It's time to pack your bags and head to Northern Kerala. Global travel experts, 'Lonely Planet', has named Northern Kerala among the top 10 travel destinations in Asia in its 2017 Best in Asia list, which was revealed recently. North Kerala has come third in this list.
Lonely Planet says “travelers have been making a beeline for Kerala’s southern beaches for years but Northern Kerala has long been the underrated half of the state, concealing its backwater charms and emerging slowly like a butterfly from a chrysalis. 2017 marks India’s 70th year of independence and the opening of a new international airport in Kannur – Kerala’s largest – which will provide an easy introduction to the north.
The beaches around Kannur, Thottada and Bekal are pristine, and a string of homestays and resorts have sprouted to give in-the-know travelers on all budgets a beachfront view that should make Goa’s hoteliers weep. In the eastern hills, you’ll find Wayanad, one of Kerala’s most underrated wildlife sanctuaries and a haven for wild elephants.”
Here's a look at the other places that made the cut in order
1) Gansu, China
Gansu in north-central China is famous for its stunning snow-capped mountains. Its Silk Road history gives it an added charm. The world-class Buddhist art site, the Mogao Grottoes, remains relatively crowd-free.
2) South of Tokyo, Japan
Japan tops the bucket list for many travelers. However, two cities south of Tokyo – Yokohama, a 20-minute train journey from the capital, and Kamakura, again about an hour from Tokyo figure on this list.
4) Keong Saik Road, Singapore
The story of Keong Saik Road is nothing short of a miraculous transformation. From a crime-riddled red light district, this road has reinvented itself to be the poster child of the hip new Singapore. Behind the beautiful colonial and art-deco buildings on this street, you will discover the best of Singapore's famed dining scenes.
5) Astana, Kazakhstan
The spotlight is on Astana, the mirage-like capital city of Kazakhstan. This city - not too far from Europe with a futuristic skyline - is fast becoming one among the world's hottest travel destinations. Astana will also host the World Expo on sustainable energy this year and will see a huge number of delegates arriving in the city. Citizens of 45 countries can visit Kazakhstan without a visa for up to 30 days.
6) Takayama, Japan
This rustic town is changing - the rickety station has been replaced with a new one and it is being transformed slowly to take in visitors from across the globe.
7) Xi’an, China
The eastern starting point of the Silk Road, one of the grandest cities of yore - Xi'an has a diverse heritage that can be experienced. Tang dynasty pagodas, the Army of Terracotta Warriors and the 72-hour visa-free policy makes this one of the top destinations.
8) Sri Lanka's hill country
Sri Lanka is pretty. Take a ride through the idyllic hill country through the various sacred Buddhist sites. The island is also steeped in Ramayana myth. Explore Kandy and Nuwara Eliya.
9) Melaka City, Malaysia
A trip to Malaysia is incomplete without a trip to the UNESCO World Heritage site of Melaka. The ancient buildings have benefited from makeovers. The boat rides on the Melaka River is a popular sport.
10) Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Located off the northwest tip of Bird's Head peninsula, Raja Ampat or 'Four Kings' is an archipelago consisting of small islands, cays and shoals. It is the epicenter of tropical marine biodiversity and referred to as the Crown Jewel of the Bird's Head seascape.