Gone are the days where analog films were used to preserve memories. With the advancement of technology, we can capture moments of love, laughter, and life in just a matter of seconds. Most of us then share it on social networking platforms such as Facebook and Instagram where our friends and family can witness the joyous moments that occur on a day-to-day basis.
Some may say that the art of photography is lost in the streams of #ootd posts and edited landscapes. However, one cannot deny that a beautiful scenery is worth sharing with our followers.
You don’t have to travel very far or spend a lot of those precious savings to get the perfect Instagram picture! Here are some #instaworthy spots all around Asia!
- Gardens by the Bay, Singapore (Singapore)
Calling all nature lovers! It’s time to head towards Marina Bay, Singapore. Measuring between 25 and 50 meters tall, each of the Supertrees serves as a vertical garden, which will have you and your followers in awe as they keep hitting the like button!
They are designed with large canopies that provide shade in the day and come alive with an exhilarating display of light and sound at night. Aerial walkways connect the treetops so you can visit the top and check out the view of the gardens from above.
Cost: The Supertree Grove section of Gardens by the Bay is free for all! However, do take note there is a fee if you want to visit the top and walk the aerial walkways.
Pro Tip: Try taking photos from some of the elevated platform areas that you come across before you completely make your way down to the Supertrees to capture the Supertree Grove in all of its glory. Keep an eye out for viewpoints as you enter and make your way to the trees, too. You won’t want to miss them.
2. Jiuzhai Valley National Park, Sichuan (China)
Moving on, it’s time to warp to Jiuzhaigou County, where the dreamlike scenery is sure to take your breath away. The valley earned its name (meaning “nine villages”) from the nine stockaded villages of Tibetan origin. This great masterpiece of nature combines blue lakes, waterfalls, verdant forests, snow-covered mountains, and the folk customs of the Tibetan and Qiang people that’ll definitely win the hearts of all Instagrammers!
If you’re lucky, you might also spot the numerous flora and nationally protected fauna, including giant pandas, takins, golden monkeys, marmots, and blue sheep! However, since its reopening after an earthquake on 8 Aug 2017, visitors are required to take the sightseeing bus.
Cost: Don’t worry, the bus only costs 90 yuan (SGD $18.75), and it covers the whole scenic area, too!
Pro tip: Children and teenagers aged between 6 and 18, as well as seniors aged between 60 and 70, can enjoy half price of the entrance ticket with their certificates of identification. The place is also home to a small population of Tibetan and Qiang people and provides a good opportunity to get to know more about the locals’ unique life and culture.
3. Sipiso Piso Waterfall, Kabanjahe (Indonesia)
Set in the beautiful highlands of North Sumatra, the stunning Sipiso-Piso waterfall is located on the North side of Lake Toba, 24 km from Kabanjahe. This long but narrow waterfall drops 120 meters into an impressive gorge below.
Surrounded by a lush green mountainscape and with a rainbow forming at the base of the waterfall, it’s hard to imagine a more impressive subject for a photograph and selfie. Under the waterfall, you’ll feel sharp splashes of that gave its name (“Piso” or “Pisau” means knife!). With its peaceful environment and pleasing scenery, one can also take the chance to unwind and relax from the usual hustle and bustle of city life.
Cost: The private tour is expensive at $95, but good news for the jocks, if you prefer to explore on your own and take the notoriously-tiring hike, the entrance fee is ridiculously cheap at only RP 4000 (SGD $0.40).
Pro tip: Arriving at the bottom of the waterfall, don’t forget to point your view to the beautiful hills around the waterfall. Remember to pack some lunch to enjoy after playing with water at the waterfall, and if you still have plenty of time, consider taking a visit to a nearby two-colored waterfall in the area for those extra likes, too.
4. Ngong Ping 360 Cable Car, Lantau Island (Hong Kong)
Maybe you’re the type who would prefer taking in the scenery in the comfort of your seat, and enjoy going to new heights (literally)? Then this cable car is perfect for you! This visually spectacular cable car will take you on a 5.7km journey between Tung Chung Town Centre and Ngong Ping on Lantau Island. Visitors will be greeted by stunning (true to its name) 360 degrees panoramic views of the Tian Tan Buddha Statue, South China Sea and beyond from a standard, crystal or private cabin.
Cost: The ride is also quite affordable at SGD $25 and takes around 30 minutes so you’ll have plenty of time to snap some pictures along the way!
Pro tip: This is usually a very popular tourist spot, so be sure to skip the hour-long queues by getting up early in the morning. If you book ahead, you can also get 20% off the cable car prices. If you have the cash to spare, also consider taking the Crystal Car as there’s a shorter line for that, and the floor is clear so you can get a view of what’s below.
5. Okunoshima, Takehara (Japan)
Heads up furball fanatics, because here comes Japan’s bunny Island! Home to more than 300 wild rabbits, these cute usagis are sure to melt the hearts of every visitor, from the moment you step off the ferry they come bounding up to visitors hoping to get fed.
There is also a visitor center (free admission) that for such a small island is quite large and well stocked with information about the island’s fauna and flora. For those with an interest in Japanese history and culture, the island is also home to another darker attraction that is about as far from cute as it is possible to get, the Okunoshima Poison Gas Museum.
Cost: Guess what? There’s no entry fee for the island beyond getting there! Rabbit food is available from the visitor center at a low cost of 100 yen (SGD $1.21) per pack, though you can also bring your own. The entry cost for the museum is also 100 yen.
Pro tip: Consider buying fresh vegetables for the rabbits from the Family Mart beside Tadanoumi station, and walk away from the crowds once you arrive, there are dozens of hungry bunnies around every corner. Bring food for yourself, too. There are vending machines on the island but not much else. In summer, the island also gets slightly tropically warm, so dress adequately and pack water.
6. Pink Beach, Lombok (Indonesia)
Yes, you read it right – the pink beach. Outlandish, picturesque pink beach that looks straight out of a fantasy movie. The pink sand is actually a result of a tiny red organism that grows on the dead coral reefs. Because of the hard, rocky terrain, everyone needs to go through to get there, there are hardly any tourists seen in the place.
So if you’re willing to brave through the bumpy road, and enjoy the idea of having a whole beautiful beach to yourself, then grab your camera and hit the road to Pink Beach! The view will be worth it, I promise!
Cost: It’s quite expensive for visiting a beach, but still cheap at RP 50,000 (SGD $4.79) each. If you don’t want to drive the challenging road, you can also rent a boat at Telong-Elong (a village nearby).
Pro tip: The best time to go is before 8 am and after 4 pm when the sand catches the morning sun rays and presents you an amazing view for your Instagram post!
7. Choi Hung Estate, Kowloon (Hong Kong)
What may first look like a normal residential area can actually turn out to be a spectacular palette of hues delightful to the eyes. Built in 1962, Choi Hung Estates houses over 18,000 people. City planners went wild with housing designs in the 60s and 70s so this is a real treat for all of those architecture and photography geeks out there.
Rumour has it that the government chose a colorful theme as a way to raise the spirits of its people, just like how it’ll raise the number of likes on your Instagram page! The most popular spot for photos is the volleyball/basketball courts on the roof of the car park.
Cost: Since it’s actually a residential area, access to the public is completely free! However, please be respectful towards the residents living here. When in doubt, always ask for permission first.
Pro tip: For best color effect, go when there’s no direct sunlight. For a full scope, consider buying a clip-on wide angle lens converter. If you can’t shoot wide, try shooting panoramic!
8. Unicorn Cafe, Bangkok (Thailand)
Raise your hands if you love unicorns and pink! Well then hurry now and head into Sathorn Soi 8, where you can crash a cafe that’s sure to satisfy every squealing little girl in us.
The cafe has a whole collection of unicorn plushies lying around, perfect for cuddling and taking selfies. The heavenly, sweet dishes are also a must-try that’ll definitely fill up both your tummy and Instagram feed with likes and envy! Oh, and did I mention that there’s free wifi?
Cost: Many of the unicorn-themed dishes are under SGD $10, so it’s very budget-friendly. There’s also a merchandise shop selling cushions, toys, and outfits.
Pro tip: The food portions here are quite large, so unless you’re a really heavy eater, make sure to bring your friends and family to enjoy this wonderland together! You can also borrow a unicorn costume to dress the part as you snack/dine for free!
9. Crazy house, Da Lat (Vietnam)
After all that sightseeing, it’s time to head back to the hotel. But wait, the Hang Nga Villa, or Crazy House, isn’t your usual B&B. Imagine sculptured rooms connected by superslim bridges rising out of a tangle of greenery, wild colors, spiderweb windows and an almost organic quality to it all!
Those who enjoy the extraordinary and The Hobbit is sure to fall head over heels for this tree-shaped lodge. Featuring ten nature-themed rooms (the gourd, kangaroo, etc), watch as your Instagram posts catch the eyes of your followers!
Cost: For both a tourist attraction and hotel, it’s relatively cheap, with the entrance fee of VND50k (SGD$3) for day visitors, and rooms at $30-$70 per night as an overnight guest.
Pro tip: The doors open at 8:30 am so it’s best to get there early before the tourists arrive. For those with young kids, be careful of the Crazy House’s maze of precarious tunnels, high walkways, and steep ladders.
10. Mount Pulag, Baguio (Philippines)
And finally, what is a better way to end your trip than by watching a beautiful sunset in all of its glory? Lazy people beware, the hike up the mountain is considered moderately difficult, with 2 hours of forested areas, and 1 hour of grassland, but being able to witness the sunset and the sea of clouds while on the top of the third highest peak in the Philippines is sure to be most fulfilling!
You’ll also be able to meet the locals and enjoy the simplicity of life. Think you can do it? Awesome, then grab your gear and get your perfect #beautifulsunset post!
Cost: There many fees that you can be charged with to hike this mountain, but they’re all quite small and affordable. This includes:
Entrance Fee – Php 175/pax ($4.43)
Camping Fee – Php50/pax ($1.27)
Tent rental Fee- Php 300 for 3 pax ($7.60)
Environmental Fee – Php 150/pax ($3.80)
Guide Fee – Php 600-2400 / group of 5 pax ($15.19 – $60.76 depending on which trail you’re taking)
Pretty reasonable, right? The park office is well equipped with a video room, interpretation center, and a souvenir shop, too.
Pro tip: The best time to visit is from November to February as there’ll be more chances to see their renowned Sea of Clouds and lesser rain. Remember to bring your power bank as there’s no electricity and think twice before taking a bath – the water is cold as ice.
Unless you are part of a tour group where meals are provided for, remember to pack your own food and drinks beforehand. Spend the night with the locals, wake up early in the morning and start trekking at 2:00 AM for the epic view of sunrise at the summit.
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