Here are Airbnb’s trending destinations for 2019

Airbnb wants you to put these Asian destinations on your 2019 travel bucket list. Source: Shutterstock.

AS we welcome 2019, Airbnb is looking ahead for travelers’ plans for the new year.

Based on a combination of Airbnb search, booking and wish list growth data*, Airbnb forecasts the growing interest in more off-the-beaten-path regions, cities, and towns for travelers to explore

Ranging from a vehicle-free island off the coast of South Eastern China’s Xiamen, to Wakayama Prefecture, a humble region adjacent to Osaka that is deemed to be Japan’s “spiritual heartland” with 52 temples on holy Buddhist grounds in Koyasan, Airbnb found that most of the trending destinations allow travelers to both explore the authentic side of a country and  be part of its sustainable tourism ecosystem.

Travelers who are keen to find saffron-colored colonial villas and charming shops should look no further than Pondicherry, otherwise known as the French capital of India. Referred to as “Pondy” and a few hours’ drive from the state capital of Chennai, the best time to visit this coastal town is between the months of November and February for moderate climates.

For those heading to Taiwan, consider venturing out into Daxi and Yujing, with both locations appearing on more wish lists this year over last.

Daxi, a relatively small town, has an increasing variety of historic and culinary attractions, making it a worthwhile day trip or two if you’re visiting the capital city. For a more remote experience, head to Yujing for its mango farms and hot springs.

Here are Airbnb’s four trending destinations for 2019 along with a sampling of listings for you to stay in and Experiences to try:

Xiamen, China

(283 percent YoY increase in bookings)

A romantic port city surrounded by abundant islands takes the second spot on the list.

Source: Shutterstock.

Xiamen is also home to Kulangsu, a pedestrian-only, vehicle-free island just off the coast that is ideal for local seafood-loving couples.

If traveling solo, learn how to bake bread at a local dessert studio or experience nightlife like a local on a pub crawl with host Cong.

Wakayama Prefecture, Japan

(128 percent YoY increase in bookings)

This humble region adjacent to Osaka is referred to by some as Japan’s “spiritual heartland” with more and more locals and travelers taking up temporary lodging in the 52 temples on holy Buddhist grounds in Koyasan – an experience that can include meditation, temple services, Buddhist gardens, and vegetarian cuisine.

Source: Shutterstock.

If open-air baths are your thing, Sennin-buro in Kawayu is the country’s largest.

With fish markets rivaling Tokyo’s famed Tsukiji fish market, you’ll find tuna-cutting shows on daily display with the biggest tuna found in the country.

Head to the area in July for the Nachi Fire Festival and arrive early to get a good view — it’s a 1,700-year-old event and considered one of the most sacred festivals in Japan.

Pondicherry, India

(140 percent YoY increase in searches)

In Pondicherry, otherwise known as the French capital of India, you’ll find saffron-colored colonial villas and charming shops.

Referred to as “Pondy” and a few hours’ drive from the state capital of Chennai, the best time to visit this coastal town is between the months of November and February for moderate climates.

Source: Shutterstock.

Adventurers can scuba dive and see everything from corals and manta rays, to sharks, whales, and dolphins

Interested in reconnecting with your spirituality? Head to the world’s second largest mangrove jungle, Pichavaram Mangrove Forest, or Aurobindo Ashram, one of the most well-known in the country, or learn the classical art of Bharatnatyam dance from host Ramya.

Taiwan

(100+ percent YoY increase in wishlist inclusion)

Though Taipei remains a tourist favorite with night markets aplenty, the eastern districts of Daxi and Yujing are appearing on more wish lists this year over last. Daxi, a relatively small town, has an increasing variety of historic and culinary attractions, making it a worthwhile day trip or two if you’re visiting the capital city.

Source: Shutterstock.

If you want a more remote experience, head to Yujing with its mango farms and hot springs.

Additionally, the southeastern coastal city of Taitung attracts ancient treasure-seekers with relics recovered from buried Neolithic slate coffins,and part-time birders along the many lakefront paths.

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