Many countries in Asia are popular tourist destinations for travelers from all over the world. In fact, tourism is a growing industry in Asia due to the vast array of tourist attractions this continent offers. Some of the draws across Asia include: mountains, deserts, beaches, cultures, and cuisine. There is something for everyone here, ranging from utmost luxury to backpacker-style travel. Not all of the countries in Asia, however, are popular with tourists. This article takes a look at some of the least visited countries in Asia.
Some of the Least Visited Countries in Asia
Yemen, located in the Middle East, is the 4th least visited country in Asia. In 2015, it received only 366,000 tourists. The current Yemeni Crisis, which began in 2011 and has seen increasing incidences of extremism, has caused a drastic decline in tourism in the country. For individuals who decide to visit Yemen, this country has 4 UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the Historic Town of Zabid, the Old City of Sana’a, the Old Walled City of Shibam, and the Socotra Archipelago.
The 3rd least visited country in Asia is Brunei, located in Southeast Asian. In 2015, this country received only 218,000 tourists. This small number is not, however, because the country has no interesting attractions. It is, in fact, rich in history, culture, and nature. Some tourists may be deterred because Brunei is a strictly Islamic country and expects its visitors to observe Islamic etiquette. The expectation is that women will dress modestly, visitors will not eat in public during Ramadan, and non-Muslim tourists will visit mosques in the correct clothing. Some of the most interesting attractions here include: Istana Nurul Iman (the Sultan’s palace), Ulu Temburong National Park, Brunei Museum, and Jerudong Amusement Park.
2. Papua New Guinea
Papua New Guinea is the 2nd least visited country in Asia, receiving around 184,000 tourists in 2015. Papua New Guinea is an extremely isolated island nation; while this makes it less popular as a tourist destination, it has also made it the focus of significant research on flora, fauna, and its culture. Tourists who do find their way to this island will find an array of activities, including: hiking, fishing, diving, surfing, markets, and festivals. Transportation throughout the country is difficult, however, due to a lack of infrastructure and extreme terrain. Many villages, for example, can only be reached by walking.
1. Bhutan: The Least Visited Country in Asia
Bhutan receives fewer visitors annually than any other country in Asia. This nation received 155,000 tourists in 2015. The principal reason for this low number is that the country controls the number of foreign tourists who may visit. The Kingdom of Bhutan is located in the high altitude of the Himalayas and regulates its tourism industry based on a High Value, Low Impact policy. This means that in order to visit this country, tourists must first book their trip through an official tour operator. The tour packages offered are typically between $200 and $250 daily and include: food, lodging, transportation, necessary equipment, and a local guide. One of the most popular destinations within the country is Taktshang, a cliffside monastery. This is a sacred Buddhist temple that houses the cave where a Buddhist deity is believed to have fasted for 90 days in order to spread Buddhism throughout Bhutan.