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Places in Asia you probably haven’t heard of


At least since today, with more than 30 degrees of summer vibes in Beijing, you start thinking how to escape your apartment in Sanlitun and where you could spend your summer holidays in Asia.

Whether you're looking for a nature lovers paradise, ancient towns, panoramic coastlines or laid back river communities, here are 8 places in Asia that you probably haven't heard of.

The Miyako Islands (Miyakojima), Japan

The Miyako Islands are located to the South of Naha, Okinawa and are only accessible via flights. Being close to Taiwan, the Miyako Islands are home to a unique culture with China, Taiwan, Japan and Okinawa influences.

The Miyako-jima islands are a nature lovers paradise where you will find stunning beaches, sugar canes fields, coral reefs, crystal clear water as well as the amazing Ryuku Islands which are popular for their natural beauty in and out of the water.



Visit China's ancient towns inhabited by minority groups such as the Miao and Dong people and experience unique village life, stunning mountains ranges, natural caves and Asia's largest waterfall.

Guizhou is China's treasure chest of traditional Chinese beliefs and remarkable history with very little signs of modern influence. This is the China you imagine existed many years ago - sleepy towns, hundreds of years old architecture, unique drum towers and still worn traditional attire.



Koh Samet, Thailand

Located approximately 200km from Bangkok, Ko Samet is a small island paradise with aqua marine water and sheltered coves. This jungle clad, laid back island is one of the driest areas of Thailand and offers something for everyone.

To the north of the island you will find fine night life and BBQ's on the beach. South of the island is known for it's family friendly options, laid back beach bums and quiet secluded beaches.

Whatever you fancy, on all beaches you are guaranteed to find jaw dropping sunsets, an abundance of fresh seafood and an amazing island experience.


El Nido, Philippines

El Nido is the starting point for many visiting Palawan in the Philippines and the gateway to the Bacuit archipelago islands, home to majestic karst cliffs and clear aqua waters.

Within the El Nido area expect to be dazzled by stunningly beautiful landscape of natural coral reefs, powdery white sand beaches and clear lagoons.

El Nido offers some of the best diving sites in the Philippines and whilst in the Palawan region, don't miss out the Tubbataha Reef which can only be reached by boat. Here you will find a huge diversity of marine life including stunning corals, manta rays, lionfish, turtles and sharks among others.


Koh Rong, Cambodia

Koh Rong is the largest island off the coast of Sihanoukillein, Cambodia's southwest province. Still very underdeveloped, this 78km² island is made up of forest, beach, sloping hills and a panoramic coastline.

If you're a beach seeker then this island is for you with more than half of the island made up of beaches and quiet and secluded coves. For nature lovers, here you will find natural reefs and many endangered and threatened species of animals and plants.

Don't expect to find ATMs and be prepared for little cell phone coverage and limited electricity. Don't let the natural-ness of Koh Rong question if you should go, there are plenty of activities for any age group.


Flores Islands, Indonesia

The Flores is a group of islands located just an one hour flight from Denpasar, Bali. Here you will make lifetime memories, discover something new every day and be left wanting to come back.

Charter a boat from Labuan Bajo and wake up listening to the lapping of the waves before you dive into the clearest water. During the day see the world's largest lizard - the Komodo Dragon in it's natural environment (the only place in the world to see this dinosaur like reptile); and as the sun goes down, swim off a long boat above feeding manta rays.

Each day this beautiful region with give you a unique experience - motor to a secluded village, snorkel above natural reefs, experience pink sand squish between your toes or sit back and take in the landscape whilst sipping a cocktail on board.

Places in Asia

Si Phan Don (Four Thousand Islands), Laos

Si Phan Don translated to Four Thousand Islands is located in the Mekong River area in southern Laos.

This unique area of the world is made up of hundreds of islands that can be seen in the drier months but then disappear when the Mekong River floods.

Although this archipelago of river islands has an incredible laid back feel, the area offers many activities including Laos river communities, the highly endangered freshwater Irrawady dolphins, boat cruises, river tubing and cycling.


Shengshan Island, Shanghai

The Abandoned Fishing Village of Houtouwan on Shengshan Island, east of Shanghai, China, only a handful of people still live in a village that was once home to more than 2,000 fishermen. Every day hundreds of tourists visit Houtouwan, making their way on narrow footpaths past crumbling houses overtaken by vegetation. The remote village, on one of more than 400 islands in the Shengsi archipelago, was abandoned in the early 1990s as residents moved away, aiming to leave problems with education and food delivery behind them.



Rebecca Andresen

Rebecca Andresen

I try to give some practical advice but I also try to dispel some of the myths floating around about expat life. I'm a third culture kid as well so I try to share that experience and how it affects my life as an expat or living overseas.
This is my 14th year of being an expat in China and in all kind of forms - child, teenager, student, spouse and working.
Rebecca Andresen

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