Vietnam: A Quintessential Quintet of Unparalleled Destinations and Experiences in the Asia Pacific

Escape the ordinary and embark on an extraordinary adventure without venturing far from home. Within the Asia-Pacific realm, a myriad of destinations awaits, promising to ignite your senses and leave an enduring mark on your soul.

45 recently unveiled a list of unique, surprising destinations that provide world-class experiences in the Asia-Pacific area, allowing travelers to skip long and tedious flights while still experiencing emotions comparable to traveling to Europe.

Mui Ne, Vietnam

Mui Ne enjoys a tropical hot climate all year round and is one of the driest places in the country, making it an ideal holiday spot throughout the year. Between April and October is the best time to plan a trip to the beach resort town as calm waters and steady wind conditions are perfect for relaxing as well as adventurous activities like windsurfing, kitesurfing, jet-skiing, and kayaking.

The white sand dunes, called Bau Trang by locals, are around 30 kilometers from Mui Ne and are a special feature that differentiates this seaside resort from others in Vietnam. One popular activity that many tourists choose to partake in is sand sliding. All you need is a thin rectangular piece of mica to join in the fun.

Several firms offer jeep tours of Mui Ne’s attractions (Photo: BazanTravel)

Several firms offer jeep tours of Mui Ne’s attractions including the white and red dunes, the White Lake (Lotus Pond), the Fairy Stream, and the Mui Ne Wharf. The tours typically pass the Hon Rom and Suoi Nuoc beaches.

Since 2020, local authorities have introduced kayak tours at the Mui Ne fishing village. Each tour lasts two to three hours and allows tourists to explore the floating rafts where fishermen raise fish or shrimp.

Mui Ne fishing village (Photo: BazanTravel)

In Mui Ne’s fishing village, you will not find fancy amusement parks or luxury attractions. Instead, you will discover a vibrant natural setting with picturesque coastlines, a string of boats, and charming houses nestled under coconut trees. Additionally, you can observe the bustling activity of collecting the night’s catch from the fishing boats and even purchase affordable seafood as gifts.

After the tourism wave hit the fishing village, a series of food carts and open-air restaurants sprang up along the beach, serving traditional Vietnamese dishes like pho bo (beef noodle soup), banh mi, banh xeo (pancake with pork, shrimp, and mung beans stuffings) and a wide range of grilled seafood at affordable prices.

If you are seeking a fast and secure means of transportation to reach Mui Ne from Hanoi, the train proves to be an excellent choice. To embark on your train adventure, you can purchase tickets directly at Hanoi Train Station. There are several trains such as SE3, SE5, SE7, and TN1, with a frequency of five trips per day, ensuring flexibility in planning your journey.

As tourism develops rapidly in Mui Ne, the range of accommodation options has become diverse. Travelers can choose from budget-friendly homestays to high-end hotels and resorts.

Ella, Sri Lanka

Ella, a tranquil village in Sri Lanka, is nestled between tea hills and immense cloud forests that are blanketed in mystery mist all year. Many people compare it to Germany’s Black Forest.

The Nine Arch Railway Bridge, a colonial-era railway that is still operational, is one of the city’s most well-known sights. Ella also owns one of Sri Lanka’s largest waterfalls, Ravana Falls.

The Nine Arch Railway Bridge (Photo: The Common Wanderer)

Ella has a backpacker vibe, not dissimilar to the small traveler towns in South East Asia for example. Ella is the perfect rural complement to the beaches of Sri Lanka. In fact, both the hills and beaches can easily be done in a two-week Sri Lanka itinerary.

Jozankei, Hokkaidō, Japan

Besides being an onsen destination, Jozankei is a popular fall color destination when the trees along the valley and in the side valleys turn to brilliant yellows and reds. The best time to see the leaves is usually around mid-October.

Iwato Kannondo is a unique temple in central Jozankei, as most of the temple is located in a cave. Built for road workers, who were killed during the construction of a tunnel, the temple’s cave is 120 meters long with 33 statues of Kannon, a Buddhist deity of compassion, placed at intervals along the way.

Jozankei in autumn (Photo: Japan Guide)

The onsen waters of Jozankei were discovered in 1866 and the town now has dozens of ryokan, restaurants, and shops catering to hot spring tourists. Several ryokan offer day visitors entrance to their baths for a fee of typically 500 to 2000 yen. Furthermore, free foot baths can be found around town.

Krabi, Thailand

The province of Krabi is located on southern Thailand’s west coast. Home to impressive limestone cliffs, dense mangrove forests, white sand beaches, and more than 100 offshore islands, Krabi is one of Thailand’s most beautiful beach destinations. But since it covers quite a large area, some attractions require a bit of traveling.

With attractions including hot springs, a wildlife sanctuary, sea caves, flourishing coral reefs and exotic marine life, limestone cliffs that draw rock climbing enthusiasts from around the world, and national parks that include the Island paradises of Koh Phi Phi and Koh Lanta, one could easily spend weeks in Krabi and leave yearning for more.

Aerial view of Krabi (Photo: Thailand Insider)

As a tropical country, Thailand is generally a year-round travel destination. Travelers who want to enjoy warm-weather activities will find that the best time to visit Krabi is from November to March. During these months, the weather tends to be mild and sunny — ideal for exploring Thailand’s beaches and islands.

Don Det, Laos

Don Det Island (Laos) is one of the 4,000 islands along the Mekong River. Tourists who look closely at the surroundings here may be reminded of Madagascar, with its tropical fauna and flora and dry ground.

Unlike other countries in East Africa, Don Det is recognized as a hotspot for travelers seeking a sense of wilderness and the freedom to explore new regions. The Mekong River flows directly outside the windows of many Don Det resorts.