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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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                                                                                                      How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

                                                                                                      How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

                                                                                                      Keeping yourself awake at work can be a real challenge when you’re bored, exhausted or sleep-deprived.

                                                                                                      But before you reach for that can of Red Bull, bottle of Mountain Dew, or pot of coffee, try these healthy remedies to stimulate your 5 different senses and help you stay awake at work:

                                                                                                      Sight – Visual Stimulation

                                                                                                      The first thing you do when you wake up is opening your eyes, so your visual stimulation is very important to keeping your energy level high.

                                                                                                      1. Maximize your exposure to light.

                                                                                                      Your body’s internal rhythm is regulated by the amount of light you receive. The greater your exposure, the more alert you will feel.

                                                                                                      Open the shades and let in the sunlight. Step outside or look out the window. Turn on all the artificial lights in your office or around your work space.

                                                                                                      2. Exercise your eyes (or give them a break).

                                                                                                      Roll your eyes up and down, side to side and diagonally. Rotate them clockwise and then counterclockwise. Squeeze them shut and then open them wide. Do this several times.

                                                                                                      Reading and sitting in front of a computer screen for long periods can lead to eye fatigue.

                                                                                                      Take regular breaks with deliberate blinking and looking out into the distance.

                                                                                                      3. Take note of your environment.

                                                                                                      Learn to enjoy people-watching. Observe their activities, speech, body language and interactions with others. Notice the details of building, trees and other objects around you, including their color, shape and size.

                                                                                                      By doing this, you’re not only relaxing your eye muscles but also calming your mind.

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                                                                                                      Hearing – Auditory Stimulation

                                                                                                      What you hear or listen to have direct effect on your brain. This is why we feel so annoyed and sometimes angry when we hear construction noise when we’re working.

                                                                                                      4. Engage in conversation.

                                                                                                      Talk to a friend or colleague. Trade funny stories. Discuss your business venture, a creative idea, the latest political scandal, or any other topic that interests you.

                                                                                                      Practice mindful listening to what you and the other person are saying. Tune into the tone, volume and content of the conversation.

                                                                                                      Learn how to practice better listening from this guide:

                                                                                                      Why Listen to Reply Instead of Understand Is the Key to Failure

                                                                                                      5. Listen to upbeat music.

                                                                                                      Try hip hop, rock or jazz to keep you alert. Instrumental, non-distracting music works best.

                                                                                                      Sing, whistle, and hum along if you can. Plug in the earphones if you must.

                                                                                                      Smell – Olfactory Stimulation

                                                                                                      If you’re feeling sleepy and suddenly smell the coffee, you’ll probably feel more energetic. This is why smell is an influential stimulation.

                                                                                                      6. Work your nose.

                                                                                                      Aroma therapists recommend essential oils of peppermint (to boost energy), rosemary (to build awareness), eucalyptus (to increase oxygen), cedarwood  (to activate your mind), and cinnamon (to improve your reaction time).

                                                                                                      If you don’t have essential oils on hand, you can use lotions or burning candles that provide the same scents.

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                                                                                                      Citrus like lemons, limes, grapefruits and oranges are also natural olfactory stimulants. Get a whiff of these citrus scents to stay awake.

                                                                                                      Taste – Gustatory Stimulation

                                                                                                      If you want an energetic day at work, you can’t let your tongue feeling plain and flavorless.

                                                                                                      7. Have a good breakfast.

                                                                                                      Start off with the most important meal of the day.

                                                                                                      Think fresh, light and healthy: bran cereals, wholegrain breads, fruits, and yogurt.

                                                                                                      Nix the heavy stuff like sausages, greasy eggs or pancakes.

                                                                                                      Need some breakfasts inspirations? Check out these ideas:

                                                                                                      20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

                                                                                                      8. Drink lots of water.

                                                                                                      Keep a glass or bottle of H2O near you and sip from it throughout the day. Dehydration can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and sleepy.

                                                                                                      So make sure you drink enough water throughout the day. Not sure how much to drink? This can help you:

                                                                                                      How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day (and How Much Is Too Much for You)

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                                                                                                      Think that you’ve been drinking too little water? Try these friendly reminders:

                                                                                                      3 Best Apps To Help You Drink Much More Water

                                                                                                      9. Eat energy-boosting snacks.

                                                                                                      Nuts and fruits (like bananas, apples and strawberries) are sure bets. Pairings with staying power include baby carrots with a low-fat cream cheese dip; celery sticks with peanut butter; red peppers with hummus; and plain yogurt with granola.

                                                                                                      Avoid carb-filled, sugary snacks that make you crash and leave you feeling tired.

                                                                                                      Here you can find some healthy snack ideas:

                                                                                                      25 Healthy Snack Recipes To Make Your Workday More Productive

                                                                                                      Touch – Tactile Stimulation

                                                                                                      Last but not least, your sense of touch will make you physically feel more energetic and less stressful.

                                                                                                      10. Splash cold water on your face.

                                                                                                      Do this in the morning, during bathroom breaks and in the afternoon. Being exposed to cold water pushes your body to adjust and regulate its internal temperature, which in turn keeps you alert.

                                                                                                      This works the same as you take a cold shower to increase mood and alertness. Take a look at this article to learn more about it:

                                                                                                      5 Surprising Benefits of Cold Showers

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                                                                                                      11. Use acupressure.

                                                                                                      Apply pressure to, massage, or tap on the stimulation points of your body. These include the top of your head, the back of your neck, the back of your hand (between the thumb and index finger), just below the knee and your earlobes.

                                                                                                      Watch this video to learn about the acupressure points you can try:

                                                                                                      12. Get moving.

                                                                                                      Move away from your chair and stand, walk, run or climb the stairs. Feel the earth under your feet. Stretch and twist. Do jumping jacks, lunges, push-ups and back bends.

                                                                                                      And if you need to move more discreetly, wiggle your feet, bounce your knee up and down, scrunch your toes, or cross your legs.

                                                                                                      You can also try some simple stretches and exercises at your desk:

                                                                                                      Unlike addictive caffeine fixes, these remedies activate your senses, engage your attention, amp up your energy and prevent morning grogginess and afternoon slumps without the side effects or health risks.

                                                                                                      Pick a few ways from this list of suggestions and practice them consistently. And when you do this consistently, you’ll soon see the positive results — a more energetic and productive you at work.

                                                                                                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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