Intrepid Travel has put together its annual ‘Not Hot List’, focusing on alternatives to Australia’s favourite Asian destinations to coincide with World Tourism Day.
Intrepid Travel co-founder Darrell Wade said the second ‘Not Hot List’ was developed in response to concerns about overtourism, with a focus on less frequently visited destination to supports the adventure travel company’s ongoing commitment to responsible tourism.
Last year Europe was in the spotlight, and this year the focus has been closer to home, with beach closures igniting the debate over how tourism can be sensitive to communities and nature.
“Recently we’ve seen a number of Asian countries take a proactive approach to combat overtourism,” Wade said.
“Australians are increasingly well-travelled and this is about encouraging them to step away from the familiar to approach our neighbours in the most intrepid way possible.”
“Tourism can be a potent force for good, and we believe the broader the travel experience, the better,” Wade said.
“There are now 3.7 million Australians travelling to Asia each year, and the more tourism dispersal, the better.”
The Intrepid 2019 Not Hot Travel List: Asia Edition
Komodo is the new Ubud
Once considered the adventurous alternative to Seminyak, Ubud has flourished in popularity thanks to its haven of health and healers. The day trip market means a lessened contribution to Ubud’s economy and puts pressure on local infrastructure.
Komodo is a viable alternative for those travellers who are willing to sail from Bali through the Indonesian archipelago. Komodo is a place where ancient tribes maintain their traditions in deep rainforest valleys.
Travellers can snorkel coral reefs, walk across volcanic black sand beaches and watch for the legendary and fierce Komodo dragons.
Bukhara is the new Angkor Wat
Central Asia is still as remote as you can be when it comes to Asian countries. The ‘Stans offer a Silk Road experience rich with stories of migration, religion and trade.
Uzbekistan’s fifth largest city Bukhara is a UNESCO world heritage site and the entire old city centre and has more than 5000 years of human history. There are over 140 monuments and historical buildings to explore including Po-i-Kalyan Mosque that, during its 1300 years of history, even survived assault from Genghis Khan.
Ladakh is the new Everest
Whilst Nepal will always be a must-do for active travellers wanting to challenge themselves, Ladakh is rising in popularity for its hiking and breathtaking scenery of the Indian Himalayas.
You can break up the hiking with river rafting, visiting remote villages, monasteries and religious sites.
To really appreciate the quiet natural beauty of the Ladakh region, some travellers stay in bustling Delhi before and after their treks.
Naoshima is the new Osaka
Australians have long been lured to the iconic and future-focused cities of Japan like Osaka. Intrepid advocates that travellers discover the southern islands or ‘lost Japan’.
Naoshima Island has been transformed from a sleepy fishing community to a world-class art destination with a variety of sleek and stylish museums.
Travellers can cycle between galleries, outdoor sculptures and modern architecture. The Southern Islands also house impressive castles and Japan’s oldest hot spring baths – Dogo Onsen.
Sumatra is the new Borneo
Sumatra is as exotic a destination as Borneo, offering national parks and endemic species. As the world’s sixth largest island, Sumatra made headlines earlier this year with the Mount Sinabung volcano eruption.
Despite possible danger, these geothermal activities have created surreal landscapes such as Gunung Leuser National Park, home to one of the richest ecosystems in the world.
Sumatra is where travellers have the best chance of spotting wild orangutans in Indonesia.