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These Are The Top 5 Most Underrated Destinations In Asia According To New Report

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As the weather gets warmer, we’re (finally!) starting to plan longer trips that let us explore a world beyond the Pacific.

That’s why more and more Asian hotspots are becoming the go-to destinations for travelers looking to shake things up a bit this spring; but while the likes of Japan, Sri Lanka, and Thailand are dealing with an insane influx of visitors, we’re starting to seek the quiet and authenticity of lesser-known gems.

bagan myanmar

But how do you find these places when they’re so rarely talked about?

The newest Yahoo Finance report released this week is here to help.

The meta-analysis looked at over 20 different sources to come up with a ranking of the most underrated destinations on the entire continent, and these were the places that topped the list:

5. Koh Rong, Cambodia

koh rong from above

Starting off strong, we have what many travelers have described as a paradise island.

In Koh Rong, you’ll find some of the most naturally gorgeous (and thankfully untouched) beaches in all of Asia, and when you combine that with the peaceful, laid-back atmosphere that characterizes the island, you get the ultimate warm-weathered escape.

If you’re worried whether there’s anything good to do after the sun sets, don’t be.

There’s a lively little town right there on the island with plenty of hotels, beach bars, and restaurants – and everything’s very reasonably priced, too.

Cocktails go for roughly $4.5, whereas protein-based mains rarely surpass the $8 mark – and that’s in your sit-down restaurants; smaller fast-food places are even cheaper.

4. Ipoh, Malaysia

street view of Ipoh.

Speaking of great-value cities, next up on the list is Ipoh, a hidden Malaysian gem that’s mainly known for its impeccable food scene.

So, foodies, this one’s for you.

The Ipoh bean sprout chicken, kai si hor fun, chee cheong fun, tau fu fah, and hakka mee are all must-tries.

And because the city is just a 2.5-hour drive away from Kuala Lumpur, it makes a good cheap base from where you can explore the rest of Malaysia.

Even if you decide to stay put, there’s still a lot to see.

Ipoh is famous for its historic quarter, colorful street art, and bustling local markets, not to mention the nearby Gunung Lang Recreational Park and the mystical Kek Lok Tong Cave Temple.

3. Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan hot air balloon ride

Myanmar has long been one of Asia’s most overlooked countries, but while Nay Pyi Taw, the capital, has slowly but surely started to generate some mainstream interest, lesser-known gems like Bagan remain hidden deep in the shadows of their better-known neighbors.

This is where you go to explore the country’s fascinating past.

Home to over 2,000 temples and pagodas (some of which date back to the 9th century), Bagan creates the perfect opportunity for a once-in-a-lifetime sightseeing excursion, or, better yet, an unforgettable hot air balloon ride.

2. Luang Prabang, Laos

wat xieng thong in luang prabang laos

Luang Prabang has officially been a UNESCO World Heritage Site for three decades, and yet it has somehow managed to fly under the radar even among the most seasoned travelers – unfortunately, though, they’re missing out on a lot.

This is one of the most quintessentially Laotian cities you’ll ever come across, complete with ornate temples, wooden houses, and almsgiving ceremonies where saffron-robed monks collect alms at dawn – it’s truly unlike anything else you might’ve come across in your life.

While, as a foodie, I deeply appreciate Luang Prabang's thriving culinary culture and bustling night markets, I’d recommend you prioritize a traditional Lao massage—often less than $10 an hour and worth every penny if you’re ever in the city.

1. Da Lat, Vietnam

Landscape of houses on the mountain on foggy day in early morning at Da Lat, Vietnam

The fact that the most underrated destination in all of Asia is a Vietnamese city is pretty surprising since the country is enjoying its most popular year to date.

But while most travelers are rushing to experience cities like Hanoi, Saigon, Hoi An, and Da Nang, there’s one underrated gem that constantly gets overlooked – Da Lat.

With an otherworldly vibe and a shockingly mild climate (at least compared to the rest of the country), the city provides a refreshing take on the traditional Vietnamese experience, one that’s rarely talked about in social media.

Here, you can go on a romantic paddleboat ride on Xuan Huong Lake, marvel at the cascading Datanla Waterfall, or enter an alternate universe through the famous Crazy House – either way, make sure to take your camera along, the picture opportunities will be endless!

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.