Bali is a much-visited Indonesian province. Unsurprisingly, the island of Bali is its single most important part. However, the province includes some of the neighboring islands as well. Culture Trip says there are numerous reasons to visit Bali. For example, it has beaches and other beautiful landscapes. Likewise, it is home to a fascinating culture with remarkable achievements in the arts. Unfortunately, some people find Bali too crowded for their tastes, as shown by this Business Insider post. Such individuals might want to look into similar places for their tropical vacation.
1. Cairns, Australia
Australian Traveller points out that Queensland includes a huge chunk of tropical landscape that is undeveloped for the most part. As a result, if people are interested in natural beauty, it is a good place to look for it. Cairns is the most convenient destination for interested individuals because it is the most developed city in the region. Even so, it is home to fewer than two hundred thousand people. Besides inland sites of interest, Cairns is close to the Great Barrier Reef. Yes, countless other sources make it clear that the coral is under serious threat. Some would argue that is exactly why people should see it while there is still time.
2. Palm Cove, Australia
Cairns is convenient because it is a much-visited city. If people find that too crowded for them, it is a good idea to check out its suburbs for similar travel opportunities. To name an example, Palm Cove is home to a bit more than two thousand people, meaning that it is a much more sedate location. It is one of the best places in the region for fishing. Furthermore, it is close to both Macalister Range National Park and Arlington Reef.
3. Port Douglas, Australia
Of course, there are other locations in Queensland worth checking out. For instance, interested individuals can head north from Cairns to find Port Douglas. Originally, the coastal town came into existence because of mining. Nowadays, it is much better known for its tourism, which is made possible by its closeness to nature plus its well-developed infrastructure.
4. Koh Rong, Cambodia
Cambodia doesn't come up much in these discussions. Still, it is a part of Southeast Asia, so it makes sense that it would have some of the same upsides as other countries in the region. One place that people should check out is Koh Rong, the second biggest of Cambodia's islands. A combination of white sand beaches and crystal blue waters means that it has some of the best coastlines in the country.
5. The Cook Islands
The Cook Islands are named for James Cook. However, he wasn't the first European explorer to visit them. Instead, a Spaniard was the first European to sight one of the islands while a Portuguese was the first European to set foot on one of the islands. In any case, the Cook Islands are now a country in a close relationship with New Zealand. Its main economic sector is tourism, beating out fruits, seafood, pearls, and offshore banking. Naturally, the Cook Islands have much to offer interested individuals.
Speaking of which, Fiji is another country out in the Pacific Ocean. Most of its people live on the two main islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Still, interested individuals should know that it is possible to access some of the other 300+ islands that make up the country. As such, if they want to visit a bustling destination, they can head to either Viti Levu or Vanua Levu. Alternatively, if they prefer something more secluded, they can catch either a boat or a plane to somewhere out of the way.
7. Boracay, Philippines
The Philippines are another country in Southeast Asia that interested individuals should consider visiting. One location of potential interest is Boracay, a resort island in the Western Visayas. There, people can find a wide range of both inland and on-water leisure activities. Moreover, Boracay underwent a serious makeover during a six-month closure in 2018, meaning that it is now in a much better state than in the not-so-distant past.
8. Goa, India
Goa was once one of Portugal's overseas territories. Then, India took over Goa and the rest of Portuguese India with local support in 1961. In modern times, Goa is a popular place to visit for both Indians and non-Indians. Ease My Trip credits this to a mix of pleasing beaches, lush rainforests, exciting nightlife, and historical architecture.
9. Batam, Indonesia
If people are interested in Indonesia but aren't interested in Bali, it makes sense for them to head to other Indonesian tourism destinations. Granted, one part of Indonesia can be very different from another. After all, it is a remarkably diverse country with several hundred ethnic and sub-ethnic groups. Still, there are similarities between these places that can appeal to interested individuals. The city of Batam encompasses the three islands of Batam, Rempang, and Galang. Batam itself is a bustling boomtown. Meanwhile, the other two have retained a more rural character. Combined, the city of Batam can be very enjoyable, particularly if people are also curious about the nearby city-state of Singapore for whatever reason.
10. Lombok, Indonesia
If people are determined to visit Bali but can't for some reason, the closest thing would be Lombok. It is another member of the Lesser Sunda Islands, though it is a part of West Nusa Tenggara province rather than Bali province. Just a single strait measuring 60 km at its maximum width separates the two islands. Unsurprisingly, Lombok has much in common with its western neighbor, particularly since it is similar in not just size but also population density. Still, it is very much its own thing offering a one-of-a-kind experience.
11. Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Yogyakarta refers to both a special region and the capital of a special region. Domestically, it is famous for being a center of education, which makes sense because it is home to dozens of universities. Beyond that, Yogyakarta has earned a reputation for Javanese fine arts. If people are curious about either dance, drama, visual arts, wayang puppetry, or one of the other Javanese art forms, it is the place to be. Conveniently, that culture comes hand-in-hand with numerous sites of cultural interest ranging from monuments to historical buildings.
12. Borneo, Malaysia
Borneo is a bit complicated. In short, it is the third biggest island in the world, beaten by Greenland and New Guinea. However, it doesn't belong to a single country. Instead, about three-fourths of the island belongs to Indonesia while the remaining fourth belongs to Malaysia. On top of this, Brunei takes up about 1 percent of Borneo while being surrounded by Malaysia on every side. In any case, the Malaysian part of the island is divided into Sabah and Sarawak. Both states are diverse in culture and landscape, thus making them good choices for tourists interested in either of those two things.
13. Langkawi, Malaysia
Officially, Langkawi is titled the Jewel of the Kedah. As a result, it is reasonable for people to have high expectations when visiting. Fortunately, Langkawi seems to be capable of living up to that reputation, being a World Geopark. In total, three forest parks see the bulk of tourism to the island.
14. Penang, Malaysia
Penang is one of Malaysia's best-known states. Boundaries-wise, it encompasses both the island of Penang and a city on the Malay Peninsula. Once upon a time, Penang's economy focused on trade. Later, it reoriented itself around manufacturing. With that said, tourism has been consistently important for the state over time, which speaks volumes about how well-established it is. This is one of those places that combines everything that tourists look for. The local culture is interesting. Their food is wonderful, whether people go looking in the restaurants or at the street stalls. Opportunities for shopping and other entertainment abound. Cultural sites are everywhere because of the state's importance to the country of Malaysia. Remarkably, there is even a fine selection of natural features even though Penang is one of the most urbanized areas in the region.
It is easy to confuse Samoa for American Samoa and vice versa. Still, interested individuals should know that Samoa is an independent country to the west of the U.S. territory, meaning that the two are very much not the same. Regardless, Samoa is a popular place to visit for people heading to the Pacific region. It is warm and welcoming. Furthermore, it has wonderful natural landscapes that soothe the senses while inspiring the imagination. Whether people are looking for fun or relaxation, Samoa has them covered.
16. Krabi, Thailand
Krabi is both a province and a province's main town in Thailand. It sits at the place where the Krabi river empties into Phang Nga Bay, so interested individuals know that they can expect waterside scenery. There are multiple national parks in the region offering a wide range of entertainment. Inland, there are places where people can hike, bird watch, and rock climb. Out on the water, Krabi can accommodate tourists interested in everything from diving and snorkeling to sailing and kayaking.
17. Ko Samui, Thailand
Ko Samui is an island found off Thailand's eastern coast. For a very long time, it existed in a self-sufficient state with minimal interactions with the rest of the country. This can be seen in how Ko Samui didn't have a road network until the 1970s, meaning that anyone who wanted to make their way across the island had to do so by hiking through 15 km of the jungle. Nowadays, Ko Samui is more developed, though it remains home to plenty of natural landscapes. Reportedly, it has become a popular destination for partiers. If that is what people want, that is where people should head.
18. Patong, Thailand
Strictly speaking, Patong is a part of Phuket. Specifically, it is a town serving as the main hub of tourism for the province. Nerd Nomads states that it is a bright, colorful place with the local tourism sector's best nightlife. As such, Patong is where people should head when they are more interested in bars, clubs, and shows than anything else. Interested individuals can also expect convenient transportation to other parts of the province because of the town's status as a hub of tourism.
19. Phuket, Thailand
As mentioned earlier, Phuket is a province. It is one of Thailand's smallest provinces, being a bit smaller than even the city-state of Singapore. To be fair, Phuket consists of an island of the same name plus a collection of smaller islands. There was a time when the province's economy relied on tin mining, which was important because tin is a rare metal that sees use in a wide range of products. Since the 20th century, Phuket's economy has rested on two pillars. One is its production of rubber. The other is tourism. Those who want excitement should head on over to Patong on the island's west coast. Meanwhile, there are natural wonders, cultural landmarks, and other sites of interest found throughout the rest of the province. Due to this, interested individuals shouldn't focus on just Patong in preference for ignoring everything else in the vicinity.
20. Hawaii, United States
Those who want something more familiar should check out Hawaii. Yes, it is one of the most distinctive of the U.S. states. Despite that, it is nonetheless one of the U.S. states, thus making it more convenient to navigate for English speakers in many ways than the other places on this list. As for what Hawaii has to offer, the eight major islands and their smaller counterparts come with everything that people might want. If they want big crowds, they can find that in the cities and the resorts. In contrast, if they want some time for themselves, there are plenty of places that remain less packed.
Written by Liz Flynn
Read more posts by Liz Flynn