The massive continent of Asia is diverse and fascinating with each country offering a unique travel experience. It boasts a wealth of destinations for summer and here’s some you may have not considered:
All you really need for a summer holiday is sun, sea and sand – and you’ll find plenty of all three in an island destination. So if you’re so over Bali as a destination – after all, it’s where everyone automatically heads when they go to Indonesia – venture to the Gili Islands instead. And the laid-back vibe of these car-free islands is perfect for a relaxed trip. There aren’t even any motorbikes to disturb the tranquility! Although the islands are growing in popularity, they’re not yet overdeveloped (and hopefully never will be), so you won’t be sharing that gorgeous beach with hundreds of other tourists.
During the days of the Empire, Shimla is where the British used to spend their summers, so it makes a perfect Indian escape for today’s travellers. The heat of the Indian summer can be a bit too much for most British visitors, given our own less than impressive climate, but heading into the hills means that you’ll avoid the extreme heat of cities like Delhi and Kolkata. And just think of the scenery! With a location in the foothills of the Himalayas, you’re absolutely guaranteed to find plenty of inspiration for memorable holiday photos. Take a trip on the narrow gauge railway for a real taste of India. The drawback with visiting Shimla in summer is the rain – but if you visit in late summer, you could be lucky and miss them.
Shunan Bamboo Sea, Sichuan, China
It’s not just beaches and islands that make a wonderful summer destination; heading into a forest gives you a chance to escape the heat and enjoy natural beauty. In fact, you may recognise the Bamboo Sea from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. It’s the oldest bamboo forest in China, and full of lakes and waterfalls. If you’re into hiking, you could spend many happy days exploring this beautiful corner of the world. There are a couple of accommodation options if you want to stay in the park. For truly spectacular views, take the cable car.
While Kyoto is hot and humid in summer, there are plenty of ways of escaping the heat. And what’s even better is that many of the attractions are free! Don’t miss amazing festivals like Giozan Matsuri, the fire festival (just don’t get too close!). Then there’s the Imperial Palaces and Villas, which tourists are generously allowed to visit for free – you’ll need to book in advance though. You’re also spoilt for choice when it comes to visiting temples, a must when you’re in Japan; some have an entrance fee, but there are several free alternatives. Also pop into a department store and taste free samples of fantastic Japanese food. Do remember when you plan your Asia trip to make sure that you’ve covered all the practicalities, such as visa and holiday spending. It’s also essential to get the best travel insurance to cover health and other issues that might crop up – better safe than very, very sorry!