10 Picture-Perfect Asian Villages You Need to See for Yourself

10 Picture-Perfect Asian Villages You Need to See

Ditch the busy city streets and explore these quaint and charming Asian villages instead.

Take a break from the bustling cityscapes of your favourite countries and consume the beauty of their remote villages. Photography geeks will be hyped for this one, as we know you won’t leave without capturing every angle of these wondrous gems of nature!

1. Wuyuan, Jiangxi, China

asian villagesImage credit: Xianyi Shen

Believed to be the most beautiful countryside of Japan, Wuyuan’s rural life is incomplete without the elegant sight of its yellow carpet of rape flowers. Wuyuan also preserves its rich historical architecture in its multiple villages such as Likeng, Xiaoqi, Lingjiao and Guankeng among many others.

Early March to the mid of April is usually the perfect time to admire the fairyland landscape of Wuyuan with its yellow blossoms, topped with its cultural heritage. What a wonder!

2. Lamayuru, Ladakh, India

Images: Flip Nomad

An ideal stopover for those travelling on the Kargil-Leh route, Lamayuru is one village that is not to be missed by the avid photographer. Set against a medieval landscape imbued with shades of brown, grey and white, the village’s scree-covered mountains and mud-brick houses allude to what many have never failed to recognise – the scruffy panorama of the moonscape.

The village also houses the largest and one of the oldest monasteries of Ladakh that towers over the village’s impressive topography. To immerse in the rich Tibetan Buddhist heritage and culture, you may choose to stay in the age-old monastery.

Also read: 7 Days in Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir, India

3. Hongcun, Anhui Province, China

Image credit: Paul Chapman

At the foot of the Yellow Mountains, Hongcun is a perfect marriage of the charming beauty of Mother Nature and the cultural architecture of the Ming and Qing dynasties. The design of the village was inspired by feng shui, and is often regarded to be the shape of a cow to most Chinese people. Labourers, who diligently thought of the betterment of villagers, built a water system in that shape to prevent potential spread of fires and, at the same time, water their plants.

This traditional geomancy places the village at, what is called, “the heart of the cow”, that is the Moon Pond. With the use of water, trees and gardens, the UNESCO World Heritage Site often comes across as a Chinese painting, especially with the mirrored reflection of the houses on the clear water of the pond.

Villagers also divert water into their own courtyards, turning them into beautiful house and water gardens.

A little fun fact; this picturesque village was the setting in one of the greatest Chinese films of all time – Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Also read: Top 20 Tourist Attractions in China You Must Visit

4. Biei, Hokkaido, Japan

Image credit: Stephen Staley

Biei’s extensive farmland of flowers and vegetation will leave anyone in a state of awe. During the vibrant summer and autumn months, the beautiful rural hills and vast fields explode into a vivid and mesmerising floral landscape.

The best way to marvel at this colourful treat is by cycling or driving along the farmlands. No filter will be required for your Instagram post, we reckon!

Also read: 9 Places in Japan That are Totally Instagram-Worthy

5. Zuluk, Sikkim, India

Image credit: Photorator

Situated on the ancient Silk route, Zuluk is an offbeat destination with the Chinese border just a few kilometres away. It was only recently opened to tourists and special permits are required to tour the village.

From its unexplored forests of beautiful flora and fauna to the three-level zigzag roads offering fantabulous views of the Kanchenjunga mountain, the breath-taking beauty of Zuluk is one that can never be forgotten.

There aren’t any hotels in the village, but fret not. You may stay and receive the selfless hospitality of the locals, and immerse yourself into the Sikkimese culture.

6. Damyang, Jeollanam-do, South Korea

Image credit: Byoung Wook – Toughkid Kim 김병욱

Another wonder of Mother Nature, bamboo can be found in abundance in the bamboo village of Damyang. While you take a slow stroll into the forest and lose yourself in the midst of the trees, the tranquility and serenity will offer you a peaceful respite away from the bustling cities of the country.

Don’t forget to stop by at the bamboo museum!

7. Swat Valley, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan

Image credit: junaidrao

The lush and historic Swat Valley houses many little villages, and occupants consume the beauty of the district each day. Imagine waking up to the sounds of the gushing water against heavy rocks, or just lying down and admiring the majestic Shingrai Falls. That’s the perfect nature experience – our beloved child activist Malala Yousafzai was lucky to grow up amid this wondrous valley!

You can also head to the hill stations of Bahrain and Malam Jabba to take in the breath-taking panorama of the mountains and rivers.

8. Shirakawa-go, Gifu, Japan

Image credit: Tokyo Times

Shirakawa-go is another magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site known for its gassho-zukuri style triangle-roofed farmhouses that resemble the hands of Buddhist monks folded in prayer. The 60-degree slopes are effective in sliding snow off easily, and the warm attics are often used to cultivate silkworms in winter.

Hemmed in by gigantic mountains covered with pine trees, topped with the lush greenery of the ground, or perhaps the snow-covered surroundings, the village could possibly be your ideal countryside getaway.

9. Cua Van, Ha Long City, Vietnam

Image credit: Eugene

Among the dramatic limestone mountains, the floating village of Cua Van is indeed a quaint charm, having preserved the traditional culture of the country through its handful of dock boats and colourful raft houses. It is evident that the lives of the people have not been disturbed by the alluring modernity. More than 200 households have made the fishing village their home, with plenty settling along the edge of the rocks.

It could get romantic here. Well, why not? Take a boat from Ha Long Bay with your better half and row into the middle of the sea while enjoying the scenery of the limestone cliffs above the shimmering waters. All you’d be left with is a wefie against that spectacular backdrop!

Also read: Where to Go for a Romantic Honeymoon in Asia

10. Pariangan, West Sumatra, Indonesia

Image credit: ardiansyah kidd

Known to be the oldest and most culturally significant, Pariangan is one of the well-preserved Minangkabau villages, comprising many rumah gadang, or traditional houses, of the Minangkabau people. The oldest is said to be at least three hundred years old with intricate wood carvings, woven rattan walls and the traditional pointed-roof architecture.

The village also houses a 19th century mosque, and alongside lays communal hot springs, still active after centuries of existence.

There is undoubtedly a stark contrast between villages and cities, with each carrying its very own set of characteristics and awe-inspiring elements. Yet, it can’t be ignored that the best place to enjoy great serenity is indeed with Mother Nature, and villages never let modernity come its way to take the place of the earth’s marvellous creations.

Also read: 13 Most Photogenic Day Hikes in Asia

Have you explored more charming villages? Let us know too!

About Author

Parveen Maghera
Parveen Maghera

An avid non-fiction reader, Parveen loves digging deep into stories of unique individuals, be they from Europe or the Middle East. Indeed, if travelling was free, you won't see her again. It is her wish to embark on a world tour some time in her future. You might just see her selfie-ing with the Eiffel Tower, or even consuming the aura of Swat Valley with other native Afghans.

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