WITH the continent boasting the likes of India, Korea and Thailand, it certainly has a lot to offer for the traveller. But choosing where to go can be even trickier. However, this week travel site Lonely Planet have done the hard work for you – and listed 10 stunning places to visit in 2017 featuring the best in city life to the secret hideaways that you may never have uncovered before. Here we take a look at the rising travel hotspots – and reveal why they are worthy of the accolade.
1. Hokkaido, Japan
The Japanese island is voted the top place to visit in the continent – and with its unspoilt wilderness, rugged coastline and abundant flora, it’s not hard to see why.
Perfect for lovers of the outdoors, it is known for “perfect powder snow” and is a great place to ski.
Hokkaido itself has a very European feel, with its green pastures and country cottages, while maintaining ints Japanese roots with its hot springs.
Known for its seafood, it is also one of biggest producers of dairy in Japan so expect some milk-infused dishes such as cream cheese curry or even squid ink ice cream.
Happy campers will love to sleep in one of the many mountain huts dotted around too.
Fancy a trek? You can only reach the island by ferry or through the Seikan Tunnel.
2. Shàngh?i, China
While Lonely Planet described how its “24million-odd residents are hell-bent on having a good time”, the metropolis combines old and new seamlessly, combining brightly-lit modern skyscrapers with its traditional past.
Known as the Oriental Paris, the Chinese city features all new fashion trends – and will make its mark soon on the world with the second biggest building on earth.
With its vibrant nightlife and the soon arrival of Disneyland, there should be something for any age.
3. Jeonju, South Korea
The Korean city, which keeps tradition very much alive with its preserved villages, is more than just a treat for the eyes … but for the stomach too.
Jeonju even received a nod for its incredible cuisine, picking up an honour from UNESCO for its Gastronomy in 2012.
It was here in Jeonju, where one of the best-loved Korean dishes was first created – the bibimbap, which features rice, beansprouts and mung beans.
Jeonju, which is the the largest city in the southwest, also is known for its greenery and for its delicious homegrown produce including strawberries.
4. Con Dao Islands, Vietnam
Described by Lonely Planet as having “moved from darkness into light”, the group of islands is fast-becoming a travel hotspot, thanks to its national park and beautiful beaches including Dam, Trau Beach.
Delving underwater, you can see the other reason why it is a hit with travellers – with stunning up-close views of the coral reef and marine life.
Once known as the ‘Devil’s Island of Indochina’, you can also get a glimpse of undiscovered wildlife in the tropical forests.
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5. Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong is not just a sea of skyscrapers.
For just above the scaling office blocks are is the Victoria Peak, a mountain which gives you panoramic views of the business district below.
You can take a hike in one of their many trails or even take a tram to the top.
But it is for its food that Hong Kong really comes into its own, serving up street food delicacies such as fish balls on a stick.
It is also home to a UNESCO Geo park featuring rare volcanic rocks and some ancient stones that date back 400 million years.
6. Ipoh, Malaysia
A British colony, this Malaysian city will appeal to sun worshippers.
Featuring a tropical rainforest climate, this city in the norther part of the Malaysian peninsular is also hot for its food.
Some favourite dishes include Hor hee – flat noodles and fish cakes and pastry delicacy Heong Peng.
Coffee lovers too will love its Ipoh white coffee, which roast beans with palm-oil margarine, which is served up in the historic part of the city – where a cafe culture is steadily growing.
Yu can burn off your dining delight with a visit to the beautiful Lang mountains, or strolling in one of their cave temples.
7. Pemuteran, Indonesia
Expect an explosion of colour when you visit this little-known village in Bali.
Hidden away, the little-known Pemutran is awash with beautiful beaches and some of the best coral walls in Indonesia at Menhangan Island.
It also boasts hindu temple Pura Melting and if you’re feeling brave, a monkey temple where you can get up and close to the primates.
You can even sup the local wine with the crop of vineyards being set up in nearby Pulaki village.
8. Trang Islands, Thailand
Lust after Thailand but want to beat the crowds? Skip popular Phuket and enjoy one of Thailand’s biggest secrets.
Made of of 46 tiny islands, Trang Islands is home to spectacular waterfalls and temples, as well as a swamp to see native wildlife.
But it is their beaches that it’s really known for, boasting shallow azure-blue water and golden sands.
What’s more, it is relatively remote so you won;t have to share your beach with the hoards of fellow tourists.
9. Meghalaya, India
Step into another world in the little-visited Meghalaya. While it is known for its many monsoons, its green hilltops and stunning waterfalls are a sight to see.
Near to Assam in the North, the hilly hideaway is so remote that there are no train lines – and the nearest airport is 35km away.
Locals use trees to weave bridges that look like they have been created for a fantasy realm.
10. Taitung, Taiwan
Tropical and not a tourist trap, this Taiwanese city in the south east is kept firmly under wraps.
But with its beautiful seas and borrowing from different cultures,it should be a consideration for anyone wanting to visit Asia.
With its varied cuisine including pig’s blood soup, the city is situated on a small plan between the mountains and sea.
It also has a tropical warm climate, so warm all year around but you’ll soon cool off with its ocean breeze.
In the autumn months, the city comes ablaze with the blooms or orange day lillies while with the new year, the town celebrates with a firecracker-throwing desitval called Bombing Master Handan.