These off­beat ci­ties are trend­ing on the bucket list of trav­ellers in 2018. Choose your favourite desti­na­tion

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EUROPE is passé, so is Mid­dle East. Re­mote, unexplored Asian lo­ca­tions have made it to the trav­eller’s list in 2018. TripAd­vi­sor an­nounced the Trav­ellers’ Choice awards for Des­ti­na­tions on the Rise. Here are the top 10 des­ti­na­tions that are see­ing ris­ing in­ter­est from trav­ellers around the world. Pick yours and pack your bags. ISHIGAKI, JA­PAN

Con­trary to its name, which lit­er­ally trans­lates to “stone wall”, Ishigaki is an is­land in Ok­i­nawa that is sur­rounded by water. Home to sandy beaches and co­ral reefs, the desti­na­tion is a pop­u­lar div­ing spot. Ishigaki is known for its soba noo­dles — called Yaeyama soba — made of flour in­stead of the more tra­di­tional buck­wheat. Av­er­age an­nual ho­tel price is `9,773 per night TAKAYAMA, JA­PAN

A city lo­cated in the moun­tain­ous Gifu Pre­fec­ture, Takayama’s ap­peal lies in its beau­ti­fully pre­served towns and his­toric dis­tricts. Be sure to head to Takayama in spring and au­tumn to catch the Takayama Fes­ti­val. Av­er­age an­nual ho­tel price is `11,296 per night BUSAN, SOUTH KOREA

South Korea’s sec­ond largest city, Busan, is a favourite amongst na­ture lovers for its hot springs, beaches, hik­ing trails and na­ture re­serves, while the cul­tural and art buffs will ap­pre­ci­ate the mu­se­ums, tem­ples, and his­tor­i­cal build­ings. Av­er­age an­nual ho­tel price is`4,506 per night PH­NOM PENH, CAM­BO­DIA

The cap­i­tal city of Cam­bo­dia, Ph­nom Penh still re­tains traces of its French colo­nial his­tory through its tem­ples, mu­se­ums, palaces and cul­tural sites, while re­minders of its somber past are still pal­pa­bly felt in the Killing Fields lo­cated just out­side the city. Av­er­age an­nual ho­tel price is `2,348 per night NAN­TOU COUNTY, TAI­WAN

Nan­tou County is the only land­locked county in Tai­wan and home to Tai­wan’s high­est peak (Yushan), moun­tain­ous ranges, lush forests and scenic lakes in­clud­ing the fa­mous Sun Moon Lake. Trav­ellers can learn more about the prac­tices of the lo­cals by vis­it­ing its tem­ples and cul­tural vil­lages. Av­er­age an­nual ho­tel price is `6,600 per night SHEN­ZHEN, CHINA

Sit­u­ated in Guang­dong Prov­ince and ad­ja­cent to Hong Kong is Shen­zhen, a cityscape that is on the list of UN­ESCO Cre­ative Ci­ties with some of the most mod­ern build­ings world­wide. Although the desti­na­tion is largely in­dus­trial, it of­fers many at­trac­tions to trav­ellers in­clud­ing theme parks and cul­tural vil­lages. Av­er­age an­nual ho­tel price is `4,252 per night TAINAN, TAI­WAN

Tainan is the old­est city in Tai­wan with over 200 years of his­tory as the cap­i­tal of Tai­wan un­der Koxinga and later Qing Dy­nasty rule. Now a mod­ern city of com­merce and trade, it is also a re­li­gious cen­tre, with more than a thou­sand tem- ples in­clud­ing Tai­wan’s first Con­fu­cian tem­ple. Tainan is also known as Tai­wan's food cap­i­tal, with its de­lec­ta­ble lo­cal dishes and fa­mous street food that is not to be missed. Av­er­age an­nual ho­tel price is `4,886 per night SEOGWIPO, SOUTH KOREA

Seogwipo is the sec­ond largest city on Jeju is­land and of­fers swanky ho­tels, rugged cliffs, pop­u­lar beaches and gor­geous wa­ter­falls. This coastal city of­fer many ac­tiv­i­ties that re­volve around the

ocean. Av­er­age an­nual ho­tel price is `6,092 per night NEGOMBO, SRI LANKA Known for its cen­turies-old fish­ing in­dus­try, one of Negombo’s top sites is its fish mar­ket called the “Lel­lama” where trav­ellers can watch the boats re­turn­ing with their fresh catch or even try their hands at fish­ing in the la­goon. Av­er­age an­nual ho­tel price is `2,665 per night POKHARA, NEPAL

Most vis­i­tors to Pokhara stop here be­fore start­ing or af­ter fin­ish­ing the “Round An­na­pu­rana” trekking route. Be­cause of its pop­u­lar­ity with trav­ellers, the city it­self has rel­a­tively mod­ern ho­tels and restau­rants, but trav­ellers will also be able to find an­cient lakes, wa­ter­falls and gorges and ma­jes­tic views of the Hi­malayan Moun­tains. Av­er­age an­nual ho­tel price is `2,665 per night

How dif­fi­cult is it to main­tain a prop­erty like Aamod Shoghi? How are the pol­lu­tion lev­els kept to a min­i­mum?

We have placed many sig­nages and wooden boards where we re­quest all our guests to main­tain the sanc­tity of na­ture. To main­tain such a big and hilly ter­rain, we have an ex­pe­ri­enced team of gar­den­ers who have a good knowl­edge about our lo­cal flora and fauna. The big­gest chal­lenge is to pro­tect the prop­erty from fire haz­ards. Dur­ing rains too, it be­comes very dif­fi­cult to main­tain the path­ways as we are not sup­posed to use any con­crete or ce­ment any­where in the prop­erty, so we have to find nat­u­ral ways to di­rect the water flow in the other di­rec­tion.

Any new ex­pan­sion plans for Aamod?

At Shoghi, we have been work­ing on ex­pand­ing our prop­erty with new fa­cil­i­ties and more cot­tages to stay but as we come un­der the eco­tourism project of gov­ern­ment, we have some ob­sta­cles. We need spe­cial per­mis­sion from the gov­ern­ment for ex­pan­sion.

What ini­tia­tives are taken to main­tain the eco­log­i­cal as­pect of Aamod?

Ev­ery year we plant trees such as de­o­dar and oak, along with the for­est depart­ment. We have hung clay con­tain­ers on trees filled with water and you can see mbirds drink­ing and even

Nan­tou County is the only land­locked county in Tai­wan and home to Tai­wan’s high­est peak

Ishigaki in Ja­pan is num­ber one desti­na­tion on the rise.

A beau­ti­ful tem­ple in Ph­nom Penh, cap­i­tal city of Cam­bo­dia.

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