Asia is known for many things in the west – yoga, origami, karate, great food, samurais and more. Asia is also known for its Buddhist and Hindu cultures with their search for internal peace and oneness with the Almighty. If you’re looking for a relaxing, spiritual holiday where you can meditate and search for the meaning of life, Asian destinations will be your best bet. Here are the top 12 destinations in Asia for a holiday that relaxes the mind, body, and soul.
12 Koh Samui [Thailand]
Koh Samui has attracted holidaymakers for generations with its white sand beaches, incredible tropical weather, and delicious Thai cuisine. Check out the big Buddha temple at Koh Faan, and spend some time bathing under the stunning Namuang waterfall. Stay at a peaceful beach bungalow and get plenty of sun and beach time. Visit during Feb, March or April when the weather is just perfect. Koi Samui is one of the most beautiful holiday destinations in Asia; get your Thailand Visa done already!
11 Komodo [Indonesia]
Komodo Island is located between the islands of Flores and Sumbawa in eastern Indonesia. It is an untamed park and a paradise for nature lovers. Climb one of the numerous mountains and sit at the top, looking out at the stunning coral reefs in the oceans below. Visit the park when it’s dry, between April and October; this pristine island is ideal for some cool meditation. Komodo is a top destination option when it comes to Asia travel.
10 The Summer Palace, Yiheyuan [China]
The Summer Palace or Yiheyuan, as it is called locally, is a peaceful park which houses a historical building with an architecturally-stunning edifice. The summer palace was the summer retreat of the Chinese royal family, but today it is a retreat where you can relax, as you stroll through peaceful ancient pavilions, bridges and rich gardens. Sit on the banks of the beautiful blue lake as you ponder on the stunning mansions around. Spend some time at a tea house with the locals enjoying a peaceful cup of tea, listening to stories of the emperors of China. Be sure to enjoy your Asian holidays in China sometime soon.
9 The Great Wall of China
The Great Wall is surrounded by the most beautiful landscape all around. Climbing the great wall will take some effort but once you’re on the top, you’ll find many people doing yoga and sitting down at focal points to meditate on the greatness of creation. There’s something about sitting that high up, with the breezes rushing past you and the skies closer than you’re used to. It’s otherworldly; it’s relaxing and just perfect. The Great Wall of China is one of the top places to visit in Asia.
8 Singapore Botanic Gardens
The Singapore Botanic Gardens is a sprawling landscape chock full of gorgeous green foliage. You’ll find everything here from bamboo reeds to vibrant cherry blossoms. All kinds of friendly wildlife roam freely here. Visit the Orchid Garden to see some of the world’s most exotic orchid flowers. The Singapore Botanic Gardens is definitely a place where you take a break to ‘smell the roses’, and ponder on how such immense beauty was created.
7 The Bukit Timah Nature Reserve [Singapore]
Singapore’s Bukit Timah is another immensely-beautiful nature reserve perfect for family holidays. This pristine and absolutely gorgeous preserved rainforest has hiking, biking, and walking trails. Take your family on an exploratory trip of Bukit Timah and look out for some of the world’s rarest and most exotic insects and mammals. It’s a relaxing place where cool breezes blow, where you’re constantly in touch with amazing, jaw-dropping natural beauty that relaxes and puts you in the mood for some deep thinking.
6 New Beitou Hot Springs [Taiwan]
The New Beitou hot springs will take the tiredness out of your muscles, relaxing and soothing your soul with their healing heat and minerals. No synthetic spa experience can come close to this absolutely natural healing experience at the natural hot springs. There is a geyser on the premises; it’s fun to watch as it spouts hot water into the sky every now and then. After days of sightseeing in Taiwan, keep this place as your last visit for a relaxing trip back home.
5 Si Phan Don (Four Thousand Islands) [Laos]
The 4000 islands in southern Laos are probably one of the most serene places you’ll find in Southeast Asia. Tranquil and beautiful, these islands are blessed with waterfalls, paddy fields, beautiful temples and lush landscapes. Go cycling, swimming, tubing, cruising, kayaking and dolphin spotting with your family. Best of all, just relax in a large hammock with that book you’ve been planning to read. The best time to enjoy this region is between October to late April.
4 Ubud, Bali [Indonesia]
The spectacularly-beautiful rice fields of Ubud sway enticingly in the breeze – an unbroken sea of green or gold, depending on the time of the year. As the sounds of Buddhist chanting and prayers resonate in the air in the evenings, watch the paddy fields gyrate and smell the incense in the air. It’s simply impossible to feel overworked and stressed here. You can relax and ponder on life’s meaning. Ubud has its share of restaurants and shopping malls to add more fun to your days there.
3 Macleod Island [Burma]
Macleod Island is located in the Mergui archipelago off the southern tail of Burma. It is a beautiful island with just one resort – the Myanmar Andaman Resort. If you’re seeing tranquility in a natural haven, you’ve come to the right place. The island feels isolated, which is great because you can enjoy the immaculate beaches all by yourself. The incredible diving spots are catered to by the excellent PADI standard dive school, so do take advantage of that. Go trekking in the rainforest, and hiking up the mountains to get some of the best views possible. Visit Macleod during Jan and Feb for a perfect holiday.
2 Moofushi Island [Maldives]
One of the most stunning islands in the extraordinary Maldives is the Moofushi Island. It is rife with large blue lagoons, sugar-sand white beaches and plenty of activities including scuba diving, canoeing, water skiing and windsurfing. You can enjoy some terrific spa treatments here, plus indoor entertainment and delicious cuisine. Stay at the Constance Moofushi which offers chic luxury combined with comfort and great service.
1 Perhentian Islands [Malaysia]
The Perhentian Islands are the perfect spot to relax and enjoy great sunsets while sipping on a cocktail. Explore the coral reefs and the beautiful hidden coves, sandy beaches, and crystal clear waters. Go snorkeling, diving, swimming or just relax on the beach doing nothing but pondering on life’s mysteries. Stay either at the Pulau Perhentian Besar or Pulau Perhentian Kecil; both islands are great but Kecil offers cheaper accommodation. Best times to visit will be from June until late October. During other times, the seas can get very rough and choppy with overcast skies and a threat of bad thunderstorms hanging overhead.
When it comes to enjoying a relaxing vacation, Asia wins everyone’s votes. Somehow the presence of many lovely beaches and the seas stretching on for miles does something to one’s tired soul. Without realizing it, you start to relax and ponder on life’s mysteries. You don’t have to turn into a mystic overnight when you visit these lovely places, but do take the time to let these places work their magic on you. Feel your soul refresh itself in the lush green landscapes, the blue seas and the incredible flora and fauna.