Western Ghats find a place in Lonely Planet’s Best in Asia 2018 list

Epic views abound of the mist-cloaked mountains of the Western Ghats © Naufal MQ / Getty Images

Lonely Planet has just revealed its 2018 Best in Asia list, a collection of 10 of the best destinations to visit in the continent for the year. And, Western Ghats of India, finds a place in the top 5 of the list. “Asia is such a vast and diverse continent for anyone dreaming of an escape,” said Lonely Planet’s Asia-Pacific Media Spokesperson Chris Zeiher.

The panel of travel experts has named Busan, South Korea as its top pick, describing it as “eclectic” and “vibrant”. Uzbekistan is in the second place, and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam at third. India’s Western Ghats came fourth in the list. The report also mentions neelakurinji flower, which blooms only once every 12 years in Munnar.

“India’s steamy southern highlands have never garnered the same column inches as the hill stations and Himalayan heights of North India, but the Western Ghats offer an atmospheric mirror to Shimla and Darjeeling, with added jungle appeal. Traversing Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa and Maharashtra, these rugged hills are UNESCO listed as one of the top spots for biodiversity in the world, protecting everything from wild elephants and tigers to the neelakurinji flower, which blooms only once every 12 years and will be painting the hills in purple livery from August to October 2018. Visit now and you’ll find coffee, tea and spice plantations, charmingly dated colonial outposts, thundering waterfalls, and even a steam-powered mountain railway, while evading the crowds who mob the northern uplands,” says the magazine in its report.

“Our experts have combed through thousands of recommendations to pick the best destinations to visit over the next 12 months.”

Lonely Planet’s Best in Asia 2018:
1. Busan, South Korea
2. Uzbekistan
3. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
4. Western Ghats, India
5. Nagasaki, Japan
6. Chiang Mai, Thailand
7. Lumbini, Nepal
8. Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka
9. Sìchuan Province, China
10. Komodo National Park, Indonesia