With a history spanning millennia and a uniquely diverse culture, China is a spectacular home base. However, sometimes getting out of the country you live in and experiencing another land is a must.
Next time you seek a travel destination outside of China, consider one of these five beautiful places. Whether you book a week at one of these amazing Bali villas for rent or a weekend at a luxuriously high-tech hotel in Tokyo, adventure awaits you.
1. Thailand for Culture
Just a hop, skip and jump away from the southern part of China, Thailand is a fabulous choice for a short-term getaway. Get an authentic experience by staying in smaller towns. Thai locals are extremely hospitable and this is the best way to get a real feel for the people and the culture.
Thailand is filled with markets to explore, street food to savor and stunning gold-adorned temples. Before leaving Bangkok, visit Wat Phra Kaew and Wat Arun – some of the most stunning Buddhist monuments you’ll see in Asia.
Though paying a visit to the Buddha statues that live within the temples is appealing, there is another side to a trip to Thailand as well. Small islands and mainland beaches offer some of the most beautiful scenery and wildlife. With luxury resorts and opportunities for boating and snorkeling, you can have the trip of a lifetime in Thailand. Don’t forget to also check out the various elephant sanctuaries or the gibbons at Khao Sok National Park.
2. Bali for Beaches
Another nearby spot that combines temples with fabulous beaches in Bali. Although it’s a little further from China, it’s still easily accessible and has plenty to offer visitors looking for natural wonders and inner serenity. Local villas and hostels are surrounded by lush green scenery and offer the ultimate escape from urban sprawl and everyday stress.
Bali has long been known as the Island of the Gods, and for good reason! As you explore your surroundings, you’ll find heavily forested volcanic mountains towering over picturesque villages. Closer to the coast, you’ll be able to dive among coral reefs filled with unique marine life. Exploring canyons filled with waterfalls and hiking to the top of Mount Batur make for great outdoor experiences too.
Looking for something more spiritual? Visit one of Bali’s many sacred sites, or ornate temples with holy water. Check out this 10 day Bali itinerary to help plan your trip.
3. India for History
Like China, India is a large country rich with culture and history. You may experience culture shock or a sensory overload, but you will also learn a lot. Expect to see things you’ve never seen before—and probably won’t see until you return to this unique country.
History buffs will be in their element. The beautiful monuments you find here are some of the oldest in the world and were constructed as far back as 9,000 BC. If you’re looking for a truly mindful holiday, you’re also in luck. The culture of this subcontinent treasures spirituality and meditation, with hundreds of temples and centers ready to help you find inner peace. Additionally, India is home to a variety of vibrant festivals, from the color festival of Holi to Diwali, the festival of lights.
Agra is one of the most popular of India’s cities, as it’s where the Taj Mahal is located. Others prefer the hustle and bustle of Mumbai, the world capital of Bollywood. Mumbai also boasts the best shopping. Many also visit Jaipur, also known as the Pink City for the color of its buildings’ stone.
4. Japan for a Little Bit of Everything
For a high-tech vacation that is vastly different than those with beaches and forests, visit Tokyo. Though a little overwhelming, there are a variety of gadgets that are fun to freak out over.
Some of the most striking parts of Tokyo can be found in your luxury accommodation. In-room ambiance settings allow for the customization of lights and curtains. If that isn’t advanced enough, try out nail polish dryers, massage chairs, and 3D televisions. Tokyo is also known for its vast population, eccentric fashions, and trends and thriving healthy food scene.
One of the best day trips from Tokyo is to the Miyagi Zao Fox Village, a large sanctuary where hundreds of foxes run free. It’s a short train ride from the city and is not to be missed!
Outside of the metropolis, Japan is just as fascinating. Expect to find lakes and forests, hot springs, historic shrines, mountains, castles, museums, national parks and more.
Choose the city of Osaka as your base, and visit Nara, the oldest capital of Japan. You could also take a trip further west and boat to Miyajima Island. Take in the island’s famous floating gates, and marvel as wild deer roam the streets among humans!
5. Laos for Spiritual Enlightenment
If you’d prefer to visit a lesser-visited area of Asia, choose a flight from China to Laos. A perfect mix of ancient traditions and colonial architecture, this is one of the few places you could pass a Buddhist temple and a French bakery on the same street.
Luang Prabang, the country’s former capital, is an ideal destination to experience this unique clash of cultures. Visit The Royal Palace, built in 1904, and see the decadence of colonialists. For more time-tested aspects of Luang Prabang, get up early and witness the “giving of alms”. This ritual sees robed Buddhist monks collecting rice for their day’s food. Be aware that the ritual is characterized by strict rules, so check before taking photographs.
Explore the natural side of Laos by driving to the Kuang Si Waterfalls, just outside Luang Prabang. Marvel as the aquamarine waters tumble down through several pools, before rejoining the jungle river. The nearby Tat Kuang Si Bear Rescue Center is also a must for visitors.