The Best Alternative Destinations in Asia to Visit in 2023

Mandi Keighran

Planning to travel to Asia but not sure where to start? There are plenty of lesser-known gems to discover – let Culture Trip be your guide and book your spot now.

From seeing Jerusalem through the eyes of locals to discovering the birthplace of wine in rural Georgia, this is our pick of the best Asian Culture Trip adventures and alternative destinations in Asia to visit in 2023.

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The streets around Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, an 11th-century Orthodox cathedral in Mtskheta, Georgia

Rural Georgia to step back in time

The small country of Georgia, in the South Caucasus between Eastern Europe and Western Asia, used to be a fairly unknown travel destination — a favourite of backpackers looking to get off the beaten track. However, it’s attracted mainstream attention in the past decade, thanks to its rolling vineyards, rich culture, burgeoning club scene and picturesque villages. Culture Trip’s tour is a nine-day trip that takes in everything from the Unesco World Heritage sites at Mtskheta, to ancient winemaking traditions and sulphur baths in Tbilisi.

From US$1199

Next available from 18th May 2024

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Trip highlights and details

STARTS AT

Tbilisi, Georgia

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ENDS AT

Tbilisi, Georgia

DURATION

9

GROUP SIZE

16

PHYSICAL RATING

Moderate

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STYLE

Discovery

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A man and a woman hold hands as they hike across a wooden bridge over rainforest in Thailand

Northern Thailand to explore the jungle

It’s hard to pick the best country to visit in Southeast Asia — but Thailand, with its ancient temples, sun-soaked beaches and beautiful landscapes is definitely a contender. Culture Trip’s tour is one of the best Thailand has to offer, showcasing the mountainous terrain of the north rather than the better-known beaches of the south. Starting and ending in Chiang Mai, the 10-day adventure includes jungle trekking, waterfall swims, hot springs and plenty of Thai delicacies.

From US$1339

Next available from 18th May 2024

Secure your spot with a low deposit

Trip highlights and details

STARTS AT

Chiang Mai, Thailand

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ENDS AT

Chiang Mai, Thailand

DURATION

10

GROUP SIZE

16

PHYSICAL RATING

Moderate

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STYLE

Discovery

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Colourful paper lanterns hang across a busy, narrow street in Hoi An, Vietnam

Vietnam for urban and rural discovery

Planning a Southeast Asia travel adventure? Vietnam has plenty to offer, from dynamic cities to awe-inspiring landscapes and pretty rural villages. Culture Trip’s group tour combines the best of both worlds. Visit the valley of Mai Chau, lined with paddies nestled between forested mountains, followed by the lantern-lit streets and charming canals of Hoi An. The trip takes place over 12 days, making it ideal for travellers planning two weeks in Southeast Asia.

From US$1689

Next available from 18th May 2024

Secure your spot with a low deposit

Trip highlights and details

STARTS AT

Hanoi, Vietnam

arrow pointing to the right

ENDS AT

Hoi An, Vietnam

DURATION

12

GROUP SIZE

18

PHYSICAL RATING

Light

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STYLE

Discovery

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This is an updated rewrite of an article originally by Sarine Arslanian. Maja Proescholdt contributed additional reporting.

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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

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