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On Our Radar

With 2024 clicking into gear, it’s time to look ahead. Here’s a short selection of what’s currently whetting our appetite for another packed year of travel.

Let’s be very honest, it’s hard to go wrong when selecting a choice of Asian travel destination. From perennial favorites like Thailand and Japan to relative outliers like The Philippines and the spectacular countries of Central Asia, the region offers a veritable plethora of wondrous experiences. Nevertheless, it’s fair to say that some countries are trending hotter than ever now. We’ve selected five countries and regions we believe are set to be among the top choices for travelers over the coming year. 

Time for Taiwan

Taroko Gorge

Taiwan presents a captivating package for travelers, boasting visual allure in the lush mountains of Wulai, the scenic Taroko Gorge, and the dramatic cliffs along the east coast. The modern capital, Taipei, stands out with inspiring temples and a thriving culinary scene. Renowned for its excellent biking routes and wild landscapes perfect for hiking, Taiwan offers adventure seekers a haven. Beyond Taipei, cities like Tainan and Kaohsiung compete with vibrant street snacks, flamboyant temples, and timeless rituals, adding depth to the island’s rich cultural tapestry. With direct flights available from Los Angeles and New York, 2024 may be the year to explore this hugely underrated country. See Remote Lands’ Instagram page to watch our video series on Taiwan’s wild and undeveloped east coast. 

Sri Lanka Steps Up

Dambulla cave temple

Sri Lanka is strutting its stuff as one of Asia’s most appealing destinations. Blessed with paradise beaches, jungle-draped mountains, and cascading waterfalls, this island nation stands among the world’s most stunning destinations. Its allure extends beyond aesthetics, boasting rich history—both ancient and colonial—and diverse wildlife. Explore the Cultural Triangle, spanning Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, and Dambulla, showcasing historic sites, cave temples, and the iconic Sigiriya Rock. Sri Lanka’s compact size ensures seamless travel between these highlights, inviting you to delve into a tapestry of natural wonders and cultural treasures. Other fresh developments include the Pekoe Trail, Sri Lanka’s first long distance hiking route. Stretching 185 miles from Kandy in central Sri Lanka to Nuwara Eliya in the heart of the hill country, the route carves a path through cloud-swathed villages and centuries-old tea estates offering a unique window to a part of Sri Lanka that is often overlooked.  Sri Lanka has plenty of enticing accommodation options, with more about to open. Among those set to be unveiled is Canopy Lodge, a 33-room boutique option by the acclaimed Resplendent Ceylon group, which is located near Sigiraya.

Hong Kong Regains Its Poise

Hong Kong cityscape from above

Numerous factors contribute to Hong Kong‘s enduring status as one of the world’s premier destinations. While unequivocally Chinese, the territory seamlessly blends the charm of the old and the vibrancy of the new, interwoven with remnants of British colonial influence for a distinctive travel encounter. Against the backdrop of one of the world’s most breath-taking landscapes, Hong Kong boasts a diverse culinary scene, cutting-edge public transport, and expansive green spaces. This fusion of elements ensures that Hong Kong maintains its distinctive allure and confident demeanor on the global stage. Hong Kong is well-known for its grand addresses, and the Peninsula Hong Kong is among the finest choices. A classic ‘grande dame’ property, the Peninsula is situated in the vibrant neighborhood of Tsim Sha Tsui, on the Kowloon side, offering iconic views of Victoria Harbor and the refined service the brand is famous for. On the Hong Kong side, Upper House is our favorite boutique property, with just 117 rooms and easy walking to Central and the nightlife fun of Lan Kwai Fong.

Rajahstan’s Regal Appeal

Jal Mahal

There are so many evocative regions in India; it is hard to pick out just one. Nevertheless, for sheer drama, romance and history Rajasthan is difficult to beat. The one-time home of the fearsome Rajput warrior clans is an exercise in contrasts. Bustling cities such as Jaipur and Jodhpur are color charged hubs of activity, their modern energy augmented by stirring reminders of the region’s rich past in the shape of forts and palaces. Meanwhile, out in the wilds, the desert takes over – its sun-kissed splendor punctuated by oasis towns such as Jaisalmer. Travel to Rajasthan has boomed since the pandemic, and the state’s government plans to capitalize on this interest via a range of innovations including improvements to existing cultural highlights and the introduction of new food festivals and gourmet trails. There are plentiful enticing accommodation options in the state with standout choices including Aman-i-Khás, Raj Mahal, Taj Umaid Bawanand The Oberoi Rajvilas in Jaipur.

Bhutan’s Himalayan Heights

Spinning painted prayer wheels at Paro Dzong

Bhutan enchants with a captivating allure as the final bastion of the majestic Himalayan kingdoms, steeped in mystique and folklore. Bhutan fiercely preserves its traditions, yet seamlessly incorporates modern elements. In the capital, Thimpu, markets teeming with religious artifacts harmonize with chic galleries, trendy bookshops, and a vibrant nightlife. The nation’s sleek, contemporary accommodations are scattered generously, reflecting a perfect blend of tradition and modernity. World class lodges by Aman and Six Senses are located in the five main valleys of Bhutan stretching from Paro to Thimpu, Punakha, Gangtey and Bumthang. Planning to visit in 2024? One of the benefits of Bhutan is that the country can be appreciated for most of the year. Winters are crisp but surprisingly mild due to the latitude at Miami and Rome equivalents, and both autumn and spring offer world-class hiking and outdoor pursuits; summer monsoons are generally best avoided, although the lush greenery appeals to some travelers.