Underrated Getaways Near Korea

by - Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Hey hey!

Hong Islands in Thailand
Photo: Wikimedia

So while holed up in my airbnb during a particularly stormy day in Tokyo, I was looking over my list of upcoming travels. Yes, I create lists of booked travels and travel wish lists often. :)

I said I wasn't going to do much traveling for 2017 since it will likely be my last year here, and I'd rather bank the money I'd spend on travel in preparation for my departure. Buuuut already I've reneged on that. To my li'l credit though, I only have two trips scheduled for 2017, so far.

I have been fortunate enough to visit some really wonderful places in the region, though. Before moving to Korea, travel within Asia was just not on my radar. I'm glad that changed. There are some cool ass, beautiful ass places in Asia!

It's safe to say that I may not have had the opportunity to visit most of the Asian countries I've been to had I not lived in one. Fortunately for me, most countries in Asia, particularly South East Asia (SEA) are very affordable.  Whether KRW or USD, you will get a pretty good "bang for your buck" in these underrated* locales:


The culture in Thailand is unparalleled.
Photo: Wikipedia

A flight from Seoul to either Bangkok or Phuket will take right around 5 hours. In the time it takes to nap and watch a movie, you can be transported to one of the most beautiful landscapes on Earth. I will be returning to Thailand for another visit this December and January. The won does extremely well here, and flight and lodging doesn't cost an arm and a leg. Needless to say, I am a fan.

Best known for: Bangkok and Phuket

Underrated: Krabi

Krabi; can't wait to visit in December!
Photo: foundtheworld.com


Da Nang night scape. Highly underrated but just as gorgeous as Hanoi
Photo: Foto Gratis-Pixabay

Before the recent $135 visa fee was imposed on U.S. citizens, this was a cheap hot spot in the SEA region. How the new visa requirement will affect tourism remains to be seen. I had an itinerary planned for Hanoi for the upcoming Lunar New Year, but I'm not paying the 135, so that trip is officially awash for me, and what a shame. Here's hoping the authorities will have a change of heart in the foreseeable future.

Best known for: Hanoi and Ho Chi Min City

Underrated: Da Nang

Bustling Hanoi
Photo: Hanoi Buzz, Flickr


Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Photo: Flickr

This entire country is underrated but I believe that this is changing. I met quite a few expats while visiting earlier this year, and it was easily the best place to stretch my won. Yes, the won does extremely well in Malaysia, and my oh my was I happy for this because THE FOOD, Lord. Seriously underrated country for travel!

Best known for: Kuala Lumpur

Underrated: Langkawi

Langkawi, Malaysia
Photo: Foto Gratis-Pixabay


Metro Manila at night
Photo: Wikipedia

The Philippines has several, several underrated islands that could rival well-known Cebu, Boracay and El Nido. Though Manila generally sits in the shadows when compared to the Philippine islands, there's still plenty to do and see there. Travel here is economical from Korea, and the country has been gaining in popularity over the past few years, especially from westerners. What was once an underrated gem has become a  big contender in SEA tourism.

Best known for: Boracay and El Nido

Underrated: Manila

White Beach, Boracay
Photo: Flickr


Taiwan 2015

Taiwan is definitely an underrated country in Asia. I was completely blown away by the beauty of the Hualien countryside, the immense amount of culture in Jioufen Village and the array of exploration options in the country in general. This is a country I would [and need to] return to in a heartbeat. The people treated me like a celebrity, and were super, super friendly! Don't overlook Taiwan! TPE airport is to die for, too!

Best known for: Taipei

Underrated: Hualien, and the west coast

Hualien, Taiwan

For my folks reading from the western hemisphere, if these places appeal to you or are on your wish lists already, make Secret Flying your friend. All week long I have seen deals from the USA and various parts of Europe to SEA, including dates for upcoming holidays. By deals, I mean $600 or less range. I have seen them even lower than that a few times, too. Keep an eye out for cities that may not necessarily be on your radar, but could be good jump-off points to your dream destination.

Asia is a beautiful continent and has many wonderful, affordable and beautiful landscapes to explore. As always, do your research, save your coins and buy travel insurance for peace of mind.

Happy Travels :)

*-underrated amongst foreign tourists to the respective region.
All featured photos are from Google images, labeled with permission for reuse.
This blog is not monetized.

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