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Asia and the Indian Ocean are home to some of the most magical destinations in the world. For a taste of true paradise, treat yourself to one of our favourite Asia and Indian Ocean holidays.

From the chaos and colour of India to the snow-capped mountains and vast lakes of Armenia, Asia’s fascinating diversity and enchanting landscapes have mesmerised travellers for centuries.

Surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the third largest in the world, the continent has also become known for its islands - pockets of pure paradise swashed by unbelievably turquoise shores. With so many countries to visit, we've selected our favourite destinations in Asia and the Indian Ocean that we, at Solos, return to time and time again.

 

1. Bali

Islands don't get much dreamier than Bali, one of the most popular islands in Indonesia.

White-sand beaches, ornate hillside temples, emerald rice paddies and dramatic volcanoes combine to make Bali's landscape nothing short of magical. 

Surfers, sun-worshippers and party-goers flock to the bustling resorts of Kuta and Sanur in the south, afterwards flocking to the cultural and holistic heart of Bali: Ubud.

Although soaring in popularity over recent years, Ubud has still managed to retain its old-age traditions and natural beauty. Discover vegetarian eateries, hipster cafes and boutique shops selling Bali’s famous craftsmanship, and be sure to see a traditional Balinese dance performance.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to see the spectacular Tegalalang rice terraces - a stunning terraced hillside made up of lush rice paddies that's just a short drive from Ubud.

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Tegalalang rice terraces in Bali Indonesia

 

2. Thailand

For a perfect cocktail of culture and relaxation, with the world's most mouth-watering food thrown in for good measure, book a solo holiday to Thailand.

Awash with powdery, palm-fringed beaches and a sense of tranquillity that radiates from every glittering temple, it's no surprise that it's now one of the most popular holiday destinations in Asia and the Indian Ocean.

Throw yourself into the hustle and bustle of Bangkok, the rapidly developing capital city, before making a break for the beach. 

Ah, but how to choose?

With hundreds of dreamy tropical islands scattered along Thailand’s extensive coastline, choosing your ideal island escape can be tricky. First-timers often start with Ko Samui, Ko Pha-Ngan and Ko Tao, or for a cosmopolitan atmosphere check out Hua Hin, an easily accessible beach resort on the Gulf's eastern coast.

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3. Sri Lanka

A mystical land where emerald tea plantations nudge shoulders with timeless ruins, rustling rainforests and unbelievably perfect beaches, Sri Lanka is an island in Asia of unparalleled beauty.

In fact, it's a country so perfect, that Lonely Planet voted it as the number one country to travel to in 2019.

Travel here to see elephants in their natural habitat, explore ancient temples and ruins, take scenic train journeys - and to hit the beautiful palm-fringed beaches of course!

A couple of must-visits for any keen history-buffs are the 200m-high Sigiriya Rock, which houses the ruins of an ancient stronghold, and the Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic, a sacred Buddhist site in Kandy which is believed to guard the tooth of the Buddha himself.

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4. India

If there's a destination that's truly incomparable, it would be India. A thrilling cascade of sights, sounds and smells, this is a country that doesn't do adventure by halves!

For a real culture shock, throw yourself into the chaos and colour of Rajasthan - a region in Northern India that's home to the iconic Taj Mahal, Jaipur's 'Pink City' and the holy pilgrimage city of Pushkar.

It's here that you'll also encounter layers upon layers of fascinating history, some of the friendliest people you'll ever meet and arguably the most delicious street food in the world.

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5. Vietnam

Soaked in history, and boasting some of the most beautiful beaches in Asia and the Indian Ocean, Vietnam is a destination that should be on every traveller's bucket list.

While many of us will remember it as a country struck by war, the 21st century has seen Vietnam shake itself off and transform into one of Asia's most popular tourists destinations. 

If the unspoilt beaches won't draw you in, the country's staggering natural beauty and rich historical narrative certainly will. Come here to witness the striking beauty of Halong Bay from a traditional houseboat and get lost in a maze of motorbikes in Ho Chi Minh before dozing off on a white-sand beach to the sound of the sea. Vietnam has it all!

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6. China

Everything about China spells adventure.

From the freakishly futuristic cities to the temple-adorned mountains and Wonder of the World wall, China's sheer vastness provides something for every keen traveller. 

Be dazzled by the bright lights of Shanghai, travel by high-speed train to Xian and Beijing and soak up the sensational views from the Great Wall. This is a country packed full of so many contrasts and contradictions, it makes time-travel almost feel real!

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7. Maldives

When you imagine pure paradise, there's a good chance you're thinking of the Maldives. The powdery white beaches here are what dreams are made of, and the water is some of the clearest - and warmest - in Asia and the Indian Ocean.

With almost a hundred islands to pick between, you're spoilt for choice on where to stay. Island-hop to find your favourite or settle down for a week of uninterruped relaxation.

This is an archipelago that's famous for its underwater life too. Break the surface to see the jewels of the ocean for yourself: colourful fish, turtles, manta rays, sharks and even the world's largest fish - the whale shark.

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8. Armenia

Armenia is Asia's wildcard. So close to Europe, you could almost forget it's in Asia, Armenia is a destination that's unknown to many - a blessing which makes it all the more mesmerising.

Saturated with cultural heritage, intriguing monuments and traditions dating back thousands of years, it's stunningly beautiful too; ancient monasteries and gigantic lakes sit against a backdrop of lush, green hills and snow-capped mountains.

As the world's first country to adopt Christianity, Armenia is home to one of the first Christian buildings, the Ejmiatsin Cathedral, which was constructed between 301 - 303 BC!

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That's not all! You can browse our full selection of holidays to Asia and the Indian Ocean here.

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