The Best Places in East Asia to Visit in 2024

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Gethin Morgan

Content and CRM Executive

With pandemic border closures now a (hopefully) distant memory, 2024 is shaping up to be the year to head as far east as you can to explore the amazing array of unique cultures, natural beauty spots and culinary delights on the horizons of East Asia. Do so with Culture Trip on this selection of immersive small-group adventures.

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View from a flowery field as the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) zooms past Mount Fuji in the Japanese countryside

Japan by Train: The Grand Tour

Let’s start with arguably the most popular destination in East Asia. There’s a reason countless travellers are as totally intoxicated by the pulsating hum of Japan’s neon-lit cities as they are of its serene natural splendour. Explore both on this extensive 12-day tour through the country’s most worthy destinations, made possible by the high-speed wonders of the Bullet Train network. We start in Osaka, the charming second city, and Hiroshima which, as well as having huge historical significance, is also home to the magically deer-infested Miyajima Island. We’ll zoom our way across to Kyoto, one of the most scenic cities on Earth, and marvel at the bamboo forest of Arashiyama. After sipping sake in the Japanese Alps, soaking in hot springs in Hakone and cruising along Lake Ashi, we’ll eventually reach the promised land – Tokyo. Mark the end of our epic adventure with sushi rolling, taiko drumming and karaoke smashing.

From US$4045

Next available from 2nd Sep 2024

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Trip highlights and details

STARTS AT

Osaka, Japan

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ENDS AT

Tokyo, Japan

DURATION

12

GROUP SIZE

16

PHYSICAL RATING

Moderate

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STYLE

Discovery

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Haedong Yonggungsa Temple on sea shore. Busan, South Korea

Soulful South Korea

Japan’s underrated mainland neighbour is every bit as awe-inspiring, be it during picture-perfect cherry blossom season or via the unique cultural experience of a Korean temple stay. Start in the capital, Seoul, for a cocktail of old and new South Korea, before glancing at North Korea from the eery Demilitarized Zone and escaping to the luscious hills of Seoraksan National Park. Discover ancient history in Gyeongju and live a day in the life of a Buddhist monk at Golgulsa Temple, before returning to modernity in coastal Busan. Here you’ll embark on a culinary adventure like no other, gorging on Busan Hotteok, sipping on soju and taking part in a Korean cooking masterclass. The foodie theme continues in charming Jeonju, the birthplace of Bibimbap, and therefore the perfect place to tuck into Korea’s most beloved dish during a farewell dinner en route back to Seoul.

From US$3223

Next available from 1st Sep 2024

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Trip highlights and details

STARTS AT

Seoul, South Korea

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ENDS AT

Seoul, South Korea

DURATION

10

GROUP SIZE

16

PHYSICAL RATING

Moderate

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STYLE

Discovery

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Train approaching the Duoliang Station in Taitung, on the east coast of Taiwan

A Taste of Taiwan by Train

The lesser-known gem that acts as a perfect alternative to China is its little island neighbour, Taiwan, which isn’t short itself on natural splendour, sprawling cities and a distinct culture infused with influences from around East Asia and beyond. Our nine-day Rail Trip includes a series of scenic train rides that will take you on a full loop around the island. The start and end terminus is Taipei, a modern metropolis full of architectural masterpieces and thrilling street food markets, while other city stops include Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung. You’ll sip world class tea and marvel at the serenity of Sun Moon Lake, discover the surreal rock formations of Taroko Gorge and fall in love with the beauty of the island’s eastern shores during a magical coastal train ride. We’ll stop off in Shifen for an unforgettable sky lantern experience before returning to the capital, where a cooking class and tasty farewell dinner awaits.

From US$2031

Next available from 20th Jul 2024

Secure your spot with a low deposit

Trip highlights and details

STARTS AT

Taipei, Taiwan

arrow pointing to the right

ENDS AT

Taipei, Taiwan

DURATION

9

GROUP SIZE

16

PHYSICAL RATING

Moderate

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STYLE

Discovery

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Culture Trips 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. 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 places and communities so special.

Our immersive trips, led by Local Insiders, are once-in-a-lifetime experiences and an invitation to travel the world with like-minded explorers. Our Travel Experts are on hand to help you make perfect memories. All our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.?>

All our travel guides are curated by the Culture Trip team working in tandem with local experts. From unique experiences to essential tips on how to make the most of your future travels, we’ve got you covered.

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