Like many of you will understand, Covid-19 and life in lockdown has really got me thinking. I’ve had plenty of time to consider exactly what I’d love to do and where I’d like to go. I thought it might be fun to put together a wanderlist, so that if/when I get around the visiting each of these places I can check them off my list (because for avid list-makers like me, that is a highly satisfying activity). Read on to discover the travel experiences that are at the top of my Asia travel bucket list; and I’m so excited to get the chance to start completing some of them.
I’ve decided to split my travel bucket lists into their respective continents. So hopefully each category in the ‘Travel’ category of my website will have a bucket list to correspond with it. Let’s get into it!
Asia Travel Bucket List
1. Walk along the Great Wall of China.
A trip to China would not be complete without visiting the most famous wall on the planet. Taking over 2,500 years to build, the wall is 21,196km in length.
2. DisneySea (Tokyo, Japan).
I hadn’t actually heard of this until recently when I was watching one of Flying the Nest’s vlogs. As the only DisneySea in the world, it HAS to make it onto this Asia travel bucket list!
3. Drink a Singapore Sling at the Raffles Hotel (Singapore).
One of the most iconic gin cocktails out there. The Singapore Sling was originally created in 1915 at the Raffles Hotel. Traditionally a lady’s drink, this has become the national drink of Singapore.
4. Discover Angkor Wat (Siem Reap, Cambodia).
I’m sure that this is at the top of many people’s Asia travel bucket list! Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world, with the complex spanning over 400 acres. Most people tend to get to the temple for sunrise. Although I recently heard that visiting at about 4pm instead can be just as lovely, and you don’t have to compete with the massive crowds that emerge each morning.
5. Train Street (Hanoi, Vietnam).
This insta-famous attraction in Hanoi is a narrow street where trains literally run straight down the middle.
6. Island-hopping in the Philippines.
Too many beautiful islands in the Philippines and just not enough time. Having heard so many great thinks about this country, I’m really excited to book a trip at some point to see it for myself.
7. Spend the night in a traditional ryokan (Japan).
How amazing would it be to stay in traditional Japanese accommodation for the night? Indulge in local cuisine, bathe in the water from the Onsen (hot spring), and stroll around the neighbourhood.
8. See Mount Everest (Nepal/Tibet).
Note that I said ‘see’ and not ‘climb’. Definitely don’t think I’m cut out for such an adventure as that.
9. Learn about Cambodia’s complex and tragic history.
Until recently, I had no idea how devastating Cambodia’s history was. In summary, between 1.5 and 3 million civilians were killed by the communist political group Khmer Rouge. Travellers can visit the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum to learn more about this tragic time. It almost feels like Asia’s equivalent of Auschwitz in Poland.
10. Visit Tian Tan Buddha in Hong Kong.
Also known as ‘The Big Buddha’, it’s the largest outdoor seated Buddha in the world. I hear it’s quite a trek up there with 268 steps, however I reckon the views would be totally worth it.
11. Stay in a luxurious villa in Bali (Indonesia).
Nothing sounds more dreamy that waking up in your own villa; taking a dip in your own private pool; and then enjoying your breakfast off one of those floating trays. Anyone with Instagram will know exactly what I’m referring to.
12. Climb to the top of the Burj Khalifa (Dubai, United Arab Emirates).
Imagine the views you’d get from the tallest building in the world!
13. Stand in awe of the Taj Mahal (Agra, India).
In 1631, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan sadly lost his wife (Mumtaz Mahal) to childbirth. To express his undying love for her, he decided to build a mausoleum in her name. Little did he know that one day it would become one of the most famous monuments in the world. Now how’s that for a romantic gesture?
14. Eat street food in Shanghai (China).
All over China you could find incredible street food, but personally I’d like to try Shanghai’s ‘xiao long bao’. Xiao long bao is pretty much the same as dim sum; where meats are wrapped up into little streamed dumplings/buns.
15. Take a tour of the Batu Caves (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia).
This attraction is just a short train ride away from Malaysia’s capital. The limestone hill is home to a series of beautiful caves and cave temples.
16. Admire the light show in Gardens by the Bay (Singapore).
Singapore has been right up there at the top of my list for so long now, and here is one of the main reasons why! Every evening the Gardens by the Bay is lit by a spectacular light show.
17. Hot-air Ballooning over more than 2,000 temples (Bagan, Myanmar).
This would probably be one of the most mesmerising items on this Asia travel bucket list. Imagine waking up before sunrise and making the journey to this ancient city. Then as the sun slowly starts to rise, you’re lifted up into the air in a hot-air balloon; giving you the most idyllic and breath-taking views of over 2,000 Hindu and Buddhist temples.
18. Explore Kolsay Lakes National Park (Kazakhstan).
You would simply need to Google this area to understand why it made this Asia travel bucket list.
One lake in particular would be Lake Kaindy. Just over 100 years ago, an earthquake created a natural dam that over the years began filling with rainwater. However, the water was so cold that the trees in the dam became ‘petrified’. Basically, these trees now grow upside-down and underwater.
19. Attend a cooking class in Seoul (South Korea).
There’s no better way to learn to cook different cuisines than from the locals. When I was younger, I remember my brother and I attending a pasta-making class in Italy. It was so interesting to witness this amazing food we enjoyed so much, being created in front of us in its country of origin. Being children, we were also incredibly proud of ourselves when we had our masterpieces for our family dinner that night.
20. Find the Terracotta Army (Xi’an, China).
My Mum’s spoken about the Terracotta Warriors for years; and I never really understood the hype until I looked into it myself.
21. Stay in the Marina Bay Sands Hotel and swim in the infinity pool (Singapore).
Okay so I wouldn’t say this one is quite as high on my priority list. However, I’d love to be able to say I’ve swam in this pool one day and admired the astonishing views.
22. A boat ride through Ha Long Bay (Vietnam).
Many would say Ha Long Bay is one of the most scenic and beautiful areas in all of Vietnam. Thousands of huge limestone islands topped with rainforests, surrounding by bright green water.
23. Enjoy a Bubble Tea in Taipei (Taiwan).
I always thought this was quite an interesting beverage. Of course I’ve tried the UK’s take on bubble tea, but I’d love to see what it tastes like in it’s country of origin.
24. Witness the devastating effects of the first ever nuclear attack (Hiroshima, Japan).
In 1945, the world was shaken by the first ever nuclear attack in history. America dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima in Japan, destroying the majority of the city. It’s estimated that the explosion itself, along with the after effects, killed roughly 160,000 people.
Unlike some of the other items on this list, this one would not be considered a ‘fun day out’. Instead, it is a chance to educate ourselves on this catastrophic event. At the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum you can see photos and items found on the site of the explosion. It definitely makes the event seem much more real.
25. Golden Bridge (Da Long, Vietnam).
The designers of this masterpiece said that the themes inspiring the structure is Gods, humans, and nature. Standing 3280ft above sea level, travellers have said that the experience of walking along this bridge is like walking on the clouds.
26. Relax on the beach in Koh Samui (Thailand).
Back in 2018, my sister Jess and I flew out to Thailand for our first ever trip to Asia. Our biggest regret from that whole trip was not making more time to explore other parts of Thailand. However, we were lucky enough to see most of the bigger attractions in Bangkok. I’d love to have the chance to head back there one day, and I think the best way I’d choose to end that trip would be spending a few days on one of Koh Samui’s gorgeous white sandy beaches.
27. Be in two places at once at the Korean DMZ (Demilitarised Zone).
You would have to book onto a private or group tour to be able to check this one off the list. The Korean DMZ is a strip of land across the Korean Peninsula, and serves as a buffer between North and South Korea. Taking the tour and walking into the blue houses that are built there means that you can technically cross the border into North Korea.
28. Marvel at the Sigiriya Fortress (Sri Lanka).
Along with the famous Kandy to Ella train journey, the Sigiriya Fortress is the other big item on my bucket list for Sri Lanka. Sigiriya was created in the 5th century, and actually means ‘lion’s rock’. This ancient rock fortress is almost 200m in height, and travellers can enter the fortress by passing through two carved-out lion paws.
29. Have a dining experience to remember at the Ninja Restaurant (Tokyo, Japan).
I had my boyfriend’s help with this one. I asked ‘without thinking, what’s one cool thing you want to do in Asia?’ And this is what he said! Although I can’t say I blame him to be honest because it sounds awesome.
30. Swing over rice fields in Ubud (Bali, Indonesia).
I’m rounding up this Asia travel bucket list with something that I’ve wanted to do for a while. Call me cliché, but I’d love to get that iconic shot of swinging over rice fields with all the greenery in front of you.
I hope you’ve all enjoyed reading this bucket list for Asia! A couple of ideas on this list were inspired by some of my fellow bloggers over on Twitter; so thank you to everyone who shared their Asia travel bucket list ideas with me.
Need help planning and preparing for your next trip? If so, find all my tips here: https://www.emgoingplaces.com/2020/05/planning-a-trip-6-useful-tips/