Asia offers an astounding variety of travel destinations. There are so many, in fact, that it can be difficult to decide where to go first and which to miss because of time constraints. The reality is that it’s impossible to cover them all in one trip unless you’re lucky enough to have plenty of time and money to spare, but hopefully this post can help you make up your mind if you’re pondering the many wonders of the East and you have to choose just a few.
Here we will look at 8 amazing places in Asia that everyone should see at some point in their lifetime.
1. Beijing, China
Beijing offers the ancient alongside the modern, and is a fascinating city in the heart of China. It is home to a wealth of history, and sights include the Forbidden City and more modern constructions such as Chairman Mao Memorial Hall. For real Chinese shopping check out Beijing’s Dirt Market, rather than the tourist-filled Silk Market. Other top attractions include the Great Wall at Mutianyu, the Temple of Heaven and Jingshan Park. Read More
Located at the foothills of Mount Kanchenjunga, Ilam is a small hilly town with pristine landscapes of sloped tea gardens, thick natural forests, holy sites and unique culture. Ilam offers an excellent getaway from city life for romantic sunrise and sunset, a brisk walk in the tea garden, tranquil picnic and sightseeing spots, short treks along gentle slopes or a trudge into the nearby woods. If spiritual instinct calls there are several holy sites one can visit in and around the area. Here are some of its noteworthy attractions:
From 2,328 meters, Antu overlooks Terai flatlands, terraced hills of cash crops, tea gardens and thick forests of pine trees offering spectacular sunrise, sunset and views of Everest and Kanchenjunga. On a clear day one can see views as far as Mirik, Kurseong and Darjeeling in the adjoining Indian part.
A pristine lake amid natural forest, Mai Pokhari is surrounded by thick forest of fir, juniper, birch, pine and is home to a variety of flora and fauna. Altogether there are nine ponds in the vicinity some of which are large enough for boats. Various species of orchids, rhododendron, herbs; rare animals like musk deer, leopard, porcupine, jackal; numerous migratory birds and rare insects, are found in the region. The lake is also considered holy as the abode of Goddess Bhagabati.
At 3,636 meters on the international Nepal-India borderline, Sandakpur provides majestic view of the Himalayas, Mt. Kanchenjunga, Mt. Kumbhakarna, Mt. Makalu, and Mt Everest. Rare wildlife like red panda, musk deer, and wild bird Danphe can be seen in the forest of this area.
Kanyam and Fikkal
Kanyam and Fikkal have large estates for which Ilam has been famous for the last 140 years. These tea plantation areas are popular among tourists for picnicking, sightseeing, and taking photographs. Fikkal is a business center in the area. It falls on the Mechi highway on the way to Ilam.
It offers good views of sunrise and sunset from its elevation of 1800 meters. One can also see the Terai flatlands, the Mahabharat range and the Churia mountain range from this area. Siddhi Thumka is 3 hour trek away from Ilam Bazaar.
Chhintapu at 3,400 meters is the second highest peak in Ilam district. The area has natural rich forests of rhododendron, herbal plants and various species of birds. About 11 varieties of rhododendron are found in the area. In addition are rare herb Yarcha Gumba, and wild animals like musk deer and the rare red panda. Good views of the mountains can be seen from different points of the trek.
LUMBINI, Oct 7: Prominent Buddhist Guru Shyalpa Tenzin Rinpoche has visited birth place of Lord Gautam Buddha, Lumbini recently.
Guru Rinpoche, who arrived to visit Lumbini with his 21 disciples, told after visiting Lumbini that the birth place of Lord Buddha is a great source of inspiration for the peace in the world.
He also termed that Lumbini’s divine energy of peace and spirituality is the prodigious in the world.
Guru Shyalpa, who arrived here to observe the construction site of to be built Mahasiddha Sanctuary for Universal Peace, also visited relic of Tilaurakot Palace where Prince Siddhartha Gautama had spent his 29 years.
On the occasion, he emphasized on the preservation of Buddha’s birth place as it is important and relevant to all the religious communities.
Guru Shyalpa Tenzin Rinpoche is a prominent writer and an expert in Buddhist study.
His spiritual book entitled as ‘In Living Fully: Finding Joy in Every Breath’ had become best seller book in USA back in 2012.
The entire landscape stands in testimony to the place’s mythical flirtations and spiritual ardor.
Mustang: The Culture and Landscape of Lo’ has over 250 pages and is a rich smorgasbord of culture, religion, geography and history of a place gripped in pristine silence and caught in the time warp of its own, whose appeal to outsiders is heightened by its isolation and exotic remoteness.
As the writer takes you from Jomson at 2,720m to Kora La at 4,660m, he does not just guide you through the geographical twists and turns but also helps you navigate the cultural and historical myths and mysteries painted, carved or embossed on the walls and held up in scriptures and folktales.
The pictures of fluttering colorful prayer flags against the backdrop of deathly still landscape, bare mountains, somber hills, isolated monasteries and chortens are haunting and alluring. The mysteries of the place are further accentuated by the abundant displays of artifacts –murals, statues, wall carvings, fixtures, and so on, in various stages of decay, but which nonetheless concatenate to tell a thriving history and culture buried in time. Read More
Lumbini means love in Sanskrit and the place definitely lives up to its name. But more than that, the place provides one with a spiritually uplifting journey as it brings you closer to the origin of Lord Buddha. It was in Lumbini, around the year 563 BC that one of history’s greatest and most revered figures, Siddhartha Gautam, better known as Buddha, was born. As the birthplace of the Lord Buddha – the apostle of peace and light of Asia – the sacred area of Lumbini is one of the holiest places in the world. Lumbini evokes a kind of holy sentiment within millions of Buddhists and Hindus all over the world, like Jerusalem to Christians and Mecca to Muslims.
Lumbini is one of the four Buddhist pilgrimage sites based on major life events of Gautam Buddha. It is not only rich in history but also plays an important role in bringing different countries together. Full of impressive monasteries representing different countries with their unique architecture and art, you are bound to be amazed at the enthralling beauty of it all. Nepal’s monastery stands elegant and inspiring, along with other ornate and tranquil monasteries from Germany, Myanmar and Thailand. Each reflects the unique interpretation of Buddhism and together the monasteries create a fascinating map of world Buddhist philosophy. Read More
Every weekend, cab drivers line up in an intersection just beside the Narayanhiti Museum where it’s packed with people of all ages swarming the glittering and magical streets of what is known these days as local Las Vegas—Thamel.
In the core of the valley surrounded by nature, traffic and hotels, Thamel stands tall, the only one of its kind in the culturally rich country of Nepal. It almost serves as a utopia for the locals as well as the numerous tourists that the capital welcomes each day. This little piece of heaven in the heart of the city illuminates every night, and mostly the weekends look like scenes straight out of our TV screens. Every Friday, the restaurants, bars and clubs look like they’ve been set for a festival—with little flickering lights and peppy music pulling our attention, everything feels awesome.
The aroma and the aura of Thamel at around 9:30 PM during the weekends are to die for. Everyone is sociably drunk and hyped up because of the atmosphere that particularly surrounds this little area. Varying genre of music that leaks from here and there gives the streets and alleys of Thamel its signature atmosphere, while all the good looking guys and girls from schools, colleges, workplaces and even retired people strolling around make Thamel look like the ultimate place to be. Read More
If you are looking for a jungle experience this monsoon, then Chitwan is where you should be headed to. Set right in the heart of Nepal down in the humid plains, Chitwan offers one of Asia’s best wildlife-viewing spots. These subtropical plains hide an array of wildlife worthy of The Jungle Book. Nature buffs from around the world come here to scan the treetops for exotic bird species and comb the jungles for rhinos and tigers from the backs of lumbering elephants. There’s plenty to keep you busy here, from joining the elephants at bath time to visiting local Tharu villages, and the brave can even take a guided walk through the jungle, surrounded by the hoots and roars of the forest. Read More
A spirtual odyssey, this pilgrimage tour takes you into a journey through time as you retrace the footsteps of Lord Buddha. A meditation on the road, this tour traverses through four significant pilgrimage sites marking various epochs of Buddha’s life- Lumbini (birth place of Buddha), Kushinagar (death site of Buddha), Bodhgaya (where Buddha attained enlightenment) and Sarnath (Buddha’s first sermon). Discover the universal truths and acquire the divine Buddhist wisdom as you travel through Southern Nepal, Gangetic plains of Northern India and pay homage to the sanctified Buddhist sites. For those who wish to get closer to the world beyond and are in search of Nirvana, our ‘Footsteps of Buddha Tour’ might just be the soul-cleansing experience that you have been looking for. Read More