Escape the Madding Crowd: 4 Secret VTL Destinations in Asia

Destinations, Adventure & Solo
post image Josiah Tan
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4 Secret Vaccinated Travel Lane (VTL) Destinations in Asia

Nothing takes the joy out of holidays like snaking queues and crushing crowds. With the opening of borders and travel corridors, it’s only a matter of time top cities and beaches across the world explode with tourists. If you’re looking to escape the madding crowd and vacation at your own pace, check out these underrated places we have picked out for you.

Damyang, South Korea

Damyang

Beyond the metropolitan glamour of Seoul and Busan’s coastal charm, Damyang’s pristine nature reveals a side of Korea not seen by many. While the small county of Jeollanam-do may not bustle like its urban counterparts, it more than makes up for it with spellbinding trails and soft rolling hills.

Among Damyang’s many natural wonders, a trip to Juknokwon should be your top priority. With 8 beautiful nature trails and an art museum offering bamboo-flavoured ice cream, it’s perfect for visitors looking for some peace and serenity. If it’s your first time visiting, we recommend a stroll along the Unsudaetong Road (Good Luck Road) which leads to the famous Bonghwangru Observatory.

A never-ending road flanked by towering Metasequoia trees, the Metasequoia Path is another instaworthy spot among nature lovers and photo enthusiasts. Be sure to grab a few rolls of gimbap and pack some drinks in a cooler bag before the trip for a nice picnic!

Jaipur, India

Jaipur’s striking salmon-hued facades and cultural influence have kept the city on the radar of travellers for centuries. Crown jewels such as the Hawa Mahal and City Palace are just examples of the beautiful monuments of historical significance peppered throughout the city.

Fascinated with the cosmos and ancient instruments used to observe the world beyond our own? Then check out Jantar Mantar, an 18th-century observatory constructed entirely out of stone. Home to 13 architectural astronomy instruments, Jantar Mantar is home to the world’s largest sundial (73 feet tall). For travellers with a curious bent, Jantar Mantar is not to be missed.

If you return home without souvenirs, have you truly travelled? Head on over to the vibrant markets of Johari Bazaar and pick up a few gorgeous block-printed cotton fabrics, embroidered blankets, and leather footwear for your loved ones.

Penang, Malaysia

As Malaysia’s cultural hub, Penang is replete with charming mansions and boutique hotels that date back to the 19th century. The Blue Mansion, arguably the most famous of all, is home to the last vestiges of Scottish, British, and Chinese influence in Penang. From Scottish cast-iron balusters to British stained glass, to calligraphy-adorned walls, The Blue Mansion is a must-visit for anyone intrigued by the golden bygone eras. For a taste of Penang in its full glory, head over to The Courtyard for a traditional breakfast under the open skies.

Beyond delicious food and cultural sights, reignite your childlike wonder at the Firefly Sanctuary. Take a sunset cruise along the Sungai Kerian riverbank and be dazzled by thousands of twinkling fireflies. Visitors not satisfied with looking from afar can consider catching some octopus or exploring the nearby bat caves.

Khao Phang, Thailand

While many may claim to be seasoned travellers when it comes to Bangkok and Phuket, only a handful have heard of Khao Phang. Tucked away in the south of Thailand, the up and coming town makes for an ideal private getaway. For sightseeing, there’s Khao Sok National Park, arguably the best national park in the country. Hop on a boat and ride the famous Cheow Lan Lake as you enjoy a plethora of local cuisines against a backdrop of magnificent limestone rocks. Water activities are a great way to enjoy the beauty of Khao Phang. Be sure to sign up for a dive and be enthralled by the beautiful coral reefs and thriving marine life of the region!


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Josiah Tan

Bumbling through university on spindly legs, it’s in the world of Travel that Josiah Tan finds a home. When away from his workstation, Josiah can often be found bartering leftover bacon for morsels of affection from his disinterested Maltese.