Planning a vacation? Check out the Lonely Planet’s list of must-see places in Asia | travel | Hindustan Times
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Planning a vacation? Check out the Lonely Planet’s list of must-see places in Asia

Rainbow peaks in China, Japan’s seaside cities and the beaches of northern Kerala, India, are the top three travel destinations on Lonely Planet’s 2017 list.

travel Updated: Jul 14, 2017 09:09 IST
At the third place on the Lonely Planet’s list are the beaches of northern Kerala in India.
At the third place on the Lonely Planet’s list are the beaches of northern Kerala in India.(Shutterstock)

If you’re planning a vacation later this year, look no further for new destinations. Lonely Planet has come out with its list of the best destinations to visit in Asia in 2017, and the report highlights under-the-radar gems like Gansu in China. This province lies in north-central China and is home to ancient Buddhist caves, rainbow sandstone peaks, and the end road of the Great Wall of China.

For many, the Lonely Planet’s best of Asia list will be an enlightening one, representing a cross-section of destinations throughout central, east and south Asia – from Japan, India, Kazakhstan to Malaysia.

Topping the list is Gansu, which has become more accessible in recent years thanks to the development of high-speed rail lines, a new metro service in the provincial capital of Lanzhou, and upgraded highways. The province is also one of the least populated in China, given its remote location and desert landscape.

Topping the list is Gansu, a province that lies in north-central China and is home to ancient Buddhist caves, rainbow sandstone peaks, and the end road of the Great Wall of China. (iStock.com)

Some of the region’s star attractions include Instagram-worthy rainbow rocks at Danxia National Geopark, an otherworldly landscape where sandstone peaks are striped in various hues of red, orange, yellow and blue.

In 2015, the Mogao Caves, which house ancient collections of Buddhist art, underwent major restoration efforts.

Food lovers may already be acquainted with Lanzhou’s signature hand-pulled noodles, which attract foodies from around China. Freshly-pulled noodles are most commonly served in a beef broth with chilli and herbs.

Yokohama, south of Tokyo, is known for its eclectic architecture, microbreweries and local cuisine. (Shutterstock)

In second place on the list is a pair of seaside cities which lie south of Tokyo: Yokohama, for its eclectic architecture, microbreweries and local cuisine; and Kamakura, for its temples, shrines, and surf.

The seaside city of Kamakura in Japan is popular for its temples, shrines and beaches. (Shutterstock)

And in the third place is northern Kerala in India, which the Lonely Planet describes as unduly underrated. While the beaches of south Kerala attract major tourists, the opening of a new international airport in Kannur will allow visitors to discover beaches in the north. In anticipation, a string of homestays and resorts have been opening up in recent years.

Here are Lonely Planet’s picks of the best destinations to visit in Asia in 2017:

1. Gansu, China

2. South of Tokyo, Japan

3. Northern Kerala, India

4. Keong Saik Road, Singapore

5. Astana, Kazakhstan

6. Takayama, Japan

7. Xi’an, China

8. Sri Lanka’s Hill Country

9. Melaka City, Malaysia

10. Raja Ampat, Indonesia

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