ASIA’S NEXT HOTSPOTS

These des­ti­na­tions are soon to be on ev­ery­one’s lips, writes El­iz­a­beth Sleith

Sunday Times - - Fashion News -

Lonely Planet re­cently named its best in Asia for 2018 — that is, “the des­ti­na­tions you should see now” — and the city on top may just be one you’ve never heard of. Bu­san is South Korea’s sec­ond­largest city af­ter Seoul — but now it’s the travel guide’s top pick for its de­li­cious seafood, stun­ning beaches and his­toric tem­ples. About 2.5-hours from Seoul, Bu­san has also been named East Asia Cul­ture City for 2018. There­fore, says Lonely Planet, it “will be at its most vi­brant this year with a med­ley of colour­ful events show­cas­ing the coun­try’s cul­tural her­itage, from street-art fes­ti­vals to tra­di­tional dance shows”. A good time to go.

Sec­ond on the list is an en­tire coun­try — Uzbek­istan, lauded for its “dreamy mo­saic­clad mosques and Silk Road lore”.

While the coun­try has for a long time been dif­fi­cult for trav­ellers to ac­cess, part of its se­lec­tion now has to do with its open­ing up to tourism with new visa-free and e-visa schemes and air routes. Whereas would-be vis­i­tors once had to ap­ply in per­son at an em­bassy, as of to­day, trav­ellers can ap­ply for a sin­gle-en­try, 30-day visa on­line (see http://evisa.mfa.uz).

The rest of the top 10 is a mix of old favourites and new hotspots: Ho Chi Minh City, Viet­nam; West­ern Ghats, In­dia; Na­gasaki, Ja­pan; Chi­ang Mai, Thai­land; Lumbini, Nepal; Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka; Sìchuan Prov­ince, China; and the Ko­modo Na­tional Park in In­done­sia.

See lonelyplanet.com

Pic­ture: 123rf.com/prakobkit

SOUL­FUL Hae­dong Yong­gungsa Tem­ple in Bu­san was built in 1376.

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