With years of wanderlusting under our belts, our travel bucket list is obviously miles long, so to narrow it down, we’re looking to some destinations that have a much-lauded UNESCO World Heritage stamp.
Trying to tick off all of these gorgeous sites will take a bit of moolah, so unless you’re rolling in dough, we’re sure you could use some help finding the cheapest airfare and deals on hotel rooms (because saving every penny counts!)
Enter Wego, a nifty travel site where travellers can save money by scoping out the most affordable airfares and luxe boutique hotels for less. Cool right? So to help you out, we’ve put together some stunning “destination inspiration” throughout Asia, along with beautiful boutique hotel recommendations. Don’t forget to send us a postcard!
Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia
The UNESCO World Heritage Temples of Angkor Complex is one of the most iconic spiritual destinations in the world. It’s easy to fall under the spell of the majestic Khmer architecture of the Hindu-Buddhist Angkor Wat temple. The grand-scale structure imitates the sacred Mount Meru, considered to be the mythical centre of the universe, and is a must-see experience. Enlist the help of a local tour guide to get in early – if you’re lucky you’ll get to marvel at hidden corners and incredible tiny details sans the crowds.
How to get there: Fly to Siem Reap via Singapore.
Where to stay: Heritage Suites Hotel is a luxury boutique retreat just minutes away from Angkor Wat. Rooms start at IDR 2,650,000++
Hoi An, Vietnam
Hoi An is really one of the most magical places in Vietnam. It may be much sleepier in comparison to metropolitans like Ho Chi Minh, but this charming town is a stunning melting-pot of cultures where you can spend your days wandering along the riverside while soaking up the intriguing architecture. Peddle through the World Heritage Old Town on bike or on foot, and when you’re feeling peckish grab a bite at the riverside food market, where you should try the local cau lau – rice noodles tossed with sliced pork and tasty broth. Don’t forget to sample the local lager bia hơi to cool down after a long day.
How to get there: Fly to Da Nang via Singapore, then take a car to Hoi An.
Where to stay: Four Seasons Resort The Nam Hai is a stunning beachfront luxury resort that stretches along one of the best private beaches in the world. Rooms start at IDR 12,400,000++ a night.
Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia
Georgetown is brimming with cultural prominence – the capital of Penang has a mix of Chinese, Malay, Indian and British colonial influences. The UNESCO Heritage Site is known for incredible street art, with intriguing murals and graffiti found on every corner. But it’s not just the art that’s dominating the streets – Penang is the food capital of Malaysia and the best food can be found outdoors. With hawker staples like char kway teow and laksa, you’ll never go hungry. There are also plenty of striking new cafes and watering holes that set the bar high. Best of all, no connecting flights required.
How to get there: Fly directly to Penang.
Where to stay: The Edison is a contemporary boutique hotel set in a restored colonial mansion in the heart of Georgetown. Rooms start at IDR 1,600,000++ a night.
Most people try to squeeze in a day-trip to Nara by way of Kyoto, but instead of trying to cram this quaint temple-town into a few hours, why not just stay the weekend? That gives you ample time to wander around, bumping into friendly deer that just casually stroll around Nara Park, gently [and sometimes not so gently!] nudging tourists for deer crackers. Roaming Bambis aren’t Nara’s only attraction – there’s the Tōdai-ji temple, which houses the world’s largest bronze Buddha statue and Iga-ryu, an actual ninja museum where you can learn about the history of ninjas and even catch a real life ninja show.
How to get there: Fly to Osaka via Tokyo, then head to Nara via train.
Where to stay: Noborioji Hotel is an intimate luxury hotel with only 14-rooms set right next to the tranquil Kofuku-ji temple. Rooms start at IDR 7,000,000++ a night.
The best time to visit Bagan is right now – this architectural feat is said to rival Machu Picchu and Angkor Wat, but without all the tourists. Yet. And what better way to take in the awe-inspiring sights than with a scenic balloon flight? Take flight at dawn to glide over thousands of ancient pagodas while the sun rises over the beautiful temples. Can’t get any more zen than that.
How to get there: Fly to Yangon, then head to Bagan via a domestic flight or an overnight train.
Where to stay: Aureum Palace Hotel and Resort is a stunning luxury resort set within the Bagan Archaelogical Preservation Zone, ensuring breathtaking views at night. Rooms start at IDR 2,600,000++ a night.
This article was proudly written in partnership with Wego.