The Ultimate Asia Bucket List

Asia, the largest and most diverse continent on earth, offers a wealth of sights, sounds, and tastes to keep you exploring forever. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie, a culture aficionado, or someone just looking to try something new, Asia’s got you covered.  

Here’s our ultimate bucket list for your Asian adventure, together with tips on how to make sure those memories are the kind you’ll never forget.

The Ultimate Asia Bucket List

Trans-Siberian Railway Journey

Asia bucket list

Imagine crossing the vast stretches of Russia, through the heart of Siberia, and ending up in the busy streets of Beijing or in the wide-open steppes of Mongolia. Riding the Trans-Siberian Railway isn’t just a trip from A to B; it’s a journey through time, cultures, and some of the most breathtaking landscapes Asia has to offer.


• Visit the official Russian Railways website (RZD) for routes, schedules, and ticket information.

• Opt for the longest possible route from Moscow to Vladivostok, and consider making stops in Yekaterinburg, Irkutsk (near Lake Baikal), and Ulan Ude.

• Join a local guide for a Siberian wilderness survival course. Learn how to fish through ice, build a shelter in the snow, or even go on a traditional hunting trip with the locals.

Go Island Hopping in Thailand

Asia bucket list

Thailand’s islands are just like those perfect pictures you see on postcards and in your wildest dreams. You’ve got places like Koh Phangan, known for the beach parties, and then there’s Koh Lipe, where everything’s calm and beautiful. Whether you’re snorkeling in waters so clear you won’t believe it, dancing the night away, or just chilling on a quiet beach, hopping from one Thai island to another is the quintessential Asian adventure.


• Thailand’s official tourism website is a comprehensive resource for island destinations, accommodation, and activities.

• Include some of the less-visited islands like Koh Yao Noi, Koh Muk, or Koh Kood. Consider renting a kayak or stand-up paddleboard to explore hidden coves and beaches at your own pace.

• Get your scuba diving certification in one of Thailand’s crystal-clear waters. Explore the underwater world of coral reefs, exotic fish, and perhaps even a shipwreck or two.

•  For worry-free connectivity, get a downloadable Asia eSIM from aloSIM before your trip. This way, you can easily navigate the islands, use translation apps to chat with the locals, make reservations and stay in touch with family back home, without worrying about finding a Wi-Fi spot. Use code NOMADISBEAUTIFUL to save on your first purchase. 

Heading to Thailand?

Attend a Sumo Match in Japan

places to visit in Asia

Sumo, an ancient Japanese sport that combines elements of ritual, strength, and competition, offers a unique view into Japan’s rich culture. Watching a sumo match in Tokyo or Osaka is an unforgettable way to connect with it.  


• The Japan Sumo Association’s official website provides a schedule of tournaments, ticketing information, and even sumo stables visits.

• Plan your visit during one of the six major tournaments (Honbasho) held throughout the year.

• Arrange a visit to a sumo stable, where you can watch the rigorous morning practice sessions, learn about the life of a sumo wrestler, and try Chanko Nabe, a hearty stew eaten by sumo wrestlers, available at nearby restaurants.

Float in the Dead Sea

Asia bucket list

At the border between Israel and Jordan, the Dead Sea is one of the world’s most unique natural wonders. Known for its extremely high salt content (approximately 34.2%, which is about 9.6 times saltier than the ocean), the waters of the Dead Sea allow you to float effortlessly on its surface.


• Tourism websites of Israel and Jordan are great starting points for planning your visit, including how to get there, where to stay, and health tips for floating in the Dead Sea.

• Visit a spa for a Dead Sea mud treatment or choose a beach where mud is readily available.

• Pair your Dead Sea float with an adventurous hike through the nearby Ein Gedi Nature Reserve or the Masada fortress.

Explore the Temples of Angkor in Cambodia

Where to go in Asia

The Angkor Archaeological Park in Cambodia is a testament to the ingenuity of the Khmer Empire. Walking among the ruins of Angkor Wat, the Bayon, and many other temples, you’re transported back in time. These ancient structures are a must-visit for anyone interested in history or architecture.


• The official site for Angkor Enterprise provides ticket information, opening hours, and guidelines for visiting the temples.

• To truly feel the magic of Angkor, get up early and go see Angkor Wat at sunrise. It’s quieter then, and the light is just amazing. Make sure to also check out some of the quieter temples like Ta Prohm. And hey, getting a local guide can really bring the place to life with all the history and tales they tell.

• After exploring the Temples of Angkor, take a ride on Cambodia’s unique Bamboo Train, also known as the “Norry.”

Hike to Everest Base Camp, Nepal


For all you adventure lovers out there, hiking to Everest Base Camp in Nepal is a wild ride that comes with crazy good views and a whole new respect for the mighty Himalayas. This hike is more than just a walk; it’s a journey through the homeland of the Sherpas, giving you a peek into life up in the mountains and the brave souls who climb to the top of the world. It’s not just a hike; it’s the ultimate high-altitude experience.


• Hiking agencies in Nepal offer guided hikes to Everest Base Camp, including recommendations on gear, training, and must-see spots along the way.

• Incorporate side hikes to places like the Gokyo Lakes or the challenging climb to Kala Patthar for great views of Everest. Prepare extensively for altitude sickness, and consider hiking during the shoulder seasons (April-May or October-November) for the best combination of clear skies and fewer travelers.

• Combine your hike with some volunteering in one of the remote Sherpa villages. Help out at the local school, pitch in at a clinic, or do some environmental work – it’s a good way to give back and add a meaningful dimension to your journey.

Experience the Aarti Ceremony by the Ganges at Varanasi, India

where to go in Asia

Varanasi, one of the oldest living cities in the world, offers a very spiritual experience. Watching the aarti ceremony by the Ganges as the sun dips is something you won’t forget. It sticks with you. And wandering around the ghats (the stairs that take you right to the river’s edge), the temples, and the tight little alleys, you can really feel the spiritual heartbeat of India.


• The official tourism website of India provides information on Varanasi, including cultural events, temple visits, and boat tours on the Ganges.

• For a better experience, stay in a riverside guesthouse to be closer to the Ganges.

• Engage in a morning boat ride to witness the daily life and rituals from a different perspective, and don’t miss the opportunity to participate in a yoga session by the ghats.

Plan your trip to India:

Explore the Rice Terraces of Sapa, Vietnam

Asia bucket list

Head up to northern Vietnam to hike through the rice terraces of Sapa. This hike is a cultural one, as it takes you through remote villages inhabited by diverse ethnic minorities.


• Opt for a homestay experience to truly immerse yourself in the local way of life, learning about their traditions, cuisine, and daily routines.

• After your hike, chill on a cruise in Halong Bay. You can kayak in the bay, visit floating villages, or explore some of the many caves.

• Don’t miss out on the Mekong Delta. Experience the floating markets, tropical fruit orchards, and local crafts.

Heading to Vietnam?

Jungle Adventures in Borneo, Malaysia

Asia bucket list

Borneo offers an adventure into the heart of Malaysia’s rainforests. Encounter unique wildlife, visit ancient caves, and take river tours in one of Asia’s most diverse ecosystems.


• Explore the Kinabatangan River and spot wildlife such as orangutans, pygmy elephants, and proboscis monkeys.

• Visit the Mulu Caves for a look at some of the world’s most impressive cave formations.

• An Asia eSIM can be particularly useful in remote areas like Borneo, giving you access to maps and wildlife guides, helping to book tours on-the-fly, and sharing your incredible experiences with family and friends back home.

• Visit Penang. Take a walk through George Town to see the incredible street art and colonial architecture, and make sure to try the Char Kway Teow, a classic Malaysian stir-fried noodle dish.

Plan your trip to Malaysia:

Feel the Pulse of Seoul, South Korea

Asia bucket list

Seoul is a place where the old and the new are in a constant dance. In this city, you’ll find quiet temples and grand palaces from times long past, sitting in the shadow of modern skyscrapers that reach for the sky.


• Explore the traditional Bukchon Hanok Village and wear a hanbok, the Korean traditional attire.

• Indulge in a foodie adventure at the Gwangjang Market, famous for its street food like bindaetteok (mung bean pancakes) and live octopus.

• Visit Gyeongbokgung Palace, the largest of the Five Grand Palaces, and watch the changing of the guard ceremony.

Closing Thoughts

Asia’s so big and diverse that this list barely scratches the surface of what’s out there to explore and experience. Each country, each city, and each village has its own unique treasures waiting to be discovered.

To stay connected without a hitch on your Asian travels, an Asia eSIM is the way to go. It allows you to find your way with navigation, translate conversations with locals, and look up information on the go, enhancing your experience and ensuring you’re always connected.  Use code NOMADISBEAUTIFUL to save on your first purchase. 

Happy travels, and here’s hoping your journey takes you to Asia’s most incredible spots.

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