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After months of extreme dullness in your life, you’re likely itching to get out of your boredom-spell to travel. While you could visit Bali or Phuket, there are just so many more underrated places in Asia that you’ve probably never heard of and we promise you, are equally as beautiful.
Whether it is diving with marine life in the Philippines or hiking with locals in provinces in China, you’ll never go wrong with these incredible places.
Off the coast of Cebu island, lies the lesser-known Malapascua. The small island, which is around 1.5 miles in length and under a mile in width, features a community surrounded by beaches and some of the bluest waters you can find. For the few tourists that visit the island, their main purpose is to explore the rich marine life surrounding the island.
However, aside from the beauty, the island has risen in notoriety among the diving community around the world for one specific reason: Thresher sharks. This island is the only place in the world where this rare and unique species of sharks can be found all year round and are regular to the waters.
However, if diving is not your thing, the picture-perfect, white-sand beaches that are guaranteed to make your whole Instagram following jealous, should be enough to motivate you to visit this incredible place.
Although there is still a large local community active on the island, resorts have not failed to scatter themselves. And, we’re betting that a peaceful and quiet island getaway is exactly what you and your friends or loved ones need after the pandemic blows over.
Koh Kood, Thailand
If you want the island retreat but also want to explore the jungle life, then Koh Kood is perfect for you. This island off the coast of Trat, Thailand not only holds serene beaches but also incredible waterfalls, scenic hikes and diverse wildlife.
Despite the island being much larger than Malapascua, you would be able to explore any spot on the island by simply renting a scooter. The more popular sites on the island include the Klong Chao Waterfall, Makka tree (The Big Tree), and the Ao Yai Viewpoint. And, with a large range of accommodation from luxury resorts to quaint youth hostels, you are bound to find the ideal place for you.
Wuyuan, Jiangxi Province, China
Appropriately named the “most beautiful countryside in China," Wuyuan is one of the most well-preserved ancient counties in China built in 740 during the Tang Dynasty. With at least fifty ancient villages to explore, the first thing you’ll notice is the unique architecture and style that each village possesses.
Embedded in the countryside surrounded by mountains and trees, tourists frequently travel here to hike, stopping by waterfalls and gorges along the way.
From October to November, Wuyuan becomes a scenic oasis, as the tree leaves turn yellow and red. We recommend visiting this naturally picturesque city during the Autumn season where you can witness the morning haze blanketing the ancient villages and landscape, creating unparalleled views.
Dili, East Timor
This city is the perfect combination between bustling villages and immense hills that run along a stunning coast facing the Indonesian Islands.
Rich in history and culture, you will never run out of things to do in Dili. The World War II memorial serves as an educational and captivating experience for anyone fascinated by history.
Local markets spread throughout the city exhibit one of a kind souvenirs and trinkets for your friends or family, and if you’re something unique to the area – we recommend the colorful Tais Market which specializes in locally made textiles like blankets, bags and scarves.
Hoh Xil, Tibet
For the adventurous TMS readers, this isolated region in the northeastern Tibetan Plateau will most definitely pique your interest.
Listed as a World Heritage Site, Hoh Xil is a nature reserve with around 230 different wild animal species across the vast lands and mountains. However, with an altitude of about 16,404 feet and strong winds, visitors are advised to be prepared and somewhat experienced with intense climates and elevation.
That aside, it’s fairly simple to rent a vehicle in one of the nearby cities and travel to this stunning, isolated region, where the unique wildlife – including the famous Tibetan antelopes and the Mongolian gazelle – roam in the beautiful mountain range.
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