Temples in Bagan, Myanmar

10 Asian Highlights for Culture Lovers

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Asia is an iconic destination of travellers the world over. Here are some of its most epic adventures.

Best Places to Visit in Asia

If you’re picturing quiet time at the Taj Mahal…

Taj Mahal

Our expert guides know the very best time to get you there. At sunrise, the eastern part of the building glows as the sun shimmers on semi-precious stones inlaid into the marble.

Mornings are special in India, and we take a dawn boat ride through the mist along the ghats of Varanasi. Being so close to the sights and sounds of so much Hindu culture is a remarkable experience.

Take me there: Taj Mahal trips

If you’re feeling reflective at one of the world’s most iconic monasteries…

Taktsang Monastery

The hidden kingdom of Bhutan is an unforgettable destination steeped in ancient traditions, spectacular mountain scenery and vibrant festivals. But nothing is more sacred than Taktsang Monastery, the Tiger’s Nest.

Built in 1692 – at 3,000m above sea level – it’s a place of pure tranquillity. Guru Rinpoche may have flown here on a tigress’ back, but you’ll have to climb the many steps for your reward.

Take me there: Bhutan trips

If you’re imagining a lazy day meandering through highland tea plantations…

Seven Malai Hills tea plantations

Head to the Indian village of Nagarmudi, from where you can walk through the tea plantations into Seven Malai hills. It’s oh-so-much cooler up here, with spectacular views, and there’s the chance to taste different teas on the verandas of the lovely homes.

There’s also an optional visit to a tea museum, with beautifully restored antique machinery.

Take me there: Sri Lanka trips

If you simply must see Bagan’s glittering temples…

Hot air balloons over Bagan

Nothing compares to Bagan’s tamarind-hued plain scattered with more than 2,000 glittering temples and pagodas. Myanmar has an alluring history and mystical cultural treasures that rival Vietnam or Cambodia.

The sunset balloon ride over this incredible expanse is optional but worth doing. We also have two full days to explore the temples at ground level.

Take me there: Myanmar trips

If you’ve seen the film and want to walk along the eponymous bridge…

Bridge over the River Kwai

An iconic place – at once a symbol of hardship and suffering, yet calm and beautiful – we visit the Bridge over the River Kwai in Thailand. There is a beautiful temple on one bank, where you can pause to reflect on the past and, if you’re lucky, enjoy a dramatic sunset.

 Take me there: Thailand trips

If you want to get away from it all and swim in secret pools…

Kwang Si waterfalls

The milky turquoise pools of Kwang Si waterfalls are chillingly cool, perfect for relaxing in after your climb. The water cuts dramatically through the rainforest in the Luang Prabang province of Laos, and at the source of the stream there are stunning views over the surrounding countryside.

Take me there: Thai Indochina trips

If you’re fascinated by the history of Vietnam…

Cu Chi tunnels

The tunnels of Cu Chi are a vast network of interlinking tunnels that formed the Vietnamese guerrilla army’s centre of operations during the Vietnam War.

As well as concealed passages and supply routes, they also served as living areas, munitions factories, and even a hospital. They are a sobering reminder of the history of Vietnam and show the resourcefulness of the people.

Take me there: Vietnam trips

If you’ve ever wanted to walk along one of the wonders of the world…

Great Wall of China

Snaking across mountains and valleys into the distance for 5,500 miles, walking along the Great Wall of China is like stepping into the past. We visit the best-preserved parts of the wall at Mutianyu, which used to serve as the northern barrier, defending the capital and the imperial tombs against Mongol raiders.

Take me there: Great Wall trips 

If you’re dreaming of lazing under a tree as delicate pink petals fall around you…

Cherry blossom in Japan

Whether you’re in one of Tokyo’s parks, or the gardens of an ancient temple, cherry blossom season is Japan at its most enchanting. The country becomes obsessed by the path of the blossom as it works its way north from Okinawa to Hokkaido in March and April each year and parties of locals gather everywhere to celebrate the season.

Take me there: Trips to Japan 

If your heart is set on immersing yourself in the Buddhist lifestyle…

Door to a Buddhist monastery

There’s perhaps nothing more peaceful than spending a night in a Buddhist monastery. On entry to Haeinsa Temple – one of the oldest structures in Korea– you’ll exchange your attire for simple monks’ clothing, and meet the men who’ve dedicated their entire lives to prayer and meditation.

There’s a welcoming ceremony, time to explore the beautiful temple complex, a vegetarian supper and optional early morning meditation.

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