Finding fun, sun and serenity in Asia this summer
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Finding fun, sun and serenity in Asia this summer

We’re edging toward the midpoint of summer, and as is too often the case, those precious months are flying by. Summer is supposed to be a time of relaxation and joy, though the older you get, the more caught up you become in work obligations and social commitments, meaning those chances for soaking up the sun stress-free are likely to pass by.

Make the most of the remaining weeks of summer by booking some time in one of these great getaway locations in Asia, where you can look forward to plenty of sun and serenity, or at least get out of the grind by seeing something amazing.

Jeju Island, South Korea

Beautiful Jeju Island, off the southern coast of South Korea, is a popular destination for Korean lovebirds and foreigners alike. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get some perspective and peace while you’re there. A must-see even for the less athletic tourist is Halla-san, a volcanic crater that is the country’s highest peak. This stunning site is a major draw here, as are the lovely beaches that stand in contrast to the tropical landscapes of those in Southeast Asia. If you’re in the mood, you can visit the erotic sculptures of Loveland Park or just walk around taking in the natural loveliness of a place that has been compared to the Hawaiian islands.

Guilin and Yangshuo, China

China might seem an odd place to seek out a little serenity, given its massive population and reputation for heavy pollution, but Guilin will make you fall in love with The Middle Kingdom. With caves, rivers and mountains, the sheer beauty of this place will take your breath away. And that’s before you’ve even made it to Yangshuo, where you can take a boat cruise down the Li River and marvel at the spire-like karst peaks that are depicted in many Chinese paintings and on the currency.

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Pai, Thailand. Pic: Casey Hynes.

Pai, Thailand

There’s no better place to commune with nature and get your relaxation on than this small town in northern Thailand. Swim in waterfall pools, tube down a river, hang out in a hot spring or lay in a hammock all day listening to fellow travelers sing and strum guitars. Popular among tourists though it is, Pai always delivers on the comfort and serenity front, and you can also take yoga and meditation courses nearby.

Nha Trang, Vietnam

You can never go wrong with a retreat at the beach, and Nha Trang offers all the sun and peace of a seaside getaway, along with opportunities for great diving and boat trips to nearby islands. If you’re feeling touristy, you can explore the cultural sites and centers of the town, or just treat yourself to some tasty seafood and a cold beer and call it a day.

Bali, Indonesia

If you’re looking for a serious retreat experience to pause and take stock of your summer, look no further than Bali, where there are a variety of resorts and organizations offering retreat packages to suit what you’re looking for. Even if you just want to go it alone and create your own retreat experience from the world, you’ll find plenty to awaken your sense of wonder and peace as you wander the rice fields and gaze upon the unique and stunning temples of Bali.

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