2016 Азия Сундарбан Бухара Лешань Тоба Базофт Индия Узбекистан Китай Индонезия Иран
Svitlana Tuchynska

​Where to go in 2016. Less travelled spots in Asia

​Where to go in 2016. Less travelled spots in Asia
Categories: Asia

Our tour leaders not only work but live in Asia as well. Not surprisingly, they know many interesting places that get overlooked by most travelers for now but have a lot of potential.

I love Asia chose five less known destinations in Asia that you should consider visiting this year. 

The Sundarbans, India

Home to the largest mangrove jungles in the world, The Sundarbans occupies 10,000 km² in India and Bangladesh.Here four rivers flow into the Bay of Bengal, forming hundreds of islands in their deltas. Only a fraction of the enormous park is open for visitors, who cruise between islands on medium size motor ships. They hope to see the pride of The Subdarbans - Bengali tigers.

Since there are only about 200 of them in the park, chances to see one are not big. But all visitors enjoy serene nature, and are guaranteed to see spotted deer, foxes, wild cats, crocodiles, birds and, probably, even dolphins.

Accommodation in the park is few and an attraction of itself. A couple of very simple eco resorts are situated near the tiny villages on the outskirts of the park. Very friendly locals live without electricity and mobile coverage, growing rice, breeding poultry, fishing and collecting wild honey for a living. In the evenings many of them like to hang out with guests, singing traditional songs and playing their instruments.

How to get there?

The best way is to buy a package including accommodation, food and entrance to the park, from one of the small agencies around Sudder street in Kolkata.

You can also go to The Sundarbans with us if you book a seat in the “India: History, jungles and the sea” trip.

Bukhara, Uzbekistan

Most tourists, who go to Uzbekistan, focus on the well known city of Samarkand and miss out on another, much more authentic, gem – the ancient city of Bukhara. The old part of the city is large and immediately makes you feel like a “Thousand and one night” fairy tale come to life. Despite the fact that all attractions are located in this district, it did not turn to a museum and a lot of people still occupy its tiny houses. Roaming in the old city, one constantly stumbles upon tiny ancient mosques and madrasas, synagogues and very old houses, but also coming across some of the biggest attractions of Bukhara.

The main one is an impressive Ark fort, now home to a history museum. It is hard to imagine but before 1920 the fort was even larger, before parts were destroyed by Bolsheviks who were set on making Bukhara khanate part of the USSR. Make sure you also visit Chor-Minor and 12th century Kalyan minaret. In the evening relax near the lake in Lyab-i Hauz, the small central square in old city, with a good ethnic restaurant and some eccentric live music. 

How to get there?

From Tashkent take an overnight train or a 6-hours express train.

To visit Bukhara with I love Asia, book your seat in “Uzbekistan: From Alexander the Great to our days” trip.

Leshan, China

Small Chinese town of Leshan would not be different from the majority of small Chinese towns, if not for the largest stone statue in world nearby. 71-meters tall statue of sitting Buddha was carved out of the rock back in 8th century and remains very well preserved. You can reach a statue by a river tram or visit the park on the opposite bank of the river and then walk up to Buddha for a closer look.

Leshan is situated on the spot where three rivers meet and is probably one of the most relaxed resort towns of China. Locals swim in rivers, carp fish, and enjoy many eateries on laid back riverfronts. Local Sichuan cuisine is world- known for its variety of soups, vegetables and spices. Lovers of tea will find many teashops and traditional Chinese tea houses where customers pay for the dry tea in the pot, infusing it as many times as needed for free. 

How to get there?

Leshan is only two hours away by a bus from Chengdu.

Toba lake, Indonesia

The largest volcanic lake in the world, Toba sits in the northern part of Indonesia’s Sumatra island. The water is crystal clear and the mountain air is crisp. In the middle of the 1.000 square kilometers large, Samosir island is located, sprinkled with small villages.

Samosir is home to Batak people, who still live in their traditional wooden houses with unusual pointy roofs. Bataks are very friendly and are know in Indonesia as first-class pottery makers and fishermen. To learn more about their culture, visit TB Silahali Center on the southern side of the island. On Wednesday and Saturday evenings go to Bagus Bay restaurant to see locals dance and sing traditional songs.

After enjoying the lake, visit the 120 meters tall Sipisopiso plunge waterfall. Also, only 2 hours away by bus, the Gunung Leuser national park is located, famous for its population of the 5 thousand orangutans. 

How to get there?

From Medan take a bus to Parapat (4-5 hours) and then take a boat to the island.

You can also visit Toba with us, if you book a seat in our "Deep immersion into Indinesia + Malaysia” trip

Bazoft region, Iran

Iran’s Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari province is home to some of the most remote parts in the country. In Bazoft region there are even no towns – only temporary villages and tiny hamlets. This territory is home to the largest group of Iran’s nomads – Bakhtiari people.

In April they move from valleys up to the mountains, leading their very impressive amount of cattle to greener pastures. People settle to live in temporary hamlets nearby, with no electricity and roads. Lack of infrastructure keeps this region virgin and breathtakingly beautiful. The only way to get here is by foot, walking through forests and valleys. Lovers of nature will marvel at virgin meadows, snow covered mountain views and stunning landscapes, while active sport fans can kayak on picturesque Bazoft river.  

How to get there?

FromShahrekord, take a taxi to the nearby villages of Chaman Goli, or Gazestan. From here start you hike, while trying to keep close to Bazoft river. Ideally, travel with the local guide or an Iranian person.