Asia is so big and diverse there are so many options when it comes to which are the best. There are so many factors that play into what are the best countries to visit. Do we categorize by cultural experiences? Safety? Cost? Friendliness? Ease of access? Pollution? As there are many different factors there can be no definite answer. If I were to choose my top 5 based on these criteria I would probably rank them:
Last year I was given the opportunity to visit the city of Tainan in southern Taiwan. Tainan was the original capital of Taiwan before the growth of Taipei and has been a food and cultural epicenter ever since.
Settled in the 1600s by the Dutch, Tainan city's architecture is a mix of Dutch, Japanese, and traditional Chinese, with buildings dating back to the 1600s varying in style. Because of it's unique heritage, the city boasts everything from sprawling European style buildings to traditional Japanese hotels and everything in between. This rich history has added to a astounding amount of historic sites that tourists can visit, but many do not.
One of Tainan's best kept secrets is the Anping Treehouse behind the Tait and Co. building in the Anping district of Tainan. Named for the district it's in and for the living banyan tree that occupies the space, this Treehouse is a beautiful reminder of how nature always wins. Originally, the treehouse was a warehouse for a merchantile company called, you guessed it, Tait and Co. Presently, this building is part of a 3 building museum highlighting the merchant trade in Tainan between the Dutch and Chinese, calligraphy and other rotating exhibits. At this time, most of the walls are covered in thick tree branches and roots that give the treehouse it's name. Tourists do have safe, secure walkways that they can use while visiting this attraction.
One can not visit Tainan and not go to a night market. As the unofficial culinary and cultural capital of Taiwan, Tainan has quite a few night markets, however, they are regulated and do not occur every night. Night markets are where you'll see all types of food, games, or small trinkets that you can buy, you might even be lucky enough to see one of the many night market auctioneers selling toys! Here you can fill up on stinky tofu, Taiwanese sausage, fried chicken cutlets and even schwarma! I went with some exchange students and almost everything was $3 US or less (90NTD). It is insanely crowded and the perfect place for pickpockets so beware, however, crime is low in Taiwan so it shouldn't be too much or an issue. They do have seating areas for you if you need them (I would totally sit down and eat things like soup).
Autumn Souffle Cafe was once popular with tourists to the point that it was constantly booked and very difficult to get into. This is in part due to the absolutely insane amount of traffic that INSIDER created for them when they went viral a year ago. I didn't have an issue going to them when I was there and could walk up just because the hype had died down. You have to go though, their pancakes are out of this world! I hate the mango version of their pancakes which at the time was their special and it was crazy good, although that might just be because I love Taiwanese mango.... I've mentioned them before and I will never stop mentioning them because they are so good!
I had the pleasure of visiting the country of Taiwan for two weeks this summer (why I went in the oppressive heat I'll never know). In the two weeks I was there, I saw most of the country save two cities due to typhoons. I am a sucker for nature and as such most of the places I visited were natural sites that just ooze beauty. Below is my sample itinerary for Taiwan.
Trip on the coast of Keelung
Keelung Night Market
Underground Taipei Mall
Day 1: Accessible by train, Taipei area
Beitou Hot Springs
Beitou library (seems odd but it's a gorgeous library, all wood and steel)
Beitou museum (hot spring hotel converted into a museum outlining Japanese occupation)
Plum garden (calligraphy)
Taipei 101 and Din Tai Fung (michelin star xiao long bao)
Day 2: All accessible by Taiwan Rail, Taipei area
Shifen waterfall (it's a bit of a walk and not very handicap friendly)
Pingxi old street (get a Taiwanese sausage from Pingxi Story Sausages)
Shifen Old St (you can release lanterns on the train tracks here and there's a gorgeous view of the mountains around you)
Houtong Cat Village (a small village that has been taking care of stray cats and has themed their village off of it)
Day 4: (bus or driving)
Qingjing farm (sheep farm in the mountains of Taiwan, beautiful vistas and native Taiwanese demonstrations)
Day 7: Tainan
Wandering around Tainan City
Night market and Tainan old street
Day 8: Tainan
Travel back to Taipei
Harbour restaurant buffet
Keelung city tour
Rueifang coastal market and hike
Solo travelers have a unique perspective on travel. They tend to go off of the beaten path, explore new ideas, and kick butt while doing it. For some, solo traveling is more rewarding as they can fully immerse themselves wherever they are to really experience what life is like in different parts of the world. Below are the 5 savvy solo bloggers that I look up to as examples of a life well lived.
I’m Charlotte – a travel and writing-enthusiast who’s bad with directions! My blog is all about empowering women to travel solo with a range of articles on how to combat solo travel fears, what to wear in different regions (without looking like a dork abroad), essential travel apps, and how to couchsurf, along with a bunch of tips and tricks I learnt on my travels. My favourite travel experience was probably driving the ring road in Iceland for a month (mostly alone), and in 2019 I'm headed back to my homeland (Australia) after spending two-years in Canada!
I am Anita, travel blogger and photographer from Poland. Traveled 52 countries and sharing experiences to inspire. Travel the world to discover yourself, follow your dreams to feel happy and fulfilled. I am showing worth visiting destinations, taste their food, discover traditions, and listen to the local music. Traveling makes me more and more conscious and worried about environmental issues. Therefore, through my lifestyle, I am trying to encourage people to live and travel more eco-friendly. I love slow life and living like a local wherever I travel. I am sharing tips and advice on building a sustainable environment and be a responsible traveler. I tent to escape polish winter every year, soon going to the Philippines.
Roaming Nanny started a few years ago when my Nanny Kids started calling me the Roaming Nanny because of how much I travel. I started posting photos in Instagram and felt so much love from the travel community that I launched my blog in May of 2018. Roaming Nanny is all about adventure travel from the everyday to the epic. No matter where you are an adventure is out there and I want to share it with women all over the world. I do a lot of hiking so I write a bit about that, but I love anything that is a true adventure, finding the new and fun! My favorite travel experience has to be climbing Mount Kilimanjaro for the first time. I worked so hard before the trip and it put me in a path I didn’t even know existed and is the reason I’m doing what I do today. In 2019, I’ll be leaving my full-time Nanny Family if 5 years to be a Travel Nanny, Writer, and Adventure Leader for the women’s travel company I work for. So far, I know I’m headed to Tanzania, Ghana, Peru, Japan, Germany, and Hawaii.
Bel Around the World
Isabel draws energy from being outdoors. 25 and from Singapore, she believes there is nothing more fulfilling than being unplugged. An explorer at heart, the world is her playground. She chronicles her travel adventures and budget tips on www.belaroundtheworld.com.
Bel Around The World is the one place where I showcase my writing, photography, and tales of new discoveries and experiences. It's a site dedicated to travel resources and inspiration from around the globe for the millennial travelers. It aims to expand the possibilities of travel to readers.
Up to date, I have covered plenty of regions from Europe to Asia, including niche markets such as Maldives and New Zealand.
My name is Ben McLaughlan, and I'm a budget travel blogger at horizonunknown.com. I'm an Australian braving another chilly winter in Edmonton, Canada.
I began my travels back in 2013 and can say I was honestly terrified. I had no idea what I was doing or what to expect. Of course, when I finally left on a one-way ticket to Europe, I discovered the unknown isn't really that scary. Skip almost 6 years and I've visited over 50 countries, with no plans of stopping anytime soon. I believe travel is one of the most important things anyone can do. The lessons you learn about yourself and the world around us is second to none.
I decided to begin a travel blog to help those like me back in 2013. Scared of unknown horizons and not sure where to visit next. Last year was my first full year of blogging, and with absolutely zero prior skills in creating a website, it's been a constant challenging an uphill battle. But I'm excited to see what 2019 has in store for me and my blog.
Apart from helping people travel better and cheaper, I like to help those, especially beginners, overcome the troubles that come with traveling.
It's always difficult for me to pick a favorite travel experience- it seems to change daily. But I would say traveling Japan for three months in 2017 would be my number 1. The culture, friendly locals and all that tasty ramen! Pretty hard to beat!
2019 has plans of traveling to new countries that have been on my ever-growing bucket list for a while. Cuba is number one, but now that I have my deep water diving certificate, Belize and the deep dark Blue Hole is high on my list.
It's 2019 and I'm ready to be inspired. I reached out to a group of travel bloggers this winter in the hopes of finding someone new to follow on their travels. I wanted to find content from all over the world that really spoke to me as a traveler and blogger. Below are the 10 best nomadic bloggers that I've come across. If you like them, subscribe to their blog, follow them on Instagram, or even become a Facebook fan, support these amazing bloggers, you won't regret it.
Varsha is an expat travel blogger and she writes about her travel experiences in her blog named Varshastravel360. This is a family travel blog with tons of information on different popular and lesser-known family-friendly places around Europe.
Varsha lives in Munich, Germany and loves to explore historic and cultural heritage sites with her family. In her blog, she writes the travel guides for offbeat destinations and tips & tricks to visit popular places on a budget.
Varsha’s most favorite trip so far has been to Brittany region of France in 2018. In this trip, she visited ‘pink granite coasts’ and totally fell in love with this natural wonderland.
The year 2018 was quite busy for Varsha because she traveled to Portugal, India, France (like above said), Czech Republic and some UNESCO heritage hiking sites around Germany. But now, she is not yet sure where to go in 2019. Eastern Europe or across the continent, to Canada - are in the race. What will you suggest her?
My name is Lena! I'm a Divemaster and purposeful backpacker with a degree in tourism management.
Over the past 6 years, I've had the chance to explore and work in different countries - and oceans - around the world.
During my time abroad, I realized that traveling, but especially scuba diving are often considered somewhat prestige activities. I hold the opinion that both traveling and diving should be possible for anyone - no matter what financial background they come from.
Throughout my travels, I have developed a number of useful budget travel and budget diving techniques, which I share over on my blog. Over the years, Lena On The Move has turned into a platform where I help and encourage fellow budget-minded adventurers to travel and dive the world without spending a fortune!
Since I've always been most interested in exploring exotic places and taking the road less traveled, my readers mostly get to read about off-the-beaten-path locations, natural gems and cultural destinations away from the crowds.
Over on my blog, you'll mostly find in-depth content about the places I spent a significant amount of time living or working in, such as Fiji, Botswana, Martinique, Lebanon, Germany as well as the Philippines, where, after a couple of weeks backpacking, I ended up working as a Divemaster for quite some time in 2017.
I'm currently based in Nuremberg, Germany, from where I take both regular domestic getaways to hike nature parks, stroll around medieval towns and visit abandoned castles as well as international trips to all kinds of exotic places near and far.
We are travel Bloggers from Portugal who love to travel the world. We lived as expats in Angola for 3 years and then returned to have a base in Portugal. Our mission is to keep on discovering new countries and sharing tips on smart and budget traveling. We are mostly experts on Angola and Portugal but we love publishing content from all over the world.
In 2019 we want to start exploring central America and we will probably start with Panama and Costa Rica. We will also continue traveling through the Caucasus which is probably our favorite region in the world.
The most unique thing about our blog is probably the Angolan experiences because it's such a closed country and there's so little information about Angola. But, it's a really beautiful country! Kalandula falls in the picture, is just one example…
A Malaysian girl, currently based in London, UK and have a passion for traveling and eating all around the world. I started blogging to document down all my travel and food adventures. If you wonder how the world ‘Traventures’ came by, I like traveling and the adventures that come with it. Hence, TRAVENTURES. I’ve loved being able to explore different cities and countries. They have their very own uniqueness and beauty especially the European countries.
It’s so difficult to pin down my favorite experience but if I have to pick, it would have been Italy. I’ve always wanted to go to Rome right after I watch Lizzie Mcguire the movie. The Trevi Fountain was definitely my main goal and I absolutely love my tour in the Colosseum and Palatine Hill. I learn so much of the Roman empire during my visit, had a whole lot of delicious and mouthwatering pasta and not to forget, tiramisu and gelato. I was in Rome, Florence, Pisa, and Milan. I love the view I had from Piazza Michelangelo in Florence, the good weather in Pisa and the majestic Duomo in Milan.
My 2019 travel bucket list would definitely be focused more on European countries such as Greece, Spain, Portugal, Denmark, and Sweden. I was hoping in 2019 I would finally be able to see the Northern Lights. I don’t really like the cold but I would definitely brave the cold just for this amazing view. Follow me on to my traventures, with tips to different places, itinerary and all the good food to fuel me up for my adventures!
Hey, everyone, we are Jim and Inna! An international travel couple on a mission around the world :)
Not only do we come from opposite sides of the globe, but our personalities are opposite, if not then…pretty different! Along with that from the first day we met, we realized that this is going to be something special!
Currently we on a year + trip around Asia and Europe chasing our dreams and following our passions, as this part of the world makes us come back here every time.
Our favorite travel adventure thus far would have to be the fact that we have been doing long distance for the first 7 months of this year meeting up in 6 countries before deciding to drop everything at home and travel with one another.
Our travel plans will be starting in 2019 by boarding a plane in Singapore on the 1st and flying to Athens, Greece and working our way through the country up through Bulgaria, Serbia, and Hungary!
I am Iuliana – a travel writer from Romania. Despite the fact I graduated from architecture, in my 30-ties, I discovered that traveling and writing are my true passions so combining the two of them has become the highlight of my life. If I don’t write, I am not myself. If I don’t travel to have about what to write, again I am not myself. I can’t imagine the world without these two things, which I like to call the ‘passions of my life.’ In 2019/20, my travel plans include Thailand (2 months in spring) and Iran (2-3 months in winter).
My travel blog is Authentic Travels. There, I share my travel journals and photos, links to my latest published articles in different magazines, and interviews with other travel bloggers or worldwide travelers. My motto is ‘Travel at your own pace’ and this is what Authentic Travels wants to show – no matter who you are, where you travel, or with whom you travel, the most important thing is to do it in your own way and at your own pace. That’s when you’re authentic and you connect with your true self.
For example, I travel very slowly. When I went to Jordan, I explored Petra for four entire days – and I can still say it wasn’t enough and I’d have had more places to see. There’s a certain reason why Petra was listed as one of the Seven New Wonders of the World. When you step from the Siq (the canyon) into the open space preceding the Treasury, you’re literally thrilled. The effect is amazing and the Bedouin bustling around with there donkeys and camels create an exciting atmosphere.
I am a born and bred Jersey girl who is currently coursing the globe without a map or a plan. I call it traveling strange--just like my blog. My favorite aspects of travel are taking photos and the joy I get when I authentically engage with local culture. My goal is to engage my readers both the highs and the lows of travel life, so that when they take their own journeys, they will know what to do and what to look out for!
I am Caitlyn, a passionate traveler with an obsession for food and binge-watching. Before I travelled, my life was not how I wanted it to and I felt useless. Since I started to travel, my life started to make sense and I finally found a passion. I love meeting new people and learning about other cultures.
I started to blog to help people find new destinations, new series to watch and food to cook. I like to try to make recipes from food I have eaten in restaurants on holidays. As I watch way too many shows and movies, I also include reviews, so people can spend more time watching instead of browsing. You can follow my trips, but also get travel tips and tricks or destination information.
My favourite travel experience has to be my trip to Thailand this year. I went on a singles group trip and it was amazing. It was something I was really afraid of, but I had the best time of my life. Thailand was beautiful and I learned a lot. Just imagine being stuck with 16 strangers for three weeks and in a foreign country. My birthday was during the trip and I never had such a fun birthday.
2019 is going to be my year. I am going to learn Spanish in Spain and I am looking for a job in Spain or Portugal. I noticed last year that Holland was not the country for me, so I am going to change that. Why feel stuck in one country if you can move around?
An Interrail trip to eastern Europe is also on the planning if everything works out. Hopefully I can also add some short trips to different cities in Europe. No other continent for me this year, but enough adventure!
Bearly Here was established in 2018 when Ženja and Anders decided to take 6 months off and head on to the adventure. In this time, they visited 5 continents and 22 countries, and loved sharing their experiences online. This Estonian-Danish couple is based in Singapore. They don't plan to stop traveling any time soon and in 2019 they're going to share more tips and tricks about traveling, their past destinations and explore even more of Asia.
Hi there! I'm a soon to be a college grad (May can't come soon enough!). My blog focuses on traveling sustainably, with a vegan twist. I love seeing the world and love trying to make my travels more sustainable. I'll be traveling to France and Germany on a "congratulations graduate" trip with my mom in May. We'll be visiting Paris, Strasbourg, Zermatt, and Frankfurt. I'll also be doing a few smaller trips within the USA––think Nashville in January, and Atlanta in March. But the icing on the cake is moving to London in September to start graduate school at Kingston University. My absolute favorite travel memory was when I went to Japan and went to an island called Miyjaima. This island was full of deer! They were so friendly and could be petted and loved on! It was so cute! I spent the whole day feeding them french fries and taking photos of them.
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine