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18 of Asia's most underrated places

Dec 28, 2022
18 of Asia's most underrated places
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(CNN) — Comprising more than 40 countries, Asia can't be summed up easily.

The classics are classics for a reason -- from the awe-inspiring architecture of Angkor Wat and the Taj Mahal to the buzzy metropolises of Tokyo and Hong Kong and the beaches of Bali and Phuket, it's impossible for any traveler to find something not to their liking.

But for the travelers who are fortunate enough to have time to dig a little bit deeper, there are less-crowded, equally-rewarding treasures to be found.

CNN Travel tapped into our network of colleagues and contributors to ask them where the locals go. Here's what they had to say.

Ipoh, Malaysia
When it comes to great Malaysian food cities, most people think of Penang. But that's only because they haven't been to Ipoh.

The capital city of Perak state, Ipoh's location between Kuala Lumpur and Georgetown makes it an ideal stop for any Malaysian road trip. It's also the gateway to Cameron Highlands, a district known for its cool weather and tea plantations.

Ipoh's food and world famous white coffee are enough reasons to visit but there are also magnificent limestone hills and caves that are home to unique temples as well as amazing hidden bars.

Visit the Chinese temples of Perak Tong, Sam Poh Tong and Kek Lok Tong and be blown away by intricate stone carvings and bronze statues of Chinese deities surrounded by stalactites and stalagmites. Ipoh's colonial legacy is also evident in its architecture: from its Railway Station to the Birch Clock Tower, town hall and the Old Post Office.

-- Heather Chen, Asia writer

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