The city of Busan in South Korea has been named this year’s best destination in Asia by Lonely Planet.
For the third edition of Lonely Planet’s “Best in Asia” list, editors named their top 10 destinations to visit across the vast continent of Asia.
Despite boasting more than 7,000 islands, the Philippines failed to take a spot on the list this year.
In May, Busan hosted an opening ceremony to celebrate its title as East Asia’s Culture City 2018, as part of a joint agreement between Japan, China and Korea. Busan shares the title this year with Harbin, China, and Kanazawa in Japan.
According to the compilers of the top 10, the city offers visitors 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. They said: “In repose between mountains and sea, Busan is a stunning confluence of scenery, culture and cuisine.”
Busan is the second-biggest city in South Korea after the capital Seoul.
In second spot is the little-known central-Asian country of Uzbekistan, with its “dreamy mosaic-clad mosques and Silk Road lore”. Last year, the country announced visa-free schemes, introduced new air routes and extended its high-speed rail line in an effort to boost tourism.
In third place is Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City — formerly known as Saigon — where vintage boutiques, independent coffee shops and innovative breweries are transforming the city into a “buzzing Asian megalopolis”, editors say.
Busan, and the also ran:
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