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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 January 17, 2019

                                                                                                      8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                                                                                                      8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

                                                                                                      In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

                                                                                                      Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

                                                                                                      Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

                                                                                                      Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

                                                                                                      Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

                                                                                                      The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

                                                                                                      There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

                                                                                                      How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

                                                                                                      According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

                                                                                                      Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

                                                                                                      Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

                                                                                                      The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

                                                                                                      Listen carefully:

                                                                                                      We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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                                                                                                      The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

                                                                                                      Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

                                                                                                      8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

                                                                                                      There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

                                                                                                      Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

                                                                                                      1. Pray Daily

                                                                                                      You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

                                                                                                      When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

                                                                                                      Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

                                                                                                      Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

                                                                                                      2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

                                                                                                      A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

                                                                                                      By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

                                                                                                      Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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                                                                                                      If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

                                                                                                      This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

                                                                                                      How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

                                                                                                      3. Smile Often

                                                                                                      Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

                                                                                                      Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

                                                                                                      Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

                                                                                                      The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

                                                                                                      4. Organize Your Working Desk

                                                                                                      A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

                                                                                                      When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

                                                                                                      Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

                                                                                                      Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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                                                                                                      5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

                                                                                                      I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

                                                                                                      Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

                                                                                                      What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

                                                                                                      6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

                                                                                                      God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

                                                                                                      I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

                                                                                                      I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

                                                                                                      7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

                                                                                                      You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

                                                                                                      How do you do that? This is my formula:

                                                                                                      First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

                                                                                                      If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

                                                                                                      If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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                                                                                                      If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

                                                                                                      Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

                                                                                                      8. Go Exercise

                                                                                                      Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

                                                                                                      The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

                                                                                                      You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

                                                                                                      12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

                                                                                                      The Bottom Line

                                                                                                      It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

                                                                                                      It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

                                                                                                      Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

                                                                                                      More Resources About Mindfulness

                                                                                                      Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

                                                                                                      Reference

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