From full moon parties to exploring the waters of Ha Long Bay, there are some things in Asia that are practically a rite of passage for backpackers visiting the continent.

The more these attractions grow in popularity, the more others want to avoid them at all costs and find the undiscovered gems before they become overrun and over-Instagrammed.

Tourism agency Hayes & Jarvis analysed over 100,000 tourist attractions around the world to uncover the ultimate secret spots.

To find these hidden treasures, the agency analysed the reviews in the Things To Do section on TripAdvisor. Each entry needed a minimum of 50 reviews to account for outliers and ensure the attractions were already established.


A 'secret spot' is a place with a low number of TripAdvisor reviews, but a high proportion of five-star reviews.

Here's where they discovered were the best secret places to visit in Asia.

1. Thon Tha Village

Located in Ha Giang in Northern Vietnam, Thon Tha village is home to around 500 people, who work with the local tourist office to offer homestays to visitors so they can experience an authentic way of Vietnamese village life.

It was given a five star rating by 99 percent of the people who visited.

2. Son Doong Cave, Quang Binh

Son Doong is the largest cave in the world, reaching heights of 200 metres. It's a fairly recent discovery, originally found by a local farmer in 1990 but never explored officially until around 2009/2010.

Son Doong in Vietnam is the largest cave in the world. Photo / Nguyen Tan Tin, Supplied
Son Doong in Vietnam is the largest cave in the world. Photo / Nguyen Tan Tin, Supplied

The cave has windows into the jungle outside, but also has giant stalagmites up to 80 metres high, rimstone pools and fossils believed to be over 300 million years old.

3. Mount Inerie Peak, Flores

Mount Inerie is a dormant volcano on the island of Flores, popular with hikers who want to reach the summit in time for sunrise or sunset.

The stratovolcano overlooks the Savu Sea and the nearby town of Bajawa. It's the highest volcano in Flores at 2,240 metres, and takes around three hours to climb to the peak.


4. Rusirani Village, Jaipur

Rusirani is a 2500-year-old village situated on a hillock 100 km outside of Jaipur in India.
This isolated village has dirt roads and no electricity or phones, making a visit like you're stepping back in time.

Rusirani is a 2500-year-old village in India. Photo / msydes, Supplied
Rusirani is a 2500-year-old village in India. Photo / msydes, Supplied

The village has only been able to receive tourism support after a local NGO stepped in to help bring in visitors.

5. Sunder Nursery, New Delhi

Sunder Nursery is a 16th-century heritage park that sits close to Humayun's Tomb in Delhi.

It was originally used as a place for propagating trees and other plants to be used in the new capital city. The nursery is in fact an archaeological site as there are ancient remains of pavilions, tombs, grave platforms and wells scattered around the site.

6. Manta Point, Denpasar

Named for the manta rays that populate the area, this diving spot can be found off the south shore of Nusa Penida Island.

The mantas can be seen year-round in the waters off the island, because of the manta cleaning station underwater, where the rays and other marine life gather, attracting smaller fish which clean off any parasites and debris on the larger creatures.

7. Agastya Mala, Thiruvananthapuram

Also known as Agasthyarkoodam, this sacred peak stands 1,868m tall as part of the Pothigai mountain range in India's Kerala. It's the second highest peak in Kerala.

Visitors have described it as a superb trekking experience with a mix of adventure but also spirituality and peacefulness, as few tourists visit and climb the peak.

8. Mahanakorn Skywalk, Bangkok

This glass-bottomed observation deck is Thailand's highest, measuring over 314 metres above the bustling city of Bangkok.

The Mahanakorn Skywalk offers views out to Bangkok. Thai Holidays, Supplied
The Mahanakorn Skywalk offers views out to Bangkok. Thai Holidays, Supplied

It only opened in 2018, and is definitely an experience for those of us with no fear of heights, but offers incredible views all over the city.

9. Ganga Aarti, Varanasi

The Ganga Aarti is a vibrant festival that takes place every sunset in Varanasi, India, with the goal of showing gratitude to the River Ganges and ask for its blessings.

Varanasi is said to be one of the oldest cities in the world, and that celebrating the festival here heightens the spiritual experience. Hundreds to thousands of travellers and pilgrims travel to the city for the festival.

10. Deramakot Forest Reserve, Sandakan

This dense tropical rainforest in Sandakan in Borneo, Malaysia spans over 137,000 acres.

The forest is a particularly drawcard for wildlife enthusiasts who want to see Borneo's rare or endangered mammals such as the leopard cat, Bornean gibbon, slow loris and pygmy elephant.

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A Sunda Leopard Cat lurking in the shadows.

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