South Korea is a destination just starting to establish itself as a top Asian travel destination. With Seoul as its buzzing capital, Busan is South Korea’s second city with more of a laid back vibe.
Located right on the coast, it’s home to stretches of beautiful beaches. One of Busan’s features that break with how many imagine South Korea is the brightly coloured Gamcheon Culture Village, sometimes referred to as the ‘Machu Pichu of South Korea’. The neighbourhood and its construction have a complex past but today the city takes pride in it as a tourist attraction. Wander around its winding streets, marvel at the street art, and grab a bite to eat.
As for other activities you can get up to the in the city, it’s a pretty long list. Some of our favourites when we visit on our South Korea Tour include exploring its seafood markets, riding its marine cable car, paying a visit to the Haedong Yonggungsa Temple, and relaxing in one of its jjimjilbangs (bathhouses).
Although the Southeast Asian region is a well-trodden route for backpackers, we still don’t feel Hanoi gets the credit it deserves. With Vietnam not being quite as popular as the likes of Thailand, you can still easily explore this city without feeling like you’re at a 24 hour party. Plus, as the Vietnamese economy develops, the ‘modern character’ of the country’s cities is becoming more distinct.
Paying a visit to the city still means you have to do the main attractions – exploring the Old Quarter is a must as is visiting the National Museum of Vietnamese History. Of course, also grab some street food! We’d also recommend taking your time though: try visiting a few temples (we’d recommend the Temple of Literature), head up to the top of the city’s Lotte Centre for an incredible view of the city, and make the walk across the Long Bien Bridge, a structure very important to the Vietnamese people.
Central Asia (aka the ‘Stans) is one of the rising stars in Asian travel. Much of what draws travellers to the area is its sprawling rural areas but you’d be foolish to visit without exploring its cities. Kazakhstan’s former capital, Almaty, is home to an incredibly diverse range of attractions.
Its rural location means you can still make the most of Kazakhstan’s natural beauty on a day trip – we’d recommend heading out to Turgen Gorge to explore its forests, waterfalls and breath-taking views. In the evening, explore its range of cafés and restaurants to try some of the traditional dishes of Kazakhstan. If you’re looking to party, head out for the night and make the most of the city’s micro-brewery scene.
When it comes to spending time in the city itself there are a few essential activities you can’t miss. On our tour there we make sure we visit its Soviet baths, explore its traditional bazaars and cathedrals, head up to the Kok Tobe viewpoint, and then (for a bit of fun) try out some of the city’s rollercoasters. For more info, check out this guide.
It’s big, busy, and likely to be a shock to the system when you arrive. Although that might sound intimidating to some, it’s what makes New Delhi so great. The city is packed with markets, temples, restaurants, bars and a whole lot more. Plus, despite what you might imagine, the city is also roughly 20% green space, so there’s no shortage of beautiful parks to relax in.
It’s difficult to condense a list of things to do in New Delhi but visiting street food markets is a must (we’d recommend Sarojini Nagar). You have to make sure you visit at least one of the city’s temples – we go to the Sikh temple Gurudwara Bangla Sahib on our India tour. If you like to party then make the most of New Delhi’s nightlife, there are plenty of hotspots for this but The Dragon Trip’s favourite is probably Hauz Khas Village.
Although the Olympics didn’t quite go as planned for Japan, they were partly intended as a signal of how the country ranks in the big leagues when it comes to travel destinations. It’s undoubtedly true, and if you don’t believe us, pay a visit to Kyoto in 2022.
Japan is famously a blend of preserved historical traditional and trailblazing modern technology. Robots and geishas, Super Mario and sumos, Skyscrapers and temples. If you were picking a city where this blend is most apparent, we would say it’s Kyoto.
Must-visits and activities while you’re there include beautiful temples and religious sites (Kinkaku-Ji and the Fushimi Inari Shrine to name a couple), checking out the International Manga Museum, watching a geisha performance, learning calligraphy, and doing some classic Japanese karaoke! We could go on, but you probably need to visit for yourself.