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50 Most Stunning Lesser-Known Places in Asia You’d Love To Go

50 Most Stunning Lesser-Known Places in Asia You’d Love To Go

With thousands of stunning places to visit in Asia, it’s easy for many of them to get overlooked or simply be unheard of. If you’re planning on traveling to Asia any time soon, here are fifty absolutely amazing places that will make your trip feel complete.

1. Shodoshima, Japan

    The second largest island in the Seto Inland Sea is known for it’s Mediterranean feel. There are amazing resorts, mountainous regions, and beaches.

    2. Haputale, Sri Lanka

    Tea plantations

      The dense region is rich in agriculture and life with an elevation of over 1,400 meters. You can check out the Adisham Monastery, Diyaluma Falls, and Dambatenne Tea Factory if you’re looking for some fun activities.

      3. Hsipaw, Myanmar

      Hsipaw, Myanmar

        Located on the Duthawadi River the town of Hsipaw doesn’t have much for nightlife, but it does have many interesting restaurants that you can grab a cold one at after a long day of traveling.

        4. Koh Kood, Thailand

        On the Rocks

          In the district of Trat Province in eastern Thailand, the small island only has a population of around 2000 people. If you’re looking for a relaxing night away from the world, this is the place to go.

          5. Ko Lipe, Thailand

          Anyone for paradise?

            The southern most island in Thailand has been getting some attention lately for it’s beauty. Ko Lipe offers serene sand beaches and many hotels to choose from.

            6. Mekong Delta, Vietnam

            Mekong Delta, Vietnam

              The Mekong Delta is filled with paddy fields and orchards, rice being the main crop of the delta. If you’re looking for an amazing cultural experience, this is it.

              7. Ko Rong, Cambodia

              Introspection

                The second largest island of Cambodia has a surprisingly few people who live there. There are four small villages on the island along with guesthouses and bungalows.

                8. Kayan, Burma

                  If you’re wondering in what part of the world National Geographic is getting images of people wearing neck rings, there’s a pretty good chance that it’s coming from the people of Kayan, where it’s a long going tradition.

                  9. Tuvas Village, China

                  Horm River and Horm Village

                    The people of Tuvas are part of an old minority ethnic group. They also speak their own native language and survive by hunting and farming the land.

                    10.  Wuyuan, China

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                    Wuyuan, China

                      The weather in the county of Wuyan is moderate and moist, with late-March and mid-May being the peak season for tourists. While you’re there you can visit the Jinshan Ecological Tea Garden and the Likeng tourist area, which is famous for it’s little bridge and cottages.

                      11. Dili, East Timor

                      Jesus Backside Beach, Dili, East Timor

                        The capital of Timor-Leste, Dili is the largest city of East Timor. It’s full of rich views like the one above.

                        12. Tashkurgan, China

                        Old Stone House in Tashkurgan Meadow

                          Tashkurgan, in the Xinjian province, is home to around 30,000 Tajik people. The town is high up in the Pamir mountains between China and Pakistan.

                          13. The Hexi Corridor, China

                          jiayu pass

                            The Hexi Corridor is actually a part of the silk road. It was developed in the Han Dynasty as early as 206 BCE!

                            14. Garden of Dreams, Nepal

                            garden of dreams

                              The neo classical historical garden, is located in Kathmandu city. It was developed by Field Marshal Kaiser Sumsher Rana in 1920 and it was recently restored.

                              15. Hokkaido, Japan

                              Hokkaido, Japan

                                Japan’s second largest island, has tons of fun places to visit like Sapporo, which was where the 1972 Olympic Winter Games happened.

                                16. Ji Chang Yuan, China

                                Ji Chang Yuan, China

                                  A part of the Xihui Park, the small garden is packed with beauty and is an excellent way to spend part of your day. This garden also had to be reconstructed due to an incident in 1860.

                                  17. Kongosanmaiin Garden, Japan

                                  Kongosanmaiin Garden

                                    The garden is home to beautiful scenery and is next to the Kongosanmai-in temple that dates back to the 13th century.

                                    18. Mabul Island, Malaysia

                                    Mabul island, Malaysia

                                      This small island is off the south-eastern coast of Sabah, which is in Malaysia. It’s known for being a fishing village, it’s also a popular destination for diving.

                                      19. Pulau Ubin, Singapore

                                        Also known as the Ubin island, it’s shaped like a boomerang and covers 1,020 hectares. It’s home to Singapore’s last villages, with around 100 villagers still living there.

                                        20. Surin Islands, Thailand

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                                        Surin Islands

                                          The Surin Islands are an archipelago that consists of five islands. There are beautiful coral reefs, mangrove forests, and sea grass on the island.

                                          21. Phnom Kulen, Cambodia

                                          Phnom Kulen, Cambodia

                                            Home to the Kulen Mountain, it’s a National Park. It’s regarded as the beginning of the ancient Khmer Empire from the 9th century. There are many carvings of fertility in the park that represent a rich history.

                                            22. Ping Yao, China

                                              Ping Yao serves as an example of a tradition Han Chinese city. This ancienct city was founded as far back as the 14th century and was once a major centre for China in the 19th and 20th centuries.

                                              23. Classical Gardens of Suzhou, China

                                              Classical Gardens of Suzhou, China

                                                The classical gardens recreate natural landscapes in miniature forms. The gardens are known to be masterpieces dating between the 11th and 19th centuries.

                                                24. Malapascua, Philippines

                                                Malapascua, Philippines

                                                  The islands are home to diving, sea explorations, amazing beaches, as well as a bunch of really cool restaurants.

                                                  25. El Nido, Philippines

                                                  9345245663_c24e364a99_b

                                                    One of the most amazing places in Asia, you can experience a gorgeous lagoon, tropical weather, and stunning views of large rock formations.

                                                    26. Hoh Xil, Tibet

                                                    QINGHAI-TIBET-016

                                                      Ho Xil is known for being one of the most primitive and natural environments in the world. The weather in this area is quite fierce due to its high altitude, so pack well!

                                                      27. Redang, Malaysia

                                                      Redang

                                                        Redang Island is one of nine islands off the east coast of Malaysia. It’s perfect for going snorkling, diving, or just hanging out on the sandy white beaches and sucking in the tropical weather.

                                                        28. Don Kong Island, Laos

                                                        Don Kong Island, Laos

                                                          The largest island in the Si Phan Don riverine archipelago on the Mekong River, has plenty of fun activities. You can take a bike ride around the island, visit the Buddhist temple, or even check out the Somphamit Waterfalls.

                                                          29. Halong Bay, Vietnam

                                                          Halong Bay, Vietnam

                                                            In the gulf of Tonkin, the bay includes around 1,600 islands and islets. Many of the islands are completely unaffected by humans and are uninhabited.

                                                            30. Miho Museum, Japan

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                                                            日本的世外桃源 – MIHO MUSEUM

                                                              Located in Kyoto Japan, the museum was built by one of the wealthiest women in Japan. It has an impressive collection of statues and artwork that will give you a greater appreciation for the local area.

                                                              31. Gyeongju Historic Areas, South Korea

                                                              Gyeongju Historic Areas, South Korea

                                                                Filled with Korean Buddhist art, which included sculptures, pagodas, and reliefs.What’s more is the remains of temples and palaces that date back between the 7th and 10th centuries.

                                                                32.  Boat Quay, Singapore

                                                                 Boat Quay, Singapore

                                                                  If you’re looking to find a place with a killer nightlife this is your new favorite place. It’s huge on the electric music scene and high end restaurants. This is a great place to rave.

                                                                  33. Hwaseong Fortress, South Korea

                                                                  Hwaseong Fortress, South Korea

                                                                    The fortress was built in the 18th century when a son buried his father’s tomb and wanted to protect it with high walls and other defensive works like bastions and artillery towers.

                                                                    34. Gaya Island, Malaysia

                                                                    Bird's Eye View Of Sepangar Bay

                                                                      Most well-known for the Gaya Island resort, there are beautiful boat ports and palm trees. Depending on where you are on the island there is both a small city and a well-preserved nature feel to the small island.

                                                                      35. Kamakura, Japan

                                                                      Kamakura, Japan

                                                                        The coastal town is less than an hour south of Tokyo and used to be the political capital of Japan in 1192. The small city is filled with great history to explore and hiking trails.

                                                                        36. Lake Toba, Indonesia

                                                                        Sumatra - Lake Toba - Indonesia

                                                                          Lake Toba is not only a lake, but it’s also a supervolcano. In the center of this giant lake is an island that is nearly the size of Singapore and the lake gets as deep as 550 meters.

                                                                          37. Rua da Tercena, Macau

                                                                          Rua da Tercena, Macau

                                                                            The century-old street is home to a flea market and the culture of the small country. The small area is right next to a UNESCO World Heritage Site that you can visit while you’re passing through.

                                                                            38. Mehrangarh Fort, India

                                                                            Mehrangarh Fort

                                                                              The ancient fort and museum sites four hundred feet above the city below it. Inside the massive fort are gardens, palaces, courthouses, and beautiful works of art.

                                                                              39. Rainbow Family Village, Taiwan

                                                                              Rainbow Family Village, Taiwan

                                                                                Believe it or not, the colorful village was only painted in the last few years and it was painted by an 87 year-old military veteran known as “Grandpa Rainbow.” He adds a little more pain to the village every day.

                                                                                40. Cham Showcase, Vietnam

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                                                                                Cham Showcase

                                                                                  The private museum was established in 173 on Le Hong Phong Street in Quy Nhon. The museum is known for its columns and other pieces of architecture.

                                                                                  41. Mount Wuyi, China

                                                                                  Mount Wuyi, China

                                                                                    The UNESCO World Heritage Site is an amazing area for bio-diversity and south-east China. It’s home to a beautiful mountain range, river, and many ruins.

                                                                                    42. Tarim Poplar Forest National Reserve, China

                                                                                    Tarim Poplar Forest National Reserve, Xinjiang

                                                                                      The Tarim River is one of the largest rivers in China and is home to Populus forests along its banks. The area spans nearly 390,000 hectares.

                                                                                      43. Luang Praband, Laos

                                                                                      Luang Praband, Laos

                                                                                        Located in Laos, this city is surrounded by mountains and is next to both the Nam Khan and Mekong Rivers. The town is also an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

                                                                                        44. Bagan, Myanmar

                                                                                        Bagan, Myanmar

                                                                                          An ancient city that existed between the 9th and 13th centuries, it was the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan. There are dozens of amazing ruins to visit while you’re there.

                                                                                          45. Siem Reap Museum, Cambodia

                                                                                          Churning the ocean

                                                                                            The giant museum that covers 20,000 square meters is full of religious, ancient civilization, and war artifacts. There’s a solid chance you’ll get lost, so you may want to pick up a map!

                                                                                            46. Pai, Thailand

                                                                                            Pai, Thailand

                                                                                              A small town in the north of Thailand, it’s the perfect getaway to get out of the big city and enjoy an eye-opening cultural experience. The town is full of beautiful architecture and art.

                                                                                              47. Peshawar Museum, Pakistan

                                                                                              Peshawar Museum

                                                                                                The Peshawar archaeological Museum, founded in 1907, is home to many sculptures of the Gandhara period. The Gandhara period dates between 1500 BCE to 500 BC.

                                                                                                48. Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

                                                                                                Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam

                                                                                                  This is actually the largest island in Vietnam and has many nearby islands that you can travel to. You can get to this island with a short 50 minute flight from Saigon.

                                                                                                  49. Ambon, Indonesia

                                                                                                  Ambon, Indonesia

                                                                                                    Ambon is a very small island that is one of thousands of islands in the Moluccas seas. It was founded as far back as the 15th century and played a part in triggering the European Age of Exploration.

                                                                                                    50. Kep, Cambodia

                                                                                                     Kep, Cambodia

                                                                                                      Kep is the smallest province in Cambodia and is home to many great restaurants along with a national park, Rabbit Island, and a Butterfly farm.

                                                                                                      Featured photo credit: Hillcountry west of Inle Lake (Myanmar 2013)/Paul Arps via flickr.com

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                                                                                                      Last Updated on September 10, 2019

                                                                                                      7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

                                                                                                      7 Morning Rituals to Empower Your Day And Change Your Life

                                                                                                      Most of your reality is not a given. It is shaped by your expectations, beliefs and thoughts you have formed about it. A big chunk of these beliefs and expectations are encoded into habits you integrate in your daily life.

                                                                                                      Yes, some of these habits are formed unconsciously and can be counter-productive or limiting but conversely, you can consciously form positive habits that will transform and empower your life significantly.

                                                                                                      This is a powerful point of departure that more and more people are becoming aware of. The most common trait of highly successful people is the recognition of the power they have in co-creating their reality through changing the way they think, believe or expect their reality to be.

                                                                                                      One of the most effective ways of changing our belief patterns is through practising and maintaining daily rituals. Ancient traditions had clearly understood the power of rituals in reinforcing habits and changing the way we see and create our reality a long, long time ago.

                                                                                                      Once again, if you look into the life history of any highly successful individual, you will find some form of ritual in their daily routine. Some of these rituals may seem banal or eccentric but don’t be deceived by appearances. Rituals are one of the most effective self-empowering tools freely available at the practitioner’s disposal – that is, you!

                                                                                                      Below are some the easiest yet life-changing morning rituals you can do every day. Of course, you can have your own afternoon or bed-time rituals but morning rituals are extremely effective in empowering your day since they help you charge yourself before it all starts.

                                                                                                      1. Gratitude

                                                                                                      Feeling gratitude and appreciation for those little signs and moments of joy happening in your life is probably one of the most overlooked or underestimated rituals. It is a perfect morning ritual to start your day on a very positive key.

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                                                                                                      The real power of gratitude is that it makes you pick out and focus on what is working in your life – what is in tune with your being as a whole. It is selectively positive. It reinforces happiness and positivity by shedding light on those awesome things, small or big, that grace your everyday living.

                                                                                                      Quite often, we just pick out the pain points, the problems, the bottle necks, whatever it is that is not working in our life and causing friction, anxiety and unhappiness. This is like constantly rewriting the script of your life with a negative or tragic overtone. Your subconscious mind follows faithfully that script you write whether it is a negative or positive one.

                                                                                                      So feeling gratitude is undoubtedly an immensely empowering ritual. Start your day by being thankful for those positive things that happened the previous day or throughout the week. It could be something really petty and small. It doesn’t matter. You might be grateful for an unexpected visit from an old friend, a beautiful encounter with a kind stranger, a new opportunity or whatever it is that shines your way. Do it every morning and see what happens during the day.

                                                                                                      Gratitude-Quotes

                                                                                                        2. Writing Down Your Most Important Tasks

                                                                                                        This is a very practical ritual. Start your day by identifying and writing down from one to three of the most important tasks you need to complete during that day. These tasks are ones which support important long term goals that are aligned to your purpose, passion or general direction in life.

                                                                                                        For example, if writing a book or building an online community are important long term goals which are aligned to your personal growth, then an important task for the day might be finishing off a particular page or two of the book or coming up with fresh content ideas for the online community.

                                                                                                        What is important with this ritual is that you identify these tasks and complete them as early in the day as possible. Of course, you will have other tasks apart from the ones you will write down but, these are tasks which can be tackled later or batched up and carried out in one go.

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                                                                                                        Writing down your most important tasks in the morning helps you focus your day and life according to what is essential. It helps you prioritize and manage your time better. As a result, you simplify your life by applying your focus and energy on what really counts for your overall life progress.

                                                                                                        3. Affirm Your Goals in Writing or Drawing

                                                                                                        This is similar to the previous idea but different in its application and purpose. Writing down your most important tasks of the day is a way to have a concrete structure of action to follow. Affirming your goals, on the other hand, is a very powerful way of crystallizing your vision and goals in life into your everyday mental space.

                                                                                                        Writing down or doodling your goals on a piece of paper helps you externalize those goals by giving them form. In return, they are reflected back in your subconscious mind and thus, reinforcing them and integrating them more wholly.

                                                                                                        An example of this would be writing down “I am achieving greater success in my career” or “I am becoming healthier and stronger through my exercise.” Notice the present tense being used as a way to tell yourself you are in the process already. Remember the life script we subconsciously follow? You are basically modifying the script to be applied now in the present.

                                                                                                        Drawing or doodling can be equally, or even more, effective  (if you are more of a visual person) as it summarizes a graphical representation of your goals. For example, if your goal is to build a new house or live in another country, you can draw the house or draw things that symbolise the country you want to live in.

                                                                                                        write down goals

                                                                                                          4. Practice Qi Gong Exercises

                                                                                                          According to Chinese philosophy, Qi (pronounced ‘Chee’) means the life force or energy inherent in all things;[1] and Qi Gong is the practice to cultivate and circulate that energy in your body. This may sound esoteric or complicated but actually, Qi Gong is really a set of simple exercises aimed at increasing your health and vitality.

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                                                                                                          There are numerous forms and practices available for free through the online media. As a morning ritual, I recommend following these simple exercises by Qi Gong master Lee Holden:

                                                                                                          5. Drink Hot Water with Lemon

                                                                                                          Simply add a slice of lemon in a glass of hot water and drink one every morning. This is a very simple ritual I follow faithfully every morning.

                                                                                                          Apart from being a good source of vitamin C and a great way of flushing out toxins in the morning, it balances and maintains the PH levels in the body, reduces pain and inflammation in joints and knees and helps nourishing brain and nerve cells. Here are some more benefits of drinking hot water with lemon.

                                                                                                          6. Rise Earlier

                                                                                                          The practical advantages of waking up early are obvious.

                                                                                                          For example, you gain more time for doing exercise such as walking, cycling or Qi Gong as suggested above. You gain more time to be with yourself to reflect, meditate or, more importantly, carry out the other morning rituals.

                                                                                                          So rising early can be seen as a foundation for all the other morning rituals. Many, like myself, find that they are more productive in the early hours of the day.

                                                                                                          Also, various studies have shown that there are many other benefits from waking up an hour or two earlier in the morning. Sleeping early and waking up early helps the body attune with the earth’s circadian rhythms thus, promoting more restorative sleep. Other curious results from such studies show, for instance, that early risers tend to be more optimistic and can anticipate and solve problems more efficiently than the norm.[2]

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                                                                                                          7. Listen to Uplifting Music

                                                                                                          Uplifting music can have a direct impact on our mood, especially in the morning. It charges us emotionally and tunes us into a more positive outlook of the day ahead.

                                                                                                          Most people wake up to music or listen to music as they commute to work. Very often, however, they tune in to a radio or randomly pick a playlist from their device. Being more selective and conscious of the music you listen to in the morning can have a great impact on your day and life in general.

                                                                                                          It’s funny how we try to choose music according to our mood. For example if you are feeling down or disappointed by something, you are more prone to listen to music that reflects that mood – for instance blues, sad songs or downtempo music. This has the effect of reinforcing that mood. What you need to do is the exact opposite and retune your mood by listening to music that beats to a different tune than that mood.

                                                                                                          Try to listen to more uplifting music in the morning even if, or especially if, your mood does not dictate so.

                                                                                                          More About Energetic Habits & Rituals

                                                                                                          Featured photo credit: Carli Jeen via unsplash.com

                                                                                                          Reference

                                                                                                          [1] Live Science: What Is Qi Gong
                                                                                                          [2] Harvard Business Review: Defend Your Research: The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

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