The most popular Asian destination for Australian travelers is…

Sapporo is a favorite among Australians. Pic: Wikizilla

YOU might be surprised to find out that Australians don’t just flock to Bali to holiday. It turns out that most of the time, they prefer their destinations to be less-trodden.

According to a recent study by Agoda, four hotspots in Japan emerged as some of the most popular holiday destinations for Aussies.

Sapporo, Hakone, Nagoya and Kyoto have received the largest year-over-year (YoY) jumps in hotel bookings in Australia. Interestingly, Tokyo didn’t make the cut.

According to Travel Daily News, Sapporo is a favorite for its world-class skiing opportunities in the winter, and marked a 144 percent YoY jump in hotel bookings.

SEE ALSO: The best eco-tourism highlights in Hokkaido

Hakone, meanwhile, is only a few hours from Tokyo and most travelers go in for a day’s trip to escape the concrete jungle. The town is renowned for its relaxing onsen or hot spring spots.

Nagoya – the automotive capital of Japan – came in sixth for its thriving arts and museum scene. The city also houses many Toyota-related museums where visitors can witness a car being assembled.

It doesn’t come as a surprise that Kyoto made the list, what with its stunning temples and rich teahouse and kaiseki cultures that constantly draw in tourists. Unlike the eccentricity of Tokyo, Kyoto strives to preserve tradition and precision.

However, the destination that recorded the highest YoY jump in hotel bookings is Kathmandu. Despite the 2015 quake that destroyed many of its UNESCO World Heritage-listed monuments, Nepal’s capital is a favorite among Aussies.

Kathmandu is a popular spot for outdoor activities and camping, in tune with what the average Australian traveler looks for. But whatever the reason may be, the surge in numbers is proof of Nepal’s resilience since the quake.

SEE ALSO: Paragliding over paradise in western Nepal

Here are the top 10 Asian destinations for Australians:

  1. Kathmandu, Nepal
  2. Sapporo, Japan
  3. Padang, Indonesia
  4. Hakone, Japan
  5. Surabaya, Indonesia
  6. Nagoya, Japan
  7. Kyoto, Japan
  8. Palawan, the Philippines
  9. Krabi, Thailand
  10. Bagan, Mynanmar

Andy Edwards, global director for brand and communications at Agoda said, “It is really interesting to see the types of places that Australian travelers are starting to discover in greater numbers.”

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Meanwhile, in a similar Agoda study about the habits of independent Chinese travelers, it was revealed that Dumaguete in the Philippines is popular for diving excursions, whale-watching cruises and cultural sites. Last year alone saw a 805 percent jump in bookings.

Other popular destinations among independent Chinese travelers are Krabi and Koh Lanta in Thailand, and Nha Trang in Vietnam.

Unsurprisingly, Japan made up most of the top ten spots with less-traveled cities like Yufu, Takayama, Beppu, Asahikawa and Nagano recorded as favorites among the Chinese.