Combining the skyscrapers and subways of a modern, affluent city with a medley of Chinese, Malay and Indian influences along with a tropical climate, tasty food from hawker centres, copious shopping malls, and vibrant night-life scene, this Garden City makes a great stopover or springboard into the region.
Singapore is one of the most popular travel destinations in the world for a lot of reasons. One of which is the less stringent entry requirements.
NTO official website: Visit Singapore
Australia is a country and continent surrounded by the Indian and Pacific oceans. Its major cities – Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide – are coastal. Its capital, Canberra, is inland. The country is known for its Sydney Opera House, the Great Barrier Reef, a vast interior desert wilderness called the Outback, and unique animal species like kangaroos and duck-billed platypuses.
NTO official website: https://www.australia.com/en-us
Look beneath the surface of this well-ordered and tightly regulated sultanate and you’ll see the underlying warmth of Brunei’s people and the wisely conserved wildness of its natural environment. Thanks to the money generated by the oilfields, Brunei hasn’t turned its rainforests into palm-oil plantations. Old-growth, primary forest abounds, especially in verdant Ulu Temburong National Park.
In the charming riverside capital, Bandar Seri Begawan (BSB), opulent palaces and magnificent mosques contrast with the flimsy-looking water villages. Fringing this city’s modest extents are lush forests and mangroves, home to proboscis monkeys, hornbills and crocs.
NTO official website: https://bruneitourism.com/
Cambodia is a Southeast Asian nation whose landscape spans low-lying plains, the Mekong Delta, mountains and Gulf of Thailand coastline. Phnom Penh, its capital, is home to the art deco Central Market, glittering Royal Palace and the National Museum’s historical and archaeological exhibits. In the country’s northwest are the ruins of Angkor Wat, a massive stone temple complex built during the Khmer Empire.
NTO official website: https://www.tourismcambodia.com/
China is a populous nation in East Asia whose vast landscape encompasses grassland, desert, mountains, lakes, rivers and more than 14,000km of coastline. Capital Beijing mixes modern architecture with historic sites such as the Forbidden City palace complex and Tiananmen Square. Shanghai is a skyscraper-studded global financial center. The iconic Great Wall of China runs east-west across the country’s north.
NTO official website: http://www.cnto.com.sg/
Hong Kong is divided into four sections: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, the New Territories, and the numerous outlying islands. One hundred sixty-four square miles of dense real estate dominate Hong Kong Island, including enormous skyscrapers with futuristic architecture, opulent hotels, residential compounds on Victoria Peak, and some of the oldest Chinese communities in the region. All these elements create one of the most exotic and exciting ports of call in the world; one that is universally loved by tourists and its own enterprising citizens.
NTO official website: http://www.discoverhongkong.com/seasia/index.jsp
India is one of the oldest civilizations in the world with a kaleidoscopic variety and rich cultural heritage. However, the fascinating aspect lies in the stark difference as you travel through the new and old parts of its cities. From world-class airports and hotels, luxurious shopping malls, restaurants, pubs and cafes to overcrowded streets and alleyways, in the same cities, filled with thousands of little shops offering every possible modern and ethnic product and native street food is a fascinating experience.
NTO official website: https://www.incredibleindia.org/content/incredibleindia/en.html
Indonesia, a Southeast Asian nation made up of thousands of volcanic islands, is home to hundreds of ethnic groups speaking many different languages. It’s known for beaches, volcanoes, Komodo dragons and jungles sheltering elephants, orang utans and tigers. On the island of Java lies Indonesia’s vibrant, sprawling capital, Jakarta, and the city of Yogyakarta, known for gamelan music and traditional puppetry.
NTO official website: https://www.indonesia.travel/gb/en/home
Japan is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean with dense cities, imperial palaces, mountainous national parks and thousands of shrines and temples. Shinkansen bullet trains connect the main islands of Kyushu (with Okinawa’s subtropical beaches), Honshu (home to Tokyo and Hiroshima’s atomic-bomb memorial) and Hokkaido (famous for skiing). Tokyo, the capital, is known for skyscrapers, shopping and pop culture.
NTO official website: https://www.jnto.org.sg/
Dynamic cities, fabulous food, beautiful beaches, idyllic islands and national parks with wildlife-packed rainforests – all of this can be found in Malaysia. The catchy tourism slogan ‘Malaysia, Truly Asia’ continues to ring true as this country really is a potpourri of Asian cultures. Muslim Malays, religiously diverse Chinese, and Hindu and Muslim Indians all muddle along with aboriginal groups (the Orang Asli) on Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo’s indigenous people, scores of tribes known collectively as Dayaks. Each ethnic group has its own language and cultural practices which you can best appreciate through a packed calendar of festivals and a delicious variety of cuisines.
NTO official website: https://www.tourism.gov.my/
It’s a new era for this extraordinary and complex land, where the landscape is scattered with gilded pagodas and the traditional ways of Asia endure.
Myanmar offers all the traditional delights of Asia in one fascinating country. Virgin jungles, snow-capped mountains and pristine beaches, combined with a rich and glorious heritage spanning more than two thousand years. Spectacular monuments and ancient cities attest to a vibrant culture that is still home to 135 different ethnic groups.
NTO official website: http://myanmar.travel/
New Zealand is a remote and geologically dynamic country bestowed with diverse, often unique landscapes and wildlife. It offers outdoor adventure galore, spliced with vibrant cultural and culinary experiences, enhanced by a welcoming attitude to visitors. This small country well deserves its reputation as one of the world’s most rewarding travel destinations.
NTO official website: https://www.newzealand.com/int/
The Philippines is a land apart from mainland Southeast Asia – not only geographically but also spiritually and culturally. The country’s overwhelming Catholicism, the result of 350 years of Spanish rule, is its most obvious enigma. Vestiges of the Spanish era include exuberant town fiestas (festivals) and centuries-old stone churches. Malls, fast-food chains and widespread spoken English betray the influence of Spain’s colonial successor, the Americans. Yet, despite these outside influences, the country remains its own unique entity. The people are, simply, Filipinos – and proud of it. Welcoming, warm and relentlessly upbeat, it is they who captivate and ultimately ensnare visitors.
NTO official website: http://www.tourism.gov.ph/
Korea might be known as the Land of the Morning Calm, but dive into its capital Seoul, the powerhouse of Asia’s third-largest economy, and serenity may be the last thing you’ll perceive. This round-the-clock city is constantly in motion, with a work-hard, play-hard mentality that epitomises the nation’s indefatigable, can-do spirit. You can hardly turn a corner without stumbling across a helpful tourist information booth, a bustling subway station or a taxi in this multifaceted metropolis where meticulously reconstructed palaces rub shoulders with teeming night markets and dramatically modern architecture.
NTO official website: http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/index.kto
You might say Sri Lanka has been hiding in plain sight. Scores of travellers have passed overhead on their way to someplace else, but years of uncertainty kept Sri Lanka off many itineraries. Now, however, all that has changed. The country is moving forward quickly as more and more people discover its myriad charms. Lying between the more trodden parts of India and Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka’s history, culture and natural beauty are undeniably alluring. It’s the place you haven’t been to yet, that you should.
NTO official website: http://www.srilanka.travel/
Famed for centuries as Ilha Formosa (Beautiful Isle; 美麗島; Měilìdǎo), this is a land with more sides than the 11-headed Guanyin. Towering sea cliffs, marble-walled gorges and tropical forests are just the start of your journey, which could take you as far as Yushan, Taiwan’s 3952m alpine roof. In Taiwan you can criss-cross mountains on colonial-era hiking trails or cycle a lone highway with the blue Pacific on one side and green volcanic arcs on the other. And if you simply want a classic landscape to enjoy, you’ll find them around every corner.
NTO official website: https://eng.taiwan.net.tw/
Friendly and fun-loving, cultured and historic, Thailand radiates a golden hue, from its glittering temples and tropical beaches through to the ever-comforting Thai smile.
The celestial world is a close confidant in this Buddhist nation, and religious devotion is colourful and ubiquitous. Gleaming temples and golden Buddhas frame both the rural and the modern landscape. Ancient banyan trees are ceremoniously wrapped in sacred cloth to honour the resident spirits, fortune-bringing shrines decorate humble homes as well as monumental malls, while garland-festooned dashboards ward off traffic accidents. Visitors can join the conversation through meditation retreats in Chiang Mai, religious festivals in northeastern Thailand, underground cave shrines in Kanchanaburi and Phetchaburi, and hilltop temples in northern Thailand.
NTO official website: https://www.tourismthailand.org/home