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  • The most underrated travel destinations in Asia and why you should visit them

    Samarkand, Uzbekistan, photo by Laura e Fulvio on FLick

    What makes a holiday attraction popular? Of course, a lot of it is because the place really has something to show off with, like interesting museums, natural sites, historic sites etc. But a large part of the popularity of a certain place is due to this image it constructs for itself through ads, brochures and tourism campaigns.

    These are great tourist destinations that you should by no means overlook, but in addition to famous holiday destinations like Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore or Shanghai, there are scores of other Asian destinations that don’t quite get the attention they deserve. So here are some of the most underrated travel destinations in Asia, and why you should visit them.

    Uzbekistan

    This Central Asian country often doesn’t get a mention in mainstream tourist brochures, despite the fact that it can be considered the ancient equivalent of a pretty popular travel destination. Samarkand, Khiva and Bukhara used to be famous stops on the Silk Road, and what is still left of the past is still very impressive. Despite its infamous politics, Uzbekistan is a fairly safe place, and utterly fascinating.

    Taiwan

    Alishan, Taiwan, photo by Snowman learned on Flickr

    The Republic of China, otherwise known as Taiwan, is one of the most densely populated places on the planet, with huge cities that are perhaps not quite as stylish as other Asian capitals, but still full of life and interesting things.

    Street food in Taipei is delicious, the temples in the countryside beautiful, and the natural sites are lush and it’s not hard to see why the island was called Formosa – the beautiful – in the past.

    Philippines

    As far as Southeast Asian destinations go, the Philippines is pretty underrated, and while it’s good that it hasn’t turned into a solely tourist driven enterprise like Bali, for example, some increase in tourism would definitely do the country good. The Philippines has the longest coastline in the world, it is one of the most multiethnic places on the planet and the street food is some of the best you can find anywhere.

    Hue, Vietnam

    Hue, Vietnam, photo by upyernoz on Flickr

    Vietnam is not exactly underrated, and places like Saigon, Hanoi or Halong Bay get plenty of visitors, but the former imperial capital of Hue is consistently under the radar.

    Get off the beaten track and visit this place that hasn’t changed all that much since the royal family left it half a century ago, and explore the Perfume River along which the royal tombs can be found.

     Pakistan

    It’s really not surprising that Pakistan is far from being a popular tourist destination right now, what with the past political turbulence in the country. And while it’s understandable why many travelers are wary of visiting Pakistan, there are so many places worth seeing there: a portion of the Silk’s Road main artery, the stunning mountain landscape of the Hunza Valley, the hill station of Murree or some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, between Karachi and Gwadar.

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