As one year comes to a close and another is about to begin many people across Asia look ahead to travelling in the new year. So our Editors have put together a list of some of the most interesting destinations to help you decide where to go in 2019.
First off old favourites are back in vogue. Japan continues to set record tourism numbers. In 2008 Japan set an ambitious goal to reach 20 million visitors by 2020, but they beat that in 2015 and haven’t looked back. Last year Japan welcomed 28.7 million tourists and as they build towards to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, next year looks like it’ll set new records as well.
The Philippines are high on our list of where to go in 2019 if you stay away from the luxury island of Boracay which was recently shut down becasue of overtourism and environmental damage. Instead look to more affordable and quieter destinations such as Coron in Palawan which is picture postcard perfect, Cebu and Siargao.
With volcanic eruptions, plane crashes in Jakarta and pollution and corruption concerns it’s amazing to see that Bali still keeps toping traveler’s bucket lists. But with gorgeous beaches, a deep spiritual and cultural fabric, world-class resorts and excellent food and beverage offerings Bali is definitely on our where to go in 2019 list. It seems worth the effort.
The same thing can be said for Vietnam. The lines for arrival visas are legendary, many people think overtourism is ruining Halong Bay cruises and prices are rising, but tourists can’t get enough of Vietnam. The combination of history, great food and a diversity of offerings from urban to rural keeps Vietnam a very popular destination.
Bhutan is remote, hard to get to, expensive and challenging to arrange visas, travel and accommodations. But once you arrive you’ll see it was all worth the effort. Described as ‘mystical’ and ‘life changing’, this mountain Buddhist kingdom is a destination known to change the people who visit it.
This is by no means an exhaustive list of where to go in 2019, it’s only meant to inspire your dreams. We’re big believers in the power and importance of travel and we hope 2019 turns out to be another great year of safe, healthy and mind-opening travel for people all across Asia.