The portside city of Busan, South Korea, has been named the best destination in Asia 2018 by the travel experts at Lonely Planet, who describe the bustling city as a confluence of culture and cuisine.
For the third edition of LP’s “Best in Asia” list, editors rounded up 10 destinations worth visiting over the next 12 months, which span East, South and Western Asia.
In May, Busan hosted an opening ceremony celebrating its title as East Asia’s Culture City 2018, as part of a joint agreement between Japan, China and Korea. Every year, three cities are selected to promote artistic and cultural development in the region. Busan shares the title this year with Harbin, China and Kanazawa in Japan.
The city also tops the “Best in Asia” list for offering travelers an “eclectic” offering of activities, from hikes up to Buddhist temples and hot springs to seafood feasts at the largest fish market in the country, editors say.
Busan is the second-biggest city in South Korea after Seoul.
In second spot is Uzbekistan, with its “dreamy mosaic-clad mosques and Silk Road lore.” Last year, the country announced new visa-free schemes, and introduced new air routes and extensions to its high-speed rail line in an effort to boost international tourism and attract tourists to its “jewelled sites” and “ancient ruins.”
And rounding out the podium is Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, where vintage boutiques, independent coffee shops and innovative breweries are transforming the city into a buzzing Asian megalopolis, editors say.
Here are the top 10 destinations in their “Best in Asia 2018” list:
1. Busan, South Korea
3. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
4. Western Ghats, India
5. Nagasaki, Japan
6. Chiang Mai, Thailand
7. Lumbini, Nepal
8. Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka
9. Sichuan Province, China
10. Komodo National Park, Indonesia
For the full list visit the Lonely Planet site.