in the many restaurants in the area. Some popular dishes include goat meat, rice noodles, and eel.
  • Visit Cuc Phuong National Park: Cuc Phuong is Vietnam’s first national park and is home to many rare and endangered species. You can take a hike through the park to admire the natural beauty and visit the primate rescue centre.
  • Take a Cooking Class: Learn how to cook some of the local dishes in a cooking class. You can visit a local market to shop for fresh ingredients and learn how to prepare traditional dishes.
  • Visit Van Long Nature Reserve: Van Long is a wetland nature reserve that is home to many rare species of birds and animals. You can take a boat tour through the reserve to admire the natural beauty and observe the wildlife.

3. Sumbawa Island, Indonesia

underrated places in se asia

Sumbawa Island is a hidden gem located in eastern Indonesia, known for its pristine beaches, coral reefs, and volcanic landscapes. After rolling a comprehensive overview of the place, it won’t absolutely be an offence if you remark the place as a pure offbeat Asian destination for solo travellers. Visitors can go trekking on Mount Tambora, which last erupted in 1815, or visit the Moyo Island Nature Reserve, home to rare birds and deer. Surfing, snorkelling, and diving are also popular activities in Sumbawa.

Things To Do In Sumbawa Island| Top 10 Unavoidable Attractions

  • Surfing in Lakey Peak: Sumbawa Island is famous for its world-class surf breaks, and Lakey Peak is one of the most popular spots. The peak offers consistent waves, making it a popular destination for surfers from around the world.
  • Snorkelling in Moyo Island: Moyo Island is a short boat ride from Sumbawa and offers some of the best snorkelling in the region. The island is home to a diverse range of marine life, including colourful corals, tropical fish, and sea turtles.
  • Trekking in Mount Tambora: Mount Tambora is an active volcano located in the northern part of Sumbawa Island. You can trek to the summit and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding landscape.
  • Visiting Sumbawa Besar Palace: Sumbawa Besar Palace is a historic site that dates back to the 17th century. It was once the residence of the Sultan of Sumbawa and is now a museum that showcases the region’s rich history and culture.
  • Diving in Moyo Island: Moyo Island is also a popular destination for divers, offering a range of dive sites that are home to a variety of marine life, including sharks, rays, and sea turtles.
  • Exploring Satonda Island: Satonda Island is a volcanic island located off the coast of Sumbawa. The island is home to a saltwater lake and is surrounded by beautiful coral reefs, making it a popular spot for snorkelling and diving.
  • Visiting Bima City: Bima City is the largest city on Sumbawa Island and offers a range of cultural and historical attractions, including the Bima Museum, which showcases the region’s history and culture.
  • Relaxing on the Beaches: Sumbawa Island has several beautiful beaches, including Maluk Beach, which is known for its crystal-clear waters and white sand. You can relax, swim, and enjoy the ocean views.
  • Trying Local Cuisine: Sumbawa Island has a unique culinary culture, and you can sample some of the local dishes in the many restaurants in the area. Some popular dishes include ayam taliwang (spicy grilled chicken) and nasi bungkus (rice wrapped in banana leaves).
  • Visiting Poto Tano: Poto Tano is a small town located in the western part of Sumbawa Island. The town is known for its beautiful sunsets and is a popular spot for fishing and water sports. You can also visit the local markets to shop for souvenirs and local crafts.

Underrated places In Asia – eastern realm

Like SE Asia, in East Asia as well there are myriads of natural wonders that is potent enough to amaze backpackers beyond popular Asian destinations. One of the major reasons to treat this area under the underrated places in Asia could be perhaps its rugged topography and inaccessibility. However, with time, the stigma is eventually waning away. As a region of spectacular contrasts, with bustling cities and tranquil countryside Eastern is engraving special attention among visitors, especially backpackers. Therefore, hunting out these 3 less-explored places is sure to let float with ebbs of enthral.

1. Yakushima, Japan

Although is one of the most underrated places in Asia in the eastern zone, Yakushima is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located off the coast of Kyushu, Japan’s southernmost main island. It’s known for its ancient cedar forests, which inspired the animated film “Princess Mononoke”. Visitors can hike to the Jomon Sugi, a 2,000-year-old cedar tree, or relax on the island’s secluded beaches.

Things To Do In Yakushima| Top 10 Unavoidable Attractions

  • Hiking in Yakusugi Land: Yakusugi Land is a nature reserve that features ancient cedar trees, some of which are more than 1,000 years old. The reserve has several hiking trails that offer stunning views of the forest and the surrounding mountains.
  • Exploring Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine: Shiratani Unsuikyo Ravine is a scenic gorge that is home to lush green forests, waterfalls, and streams. The area is a popular spot for hiking and offers several trails that lead to stunning viewpoints.
  • Visiting Yakushima Environmental Culture Village Center: The Yakushima Environmental Culture Village Center is a museum that showcases the island’s natural history and cultural heritage. The museum also offers guided tours of the island’s forests and wildlife.
  • Relaxing on the Beaches: Yakushima Island has several beautiful beaches, including Nagata Inakahama Beach, which is known for its crystal-clear waters and white sand. You can relax, swim, and enjoy the ocean views.
  • Viewing Yakushima Wildlife: Yakushima Island is home to several species of wildlife, including the Yakushima macaque, a species of monkey that is endemic to the island. You can visit the Yakushima Monkey Center to learn more about these fascinating animals.
  • Visiting Yakusugi Museum: The Yakusugi Museum is a museum that showcases the island’s ancient cedar trees and their importance to the island’s culture and history. The museum also offers guided tours of the island’s forests and wildlife.
  • Taking a Boat Tour: Yakushima Island is surrounded by clear waters that are home to a variety of marine life, including sea turtles, dolphins, and whales. You can take a boat tour to explore the coastline and observe the wildlife.
  • Visiting Jomonsugi: Jomonsugi is an ancient cedar tree that is estimated to be more than 2,000 years old. The tree is located in the Yakusugi Land nature reserve and is a popular spot for hiking.
  • Relaxing in the Onsen: Yakushima Island has several natural hot springs, known as onsens, where you can relax and soak in the mineral-rich waters. Some popular onsens include Hirauchi Onsen and Yudomari Onsen.
  • Cycling around the Island: Yakushima Island is a small island that is easy to explore by bike. You can rent a bike and cycle around the island, stopping at scenic viewpoints and attractions along the way.

2. Gyeongju, South Korea

underrated places in asia

In the second position, insert Gyeongju without thinking twice. A city with a magnificent history, located in the southeastern part of South Korea, Gyeongju is known for its ancient temples, tombs, and palaces. Visitors can explore the UNESCO-listed Bulguksa Temple, which dates back to the 8th century, or visit the Gyeongju National Museum, which houses artefacts from the Silla Dynasty.

Things To Do In Gyeongju| Top 10 Unavoidable Attractions

  • Visit Bulguksa Temple: Bulguksa Temple is one of the most famous temples in South Korea and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The temple features beautiful architecture, including intricate carvings and sculptures, and is surrounded by beautiful gardens.
  • Explore Seokguram Grotto: Seokguram Grotto is a temple located on the slopes of Toham Mountain. The temple is famous for its statue of Buddha, which is considered one of the finest examples of Buddhist art in East Asia.
  • Visit the Gyeongju National Museum: The Gyeongju National Museum is one of the best museums in South Korea, showcasing the rich history and culture of the Gyeongju region. The museum features artefacts from the Silla dynasty, including gold crowns and pottery.
  • Walk through the Anapji Pond: The Anapji Pond is a beautiful artificial pond located in the Gyeongju National Park. The pond is surrounded by beautiful gardens and pavilions, making it a popular spot for photography.
  • Visit Cheomseongdae Observatory: Cheomseongdae Observatory is an ancient observatory that dates back to the Silla dynasty. The observatory is the oldest of its kind in East Asia and is considered a significant historical site.
  • Hike up Namsan Mountain: Namsan Mountain is a popular hiking spot in Gyeongju, offering beautiful views of the city and the surrounding countryside. The mountain is also home to several Buddhist temples and statues.
  • Visit the Royal Tomb Complex: The Royal Tomb Complex is a collection of tombs from the Silla dynasty, featuring beautiful stone sculptures and carvings. The tombs are located in a beautiful park that is perfect for a leisurely stroll.
  • Explore Tumuli Park: Tumuli Park is a park that is home to several ancient burial mounds from the Silla dynasty. The park offers a peaceful and serene environment, making it a popular spot for a picnic or a relaxing walk.
  • Visit the Gyeongju Historic Areas: The Gyeongju Historic Areas is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that includes several historic sites, including the Bulguksa Temple, the Seokguram Grotto, and the Cheomseongdae Observatory. The area is a must-visit for history buffs and those interested in Korean culture.
  • Experience the Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Festival: The Gyeongju Cherry Blossom Festival is a popular annual event that takes place in April. The festival features beautiful cherry blossoms in full bloom, along with traditional Korean food and cultural performances.

3. Hualien, Taiwan

underrated places in asia

Hualien is a scenic city located on the east coast of Taiwan, known for its natural beauty and outdoor activities. Even after embracing stunning natural beauty, Hualien is still considered as one of the most underrated travel destinations in Asia. Visitors can explore the Taroko Gorge, a stunning marble canyon with hiking trails and waterfalls, or visit Qixingtan Beach, which offers panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean.

Things To Do In Hualien| Top 10 Unavoidable Attractions

  • Taroko National Park: Taroko National Park is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Hualien. The park is known for its stunning marble cliffs, deep gorges, and lush forests, offering some of the most beautiful scenery in Taiwan.
  • Qingshui Cliffs: The Qingshui Cliffs are a must-see natural wonder in Hualien, featuring towering cliffs that drop straight into the sea. Visitors can take a boat tour to see the cliffs up close or admire the view from a lookout point.
  • Swallow Grotto Trail: The Swallow Grotto Trail is a popular hiking trail that runs along the Liwu River in Taroko National Park. The trail features stunning views of the gorge and several unique rock formations.
  • Hualien Night Market: Hualien Night Market is a lively and bustling market that is popular among locals and tourists alike. Visitors can sample a variety of Taiwanese street food, shop for souvenirs, and enjoy live entertainment.
  • Cisingtan Beach: Cisingtan Beach is a beautiful black sand beach located just a few kilometres north of Hualien City. The beach is popular among surfers and is a great spot to relax and take in the stunning scenery.
  • Hualien Railway Culture Park: The Hualien Railway Culture Park is a unique attraction that celebrates the history of Taiwan’s railway system. Visitors can explore old train cars, learn about the history of the railway, and take a ride on a vintage train.
  • Hualien Dongdamen Night Market: The Hualien Dongdamen Night Market is another popular night market in Hualien, featuring a wide range of food vendors and unique shops. Visitors can try traditional Taiwanese dishes, like stinky tofu and oyster omelettes, and shop for handmade crafts and souvenirs.
  • East Rift Valley National Scenic Area: The East Rift Valley National Scenic Area is a stunning region of Hualien that is known for its hot springs, rice paddies, and towering mountains. Visitors can explore the region by bike or car, stopping to soak in hot springs or sample local cuisine along the way.
  • Chishingtan Scenic Area: Chishingtan Scenic Area is a beautiful coastal area that offers stunning views of the Pacific Ocean. Visitors can walk along the beach, hike the nearby trails, or enjoy a picnic in the park.
  • Farglory Ocean Park: Farglory Ocean Park is a family-friendly attraction that features a water park, amusement park, and aquarium. Visitors can enjoy water slides, roller coasters, and see marine life up close, making it a great option for a day of family fun.

unique South Asia tourist attractions for Backpacking

When it comes to disintering South Asia tourist attractions the research ends with an overwhelming result. As a realm of diverse cultures, religions, and landscapes, South Asia is to enough drop a backpacker’s jaw with sheer amusement. However, staying aligned with the imperatives of uncovering the ‘off-the-trail’ places we’ve handpicked those regions which enable a fascinating flux between uniqueness and fame. So, let’s find these out.

1. Hampi, India

south asia tourist attractions

Although Hampi is not an ideal inclusion under the underrated destinations in Asia, still as compared to other Indian pilgrimage cities, it is less-travelled. The credit goes to ‘unfavourable weather conditions’. Yet with tremendous sweat and humid suffocation, Hampi yields an intriguing tourism experience to you. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the southern state of Karnataka, India. It’s known for its ancient ruins, which date back to the Vijayanagara Empire, as well as its vibrant bazaars and temples. Visitors can explore the Virupaksha Temple, and the Vittala Temple, or take a coracle ride on the Tungabhadra River.

Things To Do In Hampi| Top 10 Unavoidable Attractions

  • Visit the Hampi World Heritage Site: Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was once the capital of the Vijayanagara Empire. Visitors can explore the ruins of palaces, temples, and other structures that date back to the 14th century.
  • Explore the Virupaksha Temple: The Virupaksha Temple is one of the most popular attractions in Hampi, dedicated to Lord Shiva. Visitors can admire the stunning architecture, intricate carvings, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
  • Watch the Sunset at Matanga Hill: Matanga Hill offers stunning views of the surrounding landscape, making it a popular spot to watch the sunset. Visitors can hike to the top of the hill to enjoy the view or hire a guide for a sunrise hike.
  • Visit the Vittala Temple: The Vittala Temple is another popular attraction in Hampi, known for its impressive architecture and intricate carvings. Visitors can see the famous stone chariot and listen to the musical pillars inside the temple.
  • Explore the Royal Enclosure: The Royal Enclosure is a vast complex that was once the residence of the royal family. Visitors can explore the ruins of palaces, audience halls, and other structures.
  • Take a Coracle Ride on the Tungabhadra River: Coracles are small round boats made from bamboo and hide that is used by local fishermen. Visitors can take a ride on the Tungabhadra River in a coracle to enjoy the scenery and get a glimpse of local life.
  • Visit the Anegundi Fort: The Anegundi Fort is a historic fort that dates back to the 16th century. Visitors can explore the ruins of the fort and enjoy the panoramic views of the surrounding area.
  • Visit the Archaeological Museum: The Archaeological Museum in Hampi houses a collection of artefacts and exhibits related to the history and culture of the Vijayanagara Empire.
  • Try Local Cuisine: Hampi is known for its delicious cuisine, which includes traditional South Indian dishes like dosas, idlis, and vadas. Visitors can try local restaurants and street food stalls to taste the flavours of the region.
  • Attend the Hampi Utsav: The Hampi Utsav is a cultural festival that takes place every year in November. The festival features music, dance, and other cultural events, making it a great way to experience the local culture and traditions.

2. Jaffna, Sri Lanka

underrated places in asia

Jaffna is a city located in the northern part of Sri Lanka, known for its rich history and cultural heritage. It is one again a popular South Asia tourist attractions. Visitors can explore the Jaffna Fort, which was built by the Portuguese in the 17th century, or visit the Nallur Kandaswamy Temple, which is dedicated to the Hindu god Murugan.

Things To Do In Jaffna| Top 10 Unavoidable Attractions

Visit the Jaffna Fort: The Jaffna Fort is a 17th-century fort located in the heart of Jaffna. Visitors can explore the ruins and learn about the fort’s history as a strategic military outpost.

  • Explore the Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil: The Nallur Kandaswamy Kovil is a colourful Hindu temple located in Jaffna. Visitors can admire the intricate carvings and decorations, and witness traditional Hindu rituals.
  • Visit the Jaffna Public Library: The Jaffna Public Library is a historic library that was destroyed in 1981 during the Sri Lankan Civil War. It has since been rebuilt and is a symbol of Jaffna’s resilience and commitment to education.
  • Walk along Jaffna’s Beaches: Jaffna has several beautiful beaches, including Casuarina Beach, Keerimalai Beach, and Chaddy Beach. Visitors can relax on the sand, swim in the clear waters, and enjoy the beautiful scenery.
  • Take a Boat Ride to Nainativu Island: Nainativu Island is a small island located off the coast of Jaffna. Visitors can take a boat ride to the island and explore the ancient Nagapooshani Amman Kovil, one of the oldest Hindu temples in Sri Lanka.
  • Visit the Jaffna Market: The Jaffna Market is a bustling market where visitors can find fresh produce, spices, and other goods. It’s a great place to experience the local culture and try traditional Sri Lankan food.
  • Explore the Point Pedro Lighthouse: The Point Pedro Lighthouse is a historic lighthouse located at the northernmost point of Sri Lanka. Visitors can climb to the top for stunning views of the surrounding area.
  • Learn about Jaffna’s History at the Jaffna Museum: The Jaffna Museum is a small museum that houses artefacts and exhibits related to Jaffna’s history and culture. Visitors can learn about the region’s ancient Tamil kingdoms, colonial period, and more recent history.
  • Attend a Cultural Event: Jaffna is known for its vibrant cultural scene, with frequent festivals and events celebrating music, dance, and other arts. Visitors can check local event calendars to see what’s happening during their visit.
  • Try Jaffna Cuisine: Jaffna has its own unique cuisine, influenced by Tamil and Sri Lankan traditions. Visitors can try local dishes like crab curry, Jaffna-style dosas, and sambols, a spicy condiment made with coconut and chilli.

3. Thimphu, Bhutan

south asia tourist attractions

Thimphu is the capital city of Bhutan, a small Himalayan country known for its Gross National Happiness philosophy and stunning natural landscapes. Visitors can explore the Tashichho Dzong, a fortress-monastery that houses the offices of the king and government officials, or visit the Memorial Chorten, a stupa that honours the late King Jigme Dorji Wangchuck.

Visit the Tashichho Dzong: The Tashichho Dzong is a stunning fortress and monastery in the heart of Thimphu. Visitors can explore the beautiful architecture and learn about Bhutanese Buddhism.

Things To Do In Thimpu| Top 10 Unavoidable Attractions

  • Hike to the Tango Monastery: The Tango Monastery is a Buddhist monastery located on a hilltop outside Thimphu. Visitors can take a scenic hike to the monastery and enjoy the stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
  • Shop at the Thimphu Weekend Market: The Thimphu Weekend Market is a bustling market where visitors can find local produce, handicrafts, and other goods. It’s a great place to experience Bhutanese culture and try local food.
  • Visit the National Memorial Chorten: The National Memorial Chorten is a large Buddhist stupa located in Thimphu. Visitors can walk around the stupa and spin the prayer wheels, and observe locals performing religious rituals.
  • Explore the Buddha Dordenma Statue: The Buddha Dordenma Statue is a massive statue of Buddha located on a hill overlooking Thimphu. Visitors can hike to the statue and admire the stunning views of the city below.
  • Attend the Thimphu Tshechu Festival: The Thimphu Tshechu Festival is a colourful celebration of Bhutanese culture and religion. Visitors can see traditional dances, music, and costumes, and join in the festivities.
  • Learn about Bhutanese Art at the National Folk Heritage Museum: The National Folk Heritage Museum is a museum dedicated to Bhutanese art and culture. Visitors can see exhibits of traditional Bhutanese textiles, handicrafts, and more.
  • Take a Day Trip to the Punakha Dzong: The Punakha Dzong is a stunning fortress and monastery located a few hours drive from Thimphu. Visitors can explore the beautiful architecture and learn about Bhutanese history and culture.
  • Enjoy a Bhutanese Hot Stone Bath: Bhutanese hot stone baths are a traditional healing practice that uses hot stones and medicinal herbs to promote relaxation and wellness. Visitors can try this unique experience at one of the many spas in Thimphu.
  • Trek to the Tiger’s Nest Monastery: The Tiger’s Nest Monastery is a famous Buddhist monastery located on a cliff in the Paro Valley, a few hours’ drive from Thimphu. Visitors can take a challenging hike to the monastery and enjoy the stunning views of the valley below.

Backpacking tourist attractions in Central Asia

Till the time as per record, it’s been found that travellers literally think twice before stepping into Central Asia. The sere, wide Asian heartland is still considered significantly inaccessible, hence, left in the corner as the underrated places in Asia. However, it’s time to dismantle the doctrine. The humungous barren islands with vast deserts, rugged mountains, and ancient Silk Road cities nowadays manage some crowds from various corners of the world. This is why, we’ve shuffled 3 places, addressed as popular tourist attractions in Central Asia.

1. Khiva, Uzbekistan

tourist attractions in central asia

Khiva is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in western Uzbekistan, known for its well-preserved old town and ancient Silk Road history. Visitors can explore the Kalta Minor Minaret, the Juma Mosque, or take a camel ride in the nearby Kyzylkum Desert.

Things To Do In Khiva| Top 10 Unavoidable Attractions

  • Visit the Ichon-Qala fortress: This UNESCO World Heritage site is the old walled city of Khiva and a must-visit for any backpacker. The mud-brick buildings, intricate tilework, and towering minarets make for an impressive sight.
  • Explore the bazaars: Khiva is home to several bustling bazaars, including the Palvon Bazaar and the Khiva Silk Road Bazaar. Here, you can find everything from handicrafts to spices to textiles.
  • Take a sunset stroll along the walls: The walls of Ichon-Qala offer a great vantage point to watch the sunset over Khiva. Take a leisurely stroll along the walls as the sun goes down and the city lights up.
  • Visit the Juma Mosque: The Juma Mosque is a stunning example of Islamic architecture, with its 200 intricately carved wooden columns. Visitors can explore the mosque and learn about its history.
  • Check out the Pakhlavan Mahmud Mausoleum: This mausoleum is the final resting place of one of Khiva’s most beloved poets and wrestlers. Visitors can marvel at the intricate tilework and peaceful courtyard.
  • Try Uzbek cuisine: Backpackers should definitely sample some of the delicious local cuisine, such as plov (rice pilaf), shashlik (grilled meat skewers), and Laghman (noodle soup).
  • Take a day trip to the desert: Khiva is surrounded by the Kyzylkum Desert, which makes for a unique and memorable day trip. Visitors can ride camels, visit desert oases, and experience the vastness of the desert landscape.
  • Visit the Tash Khauli Palace: The Tash Khauli Palace was once the residence of Khiva’s khans, or rulers. Visitors can explore the palace’s ornate rooms and learn about the city’s royal history.
  • Attend a traditional music and dance performance: Khiva is known for its vibrant music and dance culture. Backpackers can attend a performance and enjoy colourful costumes, lively music, and energetic dances.
  • Stay in a traditional guesthouse: Backpackers can immerse themselves in Khiva’s rich culture by staying in a traditional guesthouse, such as a converted madrasa or caravanserai. These accommodations offer a unique and authentic travel experience.

2. Song Kul Lake, Kyrgyzstan

underrated places in asia

Song Kul Lake is a high-altitude lake located in the Tien Shan mountains of Kyrgyzstan. It’s known for its stunning scenery, nomadic culture, and outdoor activities. Visitors can stay in traditional yurts, go horse trekking, or simply enjoy the tranquillity of the lake. Albeit, an underrated place in Asia yet you will be imbued with the eternity of itinerary while spending some hours sitting any side of the lake.

Stay in a yurt: Yurts are traditional Kyrgyz nomadic dwellings and are the perfect way to experience the local culture. Many yurts around Song Kul Lake are available for rent.

Things To Do In Song Kul Lake| Top 10 Unavoidable Attractions

  • Horseback riding: Horseback riding is one of the most popular activities in the area, and it’s easy to see why. The scenery is stunning, and the local horses are well-trained and calm.
  • Hiking: The area around Song Kul Lake is home to several hiking trails, ranging from easy to challenging. Visitors can explore the beautiful landscape and see local wildlife such as marmots, eagles, and yaks.
  • Fishing: The lake is home to several types of fish, including brown trout and Arctic grayling. Fishing permits are available, and visitors can enjoy a peaceful day on the lake.
  • Stargazing: The high altitude and clear skies make Song Kul Lake an ideal spot for stargazing. Visitors can enjoy a night under the stars and see the Milky Way and other constellations.
  • Photography: With its stunning natural beauty, Song Kul Lake is a photographer’s dream. Visitors can capture amazing shots of the lake, the surrounding mountains, and the local nomadic culture.
  • Attend a yurt-making workshop: Visitors can learn about the traditional craft of yurt-making and even participate in making their own yurt.
  • Experience local nomadic culture: Visitors can learn about the traditional nomadic way of life by visiting local families, attending cultural events, and participating in daily activities such as milking cows or making bread.
  • Taste local cuisine: Visitors can sample local Kyrgyz dishes such as beshbarmak (meat and noodle stew), Laghman (noodle soup), and kymyz (fermented mare’s milk).
  • Enjoy the peace and quiet: Song Kul Lake is a remote and peaceful destination, and visitors can simply relax and enjoy the stunning natural scenery and tranquillity.

3. Almaty, Kazakhstan

tourist attractions in central asia

Almaty is the largest city in Kazakhstan, known for its Soviet-era architecture, parks, and museums. As a desert city with tranquil beauty, Almaty has already garnered enough attention from backpackers. However, there are thousands of other activities await for the visitors on their arrival. They can explore the Central State Museum, which features exhibits on Kazakh history and culture, or take a cable car ride to the top of Kok Tobe Hill for panoramic views of the city.

Things To Do In Almaty| Top 10 Unavoidable Attractions

  • Ascend to Kok Tobe: Take a cable car ride up to Kok Tobe and enjoy stunning views of Almaty from the top. Once there, you can explore Kok Tobe Park, grab a bite to eat, and even ride a roller coaster.
  • Visit the Central State Museum of Kazakhstan: This museum houses a vast collection of Kazakh art, history, and cultural artefacts, including traditional Kazakh costumes, weapons, and musical instruments.
  • Explore Medeu: Medeu is a high-altitude ice-skating rink located in the mountains just outside of Almaty. It’s a popular destination for both tourists and locals.
  • Hike in the Tian Shan Mountains: The Tian Shan Mountains offer breathtaking scenery and numerous hiking trails for all skill levels. Some popular hiking spots include the Big Almaty Lake and the Turgen Gorge.
  • Visit the Zenkov Cathedral: This colourful wooden cathedral was built in 1907 and is one of the few surviving wooden buildings in the area. It’s an iconic landmark in Almaty and worth a visit.
  • Take a walk in Panfilov Park: Panfilov Park is a peaceful oasis in the heart of Almaty. The park is home to several monuments and statues, including the Eternal Flame and the Zenkov Cathedral.
  • Try traditional Kazakh food: Almaty is known for its delicious Kazakh cuisine, which includes dishes such as beshbarmak (a meat and noodle stew), manty (steamed dumplings), and shashlik (grilled meat skewers).
  • Visit the National Opera and Ballet Theater of Kazakhstan: This beautiful theatre hosts a variety of performances throughout the year, including opera, ballet, and concerts.
  • Check out the Green Bazaar: The Green Bazaar is a bustling market where you can find a variety of local products, including spices, dried fruits, and traditional Kazakh souvenirs.
  • Visit the Almaty Zoo: The Almaty Zoo is home to over 7,000 animals, including rare and endangered species. It’s a great place to spend an afternoon and learn about the local wildlife.

Tips for Backpacking to Offbeat Destinations in Asia

Backpacking is a dicey travelling game. This is because you have to be aware of several factors at one time. Whether you are a female traveller or a male, the rule of solo travelling is applicable to all irrespective of any alterations. Therefore, prior to zooming down to explore the underrated places in Asia, you must stay abide by certain cautions listed below. Gaugue through these.

Research destinations: Start by researching lesser-known destinations in Asia. Look for places that offer unique cultural experiences, natural beauty, and opportunities for adventure.

Visa and permits: Check the visa requirements and any special permits needed for the countries you plan to visit. Some offbeat places may have specific entry regulations.

Travel insurance: Invest in comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and other unforeseen circumstances.

Packing essentials: Pack lightly and efficiently. Include appropriate clothing, sturdy footwear, a reliable backpack, travel-sized toiletries, and any necessary gear for specific activities.

Budget planning: Determine your budget for the entire trip, considering accommodation, transportation, food, activities, and contingencies. Offbeat places may not always have budget-friendly options, so be prepared.

Safety precautions: Research the safety situation in the places you intend to visit. Stay informed about potential risks and take necessary precautions.

Local language: Learn basic phrases and greetings in the local language. This will help you connect with locals and navigate more easily.

Cultural sensitivity: Respect local customs and traditions. Be mindful of dress codes, appropriate behavior, and religious practices.

Accommodation options: Look for unique accommodation choices such as homestays, guesthouses, or eco-lodges that offer a more immersive experience.

Transportation: Research local transportation options, including buses, trains, and shared taxis, to get around in your chosen destinations.

Local cuisine: Be adventurous with your food choices and try the local dishes. Eating at local eateries can also save money compared to touristy restaurants.

Travel light, leave no trace: Practice responsible tourism by minimizing your environmental impact. Carry reusable items and dispose of waste properly.

Interact with locals: Engage with the local communities to learn about their way of life, traditions, and history. This can lead to unique and authentic experiences.

Offbeat activities: Seek out activities that are unique to the region, such as trekking to remote villages, attending local festivals, or exploring hidden waterfalls.

Emergency contacts: Keep a list of emergency contacts, including the nearest embassy or consulate, local authorities, and your country’s embassy.

Suggested Readings: Best Places to Visit in July in Asia

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Backpacking to underrated destinations in Asia offers a unique and authentic travel experience that can be retrospected for the rest of your life. From the stunning natural landscapes and ancient ruins to the vibrant cultures and delicious cuisine, there is a slew of reasons why offbeat destinations in Asia should be on every backpacker’s bucket list. So, pack your bags, do your research, and set off on an adventure to discover the hidden gems of Asia.

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