3 Asian destinations top ‘best travel destinations for 2019’ list

Sri Lanka

Where are the best places to travel to next year? Source: Shutterstock.

CRAVING for a vacation? Needing some travel inspiration?

Lonely Planet has unveiled its annual “Best in Travel” list of the best destinations, trends, journeys, and experiences to have in the year to come.

The destinations on the list may surprise you because they are a mix of well-known and lesser-known locations, such as Germany (at number two) and Belarus (number eight).

And even if you are already familiar with the well-known ones, perhaps they are worth a second look before you head off on the road less traveled.

“These are the places to experience in 2019,” Lonely Planet destination editor Trisha Ping said.

“They might be coming into their own, celebrating a once-in-a-lifetime event or simply have been overlooked for too long – whatever the reason, now is the time to plan a trip.”

So where are the best places to travel to next year? Here are the three Asian destinations that made it to the top 10.

#1 Sri Lanka

Located in the Indian Ocean to the southwest of the Bay of Bengal and the southeast of the Arabian Sea, Sri Lanka is an island country which boasts a rich history that is intertwined with the Indian subcontinent.

“Sri Lanka is decidedly having its moment in the equatorial sun and change is coming swiftly. Already notable to intrepid travelers for its mix of religions and cultures, its timeless temples, its rich and accessible wildlife, its growing surf scene and its people who defy all odds by their welcome and friendliness after decades of civil conflict, this is a country revived,” Lonely Planet wrote.

Sri Lanka

Source: Shutterstock.

“There’s now more than ever for families, adrenaline junkies, eco-tourists, wellness seekers and foodies of all budgets. Even the north and east, including areas previously off limits, difficult to reach or lacking in services, deliver new discoveries.”

#5 Kyrgyzstan

Landlocked and mountainous, with Kazakhstan to the north, Uzbekistan to the west, Tajikistan to the southwest and China to the southeast, Kyrgyzstan is a South-Central Asian Union country that is proud of its incredible natural beauty and proud nomadic traditions.

“Kyrgyzstan’s moment on the world tourism stage seems to have come following huge buzz from the 2018 World Nomad Games, Central Asia’s competition dedicated to its traditional (and quirky) regional sports,” Lonely Planet explained.


Source: Shutterstock.

“The time to visit has never been better – more than 2700km of newly marked trekking routes; a countrywide push of community-run tour products; a revamped national highway system cutting transit times immensely; and a simplified e-visa programme for those not on the list of 60+ visa-free countries – but do it now: Kyrgyzstan is quickly becoming an in-the-know favorite for independent travelers seeking unspoiled natural beauty.”

#7 Indonesia

Straddling the Equator between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean with Malaysia to the north and Papua New Guinea to the east, Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world with 18,110 islands and the fourth most populous country after China, India, and the US.

“Indonesia is as diverse as its span is long, from new eco-resorts offering orang-utan encounters in Sumatra to the tribal traditions of Papua. More than 17,000 islands make up the medley of cultures, cuisines, and religions across the archipelago, offering a kaleidoscope of experience,” Lonely Planet wrote.

UlunDanu temple

Source: Shutterstock.

“Earthquakes recently struck some parts of Indonesia, which is located on the volcano-lined Pacific Ring of Fire. The response to these natural disasters is ongoing, but much of this sprawling country remains safe for visitors. Thanks to substantial investment in new air, land and sea connections, plus recent visa-free access for nationals of 169 countries, it has never been easier to explore this tropical country. Go now, before all its secrets are uncovered.”