Whether you prefer to meet a holy monkey, eat sushi for breakfast, receive a monk’s blessing, helicopter over the Himalayas, or just enjoy the myriad unique views—we’ve rounded up a bucket list of 50 things to do, eat, see, shop for, and experience in the wide world of Asia.
Sri Lanka’s recorded history dates back to the sixth century B.C. The decades-long war between the majority Sinhalese and the Tamils, the largest single ethnic minority here, finally ceased just four years ago, and the country is poised for a rediscovery: very old Asia made new again.
To see the Taj Mahal before the mobs arrive, be on-site by daybreak.
Boudhanath Stupa is one of Nepal’s largest and holiest stupas. It’s most impressive in the evening or at daybreak, when it becomes crowded with circumambulating pilgrims.
Halong Bay is a 580-square-mile natural cove containing some 2,000 limestone islands, all occupied only by trees, ferns, birds, and monkeys. It is these peaks—some of them cragged and hewn by years of erosion into fantastic shapes—that have inspired centuries of Vietnamese poetry and paintings.
The lost city of Angkor Thom is now part of Angkor Archaeological Park. Built in the late twelfth century, it was the final capital of the Khmer empire.
Sushi for breakfast? There are dozens of tiny and delectable restaurants at Tokyo’s Tsukiji fish market, but few rival Sushi Dai (pictured), where waits run an hour (or longer) as early as 6 A.M. The sushi is strictly omakase, or chef’s choice, and is so fresh and perfectly cut that it seems to dissolve in your mouth (Tsukiji Shijo 6-Gokan; 81-3-3547-6797; sushi from $10).