Mar 24, 2020
THE WORLD MIGHT FEEL DARK feel these days, but we’re here to remind you that we still live in a beautiful, vibrant place. From glimmering turquoise waterfalls in Laos to rolling hills of kaleidoscopic flowers in Sapporo, let these 10 spots in Asia add some color to your life.
In Jaipur, the capital of India’s Rajasthan state, bright colors are a way of life. Streets are dotted with women donning vibrant saris and palaces are coated in hues of orange, yellow and, most prominently, pink, which has famously earned it the title of India’s Pink City. Hawa Mahal, the tiered sandstone palace, might be the best example of the city’s rosy aesthetic.
When the canola flowers bloom in China’s Luoping County, fields turn into a seemingly endless sea of canary-yellow. Visit the country, which is three hours east of Kunming, during February or March when the flowers are at peak bloom. You may even run into a few beekeepers collecting honey made from the canola flowers’ nectar.
There are two versions of Tokyo: the understated, highly organized one and one that’s a total technicolor sensory-overload. The latter is the one we’re talking about. In the city’s nocturnal neighborhoods like Shibuya or Shinjuku, the density of izakayas and shops—all with their own extravagant neon sign—will have you unsure where to look.
Batu Caves, Malaysia
The name might not ring a bell, but surely you’ll recognize these Instagram-famous stairs. Located just north of Kuala Lumpur, the 272 steps to the Batu Caves—a famous Hindu temple site—received a rainbow paint job in 2018. At the top of the staircase, the cave houses a 100-year-old temple built around the 400-million-year-old limestone formations inside.
Supertree Grove, Singapore
Even during the day, Singapore’s oft-photographed solar-powered Supertree Grove is quite the sight. There are 18 vertical gardens each reaching 25 to 50 meters into the sky and sprouting a total of nearly 163,000 plants. When the sun goes down, the daily “Garden Rhapsody” show turns the Supertrees into a mesmerizing display of neon light and music.
Mu Cang Chai Rice Terrace Fields, Vietnam
Of all the incredibly lush rice terraces in Southeast Asia, Mu Cang Chai in Yen Bai province of northern Vietnam might be the most impressive. During the summer, the coiling rice terraces that blanket the region’s rolling hills turn a vibrant green. As the season begins to change in September and October, the rice ripens and the slopes turn marigold-yellow.
Kuang Si Falls, Laos
Just outside of Luang Prabang, the water of Kuang Si Falls cascades in startlingly bright shades of blue. The falls get their incredible hue from a high level of naturally occurring calcium, but we’d like to imagine the water is just magical. Even better, the tiers of small pools that flow over limestone rocks are mostly all swimmable because of the light current, so you can spend the day hopping from one vivid pool to the next.
Colors of StoBoSa, Philippines
It doesn’t get much more colorful than this village in La Trinidad, Benguet, in the Philippines. A cluster of concrete houses got a cheerful paint job as a community artwork project named Colors of StoBoSa (“Stobosa” is a portmanteau of the names of the neighborhoods where the artwork is located) in 2016. The idea was based on favela paintings of Brazil and involved painting more than 150 houses with designs by local artists.
Japan might not be famous for summer travel, but head north to Furano, a small town on Hokkaido, for one of the best lavender field experiences outside Provence. At Tomita Far, rolling hills of the purple herb run along fields of red and orange poppies, pink garden catchflies, and tulips creating a rainbow of colors fit for a Disney film.
First, you’ll likely notice the warm red buildings. Then, a few kaleidoscopic rickshaws decorated in everything from flowers to cartoon characters might catch your eye. Or, maybe, you’ll probably uncover a brightly painted mural, or two. Melaka, which was once one of Southeast Asia’s greatest port towns, boasts an illustrious history and a medley of cultures. Today, the color and chaos of the city have become part of Melaka’s draw, attracting tourists from every corner of the region.