The 6 Most Beautiful Places In Asia (That I Saw Last Year)

It’s been nearly a year now since I returned from my epic Asian journey, having completed my first multi-month solo female travel adventure.

Do I miss life on the perpetual road? Every damn day. It’s been nice having a comfy bed, a cat, a routine, and a home base for the past year in one of the best cities in the world, but there is a gradually-loudening voice inside reminding me that this is not the life for me. I’m itching to make some moves, and I think 2015 is going to a big year. Stay tuned, kiddos!

Mui Ne sand dunes 

In the meantime, I’m entertaining my wanderlust by reminiscing over adventures I’ve had on the other side of the world, replacing my daily skyscraper views with flashbacks to the glorious scenery I chased last year in Asia. I still can’t decide which of the most beautiful places in Asia was my favorite: the mountains of Nepal and Laos; the beaches of Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia; or the Indian desert. But here are the final contenders, i.e. the most beautiful place I experienced in each of the 6 Asian countries I explored last year:

The Himalayas, Nepal

Remember that time I hiked for 3 straight weeks to Everest Base Camp and back? It was worth all the blisters and frigid nights for the mind-numbingly stunning mountainous scenes that rocked my world on a daily basis.

Everest Base Camp Trek
Everest Base Camp Trek - beautiful places in Asia 

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The Limestone Karsts of Thailand

I hit up my share of islands during the 6+ weeks I spent in Thailand, but in the end I couldn’t fight my love for those with the dramatic limestone karsts. They sure don’t make most of ‘em like that elsewhere in the world!

From the oasis of Maya Bay to the climbing mecca of Railay, I spent no less than 95% of my waking hours gaping at the rock-meets-beach scene before me. Can you blame me?

Maya Bay Thailand

Source: Flickr (edited by me)

Railay Thailand 

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Thar Desert, India

Fact: I had a rough time in India. I don’t associate the 3+ weeks I spent there with fuzzy happy memories and beautiful natural scenery, namely because I spent most of my time in the cities of Rajasthan. But I did have a moment while chillaxin’ in the Thar Desert outside of Jaisalmer with a pack of camels.

Thar Desert India
Thar Desert India 

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Koh Rong, Cambodia

Behold, the happy little accident that ended up being a highlight of my entire 5 months in Asia. Koh Rong is a non-hyped island off the coast of Cambodia, and I selfishly sort of wish it stays underdeveloped and pristine the way it was when I visited. White sand, blue water, a puffy cloud-studded sky – what more could a beach lovin’ girl want? Fish amok and mojitos in the sand, and bioluminescent plankton at night? Well ok!

Koh Rong Cambodia
Koh Rong Cambodia 

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Nong Khiaw, Laos

I’ve still got images of the milk chocolate-colored river and ubiquitous lush green mountains of Nong Khiaw imprinted in my mind. I definitely didn’t hate waking up to that view or spending lazy afternoons writing from my balcony after an epic bike ride around/outside of town. If I’d had more than a week there, I’m certain I’d have fallen hopelessly in love with Laos; instead, he’s the one that got away. Just look at this stunner!

Nong Khiaw Laos
Nong Khiaw Laos 

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Jungle Beach, Vietnam

While I may not have thoroughly LOVED my days at Jungle Beach, I did appreciate the magnificent landscape there. Cooling off from the sweltering heat in the warm water, looking back at the palm trees and mountains behind the resort was just the best.

Jungle Beach Vietnam
Jungle Beach Vietnam 

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Which do you think is the most beautiful place in Asia?

Lindsay Buckley is the photographer and travel blogger behind Frugal Frolicker. She's a New Yorker currently based in Sydney, Australia, documenting outdoor travel experiences Down Under and beyond. Follow along with Lindsay's travel photography on Facebook and Instagram, and be sure to sign up for the monthly Frugal Frolicker newsletter!

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  • Your photos are stunning. I feel like you’re too cool for me to know you. You hiked to EBC?? This post solidified it for me: I need to finish up in Europe and jet off to Asia, stat. Especially Koh Rong in Cambodia, um hiiiiiiiiiii.

  • Looks like you had a wonderful trip to Asia! I am so sad that I missed Koh Rong, it looks STUNNING. A trip back to Cambodia is definitely in order!

    • lindsaypunk

      Man, I feel like that happens with every place I visit – there’s always something super cool that I somehow miss out on, and then afterwards I’m like AHHHH I wanna go back someday! But then there are so many other places I haven’t seen at all yet, so should I travel someplace new or go back to my tried and true faves? #travelbloggerproblems

  • Lydboelger

    I love your blog! As a single 30 year old woman who has just starting to explore the world, this gives me so many Ideas. I visited the Andaman coast of Thailand alone in April, and my favourite spot was Tonsai next to Railay, where your picture is from :) The little community of Tonsai stole my heart. I have recetly descided that Cambodia, including Koh Rong, will be my destination for the winter of 2015/16, which is how i ended up reading your blog.

    • lindsaypunk

      Aw, thank you so much! I’m thrilled to hear that :) Tonsai is amazing, isn’t it? So beautiful, and so chilled out! I loved all the adventure activities there as well. You’ll love Cambodia, especially Koh Rong – which is in the running for my favorite island in the world!

      • Lydboelger

        Absolutely, wish i stayed there longer than two nights. will defenitely go back to Tonsai one day. My profile picture is actually taken at the Sunset Pirate Bar, Tonsai :) Koh Rong sounds great, I’m thinking of celebrating New Years there or Koh Ta Kiev.