Journey Through the Best Spiritual destinations in Asia

Unleash your inner zen and be at peace in some of Asia’s sacred destinations.

This image shows the beautiful landscape of Akshardham Temple in New Delhi, India, one of the finest spiritual destinations in Asia. Akshardham or Swaminarayan Akshardham complex is a Hindu mandir and a spiritual-cultural campus in India.
Akshardham Temple in New Delhi, India, is one of the finest spiritual destinations in Asia. pxhidalgo/

With the rise of technology and globalization, we all feel caught in a crazy routine sometimes. Tired, disappointed and lost, we look for a way to disconnect from stress. That’s when many of us realize that we need to stop for a moment and search for spiritual enrichment. In this article, we bring you the finest spiritual destinations in Asia, breathtaking destinations that offer something more profound. Come with us on a spiritual journey through the Far East and experience a revitalizing quest to your inner self.

Bali, the Island of Gods

This image shows a woman sitting backwards, meditating and praying, in Bali temple Pura Lempuyang Luhur during a religious ceremony in Indonesia, one of the most visited spiritual destinations in Asia.
Praying and meditating in Pura Lempuyang Luhur temple in Bali, Indonesia, one of the most visited spiritual destinations in Asia. Dmitry Polonsky/

The sacred yet mystical landscape of Bali in Indonesia is ideal for a spiritual quest. For common travelers and spiritual wanderers, Bali is the destination to reconnect with Mother Earth and to meditate on life. Ubud, for example, is a retreat spot to the southeast of the country that shelters some of the most-visited sanctuaries. Pura Gunung Kawi, Gunung Kawi Sebatu and Tirta Empul are among some of the best-known. The hillside setting, surrounded by lush paddies and abundant bathing sites, allows you to be one with nature. Dip into the waters and allow yourself to experience a true Balinese spiritual adventure.

Next, to highlight your retreat, attend a temple prayer and get blessed by a Balinese priest. Pura Lempuyang Luhur is a great place for that, where you can pray and join other spiritual searchers. Getting a Balinese blessing is an opportunity to experience a tradition that purifies you, replacing negative spirits with good ones. Most of these activities are offered by different tours and you can ask your hotel accommodation about them. Just remember: before entering any of the temples, you must wear appropriately, with a sarong (skirt) and selendang (sash). In fact, pretty much all of the spiritual destinations in Asia mentioned in this article have similar dressing codes.

Spiritual search in India

This image shows Buddhist monks sitting under the bodhi tree at Mahabodhi temple in Bodhgaya, India, one of the most iconic spiritual destinations in Asia.
Buddhist monks sitting under the Bodhi tree, Bodhgaya, India, one of the most iconic spiritual destinations in Asia. R.M. Nunes/

Most people tend to hide their sadness and grief, but sometimes spiritual search is the best way to find relief. In India, spiritual retreat and renewal have always been part of the culture and a philosophy of life. In fact, spirituality in India is not just an activity, but part of the country’s cultural identity. For a long time, part of the world has embraced its spirituality through the principles of Hindu philosophy. Although Yoga is the most famous one, there are other five: Vedanta, Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Samkhya and Mimamsa.

One of the greatest Hinduist temples in New Delhi is the Akshardham Temple and you can visit it for free. This complex of temples opened in 2005 and it exemplifies Indian culture and architecture. Besides offering a space for praying and meditation, it has a thematic garden, exhibitions and a water show. You can check the offical website to find out about dress code, opening hours and more information.

However, of all the spiritual destinations in Asia and India, perhaps the most iconic one is the birthplace of Buddhism. It’s Bodh Gaya, a peaceful village in the northeast, home to many Buddhist monasteries and meditation spots. As the most revered Buddhist excursion in the world, travelers can personally experience a distinct retreat within the Mahabodhi Temple. This is where the historical Bodhi tree stands, where Gautama Buddha achieved enlightenment. There are also many spiritual tours to other holy sites like Sarnath, Manikarnika Ghat and Kashi Vishwanath.

Spiritual wellness in Thailand

This image shows a pagoda on the top of Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai, Thailand, one of the most visited spiritual destinations in Asia.
Pagoda on the top of Doi Inthanon in Chiang Mai, Thailand, one of the best spiritual destinations in Asia. chatchai/

Forget the country’s street food and parties and go for something more meaningful like spiritual wellness. With a country rooted in personal spiritual development, a spiritual retreat in Thailand is one for the books. Buddhism is connected to the culture and tradition of Thais, shaping the nation and its people for centuries. The mountainous scenery and historical sites are dazzling, providing sites where you can experience the local culture. Doi Inthanon, for example, is Thailand’s highest mountain and has two enchanting pagodas with a view for the ages.

Now, Chiang Mai, located to the northwest of the country, is a spiritual sanctuary for holy temples and meditation spots. Experience a unique spiritual journey, visiting retreat spots that’ll help you cultivate your mind and be at peace. There’s the modern Kamalaya Koh Samui, a wellness spa focused on stress relief and holistic therapies. But there are also several traditional temples, like the golden-structured Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Other famous temples include the gloss white Wat Rong Khun, Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Phan Tao and many others.

Spiritual destinations in Asia: Final reminders

Going in a spiritual search has very different goals compared to adventure and pleasure seeking. It’s all about reinvigorating the mind, body and soul through meditation and praying. Which means that you should pack as lightly as possible, to dress for comfort and functionality. Choose clothing essentials with light and comfortable fabrics that match the tropical weather and your traveling goals (relaxation, meditation, spirituality).

Finally, most of the places mentioned above have strict dress and behavior codes, so make sure you learn about them beforehand. Most locals in these spiritual destinations in Asia will be glad to advise and help you not screw up. Considering this, we hope that your spiritual retreat in the Far East connects you with something greater than yourself.

Have you ever visited any of these spiritual destinations in Asia? What was your favorite experience there? If you haven’t yet, do you feel like you need to go on a spiritual search? Please tell us everything in the comments section bellow!


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